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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Senator Dodd, Democrat, and Defeatist

 Or Add One More to the un-American List

Senator Dodd, this past Sunday, criticized the Secretary of Defense for saying Senate resolutions opposing the troop building in Iraq were undermining the war effort.  Dodd has this to say:

"I voted to confirm (Gates)," Dodd said. "But that's a very dangerous thing to be suggesting that the United States Congress has no business suggesting an alternative here, or recommending a course of action different from the president of the United States. For us not to do that would be the height of irresponsibility if that was the feeling in Congress."

Senator, Secretary Gates didn't say the Senate didn't have the right to pass this resolution, he simply said in a polite way that it gave aid and comfort to our enemies and increased the dangers to our troops on the ground.  Like me, Gates probably wants you and your fellow Democrats to make fools of themselves, but the problems is that when you make fools of yourselves you embarrass your country, just like John Kerry did the other day.  Not that you and your fellow Democrats seem to care about that.

Here is Dodd's great solution to the Iraq problem:

odd, one of several Democrats seeking the party's 2008 nomination for president, said he believes that the problems in Iraq will not be solved by the military.

"If you're looking for stability there, I think there's a possibility that you can get that," Dodd said. "But you're going to have to engage diplomatically, the Syrians, probably the Iranians as well."

Satan would like to know, "what in the hell is the left's obsession with 'talking' to non-democratic countries?"  More than likely, it has the benefit that it looks like you are doing something, but you expend minimal effort. 

Satan would like to point out that negotiations are only successful when conducted between two or more democratic nations.  Apparently, Satan needs to point out to Senator Dodd, the results of negotiations with authoritarian regime like Syria and Iran from year past:


-the Berlin Airlift.  The U.S. tried to negotiate with the Soviets over the status of West Berlin, but it took the airlift and the threat of military action to come to an understanding.

-the Cuban missile crisis.  Were Soviet missiles removed from Cuba due to diplomacy?  Of course not, it took the blockade and threatened military action to make the Soviets remove the missiles.

-the START talks.  The Soviets came to the table only after President Reagan invested and deployed Trident II, Minute Men, and Pershing II missiles.

Senator Dodd fails to understand that Iran and Syria do not respect weakness.  If the Senate passes resolution after resolution undermining the Iraq war effort, exactly what leverage would the U.S. have in negotiations with these two authoritarian regimes?  And without military pressure brought to bear on Iranian and Syrian interference in Iraq, what else would persuade them to help the U.S. impose order in Iraq?  Their good intentions?

Update:  Tigerhawk has an interesting theory that all the left's defeatism might be helping Bush deal with Iran.

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Addition of News Headlines and Streaming News Video

 Or New Resources for The Virtuous Republic Readers

For the news junkies out there, the Virtuous Republic has added two new features.   To make The Virtuous Republic more of a one stop place to visit, I've added two new features.  

First, I have set up a separate page dedicated to listing Reuters daily headlines for three topics:  U.S. general news, international news, and U.S. politics.  You can access that link in the right-hand column under "Daily News from Reuters."  Here is the direct link if you want to check it out.  You can scan the headlines and then click on the links which leads to the entire story.

Second, I've added streaming video from Reuters.  You can watch the top 15 daily stories here.  Once again, you can find the link in the right hand column, under "Daily News from Reuters."  The direct link is here.

Also, I'd like to point out two other resources available at The Virtuous Republic.  In the left hand column, headlines from the Jerusalem Post and the United Press are provided.  Simply click on the headline that interests you and you will taken to the full story.

It's Official: Chavez is Now a Dictator

 Or Communism is Cool Once Again

Today, Venezuela's Congress gave Hugo Chavez unlimited powers for 18 months.  Here is the heart of Chavez's new powers:

The law also allows Chavez to dictate unspecified measures to transform state institutions; reform banking, tax, insurance and financial regulations; decide on security and defense matters such as gun regulations and military organization; and "adapt" legislation to ensure "the equal distribution of wealth" as part of a new "social and economic model."

Chavez plans to reorganize regional territories and carry out reforms aimed at bringing "power to the people" through thousands of newly formed Communal Councils, in which Venezuelans will have a say on spending an increasing flow of state money on neighborhood projects from public housing to road repaving.

This time, the law will give Chavez a free hand to bring under state control some oil and natural gas projects that are still run by private companies — the latest in a series of nationalist energy policies in Venezuela, a top oil supplier to the United States and home to South America's largest gas reserves.

Chavez has said oil companies upgrading heavy oil in the Orinoco River basin — British Petroleum PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., Total SA and Statoil ASA — must submit to state-controlled joint ventures, as companies have already done elsewhere in the country.

The law gives Chavez the authority to intervene and "regulate" the transition to joint ventures if companies do not adapt to the new framework within an unspecified "peremptory period."

Chavez basically got everything he needed from his Congress to establish a Communist dictatorship.  Besides the power to nationalize industry, did you notice he was given the right to "reorganize the military" and the ability to "reorganize regional territories?"  The importance of these two powers for profound.  Regarding the military, he now has the ability to remove commanders who might challenge him and of course appoint generals who support him and his policies.  The ability to reorganize Venezuela's states is also vitally important to Chavez's grasp on power.  He can now remove local leaders who are members of the opposition.

More than likely, say in a few months, as Chavez consolidates power, he will probably start to repress speech and press rights and opposition parties will be outlawed.  Combine Chavez's rise to power with the election of leftists in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, and the penchant of communist leaders to export their revolution to their neighbors, the Middle East might have to be put on the back burner while the U.S. takes care of its interests closer to home.

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As Goes Venezuela Goes Ecuador

Or the Mob as the Will of the People 

The supporters of left-leaning Ecuadorian President Correa forced Ecuador's Congress to flee.  The Congress, ruled by the elected opposition party, is looking at constitutional reform legislation submitted by the Correa government.  Unfortunately, Correa and his party has seemingly taken a cue from Chavez's communist playbook, and has started to use "the angry mob" to intimidate opposition parties.

Crowds of protesters demanding support for leftist President Rafael Correa's constitutional reforms stormed Ecuador's opposition-controlled Congress on Tuesday and forced lawmakers to evacuate.

Police fired tear gas at the protesters, who wielded sticks and bottles as they entered the 100-member Congress. They briefly penetrated the building before being removed by police.

Television images showed police escorting lawmakers out as demonstrators, some clad in the bright green shirts of Correa's movement, rallied outside.

If you have any doubt as the political leanings of Correa and his followers, watch this video and count the communist inspired shirts.        

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Mrs. Edwards Responds

 Or My, What a Big House You Have

Satan, in this post, noted the disconnect between the "green" image portrayed by John Edwards and the great big, huge, some might call it a mansion, house he is having built.  

Now, don't get Satan wrong, he doesn't begrudge the great family wealth of the Edwards.  He doesn't even mind that they are building such a large house.  What does bother Satan is that the Edwards are promoting a green agenda, yet at the same time building a extravagant house.

Mrs. Edwards, in her blog, tries to make the case that her 10,000 sq. ft. main house and 16,000 sq.ft. recreational barn and the 2000 sq. ft. connecting hall are energy efficient:

We built a highly energy efficient house. In fact, our home is Energy-Star rated. Energy Star is an EPA regulated designation for homes that are at least 30 percent more efficient than the national Model Energy Code.  In building we made sure we had effective insulation in floors, walls, and attics. We chose efficient heating and cooling equipment and high-performance windows.  Our builder paid close attention to making sure the construction was tight to seal out drafts and moisture. The day the independent inspector came to evaluate the house, we were on pins and needles while he tested our home's energy performance.  As he packed his equipment, he gave us the good news: we are an Energy-Star home!  

Satan would definitely like to make a point here.  The average American home is roughly 2,350 square feet.  The main building at the Edwards estate is 10,000 square feet.  Satan doesn't care how energy efficient the home is, it is still going to use more energy than does the average American home just because of its sheer size.

Satan readily noted that Mrs. Edwards failed to mention the size of her home in the post.  Once again, we in Hell find it ironic, that a Democrat, and a man of the people has a home that is four times larger than the average American home and whose connecting hallway to the recreational barn is a large as that same average American home.

Really, do you think a man who owns a 28,000 sq. ft. home has anything in common with you?  

Blue Star Chronicles also raises some hell on this issue.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Associated Press Praises Venezuela's Chavez

 Or Chavez to Create the Greatest, Freest Society Ever

In this  article, written by Ian James for the Associated Press, the first paragraph sets the tone.

"Hugo Chavez has just about everything a president could want: popular support, a marginalized opposition, congress firmly on his side and a booming economy as he starts his new six-year term."

Since when does a 17% inflation rate indicate a "booming" economy?

In the next couple of paragraphs, Mr. James can't seem to bring himself to describe Chavez in anything but glowing terms.

Now, he's about to become even more powerful — the all-Chavista National Assembly is poised to approve a "mother law" as early as Wednesday enabling him to remake society by presidential decree. In its latest draft, the law would allow Chavez to dictate measures for 18 months in 11 broad areas, from the "economic and social sphere" to the "transformation of state institutions."

Any leader who has unlimited power for 18 months is called a dictator.  But apparently, since Chavez is from the left side of the political spectrum, that isn't important.

Chavez calls it a new era of "maximum revolution," setting the tone for months of upheaval as he plans to nationalize companies, impose new taxes on the rich and reorient schools to teach socialist values. With near-religious fervor and plenty of oil wealth, Chavez is mobilizing millions of Venezuelans, intent on creating a more egalitarian society.

Notice how Mr. Smith fails to mention that Chavez is not going to compensate companies for their true value when they are nationalized?  Next, Mr. Smith nonchalantly writes that Chavez is going to "reorient schools to teach socialist values."  Doesn't that remind you of communist indoctrination as practiced by the Soviets and the Chinese?  And finally, he makes Chavez out to be a saint by saying the goal is to create a "more egalitarian society."  Mr. Smith fails to note more than likely, what will happen is that the rich will be decimated, the poor will be slightly better off, and the party faithful will benefit the most.

Already, profound changes can be seen throughout Venezuela. Those who felt left out of the old system are thrilled at the prospect of having a voice in politics. Others are horrified, predicting that doors will close on their personal freedoms under one-man rule, although exactly what Chavez will do with his power remains unclear.

"Although exactly what Chavez will do with his power remains unclear."  Okay, so let me get this straight, he has bullied the opposition, he has nationalized industry, he has made alliances with Iran and Cuba, and has assumed dictatorial powers, but his intentions remain unclear?

Even when he begins to write that things may not be all right in this "garden of Eden", he just can't come out and say it.

Outside the Spanish Embassy, dozens line up with documents in hand. Many plan trips for tourism or study, but Henry Krakower is thinking darker thoughts. He wants a passport for his 10-year-old son in case they need to leave for good.

"I don't really know what all the coming changes are, but I don't think it's the best idea to give all the power to a single person for him to decide on my behalf," says Krakower, the son of a Polish concentration camp survivor who found a haven in Venezuela after World War II.

Government officials insist there will be total freedom of religion and speech and that private property will be safe, but the Krakowers aren't so sure. Listening for clues to what lies ahead, they worry about economic restrictions and ideology in education. At their son's private Jewish school, some parents are talking about how and when to leave the country.

"I think the president is going to do what he wants to do, because he will have all the power to decide on all things," Krakower says. "I think we're headed toward totalitarianism."

Even though he interviews Krakower and airs his skepticism, notice how he writes, "Government officials insist that there will be total freedom of religion and speech and that private property will be safe...."  Mr. Smith, how long before a man who is modeling his country on the communist model, decides that religion and speech threatens "his" revolution?  Have you ever know a communist nation to allow free speech or freedom of religion?

If this is what passes for "objective" journalism,  we'll pass.  Why is it that leftists like Castro or Chavez are romanticized?  He wants to be a communist, modeled on Mao, Lenin, and Stalin, yet from this article, it sounds almost as if Mr. Smith believes that Chavez will redistribute wealth equally and that the Venezuelan economy will continue to steady grow, despite nationalization, high taxes, and increasing government micromanaging.

Update:  Great minds must think alike: Jammiewearingfool

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

What the Left Really Thinks

Or Actors for Defeat

Today, several thousand anti-war protesters showed their disloyalty to America.  Disloyalty you snort!  I can just hear it, "Why they are just exercising their free speech rights."  Well, so am I and I am stating that you hate your country and want to see it embarrassed and humiliated out of some narcissistic need to pay a penitence "to all the little brown people" that America has oppressed over the years.

Jane Fonda:  "Thank you so much for the courage to stand up to this mean-spirited and vengeful administration."

Machiavelli:  Dear Ms. Fonda, exactly what level of courage does it take to gather at the Mall in the freest nation on earth?  Would that courage be at the same level as that of the Chinese students who protested at Tiananmen Square in 1989?  Just wondering.  

The "vengeful" administration quote has me confused?  Has the FBI arrested you because you oppose the war?  Has Bush used the IRS to harass anti-war protesters?  Did the Capitol police turn the water cannons on you?  Did Dick Cheney take you quail hunting?

Now, I think I know why you said these things.  In the collective mind of the left, the U.S.  is just like China, the Soviet Union, or North Korea.  In your conspiracy clouded mind, you can just imagine George Bush sending in the FBI to take you to a secret torture prison for "daring" to oppose his almighty will.  Never mind this really doesn't happen, but because you think it is true, it is.

