Monday, April 30, 2007

Classics of Conservatism - Part XIX - J. Evetts Haley - A Texan Looks at Lyndon

Twenty-five years ago this month, I read my first truly conservative book. A Texan Looks at Lyndon was written in 1964, but I discovered it on the recommendation of a friend 18 years later.

There is an advantage to reading a political book that is already decades old. One learns to appreciate the issues of the past, compare them to the issues of the present and learn what issues or arguments endure the test of time.


So many political arguments focus only on ephemeral issues that don't really matter. But the issues from the Lyndon Johnson years run far deeper. Those issues involve power, abuse, big government, etc. Discovering how badly government programs can be abused can educate us as to the real problems with the all-encompassing, supposedly benevolent bureaucracy. The abuses of the Johnson administration are not unique to Lyndon Johnson or any one particular socialist politician.

While Robert Caro has written in great detail on the scandals of Lyndon Johnson, Haley was the first to assemble and disseminate these facts in one publication. He did it while Johnson was President and before it was too late to stop Johnson. The book received tremendous attention during the 1964 election and became one of the biggest selling political books in Texas history.

Haley wrote in detail about precinct 13 and the Senatorial election of 1948.

Haley's book also covered Johnson's relationship with Bobby Baker and Billy Sol Estes. In particular, this book makes it clear how those scandals were the result of the big government programs and class warfare that Johnson supported and nurtured during his years in power.

We don't remember those names today only because there was no "new media" or blogosphere to force the issue into the mainstream press during the 1960's. Mass distribution paperback books were the closest thing to the blogosphere or talk radio that existed at that time.

The MSM/DNC would have us believe that Johnson was just the man who supported civil rights at home while getting us into the Vietnam "quagmire" abroad. That is as far as the conventional wisdom goes. "A Texan Looks at Lyndon" will give you an idea how much more there is to the story beyond the conventional wisdom.

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Quote of the day - Mark Steyn

The Defeaticrats are being opportunist: They think they can calibrate the precise degree of U.S. defeat in Mesopotamia that will bring victory for them in Ohio and Florida.

Mark Steyn - 4-29-07

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Quote of the day - Mark Steyn

This week, both the House and the Senate voted for defeat in Iraq. That's to say, Congress got tired of waiting for deadbeat insurgents to get their act together and inflict devastating military humiliation on U.S. forces. So America's legislators have voted to mandate the certainty of defeat.

Mark Steyn - 4-29-07

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi

If we had pulled out of Iraq last year, we would not have caught Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. Who is Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi?:

  • The mastermind behind the London Tube (7/7) bombings.
  • A high level Al Qaeda official.
  • A former major in Saddam Hussein's Army.

But then again, Saddam had no connections with Al Qaeda, or so we are assured by the MSM/DNC.

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi

The next time someone tells you that Iraq has nothing to do with the War on Terror or 9-11, just say "Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi."

As bloggers, we must do more than simply point out every terrorist that U.S. forces capture. We must take the opportunity to remind readers that we are capturing and killing members of Al Qaeda in Iraq. We must remind readers that Al Qaeda is the organization that destroyed lower Manhattan on 9-11. [A new generation of students has completed high school since 9-11, few of whom have been properly educated as to the significance of 9-11 or what happened that day.]

Most importantly, we must ask questions.
  • Who do the Democrats in Congress want to surrender to?
  • If the Democrats don't want us to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq, where can we fight them, if at all?
  • How many people would Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi have killed in the U.S. and Britain if we had pulled out of Iraq last year?

Take nothing for granted. We must connect the dots each time something good happens. Do not assume that anyone understands the significance of fighting Al Qaeda. Do not assume that everyone in this country celebrates merely because a "terrorist" has been captured. Explain very slowly and clearly that each Al Qaeda terrorist captured represents one more piece of justice for 9-11 and one less chance of another attack in this country. Explain very slowly and clearly that the MSM/DNC wants us to surrender in the face of those who attacked us on 9-11.

Or, to rephrase Barrack Hussein Obama, we are "one signature away" from surrendering to those who attacked this country on September 11, 2001.

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Quote of the day - Milton Friedman

The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.

Milton Friedman

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Jeremy Grantham; bubble time for the entire world.

Jeremy Grantham, chairman of a Boston investment firm, argues that the entire world is in a bubble that will collapse following additional gains, which collapse will affect all sectors:
From Indian antiquities to modern Chinese art," he wrote in a letter to clients this week following a six-week world tour, "from land in Panama to Mayfair; from forestry, infrastructure and the junkiest bonds to mundane blue chips; it's bubble time!


The bursting of [this] bubble will be across all countries and all assets, with the probable exception of high-grade bonds," Grantham warned. "Since no similar global event has occurred before, the stresses to the system are likely to be unexpected. All of this is likely to depress confidence and lower economic activity.

I have begun to warn about the effects of too little equity in the real estate market. The bubble may be most pronounced in real estate, where home prices have skyrocketed in recent years and homeowners have used equity as a source of spending money.

Take steps now to build savings and equity before it is too late.

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Quote of the day - Ann Coulter

"When you need a gun, nothing else will do."

Ann Coulter, commenting on sexual assaults on 37 women during the Puerto Rican Day Parade in 2000, including a female kick boxing instructor who said, "I never felt in my entire life that I couldn't protect myself until then."

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Quote of the day - Andrew Wilkow

A capitalist nation is surrounded by walls and those walls are guarded by men with guns. The guns are pointed out at those who would try to get in. A communist/socialist nation is also surrounded by walls and guarded by men with guns….except the guns are pointed in at those who would try to get out.

Andrew Wilkow

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Quote of the day - Thomas Sowell

One of the many hard facts that get overlooked by those impressed by visions and rhetoric is that mass shootings almost invariably occur in gun-free zones like schools, workplaces, or houses of worship.

When has a mass killer opened fire on a meeting of the National Rifle Association or fired on a group of hunters?

Thomas Sowell - 4-24-07

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pennsylvania Lottery fix anniversary; 666; Nick Perry

Today is the 27th anniversary of the rigging of the Pennsylvania daily lottery in 1980. On April 24, 1980, the Pennsylvania Lottery daily number was 666. The number was drawn from the floating ping pong ball type machines. The improbability of that combination created speculation for months that the drawing had been rigged.

27 years ago this evening
H/T Tube City Online.

The case has achieved legendary status largely because of the participation of a popular Pittsburgh TV personality. Nick Perry was the host of bowling for dollars who also announced the winning numbers nightly for the daily lottery drawing. He came up with a scheme to inject mercury into most of the ping pong balls so that only the 4's and 6's would rise to the top. He procured the help of other employees at WTAE to help replace and doctor the balls.

$1.8 million was paid out to Perry's accomplices, the Maragos brothers. The conspirators were caught when investigators discovered the pattern of ticket purchases by Perry's accomplices.
September 1980
H/T Tube City Online

Perry would serve two years in prison, while others, including lottery official Edward Plevel, received lesser sentences. Further details are available at the unreliable and often biased Wikipedia. The incident would form the basis for the movie Lucky Numbers.

The government would have us believe that state-run gambling is now clean. I predict that future PA gambling related scandals will make the 666 scandal seem quaint.

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More guns = less crime

G-Man has a good post summarizing the gun control debate and recent proposals.

And he has the right idea here. We should be prepared for the worst.


Atlas Shrugged 50th anniversary

According to Pamela at Atlas Shrugs, this week is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Atlas Shrugged. I plan to write a more detailed review of this book (and some of its predecessors) later this year.

First Edition

I am not actually sure of the exact date of publication. The only evidence I could find was that some of the reviews came out in October of that year.

The book's influence on our society has been enormous. It remains a big seller even today.

This is a copy of the edition I read twenty years ago.

Plans are supposedly underway for an Atlas Shrugged movie starring Angelina Jolie, but that rumor has been circulating for some time.

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Grafton Minot Biddle; Laurie A. Steinman; Colorado Judge and Colorado prosecutor fired, disciplined for adulterous affair in courthouse

From the Rocky Mountain News (via Drudge):
A Douglas County judge and a female prosecutor admitted having sex in his chambers, and on more than one occasion he slipped into the women's showers at the courthouse for a tryst.
Those are some of the details included in a complaint filed Friday with the Attorney Regulation Council, which is looking into allegations that could result in their disbarment.

Grafton Minot Biddle, 57, resigned Dec. 18 after his fourth wife sent a letter to the chief judge saying he was having an affair with Laurie A. Steinman, 29.

Carol Chambers, district attorney for the 18th Judicial District, fired Steinman on Dec. 22, the day she admitted to the affair, the complaint said.

The adulterous affair occurred even though the DA tried cases in the Judge's courtroom and resulted in the Judge's attempts to cover it up:
As rumors of their romance became fodder for courthouse gossip, the complaint said, Biddle encouraged Steinman to permanently delete messages they exchanged using their e-mail accounts at work.

"If people read this stuff, we're dead," Biddle told Steinman, according to the complaint.

The pair is accused of other ethical lapses, including Steinman prosecuting two cases in Biddle's court without disclosing their relationship. Biddle gave Steinman feedback following one of the trials, which ended in an acquittal, the complaint said.

The pending disciplinary Complaint states that the pair "degraded the sanctity of the courtroom."

It is too bad for the Judge and the Assisant DA that they didn't do this in the 1990's when this sort of behavior was encouraged among government officials. It is also too bad that they didn't commit actual perjury, in which case they could have held on to their jobs.

The affair was initially reported to the Court by the Judge's wife, who says she is "disgusted" by the whole thing.

It is too bad for the Judge that he didn't marry a doormat like Hillary, who would have defended him and claimed to be the victim of a right wing conspiracy.
It is also too bad for the Judge that he didn't simply pay a gay male prostitute for sex and allow him to use his apartment for a prostitution ring. He would have been guaranteed lifetime tenure in that situation.

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Quote of the day - Joe Sobran (Donna Dees-Thomases)

"Somehow the major media neglected to mention
that the "housewife" who organized the Million Mom March for
gun control, advertised as a "grassroots" movement, was
actually an employee of CBS News (she works for Dan Rather)
and a friend of Hillary Clinton. It just goes to show that we
need more investigative reporting on journalism."

Joe Sobran, June 2000

Donna Dees-Thomases

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Quote of the day - Joe Sobran

The worst thing I ever had to worry about in school was being beaten up by bigger kids. Nobody even thought about bringing a gun to school. We had fewer laws, but they were enforced. Today the people who don't want to enforce existing laws are always eager to make new ones.

Joe Sobran

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Quote of the day - Mark Steyn

Does the impending extinction of the Japanese and Russians not distress anyone? How about the Italians? They gave us the Sistine Chapel, the Mona Lisa, Gina Lollobrigida, linguine, tagliatelle, fusilli. If you're in your scuba suit down on the ice shelf dining with the krill and you say you'd like your algae al dente in a carbonara sauce, they'll give you a blank look. Billions of years on Earth and all they've got is the same set menu they started out with. But try and rouse the progressive mind to a "Save the Italians" campaign and you'll get nowhere. Luigi isn't as important as algae, even though he, too, is a victim of profound environmental changes: globally warmed by Euro-welfare, he no longer feels the need to breed.