12 year old girl:  At the rally, 12-year-old Moriah Arnold stood on her toes to reach the microphone and tell the crowd: "Now we know our leaders either lied to us or hid the truth. Because of our actions, the rest of the world sees us as a bully and a liar."

Machiavelli:  Well, that has me convinced, bring the troops back home.  First, 12 year olds don't have informed political opinions and second, a good mom and dad would be embarrassed by letting their child spew this nonsense.  But, it does reinforce my belief that this is what the left thinks of their country.  It is a "bully and a liar."  The left teaches their children to be disloyal, to be unthinking advocates for national destruction, and to have a warped view of the world.

Sean Penn:  "If they don't stand up and make a resolution as binding as the death toll, we're not going to be behind those politicians."

Machiavelli: I'm thrilled to hear this.  The Democratic Party pandered to the disloyal left and now they have to please them.  Just passing a non-binding measure of disloyalty is not going to please their base.  No, the Democrats are going to have to be completely disloyal  and un-American if they want to keep their majority in Congress.  This pleases me to no end.

Also, do you notice how the left is so concerned about the death toll?  In four years, we've lost 3,000 soldiers.  For those soldiers and families, they have paid a dear price.  But from a nation of 300 million people, that falls short of any great collective sacrifice.  The country losses more people to murder every year, the country losses more people to auto accidents every year, yet the left acts like 3,000 people is bleeding this nation dry.  The problem with the left, they are unwilling to accept any sacrifice for a country that they despise.

Jesse Jackson:  ``We need new priorities and new directions,'' civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said, his speech broken by loud cheers and applause. ``We do not need more troops in Iraq, we need more dollars at home.''

Machiavelli:  More dollars at home for more police on the street?  More money to finance drilling for oil in Alaska and off the coasts of Florida and California?  More money to build more jails to keep criminals away from law-abiding citizens?  More money for building roads?  More money to build a fence to keep illegal and criminal aliens out of our country?  I didn't think so.

How can we as a nation, not come to the conclusion that the left doesn't hate this nation?  They tell us everyday that the U.S. is like China, the Soviet Union, or worse.  When you stop calling for our national defeat, I'll stop calling you disloyal and unpatriotic.   Michelle, LGF, and GatewayPundit all have different takes on today's mass gathering of the unpatriotic.

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John Kerry Disparages his Nation

 Or There You Go Again

Why does the left think it is fashionable to be un-American when abroad?  Of course John Kerry, couldn't resist bashing his country today at the  economic forum in Davos, Switzerland.   You can hear it for yourself at Hot Air.

John Kerry simply says out loud what the left really thinks:

“When we walk away from global warming, Kyoto, when we are irresponsibly slow in moving toward AIDS in Africa, when we don’t advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards, we set a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy,” Kerry said. “So we have a crisis of confidence in the Middle East _ in the world, really. I’ve never seen our country as isolated, as much as a sort of international pariah for a number of reasons as it is today.”

On Kyoto, I guess Kerry didn't remember this little nugget:

On July 25th, 1997, before the Kyoto Protocol was finalized (although it had been fully negotiated, and a penultimate draft was finished), the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98),[40] which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States". On November 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations.[41] The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.

Even Bill Clinton thought Kyoto was bad for business.  How about them emissions?

On aids, the Bush Administration was already doing something in 2003 and has actually poured more aid money into Africa than expected, in fact he has tripled it and he has mentioned fighting aids in Africa twice as a national priority.  So apparently, when you are a leftist and hate your own nation, lying is okay.  To my leftist readers that would be "misrepresenting the truth."

On calling the U.S. an international pariah, this is simply the typical leftist looking for approval from our enemies and critics.  

I'd like to ask Mr. Kerry a couple of questions.  So far in Iraq, the U.S. has allowed the Iraqis to freely form their own government based on their own homegrown constitution.  Do you consider this act of American terrorism as bad as North Korea starving its people so that it can build nuclear bombs?

Do you consider our occupation of Iraq worse than the fact that Saudi Arabia does not allow freedom of religion and treats women a property?

Do you consider our Iraqi policy worse than Iran's treatment of its ethnic minorities or of its support of terrorism against Lebanon and Israel?

So Mr. Kerry, let me get this right, you consider America a pariah nation because we set the Iraqis free and allowed them to set up a government of their own choice, as flawed as it might be?

One last quote from the un-American Senator from Massachusetts:

Kerry criticized what he called the “unfortunate habit” of Americans to see the world “exclusively through an American lens.”

Okay Senator, fair enough, let's look at the world through the lenses of other cultures:

French lense:  Hate Israel, supply friend and foe alike with arms, hate the Jews, make business deals with all manner of authoritarian regimes, even if it hurts the interests of the West and surrender and retreat.  Hate the American pigs.

Iranian lense:  Hate the Jews and the Americans.  Talk about nuclear holocaust as a tool of foreign policy.  Also, hate the infidel.

Saudi Arabian lense:  Hate the Jews, cover the women, hide the women, discriminate against the women, forbid all other religions.  Tell the American pigs we like them, infidels!

If those are lenses through which you and your party look, that explains the self-loathing and hatred of America.  Too bad you can't just once look at the world as an American, where liberty, freedom, free markets, and individual freedom are the benchmarks by which we act.

My question to the left and John Kerry is this, what is your plan for Iraq and elsewhere?  I mean you obviously oppose democracy, free elections, and individual rights? You want to approach the world from a different angle, right?  So what exactly do you propose?  How should we engage the world?  Should we spread Islam?  Should we oppress women everywhere?  Should we exterminate ethnic minorities?  Should we suppress freedom of speech and religion?  Because that is what you have to do, if you do not approach the world from an American point of view.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

John Edwards Feels Your Pain

Or Why John Edwards (Democract) is a Hypocrite

John Edwards, Democrat, is running for President of the United States of America.  Now Satan, being somewhat of a sadist, listened to Hillary's Conversation with America on Wednesday and was perusing Edwards' "For President" website today.  Actually, I was just looking for ways to torture the newest minions of Hell.  Coincidentally, Satan also came across this article today, which describes Edwards new house.

Now Satan's understanding of "who" the Democrats are, pretty much assumes they are supposed to be for the little guy.  So how does a Democrat like Edwards, who is building a 28,000 square foot home, (the main house is a paltry 10,000 sq.ft., while the recreational barn is 16,000 sq.ft. and the hall that connects the two is 2,000 sq.ft.) claim to have ANYTHING in common with the "little" guy? The property is valued at over six million dollars. Maybe he will hire some of the common-folk to clean his mansion.        Not only does Satan feel that this shows that Edwards is out of touch with middle America, the hypocrisy gets worse.  Now in his day, Satan has coached many great people to say one thing, but do another, but the master is taking notes on this one.  If you go to Edwards home page, you will find he is calling for a National Day of Energy Action.      

   If you click on that picture you are sent this page, which gives you "tips" on how to help fight global warming and save energy.  Here are John's energy saving tips:

1. Sign The Pledge

    * Be Patriotic -- Pledge to do everything you can to conserve energy and fight global warming starting right now

2. Reduce Your Energy Footprint at Home and at Work

    * Replace your most frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent and other energy efficient bulbs

    * Weatherize your home by caulking and weather stripping your doorways and windows

    * Fix leaky faucets and toilets

    * Unplug electronics when not in use, including televisions, stereos and computers, which consume electricity even when in "sleep" mode

    * Only run your dishwasher and washing machine with a full load

    * Adjust your thermostat down a couple of degrees

    * Install a low-flow shower head and take shorter showers

    * Keep your water heater thermostat no higher than 120 degrees

If Satan might be so bold, he'd like to add something to this list.  You can further save energy by NOT BUILDING a 28,000 square foot home.  Does Satan see solar panels on this house?  Does Satan bet it has a several bathrooms and a hot tub?  Does Satan think Edwards is a hypocrite?   If he wants to stop global warming, then why did he cut down a bunch of air scrubbing trees to build a 28,000 square feet of house that will cost more to heat and cool a year than what most of those who will vote for Edwards make in a year.

Satan thought this was Edwards greatest feat of speciousness, but we happened to read a little further.  Edwards asks his followers to be patriotic by saving energy and fighting global warming.  He is willing to fight global warming, but Satan is speechless at seeing this on his website:

John Edwards, Democrat, wants you to be patriotic and fight global warming, but he backs stopping the funding necessary for victory in Iraq.  So let Satan get this straight, global warming is a threat to the Republic, but Islamic terrorists aren't?  Send Satan a telegram if he has that wrong.  All Satan has to say on global warming is that we have global warming in Hell and it isn't caused by greenhouse gases.

Can I question Edwards on his patriotism now?  Satan thinks that anyone who would undermine our war effort and declare that global warming is our nation's enemy surely despises the United States of America.  Why do Democrats want the U.S. to lose in Iraq?  Why do Democrats, like Edwards want American prestige and power to be damaged?  Why do Democrats like Edwards want to embolden our enemies?  The answer is obvious, because they believe they can be patriotic about such things as global warming, but if it involves duty, honor, and country, that is asking too much.  Maybe Edwards read this article and believes that global warming causes terrorism?

Can Satan call Edwards a hypocrite?  Satan knows that anyone who calls on his fellow Americans to change light bulbs, take cold showers, and lower the thermostat, yet at the same time builds a palatial estate that will use more power than 10 average American homes is a demagogue.  And if you think Satan is reaching when he calls leftists like Edwards un-American, you need to read this article at Wizbang.  

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Palestinian Poverty

Or Palestinians Produce Violence, but Can't Sell It 

Before the economic summit held in Davos, Switzerland, Palestinian President Abbas stated that 79% of Gazans lived in poverty.  The most surprising and unexpected revelation by Abbas was that it was caused by those pesky Jews.

The Palestinians can blame Israel for their problems, but when you have repeatedly rejected statehood over the years and instead squander all your limited resources on violence, then one might expect that your people live in poverty.   

Let's look at Palestinian education.  The main course, from kindergarten through high school seems to be violence.  Violence is everything.  Hatred for the Jews is a way of life.  The Palestinians worship hatred and jihad against Israel is the meaning of life.  The national energy is expended against an enemy they can't defeat.  As a result, there are no roads being built, there are no power plants erected, there are no businesses being created.  Even 60 years after the creation of Israel, Palestinians still live in "refuge" camps.  

What does the Palestinian authority export?  Rockets and suicide bombers.  Apparently, though, the Palestinian Department of Labor considers Israel retaliation as part of the national GDP.

What does Palestine need to become a viable state?  Let's do away with the idea that democracy and Islam are compatible in any form.  Who did the Palestinians vote in?  Hamas.  The Palestinian people voted for a group that was guaranteed to anger and agitate Israel and make the West Bank and Gaza even poorer.  No, what the Palestinians need is a benevolent, secular dictator.  

The ideal Palestinian strongman would do the following:

     -make peace with Israel and declare Palestinian independence.

     -outlaw all radical Islamic political parties.

     -suppress the fundamentalist Islamic message being from being spread in the mosques.

     -disarm all militia groups.

     -create a strong national army and police force.

     -stabilize Palestine and attract foreign investment and renewed trade with Israel.

Unless the Palestinians take these steps, they will never achieve nationhood and their lands will remain in constant turmoil and utter poverty.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Democratic Response

 Or Jim Webb, Democrat

Senator Webb:   I’m Senator Jim Webb, from Virginia, where this year we will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown – an event that marked the first step in the long journey that has made us the greatest and most prosperous nation on earth. 

Satan's response: Senator, what exactly made our nation great?  Socialism?  Giving up the fight when things get tough?

Senator Webb  It would not be possible in this short amount of time to actually rebut the President’s message, nor would it be useful. Let me simply say that we in the Democratic Party hope that this administration is serious about improving education and healthcare for all Americans, and addressing such domestic priorities as restoring the vitality of New Orleans.

Satan's response:  We would "rebut" the President's message, if we had a plan.  Education, Senator, is a state and local matter, constitutionally speaking.  In terms of healthcare, you did listen to Bush's speech, right?  What is the President supposed to do about New Orleans?  The people reelected a worthless mayor, who couldn't even start up the busses to evacuate his citizens in the first place.  What would you have the President do, federalize New Orleans?  Because that is the only way you could end the incompetence and corruption that is sinking the city.  Remember, Satan knows vice...

Senator Webb:    When one looks at the health of our economy, it’s almost as if we are living in two different countries. Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits. But these benefits are not being fairly shared. When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it’s nearly 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day. 

Satan's response:  On this point, Satan agrees with Webb.  America, to an extent, has returned to what Richard Hofstadter referred to as the "Gilded Age."  The fired CEO of Home Depot was recently given $210 million dollars to leave.  It is funny how companies can afford to spend $210 million on an incompetent CEO, but they nickel and dime their regular employees death.  There certainly is an issue of morality regarding corporate pay and responsibilities that Bush has not addressed.

Senator Webb:    And under the leadership of the new Democratic Congress, we are on our way to doing so. The House just passed a minimum wage increase, the first in ten years, and the Senate will soon follow. We've introduced a broad legislative package designed to regain the trust of the American people.

Satan's response:  Hell would like to point out something to Senator Webb.  You've just increased the cost of doing business for every company.  When the workers at the top end of the scale ask for a raise, what do you think will happen now?  So now some high school kid has a fatter paycheck, but there is no money for the long term employee....

Senator Webb:  I was proud to follow in his footsteps, serving as a Marine in Vietnam.

Satan's Response:  We thank you for your service, but a republic needs not only to judge a man by his past actions, but by his current deeds.

Senator Webb   The President took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable – and predicted – disarray that has followed.

Satan's Response:  Satan remembers both houses of Congress voting for this war and if Satan felt like it, could generate a list of of generals that supported going to war.  Exactly, how is this nation held hostage Senator?  We have lost only 3,000 soldiers in four years.  By your logic, this is disarray?  Is a nation of three hundred million people supposed to be brought to its knees by the daily death count repeated endlessly by the media?  Is our economy in recession because of this war?  Has the war in Iraq affected the lifestyles of 99% of Americans in any way, shape, or form?

Senator Webb:    The war’s costs to our nation have been staggering. Financially. The damage to our reputation around the world. The lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism.

Satan's response:  Yes, we've spent nearly $80 billion a month on this war, but has our economy collapsed Senator?  Are American's burdened by ever rising taxes to pay for this war?  And is the deficit continuing to come down, despite the costs of this war?  So, excuse Satan if he is a little confused.  

Next, Satan always loves how the left is worried about what other countries think about the United States.  Ever considered that France, the U.N., or Russia are morally corrupt and were rather upset when their contracts with Hussein's Iraq were terminated by our invasion?  And quite frankly, who in the hell cares what Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, or some other corrupt third world nation thinks?  Only the left.....

Moving on, the Senator buys into the notion that invading Iraq has diverted our ability to fight terrorism.  Satan strongly disagrees.  Senator, you need to think strategically.  One, how many enemies have been deterred by the show of American might?  How many Arab nations that were funding fundamentalists groups quietly started to crack down, fearing the wrath of America?  Well, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan come to mind.  Two, Iran was a lose cannon before the war, already on their way to building a nuclear weapon.  Now we have front row seats, if we need to confront Tehran.  Last, Iraq has attracted jihadists from around the world.  They blow up things over there and they die over there.  That is much better than waiting for them to blow things up over here....

Senator WebbThe majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of our military. We need a new direction. Not one step back from the war against international terrorism. Not a precipitous withdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong regionally-based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq’s cities, and a formula that will in short order allow our combat forces to leave Iraq.

Satan's response:  The majority of the nation didn't support the Revolutionary War either.  Good thing the Democrats weren't running the Continental Congress.  And what is the Democrat obsession with diplomacy?  Did diplomacy defeat the South in the Civil War?  Did diplomacy win World War II?  Did diplomacy stop North Korea from setting off a nuke?  Did diplomacy bring the Palestinians to recognize the right of Israel to exist?

And if we "take our soldiers off the streets of Iraq's cities", who will keep the country from spiraling into civil war?  So let Satan get this straight, let's say we get Turkey (who hates the Kurds, the Saudi's (who will support the Sunni) and Iran (who will support the Shiite) to mediate events in Iraq and we withdraw our troops, what will we get?  Great plan Senator.  Satan will hang a copy of this one on his wall right next to the reconstruction plan for post WWI Germany.

Senator WebbAs I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. “When comes the end?” asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end. 

Satan's response:  Senator, the war officially has never ended in Korea.  We signed a truce, not a peace treaty.  We still have troops in South Korea.  By your logic, our troops should have left Korea by 1960 and we should have left Europe by the end of 1949.  The child-like impatience that the left displays is a danger to this Republic.  War is a long term commitment.  

In conclusion, Satan would like to ask the Senator, if he so worried about world opinion, then what will our enemies think of us when American troops abandon Iraq under your plan?  Let Satan answer that, they will see us as weak, easily defeated, and every terrorist and terrorist state will be emboldened to confront the United States of America.  Yes, that is the Democratic plan, bring the battle to our shores!

Other takes on the State of the Union Address can be read at Hot Air, Right Pundits, Ankle Biting Pundits, Stop the ACLU, and Right Wing News.  Satan seems to be in agreement with these bloggers that the only plan that the Democrats have towards Iraq is utter American defeat and disgrace.

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The Problem with Illegal Immigrants

Or Why We Call Them Illegal in the First Place

An interesting story out of Baltimore, where federal immigration agents were approached by "day laborers" for work.  

Now this really amuses Satan.  Twenty-four men were arrested by these federal authorities.  All 24 men were here illegally.  Therefore they already are criminals and should be treated as such.  But, their criminality doesn't stop there.  Six of the arrested have criminal records in the U.S., 8 have been caught before by federal agents and failed to show up for deportation, and one man had been stopped at the border four different times.

Satan would like to point out to the left, that if these people are willing to break American law when they illegally cross they border, they will more than likely commit other crimes.  If you want to argue that most illegal immigrants are law abiding (which by definition they can't be), then get back to Satan after reading this article.

So far, this is bad enough.  We allow criminals free access to our nation and they continue to commit crime once they are here.  But it gets worse.  Those on the left, sympathize with these criminals.  This is the reaction from some leftist group in Baltimore:

 CASA officials invited other immigrant advocates and faith leaders to protest the arrests, which they say unfairly targeted Hispanics, and call for reforms to the country's immigration system. "We're making it more difficult for people to be good," said the Rev. Robert Wojtek, pastor of neighboring St. Michael and St. Patrick Roman Catholic parishes. "What sin against God have these people done?"

What sin have they, Padre?  Let Satan think for a second.  Hmmmm.  First, they entered the United States illegally.  So their first act in entering the U.S. is a violation of Federal law.  Then, dear Padre, they commit crimes while they are here.  And if you ask Satan, the greatest sin of all, is that they take jobs from poor Americans, they depress wages for poor Americans, they make the poorest neighborhoods even less safe (if this confuses those on the left, once again, criminals tend to continue their behavior), and they use public services without paying taxes in return.  Finally, Satan's jaw dropped with this quote from Baltimore's mayor:

 A spokeswoman for Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon told the Associated Press that the arrests highlighted the need for a designated day-laborer center in the city.

No Mayor Sheila Dixon, it highlights the need to defend America's border, it highlights the need to build a fence, and it highlights the need to find these people and deport them back to the third world cesspool from which they came.  Unfortunately, Satan is beginning to think that the left despises America so much, they'd like us to become just like a third world cesspool to soothe their self-hatred.

Michelle Malkin has an even more bitter take on immigration issues. 

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Hillary Clinton's Conversation with America

Or Satan Takes One for the Team

Hillary, for the last few nights, has hosted a live question and answer session on the internet.  If you can muster the courage, you can watch all three here.  After watching tonight's "Clintoncast", Satan thinks he will make the newest guests in Hell watch these videos over and over for the next thousand years.

Of course, we did submit a question, but I guess my email, Satan@hell.com probably pushed it to the bottom of the query.  So here are the topics she addressed:

Healthcare:  She questioned Bush on whether his plan to tax employer supplied health plans was the right way to go.  Satan can't argue with her on this point, as Hell, Inc. provides us with great coverage.  We can't imagine paying taxes on that.  Though Hillary did sort of step in it when she said the U.S. didn't have the best health care in the world.  

What she is for:  She is for beefing up Homeland Security.  She is for improving the V.A., for increasing funds for AIDS victims, lowering college tuition, and helping single women live better after retirement.

North Korea and Iran:  She blames Bush for not engaging in negotiations with both countries to get them to stop their nuclear programs.  She praised husband Bill's deal from 1994 with the North Koreans.  Satan is thinking that she didn't get the memo that it was her husband's 1994 agreement with North Korea that allowed them to further develop their nuclear program.  Hillary also noted that we negotiated with the Soviet Union.  If we remember correctly, Reagan, after the disaster in Iceland, pretty much ended the Start talks altogether.  He was tired of talking.

Personal questions:  Then some loser from the net had to ask, "what do you do to relax?"  Satan about spit his gin and tonic all over his new 23 inch lcd.  How fraking lame.  But at least Satan got one chuckle out of it.  She said she likes to go to movies with Bill.  What, do they have a porn theater just down the road from her house?

Global Warming:  Of course you knew this was going to be asked.  Of course, it is Bush's fault.

Satan's overall impression, and it should scare you, is that Hillary handled herself well.  I've heard her shriek before, but she was well spoken tonight and she didn't really sound like a left wing lunatic. Additionally, she seems to have a good command of her facts and she uses them well.  Satan's prediction is that you are looking at the Democratic nominee in 2008.  She is going to kill her opposition.  She is smart, she looks to be portraying herself as a centrist, and she can speak well when she needs to.  Yes, Satan is really trying to scare you.   You can read more Hillary related things at Wizbang.

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Defeatism put to music

Or What the Left Really Thinks

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Venezuela Gets what it voted for

Or the Disruption of a Continent 

Venezuela's legislature is set to formalize Chavez's dictatorial  powers today.  Called an "enabling act", it will give Chavez the right to rule by decree for 18 months.  The Caracas Chronicles has a more in-depth look at the law itself.  Even SFGate admits that this change in the Venezuelan constitution is the beginning of totalitarian rule by Chavez.  

Our view is that Chavez will of course use his new dictatorial powers to complete his agenda.  His first order of business will be to nationalize various industries.  He has already ordered the takeover of the national telecom company. In typical socialist fashion, he has already stated that he will not pay the fair market price for it.  An added benefit of this takeover is that his government will now control the airwaves.

In the not to distant future, expect Chavez to suppress what is left of the political opposition.  More than likely, opposition parties will be banned and leading opponents and business will be incarcerated.

Finally, for the United States, Chavez will try to export his socialist vision to the rest of South and Central America.  With America's interest diverted elsewhere at the present, the reemergence of communism in the Americas will be a problem left to another president.

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The New American Aristocracy

 Or  No More Family Dynasties

An interesting article in the L.A. Times has really made the Lockean think.  And we are embarrassed, considering our philosophical tendencies, that we hadn't seriously considered the harm caused to our Republic by family dynasties.  

James Burkee, argues, from a historical perspective, that the children of former presidents, who themselves assume the office, never enjoy a popular mandate and as a result are limited by extreme partisan politics.  Let's look at some of his most interesting points.

Speculating that Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in 2008, Burkee points out a grave problem for any vibrant republic:

But if she secures the Democratic nomination, wins and serves two terms, by 2017 the United States will have been governed by either a Bush or a Clinton for 28 years. That's three decades governed not just by the same two families but much of the same supporting staff.  As Dick Cheney is a name familiar to both Bush presidencies (as George H.W. Bush's secretary of Defense and his son's vice president), so too may a Hillary Clinton presidency resuscitate familiar names such as Harold Ickes, Paul Begala and James Carville.

Is this a valid point?  The Lockean thinks so.  James Madison, in The Federalist 37, noted that the American Constitution addressed the need:

that those intrusted (with the power of the people) it should be kept in dependence on the people, by a short duration of their appointments; and that even during this short period the trust should be placed in not a few, but a number of hands.  Stability, on the contrary, requires that the hands in which power is lodged should continue for a length of time the same....

Would James Madison be comfortable knowing that same men have been governing the executive branch for over twenty years?  While we believe that he would not dismiss their service out of hand, he might well have questions regarding the "energy" of their ideas, the inevitable corruption of power, and whether they served the interest of the people, or the powerful interests they deal with on a day to day basis.

Next Burkee notes that there is a predisposition among Americans not to vote for the son, or as the case might be, the wife of a former president.  As a result, he argues that John Quincy Adams, Benjamin Harrison, and George W. Bush did not receive a majority of the popular vote and thus were not able to strongly govern as the result of a mandate as say, Ronald Reagan did.  Burkee's theory fits nicely with Jefferson's description of aristocracy in America in a letter to John Adams in 1813:

....I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men.  The grounds of this are virtue and talents....  There is also an artificial aristocracy, found on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents....  The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature, for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society.  The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent its ascendency....

Burkee brings to the front burner, what is very often missing, a discussion of American politics based on our liberal and republican political values.  In this case, what are the defects in creating a political dynasty?  Do we want the same faces in government for decades at a time?  We already have that in our bureaucracies and the judiciary.  Fresh ideas require a changing of the guard on a regular basis. 

The American people seem to have a Jeffersonian bias against "the artificial aristocracy" as Burkee suggests.   Did they earn their position or did they rise to power as a result of family wealth?   Does their "inherited" wealth make them less virtuous?  Lastly, the practical result of this theoretical exercise, is that in electing the known, the safe, the Kennedy, the Bush, and now a Clinton, we sacrifice giving the new president a national mandate, creating an atmosphere of sharp political divide.  We agree with Burkee, no more Bushes or Clintons in the White House for the sake of the Republic.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

China Destroys Satellite

 Or How Clinton, the Left, Big Business,

and Free Traders are Selling the U.S. Down the River

The successful Chinese test of an anti-satellite weapon is old news in the blogosphere (You can read the background information here and here).  What seems to be missing from the discussion is that much of the technology that China used to create a delivery system and a guidance system was not indigenously produced.  Instead, China has used bribes to acquire and has stolen the technology from the United States.  Yes, China is probably our next enemy, much as the old Soviet Union was our rival for decades during the Cold War.  The greater threat to American security though, is our own short sighed and selfish attitudes.