Mark Steyn 12-14-04

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Miss America 1944; Venus Ramsey; 82 year old woman uses gun to stop robbery

From Kentucky and Yahoo news comes the story of Miss America 1944 - Venus Ramsey - and how she used a .38 to foil a robbery this week.

Miss America 1944

The now 82 year old Ramsey shot out the tires of the assailants' vehicle as they attempted to rob her farm:
She had to balance on her walker as she pulled out a snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun.

"I didn't even think twice. I just went and did it," she said. "If they'd even dared come close to me, they'd be 6 feet under by now."

Venus Ramsey this week

The implications of this story are obvious. Should we have disarmed Ms. Ramsey? Should she have been content to wait for the police?

If an armed 82 year old woman can stop two men while leaning on a walker, imagine how many lives could have been saved if only a couple of the Ismail Ax victims had been armed.

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Quote of the day - Cicero

A man of courage is also full of faith.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Quote of the day - Barbara Oakley

Yes, in a perfect world, there would be no guns, no mental illness and no Cho Seung-Huis. But the world is very imperfect. Consider that Britain’s national experiment with gun-free living is proving to be a disaster, with violent and gun crime rates soaring.

Barbara Oakley, professor of engineering at Oakland University writing in the NY Times on April 19, 2007

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ismail Ax; The synergy between Islam and insanity

Five and one half years after 9-11, there is much we still do not know about Islam. The main reason for this ignorance is that the MSM/DNC treats Islam like any other non-Christian religion - like Hinduism or Zoroastrianism. MSM/DNC largely refuses to discuss Islam, especially when the discussion would involve the continuing worldwide acts of terror at the hands of the "Religion of Peace."

One aspect that desparately needs to be explored is the existence of domestic criminals who initiate acts of terror/murder without orders or official connections to Al Qaeda or other Muslim groups overseas. The MSM/DNC has long accepted as an article of faith that unless one is taking explicit orders from Osama bin Laden, one is not a "terrorist" or a jihadist and does not reflect negatively on Islam. This assumption leads not only to the MSM/DNC campaign of misinformation about Iraq, but also leads the MSM/DNC to ignore and discount and misinterpret domestic acts of terror. The MSM/DNC provided tremendous publicity to the D.C. sniper in 2002, until it became apparent that the killers were Islamic and motivated by sympathy for the 9-11 terrorists. At that point, MSM/DNC forgot that the sniper murders ever happened.

While it is true that John Mohammed (probably) did not take orders from Al Qaeda, he was no less a terrorist. Mohammed's own insanity was fueled by the corrosive effects of Islam.

The case of Cho Seung-Hui may be different only in degree. The Islam/Insanity ratio in Cho appears to have been a little lower than in John Allen Mohammed. After hearing parts of his videotape, he appears to be rambling and incoherent, commenting on inequality of wealth like any ordinary John Edwards supporter. But his now multiple use of "Ismail Ax" and his celebrity status among foreign jihadists (of course they like Pelosi too - but that is another matter) indicate that Islam and the steady stream of Islamic hatred for the West played some role in this young man's craziness.

Of the greatest significance is the MSM/DNC's whitewash of the "Ismail Ax" phrase. As of yesterday afternoon, MSM/DNC had yet even to report or acknowledge the existence of this phrase, despite a worldwide internet feeding frenzy/blogburst directed solely to discovering the meaning of this phrase. The phrase was finally forced into the mainstream last evening when Michael Savage reported on his radio show that his people caught the phrase on the return address of Cho's package to NBC. Savage gleaned this phrase from the NBC broadcast even though NBC made no mention of the phrase or the connection to the writing on Cho's body or the worldwide blogburst of the previous two days.

Nightline then discussed this phrase at the end of their broadcast, but Martin Bashir discussed only the non-Islamic explanations. He discussed the Bible, James Fenimore Cooper and some recent literature that I don't remember. He did not mention the Koran or Isamail Adil Shah. All of Bashir's theories were inconclusive. If the Islamic influence theory is incorrect, why did Bashir not mention it? I believe the MSM/DNC ignored this phrase as long as it could for two days. It could wait no longer after the blogburst and Savage's radio broadcast. At that point, MSM/DNC's only choice was to broadcast a whitewash in the hopes that this murder spree would be dismissed as the work of a lunatic. MSM/DNC has once again whitewashed a massacre with possible Islamic connections and prevented Americans from learning more about the influence of Islam on domestic fringe elements.

We will face mayhem in the future at the hands of domestic lunatics. Islam may fuel this mayhem and provide justification in the minds of the lunatics for their rampages. MSM/DNC still wants you to believe that Islam is a religion of peace. To the extent that MSM/DNC is willing to permit America to fight back in the War on Terror, only those with proven connections to Osama bin Laden will be worth MSM/DNC scrutiny. Domestic lunatics, synergized with Islam, will continue to operate freely.

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Quote of the day - Koran - Ismail Ax

"After making sure that nobody was left in town, Ibrahim went towards the temple armed with an ax. Statues of all shapes and sizes were sitting there adorned with decorations. Plates of food were offered to them, but the food was untouched. "Well, why don't you eat? The food is getting cold." He said to the statues, joking; then with his ax he destroyed all the statues except one, the biggest of them. He hung the ax around its neck and left."
--The Koran

[Ismail was Ibrahim's son. It was Ismail that Ibrahim wanted to sacrifice for Yahweh (with an ax).]