The Clinton approach to China, called "engagement", took the view that Beijing was not a threat to American national security.  You can read some very insightful pieces on this topic here, here, and here.  One telling quote is this: "Yet the president's policies and those of the soft-liners who refused to recognize the nature of the People's Republic of China had done more to increase the danger from China than any of the skeptics in Congress who believed more should be done to learn about the Communist regime's military intentions."  The bottom line is that the Clinton policy towards China refused to see it as an enemy, allowing the Chinese to steal American missile technology without interference from American law enforcement agencies.

Another attitude that blinds us to the Chinese threat, is the view that the mainstream left holds of the United States itself.  The left has adopted a post-nationalist world view.  To be patriotic, to hold America above other nations, to think that American values and the American way of life are superior is near blasphemous.  To the left, there are no enemies, as they naively believe that other nations think and act like us.  And, if there is trouble between the United States and other countries, than the cause is more than likely some American defect.  As a result, during the Clinton Administration, this ideological mindset prevented us from acknowledging the Chinese threat and taking any action to counter it.  Succinctly put, why resolutely defend something you don't love.

Finally, on the right, the "free trade" at any cost wing refuses to admit that unrestricted and one way trade with China is nearly suicidal.  Our yearly massive trade deficits with the Chinese give them the capital to build an impressive military machine, largely based on our stolen technology.  After all, stolen American secrets are no good if you don't have the resources to reproduce it.  At some point, the benefits of free trade with China will have to be weighed against our national interests.  We need to ask several questions.  How much capital do we want to transfer to China?  Has free trade made China more democratic as was promised? What are the implications of tyrannical political system that has decided to adopt a free maket economic system to become a world power?  At what point does outsourcing our manufacturing abilities to China damage our national security?

Overall, this Chinese space weapon should be a wake-up call to America that we are in a new cold war.  Unfortunately, we are blinded to this threat by the left who can't ideologically see the need to defend America and who can't understand that other nations do not hold or share our belief in freedom.  Additionally, we have American business, supported by free trade economic and political theories, which puts profit above national security.    Until American national security is the first principle when dealing with China, the Chinese will continue to steal our most valuable technology and apply it to their growing armed forces.

Update:  If this isn't an "I told you so...."  China plans to use its massive foreign exchange reserves to....

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Friday, January 19, 2007

The Carnival of Ohio Politics

 Or Everything You Need to Know About Ohio Politics

I'd like to thank Paul at the Newshound for hosting "The Carnival of Ohio Politics."  Additionally, I'd like to thank the carnival for linking to my inaugural post regarding Bob Taft leaving office.  This weeks carnival can be found here.  

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Ohio Governor Strickland Grants Reprieves for Three Death Row Inmates

Or Ohio Governor Strickland, Democrat Grants Reprieves.... 

Ohio's new governor, Ted Strickland, has granted reprieves for three upcoming executions.  Governor Strickland, declares that he is for the death penalty, but The Columbus Dispatch has some telling quotes from a man who "supports" the death penalty:

Strickland, who took office Jan. 8, said he needs additional time to thoroughly review each case to determine whether clemency is warranted.“The brief time I have been governor has not allowed me sufficient time to conduct that type of review and there is not sufficient time before these scheduled       executions to complete that type of review,” Strickland said in a  statement. Strickland, a former prison psychologist who supports the death penalty, had signaled earlier this month that he was considering delaying the executions after learning it took former Gov. Bob Taft's staff weeks to review such cases.  

The Democrat also has concerns about recent court rulings questioning whether executions by lethal injection -- the method used in Ohio and most other states -- are cruel and unusual punishment.The governor has said he has not reached any conclusions about whether he would consider delaying an execution on those grounds but would like more guidance from the courts."I would hate for someone to be executed on a Wednesday and then on the following Thursday for the court to say that we had just employed an unconstitutional method of doing that," Strickland said Jan. 5.

Let's look at what Strickland claims and says:  

1.  He supports the death penalty.  Either you do or you don't.  Governor, if you actually do support the death penalty, then why are you delaying it in these three cases?  These are not questionable cases.  In each case, the defendant admitted to the murder.  So once again, if you support the death penalty, these are not the cases that deserve, no that are worthy of more than a cursory review. (Even though one case is under judicial review, the likelyhood is that the court will not issue a further stay past Tuesday).

In the Biros decision, which can be read  here, we see that this isn't a case based on flimsy evidence or jailhouse confessions from questionable cellmates.  This is a case about a brutal murderer:

In 1991, an Ohio state jury convicted Biros of the aggravated murder (with two death penalty specifications), felonious sexual penetration, aggravated robbery, and attempted rape of Tami Engstrom.  Engstrom left work early due to illness on the night of February 7, 1991, and drove from Hubbard, Ohio, to the Nickelodeon Lounge in Masury, Ohio, to visit her uncle, Daniel Hivner. Engstrom consumed several alcoholic drinks at the Nickelodeon.  Petitioner, Kenneth Biros, arrived at the Nickelodeon around 11:00 p.m., approximately one hour after Engstrom’s arrival.  Biros knew Hivner but had never met Engstrom.  By midnight Engstrom had passed out at the Nickelodeon.  At approximately 1:00 a.m., Hivner and Biros assisted Engstrom in moving from the bar to the parking lot.  Once outside, Engstrom insisted on driving herself home, but Hivner determined that she was too intoxicated to drive and took her keys away from her.  According to Hivner, it was at this point that Biros offered to take Engstrom for coffee in order to counteract the effects of the alcohol.  Biros and Engstrom left the Nickelodeon parking lot at approximately 1:15 a.m. in Biros’s car.  Hivner waited at the bar past closing time for Biros to return with Engstrom, but Biros never returned. 

The following day Andy Engstrom, Tami Engstrom’s husband, drove to Biros’s home after learning that Engstrom was last seen with Biros.  Biros claimed that he tapped Engstrom on the shoulder while they were in the car and she “freaked out, got out of the car and started running through these people’s yards on Davis Street” in Sharon, Pennsylvania.  Biros told similar stories to several other people on February 8. 1   Several of the individuals Biros spoke to observed cuts and scratches on Biros’s hands and a fresh wound over his right eye.  Biros explained that he injured his hands when he locked himself out of his house and had to break a window and cut his eye while chopping wood.  Biros assisted Engstrom’s relatives in searching for her in the area where he claimed to have last seen her. 

Biros lived in Brookfield Township, Ohio, with his mother and brother.  On the morning of February 8, Biros’s mother found a gold ring on the bathroom floor of their home.  Biros first told his mother that he knew nothing about the ring when she questioned him, but later said that it might belong to the woman who jumped out of his car early that morning.  Biros then took the ring and told his mother he would return it to the Nickelodeon.  Rather than returning the ring to the bar, Biros hid it in the ceiling of his house.  

On February 9, police officers called Biros’s home and left a message requesting that he come to the police station for questioning.  Upon hearing the message, Biros drove to the police station to discuss Engstrom’s disappearance with Brookfield Township, Ohio, and Sharon, Pennsylvania, police officers.  The officers informed Biros that he was not under arrest and was free to leave at any time.  Biros repeated the same story that he had previously told Engstrom’s family and friends.  Specifically, Biros told police that he left the Nickelodeon with Engstrom early in the morning on February 8 to get coffee and food in Sharon, Pennsylvania.  Biros claimed that Engstrompassed out in his car, but later woke up while Biros was withdrawing money from an automated teller machine.  According to Biros, Engstrom insisted that he drive her back to the Nickelodeon. Biros told police that as he was driving on Davis Street in Sharon, Pennsylvania, Engstrom jumped from the vehicle and ran away.  When asked whether Engstrom might have left her purse in his vehicle, Biros responded that he had cleaned the vehicle and found no purse.  

During the interview, Captain John Klaric began to question Biros’s account of the events leading up to Engstrom’s disappearance.  Klaric suggested that perhaps Biros had made a sexual advance toward Engstrom, which might have caused her to flee from the vehicle.  Biros denied making any sexual advances.  Klaric also suggested that perhaps Biros had made a sexual advance and Engstrom jumped from the vehicle and struck her head.  Biros also denied this hypothesis.  After further questioning, Klaric suggested that maybe an accident had occurred during which Engstrom fell out of the car and struck her head.  It was at this point that Biros responded “yes,” and admitted that he had done something “very bad.”  Klaric offered to speak to Biros alone and Biros agreed. According to Klaric, after the other police officers left the room, Biros told him, “It’s like you said, we were in the car together.  We were out along the railroad tracks.  I touched her on the hand.  Then I went further.  I either touched or felt her leg.  She pushed my hand away.  The car wasn’t quite stopped.  She opened the door and fell and struck her head on the tracks.”  Biros told Klaric that Engstrom was dead and that the incident occurred along the railroad tracks near King Graves Road in Brookfield Township.  At that point, police informed Biros of his Miranda rights.  See Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).  

Biros signed a written waiver of his Miranda rights and then repeated his story to Detective Rocky Fonce of the Brookfield Township Police Department.  Biros told police that Engstrom’s body was in Pennsylvania.  When police requested that Biros give them an exact location, Biros asked to speak to an attorney.  After consulting with an attorney, Biros agreed to show police the location of Engstrom’s body.  

Ohio authorities discovered several of Engstrom’s severed body parts in a desolate wooded area of Butler County, Pennsylvania on February 10.  Police found other portions of Engstrom’s body in a desolate wooded area of Venango County, Pennsylvania,approximately thirty miles north of the Butler County site.  Engstrom’s head and right breast had been severed from her torso.  Her right leg had been amputated above the knee.  The body was completely naked except for what appeared to be remnants of black leg stockings that had been purposely rolled down to Engstrom’s feet or ankles.  The torso had been cut open and the abdominal cavity was partially eviscerated.  The anus, rectum, and all but a small portion of her sexual organs had been removed and were never recovered by the police.  

Forensic technicians and law enforcement investigators searched the area of the railroad tracks where Biros had indicated that the incident with Engstrom occurred.  The investigators discovered a large area of bloodstained gravel near the tracks, blood spatters on the side of one of the steel tracks, and numerous other bloodstains in the same general area.  Bloodstains and swabbings of blood collected at the scene were tested and found to be consistent with Engstrom’s 

blood.  Investigators also found what appeared to be part of Engstrom’s intestines in a swampy area near the railroadtracks.  DNA testing confirmed that the intestines recovered were part of Engstrom’s remains.  Approximately one month later, investigators found Engstrom’s black leather coat partially buried near the tracks.  There were two cuts or slash marks on or near the collar of the coat.  Engstrom’s house keys and a tube of lipstick were also found in a shallow hole near the coat. One of Engstrom’s black leather shoes was also found in the area near the tracks. 

A number of items were also recovered by police during a search of Biros’s house including a bloodstained pocket knife, another, much larger knife, a bloodstained coat later identified as the coat Biros wore to the Nickelodeon, and a pair of size eleven tennis shoes.  The bloodstains from   Nos. 03-3067/3107  Biros v. Bagley Page 4 

Biros’s pocket knife and coat were tested and found to be consistent with Engstrom’s blood. Additionally, a hair found embedded in a seam near the tread of one of the tennis shoes was tested and found to be consistent with known samples of hair from the victim’s head.  The police also searched the car Biros drove to the Brookfield Township Police Department.  Forensic technicians identified several bloodstains in the car, some were consistent with Engstrom’s blood and others  were consistent with Biros’s blood.  A small piece of tissue, believed to be from Engstrom’s liver, was found in the trunk of the car. 

An autopsy of Engstrom’s body revealed that she suffered ninety-one premortem injuries indicative of a “severe beating” and “an attempt at sexual mutilation” and five stab wounds which were inflicted immediately after Engstom’s death.  In addition to these wounds, Engstrom’s head, right breast, and right lower extremity had been severed from her body at some point following her death.  Her anus, rectum, urinary bladder, and virtually all of her sexual organs had been removed and were never found.  Her gallbladder, the right lobe of her liver, and portions of the bowels were also extracted from her body.  The coroner found no evidence that Engstrom had been struck by an automobile as Biros claimed and concluded that Engstrom had died of asphyxia due to strangulation. 

How long does it take to review the facts in this case?  He murdered a woman, cut her up in a hundred different pieces and her personal items and blood were tied to him.  Did we elect slow readers to run our state?  There are no questions about his guilt.  He even confessed to this murder.  

In the Filiaggi's case, I don't have actual facts as presented to the court, but from this newspaper article, his former lawyer isn't arguing that his client was innocent, but that is client was crazy:

Filiaggi, now 41, is scheduled to be executed Feb. 13. His former attorney, Jim Burge, said he believed Filiaggi had filed another appeal yesterday.  Filiaggi has been on death row for 11 years. He was convicted of shooting his ex-wife, Lisa Filiaggi to death on Jan. 24, 1994, and attempting to kill her stepfather, Delbert Yepko.  Burge said he still believes Filiaggi is not guilty by reason of insanity. His defense centered around the idea that Filiaggi had a chemical imbalance in his brain caused by  a poor diet, which caused him to react violently -- an argument known as the ''Twinkie defense.'' 

Once again,  no one is arguing that Filiaggi didn't brutally kill his ex-wife.  So what is Governor Strickland looking at?  Can it take more than 10 minutes to dismiss the argument that the "Twinkie made me do it."  Now if he had argued the "Devil made me do it," I might have more sympathy.

In the Newton case, which can be read in its entirety here, the facts of the case are not in doubt.  And this case will take Strickland's team two weeks to review?

On November 15, 2001, around 5:10 a.m., MANCI correctional officers (“COs”) Gregory Ditmars, John Vesper, and Shane Douglas responded to a disturbance in cell 115.  Brewer was lying still on the floor in a puddle of blood with a piece of orange cloth wrapped around his neck.  Newton was laughing and had blood smeared all over his face.  MANCI nurse Trena Butcher testified that when she examined Newton, he told her that he had “painted himself with the victim’s blood and had also ingested the victim’s blood as part of the ritual when you kill someone.” 

2.  It took Bob Taft two weeks to review a case, therefore we must take the same amount time.  Bob Taft was also manifestly incompetent.  I think you implied that in your campaign.   Why is it going to take self-proclaimed smarter people as long as Taft to review death penalty cases?  Maybe in a nebulous case, two weeks might be in order.  But two weeks in these three cases?  The transcripts in the Biros case reads like this:  See Biros strangle, see Biros slaughter, see Biros scatter, see Biros confess.  Really, it isn't any more difficult than this.  Two weeks?

3.  Governor Strickland is worried about what the courts might say about lethal injection.  How long will the Governor, who supports the death penalty, delay these three cases, based upon what the Federal Courts might or might not do about the constitutionality of lethal injection?  And we in Hell, quite frankly, would like to know, what exactly is a humane form of killing anyone?  This is the death penalty.  It isn't pretty, but if you believe in the death penalty, you believe it serves a purpose.  Slowly eliminating all the various forms of implementing and delivering the punishment of death means you really don't support the death penalty.

The view from Hell on this raises some questions about Democratic Governor Strickland's truthfulness about his "support" of the death penalty.  My read on this is that Governor Strickland either never really supported the death penalty or that he "theoretically" supports the death penalty, but has so many qualifiers and reservations about it, he will find any excuse to use the powers of his office to delay or even stop scheduled executions.  If so, that is extremely dishonest.  

Instead, if Governor Strickland, Democrat, opposes or feels repulsed by the death penalty, just say so.  Lay out your argument and tell Ohioans why you have changed your position.  While we in Hell always look forward to new members, we would have no problem you opposing the death penalty on moral and reasoned grounds.  While we might debate you, and we might disagree with you, we can respect an intellectually thought out stand.

The bottom line, is that we here in Hell, think that Governor Strickland wants to say he is pro-death penalty, but at the same time, pander to the leftist, anti-everything base that elected him. Our prediction, then, is that Ted Strickland, Democrat, will postpone and delay, and even commute most of the death sentences put before him during his term, hoping that if he runs interference long enough, a Federal Court might come along and declare Ohio's lethal injection cruel and unusual and then he is off the hook.

If he has to spend two weeks determining if one man who cut a woman into a hundred or so pieces and another who drank the blood of his victim are guilty, he can probably spend months on other cases.  Hopefully, I'll be proven wrong and Hell will freeze over.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Clothes Make the Man

 Or When You Dress Like a Gang Member....

Earlier this week in Cincinnati, a "mini-riot" took place at a high school basket ball tournament.  Hosted at Xavier University's Cintas Center, the tournament was held on MLK Day, and several teams from around the city participated.  You can read the story here.

Watching it on television, I was struck by how most of the crowd was dressed.  The typical male had baggy pants hanging below their ass, hooded sweatshirts, and of course the straight-rimmed cocked to the side baseball hat on.  Lest you think I'm picking on inner city residents, yesterday at lunch, I noticed a stream of applicants introducing themselves to manager of the Friday's I was eating at.  All of the people seeking employment were white, yet everyone was dressed exactly as I described above: baggy pants hanging below their ass and of course the trademarked crooked hat.  I chuckled, remembering my first interview at the local grocery store.  I wore a white shirt, dress pants, dress shoes, and a tie.  

We have failed this generation.  Parents allow their children to imitate rappers.  And by allowing them to dress like rappers, they give them tacit approval to act like rappers.  For if you imitate the dress, you surely are buying into the lifestyle.  Do a Google search of rappers.  They are populated by criminals, drug dealers, murderers, whose lyrics denigrate women and express outright hostility to authority.

Is that what parents want?  Apparently so, because at the Cintas center, you didn't hear a word about the poor parenting, but instead it was fault of someone else, as one person said, "What it comes down to is, they just need more security for an event like this. They need to pay whatever it takes to have more security."

No, what it comes down to is this.  Parents need to tell their children they can't dress like gang members.  Parents need to tell their children that they need to obey authority.  Parents need to tell their children that education is important.  Parents need to tell their children that they will "shame" the family if they get arrested.  Parents need to tell their children that bad behavior will not be tolerated.  Instead, in this case, they hired "Sammie" to entertain between games.  I'm probably showing my age, but at an all day tournament, we came to watch the games.  We were entertained by games.

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A letter from the National Association of Muslim American Women

Or This is What Tolerance Must have Looked Like in 9th Century Christendom

Dr. Anisa Abd el Fattah sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice on January 12, 2007.  You can download it here.  You really need to read this letter.  To do so will give you an insight into how members of mainstream Muslim groups really think.  

To give you a flavor of her mindset and her fundamental lack of the concept of free speech in the United States, here are the first few paragraphs:

This letter and its supporting documentation is a complaint to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Criminal Division, and also the Executive Office for United States Attorneys. This complaint alleges that various organizations and individuals have provided misleading and highly politicized information, and testimonies to US law enforcement agencies, and also the US Congress that was, and is aimed at creating a political, legal,  social, and financial environment that is hostile to Muslims and Arab Americans, and that causes Muslim and Arab-Americans to suffer discrimination, persecution, and the deprivation and denial of Constitutional rights, and equal protection under the law. Among these organizations and individuals are the American-Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), better known as the “Jewish lobby”, American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Congress B’Nai B’rith, and also the Jewish Council on Public Affairs, along with such individuals as Steven Emerson, Daniel Pipes, Rita Katz, Steven Schwartz, Evan Kohlman, and  others who have made public statements that have contributed to the creation of an environment in the United States that is hostile to Arab Americans and Muslims, leading to numerous acts of deprivation and violation of civil liberties and also civil rights.    


This complaint is based upon statements made that may reach the level of hate speech in some instances, and in other instances, such statements may reach the level of perjury, carried out to mislead the US Congress and US law enforcement into carrying out overly 

aggressive legislative and law enforcement campaigns that result in legislation, raids and arrests that deprive Muslims and Arab Americans of equal protection under the law, and deprivation and denial of civil liberties and rights guaranteed to all American equally in the US Constitution, among these being the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  


This complaint especially alleges the following: 


1. Jewish organizations and activists have created an “enemies” list that includes Muslims, Arabs and white nationalists’ organizations here in the US. This list is compromised of individuals and groups that are deemed threats or enemies of the State of Israel. 


2. These organizations have used their financial resources and also their formidable political influence to purposefully poison public opinion against Muslims, Arabs, and Islam in an attempt to demonize and vilify the same for political purposes, and to 

create an environment conducive to the deprivation of and denial of Muslim and Arab constitutional rights and repression of religious freedoms in respect to Islam. 

Allow me to summarize her letter and mindset.  We don't like Jews.  These Jews said some things about Muslims I didn't like.  The Jews hurt my feelings.  Therefore, I want the United States government to use its powers to suppress the speech of the Jews because I consider what they say hateful.

Did I miss anything?  

Dear Dr. Anisa Abd el Fattah, you suffer from a fundamental misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of free speech.  This is not Canada, nor Britain, nor Italy, or any nation of the Middle East which place severe limits on the free exchange of ideas.  While these nations do limit speech rights, we do not restrict speech because it is hateful, or because it offends.    The United States takes its right to free speech very seriously.  

To start with, the First Amendment to the Constitution states: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...."  Next, in the Supreme Court case,  New York Times v. Sullivan, 1964, the court found that speech, when it dealt with public figures and their actions was nearly "absolute."  Justice Brennan quoted John Stuart Mill, who said, "even a false statement may be deemed to make a valuable contribution to public debate." In otherwords, speech as applied to political figures is protected.  Even false facts are protected speech.

In 1967, these free speech rights were enlarged, not only to protect debate applied to political figures, but also to "public" figures.  For instance, members of CAIR are fair game.  In Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, public figures were now subject to the same new rules which made proving libel or slander against a critic almost impossible.  

In short, Dr. Anisa Abd el Fattah, you can't use government to repress the free speech rights of groups or individuals.  To do so, is simply un-American.

Here are some interesting background details about  Dr. Anisa Abs el Fattah that are freely and easily available on the web:

  Dr. Anisa Abd el Fattah is the President of the National Association of Muslim American Women, and is associated with the International Association for Muslim Women and Children, a UN accredited NGO with the UN Habitat conference, and the Division on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinians. She is the past President of the United Association for Studies and Research, a northern Va. research institute and think tank. She is the Assistant Director of the Islamic Political Action Council of America, and a member of the Board of Directors for ( CAIR), Council on American Islamic Relations. She co-authored with Dr. Ahmed Yousef, "The Agent: Truth Behind the Anti-Muslim Campaign in America", and "Islam and America: A New Reading." She is also the Editor of the Middle East Affairs Journal (MEAJ) house of organ of UASR. She is a regular contributor to the American Muslim, published by the Muslim American Society. Sister Anisa also authored, "Justice and Normative Law: Common Ground Underlying Christian-Muslim Cooperation," and "Revolution, The People, Basic Rights, and Social Order; The Institutionalization of the Islamic Revolution in Iran." 

Of course, her anti-Semitism and anti-American stance (though to be honest,  her anti-American stance sounds much like that of the American left, liberal Democrats like Jimmy Carter, or 95% of American college professors) can be found in numerous articles across the net, including this one which blames Jews and Christians for Palestinian oppression, unheard of slaughter in Iraq and the defamation and repression of Muslims in America itself.  Once again, read the whole polemic, but this will give you a flavor:

"What can we do about those people, who claim to be US patriots who knowingly sought to use Muslims, and especially Muslim Americans as scapegoats and decoys while they secretly carried out the very crimes, and harbored in their hearts the very obvious hatred for the US, our way of life and our Constitution, that they had so passionately blamed on Muslims?"

The Jack Abramoff scandal is more than a scandal; it is a cause for international shame. It is also the story of how religious zealots, terrorists and fanatics took over the United States government, undermined our foreign interests, ruined our credibility, and cost us our prestige as a trustworthy world leader, while leading more than 2000 US soldiers and Marines to their deaths along with thousands of innocent Muslims and others, in pursuit of a fantasy that they call Zion. We all assumed that their Zionist dreamland was Israel; we now know that it also obviously included the United States. The immense shame that our Congress should be experiencing as a result of its failure to protect our country and our children from these zealots is not yet apparent, since our so-called “elected representatives” in Washington, the best Congress that money could buy, is busy discarding the evidence of their role in undermining world peace, while destroying the United States internationally, and their possibly criminal culpability in the untimely deaths of American soldiers and Marines, and more than 30 thousand innocent civilians in Iraq, and hundreds of thousands more in Palestine and Lebanon, in the process. No doubt at some point, the international courts will take up these issues.

Looking back, it seems now that 1994 was a special year in US history. It is the year that Jack Abramoff is said to have begun his Congressional shopping spree, looking for US Congress people for sale. It is also the year that Benjamin Netanyahu, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and other Zionist notables crafted the now infamous “Clean Break” strategy that led the United States into Iraq under the false pretense that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, a lie that was crafted by Judith Miller, a Zionist ideologue and possible Israeli intelligence operative who posed as a New York Times journalist, and who also played a still unknown role in the outing of Valerie Plame, the CIA officer whose husband was one of the first people to challenge the lie that Hussein had attempted to purchase chemicals needed for a nuclear weapons program in Africa. Abramoff seems to have arrived in Washington around the same time that the Oklahoma City bombing took place, which led to the first major legislative attack on Muslim Americans, and US civil liberties through the Omnibus Anti-Terrorism Act, which has now been followed by two additional bombings, and two additional bodies of anti-terrorism legislation including the so-called Patriot Act. It was the year that PBS aired the now discredited “shockumentary” Jihad in America, written and produced by Judith Miller’s Zionist colleague Steven Emerson, a so-called journalist, and the father of secret evidence in US courts, that the Nation magazine reported had close ties to Israeli military intelligence, and the Israeli Likud party. It was the year of the first media and public “backlash” against Muslims in the United States, which left in its wake a number of burned mosques, deaths, and defamation. Muslims and Islam were these Zionist terrorists’ targets, scapegoats and decoys in a Zionist war against the world, which they have lost.

As we await the results of the numerous FBI investigations of those who took Abramoff money for favors, seeking to ascertain how exactly that money was spent, we can perhaps begin to connect the dots, hoping to see the big picture that will probably never grace our television news shows or newspapers, no matter what the results of those investigations might be. Just as the AIPAC (American/Israeli Political Action Committee) spy scandal went unreported, don’t expect to hear the real, and very serious consequences of what Abramoff and his network have done to our country, our Constitution and Muslims, here and abroad. The price in loss of lives, US prestige, credibility, and pride is uncountable. While the taxpayer money is countable, we can never get it back. The good news is that God has spared us the worst of it, if you can imagine that we were in store for much worse, and much more, including perhaps military attacks on Syria and Iran that would without doubt lead us into another world war, and perhaps the Armageddon of Jewish and Christian apocalyptic teachings, that they seem to long for.