H/T "Ismail Ax Explained."

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Today Show interviews the gun dealer; Cho Seung-Hui; Ismael Ax

This morning on the Today Show I saw a piece of the interview with the gun dealer that sold a gun to Cho Seung-Hui. He really didn't seem to have much to say.

The best statement he could make would be something like this:
I wish I could have sold a gun to every student in those classrooms. Maybe then most of the 32 victims would not have died.

I play Monday morning quarterback with that interview because we are all going to have to decide what to do and how to respond when the subject of gun control comes up. We are being slowly disarmed in the face of danger. If we want to avoid being killed by some lunatic, we must be armed when the time comes. We must protect our Second Amendment rights now, which means being prepared when friends, relatives, associates, etc. ask about the Ismael Ax Massacre.

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Gun control in Brazil - does it work?; Rio De Janeiro Gun Control Massacre v. Ismail Ax Massacre

Brazil has one of the world's strictest gun control laws.
Permits will be issued only to police, security guards and others in high-risk professions - but they must be at least 25 years old.

Anyone else caught carrying a firearm will face up to four years in prison.

So Brazil should not suffer from incidents like Virginia Tech's Ismail Ax Massacre, right? But yesterday I noted a mass shooting in which 19 people were killed in Rio De Janeiro.
But police say they are terrified of being outgunned by heavily armed and well-financed gangs that control the cocaine trade in the seaside city, a favorite of tourists.

Gun control doesn't work any better in the U.S. than it does in Brazil.

On this blog, April 17 will always be remembered as the anniversary of the Rio De Janeiro Gun Control Massacre.

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The Ismail Ax murders; Today Show's teleprompters consider every other angle

This morning on Today, Meredith Viera's and Matt Lauer's teleprompter never mentioned that the phrase "Ismail Ax" appeared on the body of Cho Seung-Lui.

But they mentioned everything else:

- They mentioned Cho's writings, even showing a picture of a copy of "Richard McBeef."
- They pointed out that he was a loner.
- They interviewed friends of Cho's parents in the D.C. suburbs.
- They interviewed members of the Korean community in Los Angeles.
- They interviewed a former teacher who had recommended counseling for Cho, but who admitted she hadn't seen him since December 2005.
- They managed to find a VT student who was also a student at Columbine in 1999.
- They tracked down the gun store owner that sold a gun to Cho.
- They interviewed friends of victims.

So we know what he wrote in English class, that he was a loner, where he bought a gun, who his former teacher was, that the Korean community fears a backlash, etc. -

But they never mentioned that he had a probable Islamic phrase written on his body at the time of his death.

Had the name "Jesus Christ" appeared on Cho's body, this incident would be forever known as "The Jesus Christ Shooting Rampage." Or "The Jesus Christ Shooting Rampage that proves the need to fight global warming." Or "The Jesus Christ Shooting Rampage that proves the need to promote gay rights, gun control and higher taxes."

But because Cho identified himself with the Religion of Peace, the MSM/DNC cannot even mention the simple fact that these words appeared on Cho's body. Whether it turns out to be an Islamic reference or not, the MSM/DNC's attempt to surpress this fact is, itself, a major story.

On this blog, I will now refer to the Virginia Tech murders as the "Ismail Ax murders."
update - Wednesday 11:45 AM
Atlas refers to the Ismail Ax story as another "Gutenberg moment." Check out her post to see info on the developing blogburst.

Also, it was inevitable. Someone has grabbed the domain name

The MSM/DNC will continue to look more ridiculous the longer it ignores and appears to fear this phrase. Regardless of what this phrase turns out to mean, MSM/DNC's attempt to suppress it is quickly joining Rathergate, Reuters fauxtogate, etc. among MSM/DNC scandals and watershed events.
visit counter added 12:50 P.M. 4-18-07


update 12:55 PM

From "The Age" (Australia) "All at once, the world went searching for the meaning of 'Ismail Ax'."

The whole world except for the MSM/DNC.

Also from The Age - "The rapid search and response of that term offered another snapshot of how quickly the web disseminates information and connects people."

This episode shows even more how the MSM/DNC is out of touch with the world. When the MSM/DNC finally does acknowledge this term, it will be sure to have some innocuous story that it can stick to and that it hopes will pacify those who are investigating the phrase that America's media giants seem to fear.

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Quote of the day - Thomas Sowell

This case [Duke "rape" case] has already sent a message about the kinds of gutless lemmings on our academic campuses, including our most prestigious institutions. [referring to the 88 professors]

Thomas Sowell - April 17, 2007

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

News coverage - Virginia Tech murders - the unfolding story; Cho Seung-Hui; Ismail Ax

The story of the Virginia Tech shooting has emerged slowly over the past two days. We still know very little about the killer and his motives, although we are getting hints from the various news items. We still don't know the full story of how the events of the day unfolded yesterday.

Last week I watched old NBC news footage of the Jonestown massacre from November 1978. It was interesting that even 48 hours after the massacre, the anchors gave the death count at just below 400 (instead of the 900+ it actually turned out to be), while they speculated that 500+ cultists were hiding in the jungle. That turned out to be incorrect, as those 500+ had died with the others.

I observed the same immediate confusion in the coverage of 9-11. CNN replayed its 9-11 coverage on the five year anniversary seven months ago. The CNN anchors were still speculating about navigation errors 15 minutes after the second airplane hit the towers. The full story of the hijacking took hours to emerge, with crucial details still dribbling out the following morning.