It goes without saying that Abramoff’s money was spent for Congressional favors, and media access. Such favors seem to have included making Muslims the most hated people in the United States, and Islam the most hated religion in the world. Who can forget how the so-called Christian “right” went wrong, when its leaders used the media in our country to launch an unprecedented attack to defame Muslim citizens and our religion, and to deny us our civil rights. Such attacks, if they had been launched against Jews, African Americans, Native Americans or women would have caused a country-wide uproar, yet after Emerson’s fraudulent claim that all Muslims were involved in an international plot to take over, or to destroy the US, it was open target day on Islam and Muslims, and the Christian right took every shot they could get, and the media saw to it that they got plenty of them.

Wow, if this is what passes for moderation, tolerance, and love of country in mainstream Muslim organizations, the Republic has a problem on its hand.  

The Volokh Conspiracy, Public Secrets, Classical Values (a really good read on the subject), and Atlas Shrugs coverage of this story encouraged me to dig a little more.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why do Missle Strikes only Kill Innocent People in Somalia or Afghanistan?

 He was Such a Good Boy...

I call it the "He was such a nice guy" syndrome.  Have you ever noticed when reporters interview the neighbor next door to a serial killer, they always say things like he was a "quiet" guy, a good "neighbor" or "he went to church" every Sunday or when the relatives of crack dealer, who was just killed by police in a shootout, always blame the cops and say he "was such a nice boy", despite the fact he had 15 priors, two children out of wedlock, had no job, owed child support, and had skipped out on his bail?  Apparently, this isn't only an American problem.

On Tuesday, Pakistan, attacked an al-Qaeda outpost near the Afghan border.  Of course, the locals claim that the ten dead men were "woodcutters."  Just innocent men, cutting wood, minding their own business, at least that is according to the "angered" tribesmen.  We in hell can take a joke, but come on.  Unless you cut wood with an RPG and a machine gun, these guys were loggers as much as this song is on Satan's iPod.

Of course, last week in Somali, we had more of the same.  Among all the reports on the American air-strike on Somalian al-Qaeda types that mentioned dead civilians, this has to be Satan's favorite:

Last week's US air raids in the Lower Juba region of southern Somalia near the Kenyan border, caused heavy civilian casualties, according to local reports. Some of the attacks apparently hit groups of nomadic herdsmen on their way to watering holes. Reports of civilian casualites run as high as 80 dead, with large numbers of cattle, goats and other livestock wiped out as well. Thousands of local residents are said to be fleeing towards the border.

Eighty innocent nomads, plus their cattle and other animals were killed?  Now we in hell encourage stretching the truth here and there, but we would like to give the al-Qaeda media guy a hint that won't cost him his soul.  Mainly, you need to have a kernel of truth in your story to be believable.  Yes, the mainstream American media might believe you, but nobody else, well maybe a Democrat or two, or the town of Berkeley, or hell, let's just say the entire American left might buy this story, but your snowball melted down here on delivery.

Finally, remember when the U.S. fired a couple of missiles from a Predator and took out a some big fish Taliban and al-Qaeda members last year?  Of course you guessed it, only civilians, women, and children were killed.

Now Satan's take on this is of course, is that, and this is the only logical conclusion that a reasonable person can come to--there are no bad guys.  I came to this conclusion, based on the following facts supplied to me by my friends who overdosed in the sixties.  One, America is always wrong, so if the Pentagon announces that they have killed terrorists, they are lying.  Two, America is evil, and therefore sets out to kill women, children, woodsmen, and animals.  Third, the AP and others say minimum wage, outsourced reporting is reliable, so it must be.  So we have to believe the word of local stringers like  Jamil Hussein.  We all know that these local guys don't have an agenda, heck, they are honest just like Dan Rather.  Therefore, as I said, Satan has come to the conclusion that there are no bad guys.  Plus, everyone down here claims they are innocent.... 

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rrty ./ Bush Finally Realizes that the U.S. Needs to Win the Peace

or Maybe the Left was Right About Donald Rumsfeld

The one thing that often irritates me about the left is that they will not admit when they are wrong.  I'd like to think that conservatives are more intellectually honest and therefore willing to admit to mistakes.  Which brings us to Rumsfeld and the U.S. handling of the occupation in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He wasn't the man to run the occupations.

Don't get me wrong, I really like Donald Rumsfeld.  He was brilliant, he planned awesome offensives in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  The victory in Afghanistan was particularly stunning, considering that both the British and Soviet empires left there with their tales between their legs. Equally, most conservatives enjoyed watching Rumsfeld making fools of journalist on a daily basis.

While he was an able Secretary of Defense in terms of war planning, I have to agree with his critics that he botched the peace.  Several events bring me to this conclusion.  First, there is the ongoing civil war in Iraq.  Second, the Taliban are regrouping in Afghanistan.  Third, in his speech last week, Bush laid out a new strategy (if there wasn't a problem, there wouldn't be a need for a new path).   Fourth, Secretary Gates seems accurately aware of the growing problem in Afghanistan.  These are all hopeful signs.

Under the guidance of Secretary Rumsfeld, we seemed to be stumbling around in our occupations of both Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Army or the Marines would take a town, but then abandon it, allowing insurgents to filter back in.  Our political leaders refused to deal with the militias in Iraq.  And finally, the U.S. seemed to lack a coherent, economic rebuilding plan.  Sure, we created democratic governments, but we didn't build a stable economic system to support the fragile political one.

This seems to have changed.  If you read the great report generated by Michelle Malkin, who just came back from Iraq, much of the new direction indicated by Bush's speech and by Secretary of Defense Gates, reflects the conditions on the ground as echoed by our troops.  To win the peace, the Bush administration is finally ready to implement a total occupation strategy:

1.  More troops are needed and to that end, twenty thousand are being sent to Iraq and our forces in Afghanistan are more than likely going to be bolstered soon.

2.  Interference from Iran and Syria in Iraq's civil war is finally going to be dealt with.

3.  The rebuilding of Iraq's economy must become a priority and we now have a plan.

4.  The realization that Afghanistan needs economic help, here and here.

5.  Increased pressure on Pakistan to deal with Taliban who use its western border as a refuge.  And we've seen results in the last couple of days.  And it seems to have already paid off.

6.  Allowing the U.S. Army and Marines to pursue militias in Iraq and hold the ground taken.  The appointment of General Petraeus as command of our forces in Iraq is a step in that direction.

With fresh faces, new ideas, and a viable occupation strategy, the U.S. might just turn these bad situations around.  Maybe, for the first time in a long time, the left was right.  Rumsfeld needed to go in order for things to get better. 

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Gun Toting Liberal Goes Postal

 or He Isn't Really a Bad Guy....

The Gun Toting Liberal blog went ballistic over Michelle Malkin's recent trip to Iraq.  Before I get to my main point, the author doesn't seem like a bad guy.  He is veteran and at the end of his tirade, he seems to calm down.  He probably would be a nice person to have a beer with and discuss politics.  But, he exemplifies the problem that plagues most on the left, in that semantics and nuances mean more than actions and reality.

Here is what got him so riled up:

Get this:

    “… Michelle and I spent four days patrolling the environs around Forward Operating Base Justice in north and west Baghdad last week. FOB Justice is near one functional neighborhood, Khadimiyah, one mostly recovered neighborhood, Al Salam, one dysfunctional neighborhood, Al Hurriyah, and an al Qaeda-influenced area the name of which I never learned. …” - Hot Air

No doubt, the troops might have slapped a couple of pea pot helmets on your thick heads and congratulated you for entering the “war zone”, but to insinuate that you and “Michelle” had the honor and the courage to take up arms against the agressors on “patrol duty” is a JOKE. If you want to go on “patrol duty” in a “war zone”, go through boot camp, earn your security clearance, and learn to shoot an M-16, for crying out loud.

My God, I cannot BELIEVE this guy is attempting to place himself and Michelle Malkin into the same boat as America’s Finest and Bravest, just because he and she were shielded and treated as “embeds” in the Sandbox. As brave as embeds MIGHT BE, our troops are, and always WILL BE MUCH higher in the evolutionary chain than the embeds. Not to mention they have all had to prove themselves mentally, and physically, at MUCH HIGHER STANDARDS than any “embedded blogger”. Apples and oranges… apples and oranges…

I am APPALLED at this insinuation that an inbedded BLOGGER could consider themselves as being “on patrol” in a “war zone”. Only well-trained MILITARY personnel patrol the REAL war zones. You want to “patrol” in a “war zone”? Do your pushups, and pay your dues. Taking a long, bumpy ride on a C-130 doesn’t make you a “troop” on “patrol”, it makes you a LIABILITY who needs to be coddled and protected from the “bad guys”.

Semantics.  Yes, the author of the report might have better said, "We went on patrol with" or "we rode with" or "we followed", but if you read the reports from Michelle Malkin, there is no indication they had delusions of grandeur.  The troops were the heroes and they were just reporting.  

The bottom line is that Michelle and Bryan went to Iraq.  While the troops face dangers on a daily basis,  these two did expose themselves to risks that few others dare to.  How many mainstream reporters leave the "green zone" these days?  Very few, and that is why we get reports from locals, who often have feudal axes to grind.  And, if I may ask, if these had been "liberal" bloggers, would the Gun Toting Liberal have taken offense? Probably not, because we know the left supports the troops. Which brings us to another question (and if I'm wrong here, let me know and I will correct it), how many left leaning bloggers have gone on patrol with our soldiers in Iraq?

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Hot as Hell

or Apple has a Great Quarter 

Apple posts impressive results for the Christmas selling season:

In the quarter ended Dec. 30, the iPod maker earned $1 billion, or $1.14 a share, on $7.12 billion in sales. That was well above results in the same period a year earlier, when Apple posted a profit of $565 million, or 65 cents a share, on sales of $5.75 billion.

Impressively, Apple sold nearly 969,000 laptops, up 65% from last year.  The shift to Intel processors seems to have invigorated sales.

Editor's note:  I do accept ads from Apple, Inc., on this blog.  

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Katie Couric, mom, reporter, national anchor, and a liberal

Or Katie Couric is a Moonbat 

In her online blog, Couric bemoans the fact that she was the only woman at a recent Bush briefing.  Here is what she said:

The White House invited all the network anchors, and some cable anchors, along with the Sunday political show hosts to a meeting with unnamed VERY senior administration officials. (Obviously I know their names, but the agreement was that in order to attend the meeting, we couldn’t reveal the people who spoke to us.)

And even though I’ve been in this business for more years than I’d like to admit, and interviewed countless Presidents and world leaders, it’s still thrilling—and even a little awe-inspiring—to get “briefed” at the White House, no matter who is sitting in the Oval Office.

And yet, the meeting was a little disconcerting as well. As I was looking at my colleagues around the room—Charlie Gibson, George Stephanopoulos, Brian Williams, Tim Russert, Bob Schieffer, Wolf Blitzer, and Brit Hume—I couldn’t help but notice, despite how far we’ve come, that I was still the only woman there. Well, there was some female support staff near the door. But of the people at the table, the “principals” in the meeting, I was the only one wearing a skirt. Everyone was gracious, though the jocular atmosphere was palpable.

The feminist movement that began in the 1970’s helped women make tremendous strides—but there still haven’t been enough great leaps for womankind. Fifty-one percent of America is female, but women make up only about sixteen percent of Congress—which, as the Washington Monthly recently pointed out, is better than it’s ever been...but still not as good as parliaments in Rwanda (forty-nine percent women) or Sweden (forty-seven percent women). Only nine Fortune 500 companies have women as CEO’s.

That meeting was a reality check for me—and not just about Iraq. It was a reminder that all of us still have an obligation to ask: Don’t more women deserve a place at the table too? 

First, the question you should have asked, is "Why, in a free society, haven't women aspired to become members of Congress, CEO's, or an anchor at a Presidential briefing?"

Katie, I'd like to think I deserve a million dollar salary, a trophy wife, and a scratch golf game.  I'm that good of a guy, but to be brutally honest, I haven't earned them, and therefore make the national median wage, am not married, and have a lousy golf game.  I really need to practice my drives....

Katie, no one deserves anything, except limited government and the rights to life, liberty, and property.  Everything else is earned.  Of course, in your leftist inspired world, everyone is owed something.  And when you don't get what you deserve, it isn't your fault of course.  Instead, someone is keeping you down.  In this case, I guess it is the "man".  Oh wait, that can't be the case since 51% of women now live outside of marriage.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Follow-Up to "Britain's Enemy Within"

 Hear the Tolerance or Their Own Words or You are a Dirty Kafir

There isn't much you can say, but you do need to hear what British Muslims really think about you, the dirty  non-believer:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

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Update:  Gates of Vienna has links to more of the Channel 4 expose and is always a good place to peruse the current state of the Islamic jihad.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Rising Red Tide

 South America's Newest Socialist

Rafael Correa was sworn in as Ecuador's new president today.  Correa refers to himself as a "Christian" leftist and has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in economics.  That more than likely means he is a Marxist, considering the leanings of most American universities. 

If anyone has any doubts as to his political ideology, look at his guest list: Hugo Chavez from Venezuela, Evo Morales from Bolivia, Daniel Ortega from Nicaragua, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.