I recall when President Reagan was shot in 1981, we did not understand the motives of his attacker, John Hinckley, until the next day (or later) when details of his obsession with Jodie Foster became known.

Years from now, we will forget that we were in the dark for so many days or hours in the immediate aftermath of the killings at Virginia Tech. MSM/DNC becomes more polished the more time passes in the wake of any news item. As various parts of the MSM/DNC "get their story straight," the MSM/DNC line becomes standard and can be reduced to a few soundbites. That is why immediate coverage of any major story is interesting. We have the chance the catch the MSM/DNC off guard.

I have specific memories of a few highlights of the unfolding story from yesterday and today. I first heard mention of the story shortly before 1:00 on Fox Sports Radio. I almost immediately compared the coverage at the websites of NBC, ABC and CBS. ABC had interrupted regular programming with Charles Gibson, who speculated as to roughly 21 deaths. NBC's Brian Williams provided roughly the same death toll, even though MSNBC was simultaneously reporting only one death and that police had a gunman in custody. [This statement about a gunman in custody remained on the MSNBC website even as ABC and NBC reported that the lone killer was dead].

Upon checking CBS' website, it appeared that CBS was still talking about Don Imus. It was difficult to navigate the CBS website and its videos, as I kept getting interrupted by commercials from Katie Couric describing new CBS web features and e-mail alerts that CBS can send to your mobile phone. I guess it is important that CBS keep us informed of updates on the Imus story.

ABC news and others quickly got the gun control drums beating with polls and commentators discussing the gun control angle.

As the day progressed, through eyewitnesses interviews, we gradually learned that the killer was "Asian." The death toll gradually approached and exceeded 30.

By seven o'clock this morning, Matt Lauer's and Meredith Viera's teleprompter took to the airwaves and repeated last evening's updates in a tone that suggested that these updates were somehow new.

This morning, we learned of the killer's name, country of origin and student and citizenship status. During the day, details emerged of his "disturbing" writings and status as a loner. We learned that after he had killed two people at the dormitory, he went back to his room before proceeding to the engineering building and beginning the largest part of the massacre.


Only this afternoon did we see the photo of Emily - the first victim whose (as of yet) unexplained relatioship with the killer might explain the rampage.

Today also we learned that the killer had the words "Ismail ax" written on his body. This phrase has (among other explanations) Islamic implications, which means that the MSM/DNC will never investigate its meaning.

Aside from the usual MSM/DNC propaganda, the things we learn about the shootings in the next few days will make the posts of the last few days appear to be a strange time capsule.
afternoon 4-18-07 update

I don't intend to update every development in this case, but the examples below help demonstrate my point that stories develop slowly.

ABC News reported this afternoon that, less than 18 months ago, Cho was determined by a court to be "mentally ill" and was then released. Much of the focus and discussion of this case will turn to the premature release of mentally ill or dangerous patients. We will soon forget that we were ever in the dark about Cho's mental problems.

It also appears that "Emily" had no relationship with Cho, even though she may unintentionally have become the Jodie Foster of this story. Years from now, we may surprised to look back on the early news coverage and see that many of us believed that an actual relationship existed between Emily and Cho.

The MSM/DNC remains largely silent on Ismail Ax. While I don't doubt the insanity theory as an explanation for this tragedy, that theory doesn't rule out the possibility of the corrosive effects of Islamism on this young man. Who among us believes that Mohammed Atta was sane in the days or months leading up to 9-11? Or that John Allen Mohammed was/is sane?
update - 4-19-07 - noon.
Last night, it was revealed that Cho had mailed a package to NBC containing videotape of Cho's suicide message, fueling greater speculation and debate. The tape aired yesterday evening for the first time.

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Quote of the day - Rosie O'Donnell

Don’t fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers.

Rosie O'Donnell

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech shooting

This is one post I really don't want to write. I hate to consider the political implications of any tragedy before the facts are known, but the MSM/DNC leave us little choice. It is unknown how many people have died today or what motivated this horrific crime, but ABC news is already discussing the implications for one of their favorite pet projects - gun control. ABC also has a poll on their website asking about gun control. I don't feel like linking to it. You will just have to take my word for it.

We will hear more about gun control as the presidential campaign heats up. Virginia Tech will become as much of a rallying cry as "Columbine." In fact, Virginia Tech will push "Columbine" right out of the national discussion, except as an historical footnote. The propaganda campaign is already getting started. MSM/DNC will not let Friday's (April 20) 8th anniversary of Columbine pass without using that occassion to draw dubious parallels. Michael Moore is planning a movie about Virginia Tech. Rosie O'Donnell is planning even more insane rants than those she has spewed about 9-11. Jesse Jackson wants to know if minority students were targeted disproportionately by the shooter.

We cannot surrender the field to those who would use this tragedy to restrict more of our freedoms.

Please remember that if the victims had guns in their possession at the time of the shooting, the casualty total would have been much smaller. If stricter gun control is enacted, shooters will have an even freer hand in killing the innocent.

When you are confronted with inanities pouring from your TV tonight, remember this phrase, "More Guns, Less Crime."

update - Michelle Malkin includes links to self-defense bills that have been rejected in the legislature.