If you still have questions about Mr. Correa's leanings, he has already stated he will end the U.S. military's use of an air base in Ecuador (used to intercept drug runners) and he has rejected entering a free trade pact with the U.S. and other South and Central American nations.  For a man with a doctorate in economics, rejecting a free trade pact with the U.S. shows a fundamental lack of understanding of economics and reality.  Every country that has signed a free trade agreement with America has gained jobs, often at the expense of U.S. workers.  If he needs proof, all he has to do is ask any Democrat.

Lastly, the icing on the cake of his Marxist pedigree, is his pledge to rewrite Ecuador's constitution.  He has learned from his friends in Bolivia and Venezuela.  Of course, there is no better way to steam roll the opposition and consolidate power, than to change the fundamental laws that govern one's nation.  Need to stay in power indefinitely, change the constitution.  Annoyed by free speech, change the constitution.  Want to nationalize industry or the banks, change the constitution.  Tired of people challenging your politics, outlaw rival parties by changing the constitution.  All authoritarians and communists in general, see the rule of law as a nuisance. 

While his anti-American speeches may energize his constituents, it doesn't create jobs.  His solution of course, just as his counterparts in Venezuela and Bolivia are doing, will be to transfer wealth from the rich and corporations to the poor.  Of course this is a short term solution, as problems tend to arise when the rich and corporations are pumped dry.  Then where does his money come from?

Update:  The Skipper, over at the Barking Moonbat, has a nice picture of the "gang of four" and some information on their socialist free trade pact.   

Islam and South America

 The South American Jihad?

Another take on the Venezuelan-Iranian alliance is mapped out by Douglas Farah over at the Counterterrorism Blog.  He posits:

"It is unlikely Ahmadinejad is touring Latin America solely for the reasons listed above, however. There is little, in real economic terms, to be gained from Iran-Latin America trade. The political support Iran gathers in Latin America is useful but again, in real terms, not much more than marginal." 


"Iran’s influence and presence in Latin America has grown as Hezbollah’s presence has increased along with noticeable Iranian-funded Shi’ite efforts to win converts, build mosques and spread their ideology through literature and the internet."

A previous story on the infiltration of Hezbollah, the Iranian backed Shiite terrorist organization, into South American, is here.  One sentence from this post is rather chilling: 

"The website, "Hezbollah in Venezuela" said the purpose of the attack was to call attention to the existence of a group by the same name, and to convert Latin America to Islam through Jihad."

Is the President so occupied by Iraq, that our enemies will attack us from behind?  And, if there are jihadists in South America, doesn't this call out for securing our southern border from infiltration?

The Nature of Men

 Or the Philosophical Cause of the Rise of Communism in South America

While economists and the left argue that poverty is the root cause of political unrest in Central and South America, I want to offer a different perspective.  The problem that the left in our country and and abroad suffers from is that they learned the wrong lesson from history.  Modern Democrats and the Hugo Chavezs of this world believe that the answer to poverty is that "some people have too much wealth."  Thusly, that wealth must be separated from these people and distributed to the poor.

The left still believes that Marx was right.  They ignore the economic failure of the Soviet Union or the need for China to adopt open markets to rise out of poverty.  They ignore the path of reform that occurred during America's Progressive Era, that saved capitalism from its own excesses.  Instead of pushing for the reform of the markets and personal behavior in places like Ecuador, Venezuela, and Bolivia, they rush to abandon the free market and replace it with a planned economy.

The end result is that authoritarian leaders like Chavez play the poor against the traditional elites.  As they set these two against each other, they consolidate power and establish their tyranny.  Machiavelli, in The Discourses, describes the rise of tyranny in the Roman Republic:

But the people of Rome, instead of establishing checks to prevent the Decemvirs from employing their authority for evil, removed all control, and made the Ten the only magistracy in Rome: abrogating all the others, because of the excessive eagerness of the Senate to get rid of the Tribunes, and that of the people to destroy the consulate.  This blinded them so that both contributed  to provoke the disorders that resulted from the Decemvirate.  "For," as King Ferdinand said, "men often act like certain small birds of prey, who, prompted by their nature, pursue their victims so eagerly, that they do not see the larger bird above them, ready to pounce down upon and kill them."

As the new left sets once class against the other, both will one day find that they have lost to a greater threat.

The World is Shocked at the Execution of Saddam' Hussein's Henchmen

 Or the Effeminate Left

The henchmen, Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and Awad Hamed al-Bander hanged yesterday morning for their crimes.  Both were found guilty of killing 148 Shiites in 1982.  Though from this biography, Barzan killed many more people in gruesome ways as the head of Hussein's secret police.

As you probably know, Barzan was decapitated when he reached the end of the gallows ropes.  Of course that brought outrage from the " Arab" street, as exemplified by:

The president of Morocco's Human Rights Center described the hangings as a barbaric and vengeful act carried out under external pressure, probably from Iran and the United States.

Not to be outdone, the U.N. Human Rights chief seems to care a great deal about these mass murders.  His quote, is this gem:

The imposition of the death penalty after a trial and appeal proceedings that do not respect the principles of due process amounts to a violation of the right to life....

Seems to me that he received more consideration of his right to life than those he feed to the infamous meat grinder.

Of course, Europe had to match the "world" outrage.  Unable to grasp the concept that mass murdering thugs might actually be executed as punishment,  the Vatican issued a statement that pretty much echoed what the rest of the continent thinks:

After the execution of Saddam, which in addition was turned into a spectacle in a way that was clearly damaging to personal dignity, there were many calls to move in the direction of dialogue and reconciliation.... But at the moment it does not look like such a change of tack has occurred. 

They are concerned about the personal dignity of mass murders?  Apparently so.  These are the same people who remained silent as Saddam Hussein killed hundreds of thousands of his own people. These are the same people who did nothing about the slaughter in their own sphere of influence in Bosnia and Kosovo, and it required the Americans to intervene.  These are the same people who would abandon Iraq and allow it to spiral into civil war.  And lastly, these are the same people who can't even be bothered about the growing use of beheadings by Islamic militants as a military and political weapon of fear.  Take a look at this list of beheadings and ask yourself if the E.U. or the U.N. condemned the jihadists behind them?  Did these groups protest when Islamist beheaded three girls in Indonesia?  Did they protest when they beheaded Nick Berg?  Did these same people protest when American soldiers were beheaded in Iraq?  

Of course the answer is no.  The Arabs are upset because Shiites are executing Sunnis.  I can understand that.  Usually it is the other way around, and who likes change?  But what has happened to Europe?  Somehow, their morality has been warped that they can't accept the punishment of mass murders, but at the same time, they lack the ability to muster the courage to condemn the tool of choice of the advancing jihad.  I mean, the head falls off of a murder and Europe is upset.  Amazing.  But when the Spanish were bombed by al-Qaeda, they cowered in fear, replacing their strong Prime Minister with a weakling who immediately withdrew Spain's troops from Iraq.  Well, that showed the jihadists, didn't it.  Then the British subways were attacked by homegrown Islamic terrorists.  Yet Prime Minister Tony Blair prattles on about peaceful Islam.

A society which has lost its ability to tell right from wrong is in decline.  The society which cries out at the death of dictator and his henchmen, but remains silent when innocents are butchered needs a rebirth.  A society that can't get mad and won't defend itself when it is attacked by its enemies will end up like the Byzantine Empire.

Update:  Gateway Pundit has a nice roundup with similar sentiments.  Also see the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.  Now there is a guy who knows how to celebrate the death of a sadist.

Editor's note:  Some of the linked stories contain urls to videos of these beheadings.  Caution is advised.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Follow-up to the Venezuela Post

Where There is Smoke

A reader in the comments to this post,  made a very interesting and startling first hand observation about the Chavez and Ahmadinejad alliance.  It seems Western missionaries have been expelled from and Iranian "tractor" factories built, in an area that holds large deposits of uranium.  You can read it first hand at The Jungle Hut.  It is scary to think that Iran has access to and is mining Venezuelan uranium.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Trade Deficit Narrows

 Some Good News for the American Economy

The government releases another set of economic statistics that the Democrats can't take credit for.  First it lightly rains on the Democrats first days in office, as they look silly opposing Bush's new Iraq strategy (sending Murtha, Boxer, and Kennedy out as your spokesmen tends to do that), then it pours as the deficit numbers look good, generated by increased revenue, and now it is hailing as the trade deficit narrows.

The New York Times reports that the trade deficit fell to $58.2 billion in November of 2006, the lowest it has been since 2005.  You can read all the details at the Census Bureau.

Despite the fact that last year will still set the record, more than likely, for the largest trade deficit in history, there are some good economic indicators to be found.  First, we bought less from China.  Next, the weaker dollar meant that foreign goods were more expensive in general and America exports cost less.  As a result, exports grew roughly by $125 billion dollars.  Additionally, American officials have been putting pressure on China to properly value their currency.  As this happens, their goods become more expensive and less appealing.  Overall, this is good news for America and her workers.

The Plight of Christians in the Middle East

 As Their Numbers Dwindle

Spiegel Online has a great article, worth reading, about the situation of Christians in the Middle East.  I find it ironic that the West takes in great numbers of Muslims and offers them equality and freedom, but that in the Middle East:

Violence, terrorism and the Islamists' growing influence pose a threat to Christianity in the Middle East. In some countries, members of an unpopular Christian minority are already fighting for their survival -- or fleeing for their lives.

Islam is neither tolerant or a religion of peace, just ask the Armenians.

The Geek Appeal of the Mac

 Apple has Sex Appeal

For those accused of loving their Mac, this video is annoyingly funny and on target.

Iran's Ahmadinejad visits Venezuela's Little Dictator

You Judge a Person by the Company They Keep

Does Ahmadinejad really want Chavez's Venezuela as an ally?  My guess is that this is an alliance of convenience and not of ideology as Islamic fundamentalism has little use for communism.  Conversely, they do share a common enemy, George Bush.  Their hatred for him almost reaches that of our own home grown left.  Almost.

These two authoritarian thugs according to this article, are going to harass the United States in a couple of different ways.  First is seems Iran is going to pour money into central and South America to foment unrest.  You will notice that Ahmadinejad's next stops are Ecuador and Nicaragua, both countries which have elected left leaning presidents, both hostile to American interests.  I imagine some of those funds will be used to destabilize surrounding countries such as Colombia or Peru.  This of course will be an annoyance to the United States as it would rather concentrate on events in the Middle East.  Maybe Iran's Ahmadinejad even thinks he can distract the U.S. enough in its "backyard" to allow him time to finish his nuclear weapon program.

The second notable event that came out of this meeting was a joint announcement from these two OPEC members on oil production cuts.  Both dictators need money, one to fund his nuclear ambitions and the exportation of Islamic fundamentalism, and the other to prop up his dictatorship and export communism throughout South and Central America.   Of course, an increase in the price of oil always has the added benefit of economically hurting the United States.

Two great places to keep up on the South American angle on this situation are Publius Pundit and Venezuela News and Views

Britain's Enemy Within

Britain's Muslim Problem or What Do You Do With People Who Will Not Assimilate?

Britain's Channel 4 went undercover and taped the sermon's of several Muslim clerics.  Both George Bush and Tony Blair are probably going to be surprised that Islam isn't a religion of peace.  Unlike our media, it seems that this report is well done, being conducted for nearly 12 months.  This wasn't an off the cuff, "gotcha" investigation that our media excels at in spades.  Instead, these clerics and their followers repeated the same rejection of western society, over and over.

To give you a taste:

At the Sparkbrook mosque, run by UK Islamic Mission (UKIM), an organisation that maintains 45 mosques in Britain and which Tony Blair has said 'is extremely valued by the government for its multi-faith and multicultural activities', a preacher is captured on film praising the Taliban. In response to the news that a British Muslim solider was killed fighting the Taliban, the speaker declares: 'The hero of Islam is the one who separated his head from his shoulders.'

Another cleric, according to the Daily Mail, had this to say about his fellow British citizens:

Non-Muslims in Britain, declared Mr Latif, are dirty, unclean people who never wash their hands and become ill because of their own sexual promiscuity. He went on to denounce British democracy as 'demon-ocracy' and praised the shariah laws of Islam under which thieves have their hands cut off and adulterous women are stoned to death in public.

How does a civilized nation deal with a religion and an ideology that is not compatible with western, liberal democracy?

Friday, January 12, 2007

MoveOn.org in Cincinnati

 If You Hate America, Stand on the Corner

Even Cincinnati has its far left.  On Thursday, as part of a national day of protest against the Iraq War and George Bush, or is it really just Bush, about 50 protesters attended the MoveOn sponsored event.  The Cincinnati Enquirer has pictures and the story.

The problem I have with the leftists who support the MoveOn agenda, especially when it comes to defense of the homeland, is that it is simply reactive.  They hate America and hate everything it does, unless of course when it is attacked or humbled in some way.

There is simply no military action they would support that defends America.  For America is worse than the Soviet Union, America is worse than Communist China, America is worse than Saudi Arabia, and America is worse than the 9/11 hijackers.  If you think I overstate the case, here is what John Murtha, Democrat, thinks about the United States.  This man heads the subcommittee on defense spending. This man shapes policy in Washington. This man is the face of the Democrats and the left.  This man says out loud what every leftist really thinks.  Click on the video to hear him deride his own nation.

For more pictures on the national day of the ranting rabid left, check out Little Green Footballs and Zombietime.  And finally, this article pretty much sums everything up.