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Quote of the day - Michael Kelly

In pursuit of black votes, Bill Bradley, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore have all wooed Sharpton. Bradley and Clinton have been open and enthusiastic about this. Clinton appeared with Sharpton at his headquarters on Martin Luther King Day. She took the stage shortly after the Rev. Charles Norris of Sharpton's National Action Network warmed up the crowd with a little parable about how he once had been fired from a job by "these two Jews" but then had been "employed by another Jew named Jesus." By way of dealing with this, Clinton shoved into her speech the coy line: "We know that antisemitism still stalks our land as well." She then went on to prejudge the trial of four white policemen charged in the shooting of Amadou Diallo, calling the unadjudicated case "a tragic murder," a remark she later retracted.

Michael Kelly - Feb. 16, 2000 [writing on the 2000 election]

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Quote of the day - CAIR - Omar Ahmad

"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant".

Omar Ahmad, Chairman of CAIR, as quoted by Mark Steyn 11-25-03

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Quote of the day - Al Sharpton

It is our feeling that this is only the beginning. We must have a broad discussion on what is permitted and not permitted in terms of the airwaves.

Al Sharpton (spoken in the wake of the Imus affair)

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Crystal Gail Mangum

I am about a day late on this blogburst. I am repeating the name and photo of the Duke rape liar even though they have already appeared on numerous websites.

Crystal Gail Mangum

As John Podhoretz wrote today:
It is the policy of the news media not to publish the names of rape accusers on the grounds that they should not have to fear public shame for coming forward with word of a horrifying personal violation.

That is a noble policy. But it needs a codicil. The codicil is that if a rape accuser is revealed as a liar, her name should be spoken loudly and often - as loudly and often as the names of those whom she falsely accused have been over the past year.

Her name is Crystal Gail Mangum.

She must be denied anonymity because she makes a mockery of the very policy of granting anonymity to rape accusers. We do not publish their names so that they will not fear public exposure. But people who are tempted to do the monstrous thing Mangum did should fear public exposure.

They should be terrified of it.

They should have nightmares about it.

They should be given no encouragement whatsoever to believe they can launch a nuclear weapon at someone's reputation and escape unscathed.

Her name is Crystal Gail Mangum, and she should not escape the world's scorn because she is poor, or because she is black, or because her life circumstances led her to work as a "stripper."

I do not believe that D.A. Nifong is the "real" culprit in this case. Nifong is clearly "a" culprit for bringing a politically motivated prosecution against innocent people, but many prosecutors would have done the same thing, given today's PC political climate. Nifong is one of many culprits. The real culprit is much larger.

Crystal Gail Mangum is also a culprit, but this case is much bigger than she is. Mangum is not the first, nor will she be the last, minority to bring false charges of racially motivated crimes.

Even the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons of the world are not the "real" culprits. They are opportunists who filled a void created by the MSM/DNC's climate of race baiting. That climate was summed up in this week's Time Magazine:
The flip side of the instant-attention era is the gotcha era. We may be more inured to shock than ever, but when someone manages to find and cross a line, we're better able to generate, spread and sustain offense.

What time really meant is that MSM/DNC is better able to "generate, spread and sustain" racial tensions.

MSM/DNC is able to persecute innocent white people. This list of Duke rape headlines indicates the MSM/DNC's high level of salivation over a possible conviction in this case:
The Devils at Duke
White boys Wilding
Racism, Sexism, and priviledge play roles in scandal at Duke
Black Students rally around Duke Rape victim
NC Central Chancellor: The alleged victim has our support
Duke lacrosse team out of control
Duke lacrosse allegations fit mold
Committee to probe Duke Lacrosse culture
Duke Season cancelled due to bad behavior
Duke Team incident merits punishment
Duke Lacrosse case somehow gets uglier
Duke Lacrosse team had a reputation for swagger
Threats made against Duke Lacrosse team
Duke's lacrosse team incident has hate crime written all over it.
Duke Lacrosse team in trouble before
Duke games called off amid team sex scandal
Duke Lacrosse Rape claim spurs outrage
Duke Larcosse Rape scandal; accused players revealed in victim's statement
Duke Lacrosse Players may be charged for failing to stop Gang-Rape
Grusome Duke Lacrosse Details
Duke Lacrosse behavior unacceptable
Advantages of the privileged Lacrosse sect
Truth is worse than fiction: Duke Lacrosse
Player threatens Strippers in E-mail
The Devils came out in Durham
Duke Team exposed
Male violence against Women at Duke
Sounds like Hate
Duke players afflicted by sense of entitlement
A call for outrage
Fraternity of Silence
Hundreds join rally for victim
Professor wants team to be disbanded
Knowing White from Wrong
Code of Silence harms integrity
Another Reason to Hate Duke
To Hate like this
Take back the Night against Sexual Assualt at Duke
3 miles and a World away, a vigil for the accuser
Sex crimes awareness vigil at Duke
NCCU students march against assualt at Duke
Day 3 of Protests at Duke
Crowd gathers to protest Lacrosse team
Speak out against team scandal
Search warrant reveals plans for another team party
NAACP weighs in on rape case
DA confident Gang Rape occured
Dancer tells of Duke Rape
Victim reveals details of ordeal
Duke should do the Honorable thing
NAACP meets with DA in Duke Lacrosse case
DA stands behind rape charge
DA: Rape may have a racial angle
A pained community gives love and support to victim
Duke saga shows athletes can’t be allowed to think they are above the law

But when the MSM/DNC addresses actual violence committed by minorities, it often lies and blames white people, as it did in the Toledo riots of 2005.

The MSM/DNC allows race hustlers to escape responsibility for incidents like the Duke rape case. MSM/DNC seriously entertains Al Sharpton's views on who should be allowed to speak on the radio even as the North Carolina A-G attempts to clean up the Duke/Mangum case.

The MSM/DNC is the real culprit in this and many other cases. If we are looking to prevent this type of false prosecution from happening again, disciplining Nifong and prosecuting Mangum are only the first steps. Those steps need to be taken in order to discourage others from doing the same thing, but we need to go further.

The PC culture must disappear. The MSM/DNC stranglehold over our language and discussion must be broken. PC must cease being profitable. Companies must stop paying ransom to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. All governments must take them off the taxpayers' payroll, which means that whatever subsidized housing, welfare or related program dollars find their way to Sharpton's/Jackson's organizations must cease. The system of shakedown lawsuits based on invented discrimination must end.

The educational environment that allowed 88 Duke professors to condemn the real victims solely on the basis of race must end.

I realize that these solutions are comprehensive, massive in scope and will require a tremendous awakening on the part of the public in general. The bad news is that even those changes that I advocate in this post would be only the beginning. But pretending that a rogue DA is solely to blame and hoping for the best is no solution.

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Quote of the day - Thomas Sowell - Duke "rape" case

The biggest losers from the current Duke "rape" case include not only the three students accused but also the black community, which has once more followed a demagogue who knew how to exploit their emotions for his own benefit.

Thomas Sowell

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Jonestown massacre; Jim Jones; Peoples Temple; Willie Brown

Update - May 23, 2009 - see the end of this post for the story of Harvey Milk's role in the Jim Jones political machine and the death of at least one of Jones' victims.
I saw the PBS American Experience documentary on the Jonestown massacre this week. [Debbie Schlussel earlier commented on a History Channel documentary that was probably better.] I found the documentary noteworthy for a few simple reasons. Without going into the entire history of the cult and the murders of 900+ people, I want to point out some similarities that emerge between Jim Jones' cult and the modern left.

As most of you know, Jim Jones founded his own "church," built a following and isolated his congregation from the outside world. Jones built this church in the 1960's and 1970's after moving to the northern California/San Francisco area. According to the PBS documentary, Jones became very influential in San Francisco politics during the 1970's as a result of the large number of loyal volunteers he could command from the ranks of the Peoples Temple.

Jones with Mayor Moscone and Walter Mondale


Jones exercised an iron will over the cult. Members sold their homes and donated the proceeds to the Temple and Jones. Other allegations much more tawdry were discussed on the PBS program. During the late 1970's, some members quit or tried to quit the cult. They tried to raise a public outcry against Jones and his cult in order to free their own family members from the clutches of the cult.

Willie Brown(l) and Jim Jones(r) at 1976 testimonial dinner for Jim Jones

But Jones and his cult were protected by Jones' political influence within the Democratic establishment of the San Francisco area and the local media:
But if, by the late '70s, Jim Jones was insinuating himself in the San Francisco power structure, there were questions beginning to be raised about some of the less savory goings-on inside the Peoples Temple. Throughout 1977, Jones allies in high editorial positions in the local media thwarted attempts to investigate. Nor was it editors and publishers alone who caviled before Jones. Political allies such as Mayor Moscone, Assemblymen and future mayors Art Agnos and Willie Brown, and others worked behind the political scenes to protect Jones and the Peoples Temple.

When he started to feel the heat of scrutiny, Jones was able to move the Peoples Temple to Guyana virtually lock, stock and pulpit. Perhaps worst of all, he was able to escape with hundreds of mostly black children, and the wards of various Bay Area social services agencies initially delighted to turn them over to foster parents within the Peoples Temple. Virtually all shared the fate of their parents and guardians.

Today, Willie Brown refuses to discuss Jones.

The PBS film pointed out that Jones would often frighten his followers with stories that his enemies were coming to kill their children. At other times, he would have his loyalists place children into a dark well, whereupon he would tell the children that there were monsters in the well. [In fact, it was Jones' own loyalists who were grabbing at the children from the bottom of the well in order to add to the terror.]

So we see in Jones and the cult several of the most important characteristics of the American left:
1) Paranoid rantings worthy of the tinfoil hat brigade;
2) Protection by a symbiotically intertwined media;
3) Disaster.

I have mulled over this post for the last two days. For years we have heard the left compare Bush to Hitler, etc. I really had to satisfy myself that, by comparing the left to Jones, I was not simply repeating the leftist tactic of comparing a political opponent to a random evil person. But I am comfortable with my analogy in this post despite the leftist tactic of Bush/Hitler association. I know that Bush and Hitler have nothing in common. I know that the Hitler accusation is simply a convenient tool that the left has used against every Republican for decades.

But Jim Jones actually was a real leftist. He was committed to socialism and the Democrat candidates who took control in San Francisco in the mid-1970's. More importantly, the tactics Jones used on his own flock are very reminiscent of the statements that the extreme left uses today. Jones kept his people in a state of fear about the outside world. Are Jones' statements any more ridiculous than Rosie O'Donnell's rantings about 9-11 being an inside job? Or Al Gore's theory that the Earth is going to get hot and melt icebergs in the North Pole that will one day flood the world?

O'Donnell and Gore and and the Kos Kidz lack one thing that Jones possessed - power. While the left possesses much power in America (and in the West) today, they do not exercise the type of absolute power that Jones exercised over his people. Jones' word was the word of god as far his people were concerned.

Absolute power changes people. With no restraints on one's actions, those actions become not only abusive, but bizarre.

In ancient Rome, the first five years of Nero's reign were relatively normal and benign. The bizarre sexual behavior, the enforced sycophancy and the murderous, random persecutions did not begin until later - after Nero's power over the known world had a chance to condition his mind.