The Deficit Falls

 U.S. Federal Deficit at Four Year Low 

Here are the facts about the deficit.  From October to December of 2006, the Federal deficit was at a four year low of $80 billion dollars.  Revenues were up over 8% while spending increased only 7/10ths of a percent.  

A couple of thoughts come to mind.  If the Republicans had held spending increases to this level, instead of spending like drunken liberals,  they might still be in power. And, lower taxes and a booming economy actually do lead to revenue increases.  Just in case readers of the liberal persuasion don't believe this story is real, you can read it from a source that should be credible to you, the People's Daily.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nicaragua joins Bolivia and Venezuela on the highway to red square

 Or Communism is Back in the Americas

President Daniel Ortega, newly sworn in as president of Nicaragua, wasted little time in showing his true colors.  On his first day in office, he signed a trade agreement with fellow communist led nations of Cuba, Bolivia, and Venezuela.

In nearby Venezuela, Hugo Chavez was sworn in to a second term as president on Wednesday.  In typical marxist fashion, he gave a nearly 3 hour speech (Bill Clinton gave long speeches also, wonder if there is a connection...), with the highlight being a call for: "Fatherland, socialism, or death."  In his speech, he announced that his government would nationalize the telecommunications and electricity industries (though Satan isn't really sure if this is a movement towards hardcore communism or an emulation of the French).  In either case, most good dictators eventually gain control of the press.

Of course, not to be outdone, Evo Morales, the Bolivian president, has set the example for his new trade partners.  This past May he nationalized the natural gas industry, within the last couple of weeks he nationalized the country's water utility, and now he just announced he would take control of the mining industry.

Furthermore, fellow leftist and friend Hugo Chavez, sent troops to Bolivia to help Morales deal with several provinces who wish to gain independence.  Several stories have surfaced demonstrating that Morales is following the communist handbook by sending in "goon" squads to quiet or kill the opposition.

A good place to keep up with the rising red tide south of the border is at Publius Pundit.

Now Satan's take on this is twofold.  We here in hell are very familiar with communists.  They've been some of our best customers.  Chavez, Morales, and I have no doubt Ortega will all implement some sort of communist agenda.  We will of course see more nationalizations, more curtailments of individual rights, the exportation of revolution to surrounding nations, militarization, and a claim that this is all done in the name of the poor and repressed of their respective countries.  

This doesn't really fool us here in hell.  While these future guests will wear the mantle of marxism, the only people who will benefit from these authoritarian regimes will be themselves and their close associates.  They will create a cult of personality and everything they do will be done to maintain their hold on power.

Satan's other point is that this has all happened while America has been distracted elsewhere.  The Reagan legacy was the defeat of communism.  The Bush legacy will be marred by the fact the he took his attention off of Central and South America to fight jihadists in Iraq.  While Bush fights one enemy far away, he has allowed three new ones to rise up in America's backyard.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

President Bush and Iraq: Policy Announcement Tonight

And what will 20,000 more troops get us? 

The Captain's Quarters has the latest rundown of the politics behind Bush's speech and makes some good points.  At this time, though, most of the politics surrounding this event doesn't interest me.  Even Ted Kennedy's usual un-American rants (un-American is a term we should use more often) are par for the leftist, anti-American, despise your culture, course.  More important long term questions concern me.

First, what will 20,000 troops get us?  Imagine 20,000 people.  That fills up only one half of the seats at a Cincinnati Reds game.  That is only one third of the stands at a Cincinnati Bengal's game.  Twenty thousand soldiers, in a country the size of Iraq, which is the size of California, is not going to matter.  Of the 20,000, how many are actually combat soldiers who will kill the enemy?  How many are support troops, clerks, cooks, supply officers, and so on?  Unless these 20,000 troops are highly trained, boots on the ground, rifles at the ready, this is a meaningless gesture by President Bush.

Second, should we have invaded at all?  Before 1991, I was perfectly happy to have Saddam Hussein as a quasi-client state.  Pre-1991, Hussein kept the Shiites in line, and by the way of his war with Iran, the Islamic jihadist terrorist state was kept weak and preoccupied.  Iran, Iraq, and their people might have been miserable, but American interests were served. (And before you call me heartless, is this anything different than what will happen if we follow the plans of the current Democratic leadership?) Unfortunately, his invasion of Kuwait and threat to Saudi Arabia's oil fields, forced the United States to oppose him.  Why do you think President George H. W. Bush refused topple Saddam at the end of the first Gulf War?  The alternatives were not appealing.  We could occupy the country, deal with Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Baathism (fascism by another name),  reconstruction, and Islam, or we could let a hopefully repentant Saddam keep a lid on these things and still hold back Iran at the same time.  Unfortunately, George W. Bush learned a different historical lesson from the first Gulf War than I did.

Is democracy compatible with Islam and mid-eastern societies?  If creating a democracy in Iraq was the Bush reconstruction plan, did they ask the right questions.  First, if Iraq was to be kept whole, are multicultural states feasible?  If we look at the world in recent times, the evidence might point to a negative answer.  Yugoslavia split into its constituent parts.  Anyone remember Bosnia, Serbia, and Kosovo?  Look what happened to the post Soviet Union.  Where there was one super power, there are now numerous independent nations.  Even the relatively prosperous Czechoslovakia couldn't remain whole.  Of course, you can even point to the Basque problem in Spain or the continuing saga of Scottish independence that never seems to die as additional examples of the rush to create independent nation states.  The Bush people simply underestimated or didn't understand the Sunni, Shiite, Kurd dislike for each other and as a civilized nation, the U.S. wasn't ready to take the bloody steps needed to control the population in the first place.

A broader question though, is whether Islam is compatible with western democracy.  Unlike Christianity, Islam is a religion and ideology that by its nature proscribes almost every detail of personal and political life.  There is no equivalent to Jesus' allowance of secular authority.  Additionally, Christianity and its teachings are the "inspired" words of God, whereas Islam and its holy book, the Koran, are the literal words of God, delivered by his final prophet.  Islam has a difficult time with change due to the fact the words of God are written in concrete.  There can be little room interpretation.   The concepts of secularism, religious freedom, tolerance, individual rights, and freedom of speech are often at odds with the Koran, which stipulates the role of non-believers, the status of females, and many other everyday interactions.   Even Turkey, which is held up as the poster child for how Islam can be democratic, severely limits religious freedom of its minorities.  Whether one looks at the rights of women, honor killings, female circumcision, religious freedom from Saudi Arabia to Turkey,  and the role of sharia law, any democracy that takes hold in Iraq, will not look like ours.  If you don't have religious freedom, if you don't have capitalism, if you don't have freedom of speech, if women are treated no better than slaves, it isn't really democracy.  And what part of that do we really want?

What is the answer?  No, the "let's embarrass America, because it is an evil country and we hate it" solution that the un-American (like I said, it needs to be said more often) left  wants is disastrous.  Leaving Iraq now would let a civil war break out, where hundreds of thousands of people would be murdered and killed.  Funny how the oh so caring left can propose such a solution.  No, Bush needs to establish a stable and strong Iraqi government.  Since it is almost impossible to create a democracy in an Islamic nation, we shouldn't bother.  The U.S. must forge a powerful central government, a robust national army, and allow it to govern effectively.  Since there isn't going to be democracy in Iraq by definition, we need a realistic policy that imposes order on Iraq and produces a government that serves the American interest of containing Iran and suppressing Islamic fundamentalism.  Some might call that an authoritarian regime, I'd call it in American interests.

Update:  Hot Air has pretty much the same take on the roll of the troops.

There is Virtue in a Proper Insult

 Lost Art

BMEWS has a list of intelligent insults.  You will find no GW is a chimp and Bush/Hitler insults here.

Democracy in Iraq Takes a Backseat to Reality

 The President's Speech

President Bush mentioned democracy and Iraq in the same breath six times by my count.  Compared to his usual speeches on Iraq, that is a noticeable decline. While he seems to finally realize that democracy isn't the cure-all for Iraq and that a more realistic policy that serves American interests is needed, that sense of realism is still muddied by the almost misguided Wilsonian concept that democracy can be spread around the world.  In the short term though, President Bush at least realizes that the most important American interests are a stable Iraq, a non-radical Iraq, and an Iraq that can counter our enemies in Iran and Syria.  He at least acknowledges that a "democratic Iraq will not be perfect."

Bush takes off the kid gloves and defines our enemies.  In Iraq, Shiite militias, Sunni insurgents, and Al-Qaeda terrorists are the bad guys.  Finally, a tangible enemy we can go after.  Outside of Iraq, Iran and Syria were warned that, "we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies."  In plain terms, that means strikes inside Iran and Syria are coming soon.  Buried down in the speech, a warning for our so-called Arab allies: "Countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States need to understand that an American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists-and a strategic threat to their survival."  Finally, the President also acknowledged that there were "too many restrictions" placed on our combat troops and that no group that adds to the violence will be off limits to military action.  Bush stated that, "Prime Minister Maliki...pledged that political or sectarian interference..." will not be tolerated in dealing with private militias.  A certain cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Mahdi militia, a cause of much of the sectarian violence, will now either have to come to the table or be pushed aside.

While Bush has definitely adopted a more realistic Iraq policy, naming our enemies, allowing the military to do its job, forcing the Iraqi government to clamp down on Shiite militias, and instituting an economic rebuilding plan, I still fear our greater foreign policy is captained by the misguided notion of nation building on the democratic model in areas of the world that are not suited to this great gift.  My perception was validated when Bush, at the end of his speech, said, "We also need to examine ways to mobilize talented American civilians to deploy overseas-where they can help build democratic institutions...."  I'd much rather have a foreign policy that guards American interests and leaves adopting democracy to those who want it.

The Democratic response, given by Dick Durbin was the usual leftist response to any situation that requires hard work, sacrifice, and determination.  Run and admit defeat is about as realistic as spreading democracy to Muslim nations.  Durbin's remarks can be read at CNN.  At least Durbin returned to reality for awhile when he admitted that Congress could do little overcome the war powers of a President.  I'm surprised Cindy Sheehan didn't grab the microphone out of his hand at that point....  

A good rundown of the speech and the politics around it can be found at the Gateway Pundit, Stop the ACLU, and Strata-Sphere.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

From vice to virtue: Ohio governor Strickland replaces Bob Taft

Veto causes constitutional controversy. 

Even with a Democrat assuming the office of governor on January 8th, not many Republicans were upset to see Bob Taft, Republican, leave.  Taft, who was tainted by graft and incompetence, helped lead Ohio Republicans to defeat from the Federal to the local level this past November. 

From a moral perspective, Taft was a failure.  From a conservative point of view, he even committed greater sins. Taft gravitated to the center, preferring big government and higher taxes.  His veto of a bill restricting red light cameras is just one example of his inability to please his conservative base.

Governor Ted Strickland, Democrat, on his first day, banned gifts to state employees with a value of greater than $20.  While this is a promising start, only time will tell if Ohio has an honest, competent governor.

Additionally, Strickland also vetoed a bill that Bob Taft had refused to sign.  Under Ohio law, any bill not signed by a governor, becomes law in ten days.  Strickland vetoed SB 117 on January 8th, 2007.  The bill was sent to the desk of Bob Taft on December 27th.  What is interesting here is the constitutional issue.  Under the Ohio  Constitution, the governor has 10 days to react (Sundays are expressly excluded), either signing the bill, vetoing it, or allowing it to become law without his signature.  

If the count began when it reached the governor's desk on December 27, Strickland is off to a bad start, with his counsel unable to add and dispensing poor legal advice to boot, which of course doesn't portend well for the future.  On the other hand, if the countdown didn't start until December 28, then the inability of Bob Taft to take a stand, has made Governor Strickland look like a political genius, constitutionally outfoxing the decimated Republicans one more time.  Seems as if the Republican controlled Supreme Court will decide this one.  I wonder what kind of mood they are in?

The Faithful Flock to the Macworld Expo

Steve Jobs, last week's goat, is this week's great leader as he wows 'em in San Francisco

Steve Jobs, who for the last couple weeks, looked like he might be thrown overboard because of post-dated stock options, pulled his feet from the fire (in a blaze of showmanship that the devil can be proud of), raising Apple stock some 7 points today, with his announcements at Macworld.

First, Apple Computer is no more.  It will be simply known as Apple, Inc., from today, reflecting Apple's growth into non-computer products.  Additionally, the iPods were were updated with larger hard drives, better batteries, and lower prices.  Leveraging its iTunes music and movie store, Apple introduced the Apple TV, which will allow you to play the songs and movies from your iPod on your television.

Finally, the iPhone was unveiled.  It is part phone, part computer, and part iPod.  Satan was rather impressed and imagines you will see multitudes more people seemingly talking to themselves in the grocery store, driving like idiots, holding loud conversations at the table next to you, or watching a pornographic movie in the seat next to you on your next flight, all thanks to the new iPhone!  We like it when disparate bad behaviors can be combined together.  Plus, we know Steve Jobs has a streak of evil in him, because the iPhone is tied to Cingular for two years!

Satan was gravely disappointed with this year's keynote, though.  iPods, iPhones, and an Apple TV, but no computer upgrades.  Apple is a computer company.  Oh wait, it is just plain Apple.  There was no mention of OS 10.5, iLife '07, or any hardware upgrades to the Mac Pro Tower, the iMac, or the Mac Mini.  Oh well, Vista will give them hell....