For all we know, Jim Jones might never have dreamed of mass murder when he began his "ministry." In the 1950's, he might have been horrified at the thought that he would one day kill 900+ people (or even that he would take hundreds of people to a different country, isolate them and frighten them into submission). But that scenario became plausible as Jones' power grew.

There is no doubt that the left in this country has become bizarre and power hungry. They advocate more power over our children with federal programs and controls. They advocate a federal government takeover of the entire health care system throughout the nation. They have created bizarre double standards of political correctness, under which millions of Americans cower in fear of saying the wrong words or telling the wrong joke or offending the wrong people. They have created a climate of fear in which public officials, businesses, advertisers and ordinary people hesitate to use words like "Christmas" or otherwise acknowledge the Christian faith that has guided Western Civilization for almost two millenia. These are only a few examples.

When Rosie O'Donnell rants about 9-11, or when Al Gore shouts to screaming audiences, or when the leftist thugs e-mail death threats to conservative bloggers, or when race hustlers force authorities to prosecute innocent people, they may not be winning new converts or making friends among average Americans, but they are energizing their base. They are keeping their faithful in line. Every PC prosecution, every false accusation, every weird theory, every violent act, etc. rallies the uncritical leftists, confuses the adolescent who is new to politics and ratchets up the emotions of their uncritical masses so that they cannot see their way clear to escaping the ideological Jonestown that the left has created.

The one question we should be asking is, "What will happen should the leftists ever achieve complete power?" What will happen when the left controls all branches of government and the government programs have become so large and all encompassing that the normal constitutional limits on power have become meaningless? What will happen when the electoral crisis towards which the left is driving us finally destroys all confidence in the very concept of elections or the regular, peaceful transfers of power on which this country has depended to maintain our freedoms for generations.

If the hardcore left ever achieves total power in the ruins of our Republic, can we count on Al Gore to be a better person than Nero or Jim Jones? Do we honestly want to find ourselves at the mercy of Rosie O'Donnell or Michael Moore with no escape except through a vat of flavor-aid?

If the Democrat politicians of the past could be so enamored of Jim Jones [as Exile has pointed out]. . . :
Who Is This Man?

- Walter Mondale, as a United States Senator, invited him to a meeting on his campaign plane.
Mondale also wrote to this man, "Knowing of your congregation's deep involvement in the major social and constitutional issues of our country is a great inspiration to me."
- Willie Brown, eventual Mayor of San Francisco, introduced him as a combination of Martin Luther King, Angela Davis(!), Albert Einstein and Chairman Mao.
He met personally with Rosalynn Carter, Jimmy Carter's wife. He later wrote to her professing his "deep appreciation for the privilege of dining privately with you prior to the election."
- Senator Mike Gravel (D - Alaska) said that this man was "almost too good to be true."
- Congressman Don Edwards (D - California) wished that "there were more like the people" of this man's "church".
- Vice President Hubert Humphrey said that this man "is testimony to the positive and truly Christian approach to dealing with the myriad problems confronting our society today."
- Joseph Califano, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under Jimmy Carter wrote to him saying, "Knowing your commitment and compassion, your interest in protecting individual liberty and freedom have made an outstanding contribution to furthering the cause of human dignity."

. . . then how do we expect today's leftists to exercise greater restraint with their own movement and with their own power?

update - May 23, 2009

Now that some Californians have proposed creating a holiday for Harvey Milk, it is important to remember his role in the Jonestown murders. Daniel Flynn has written specifically about one of Jones' child victims and Milk's role in aiding Jones against that victim.
Nine days prior to Milk’s death, more than 900 followers of Jim Jones—many of them campaign workers for Milk—perished in the most ghastly set of murder-suicides in modern history. Before the congregants of the Peoples Temple drank Jim Jones’s deadly Kool-Aid, Harvey Milk and much of San Francisco’s ruling class had already figuratively imbibed. Milk occasionally spoke at Jones’s San Francisco–based headquarters, promoted Jones through his newspaper columns, and defended the Peoples Temple from its growing legion of critics. Jones provided conscripted “volunteers” for Milk’s campaigns to distribute leaflets by the tens of thousands. Milk returned the favor by abusing his position of public trust on behalf of Jones’s criminal endeavors.

“Rev. Jones is widely known in the minority communities here and elsewhere as a man of the highest character, who has undertaken constructive remedies for social problems which have been amazing in their scope and effectiveness,” Supervisor Milk wrote President Jimmy Carter seven months before the Jonestown carnage. The purpose of Milk’s letter was to aid and abet his powerful supporter’s abduction of a six-year-old boy. Milk’s missive to the president prophetically continued: “Not only is the life of a child at stake, who currently has loving and protective parents in the Rev. and Mrs. Jones, but our official relations with Guyana could stand to be jeopardized, to the potentially great embarrassment of our State Department.” John Stoen, the boy whose actual parents Milk libeled to the president as purveyors of “bold-faced lies” and blackmail attempts, perished at Jonestown. This, the only remarkable episode in Milk’s brief tenure on the San Francisco board of supervisors, is swept under the rug by his hagiographers.
emphasis added

Read the whole thing.

There will be no day set aside to remember John Stoen. Is it too much to ask that we refrain from desecrating this child's memory by naming a holiday in favor of the man who aided his murderer?

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Quote of the day - Thomas Sowell - Duke "rape" case

The haste and vehemence with which scores of Duke University professors publicly took sides against the students in this case is just one sign of how deep the moral dry rot goes, in even our most prestigious institutions.
We have become a society easily stampeded, even by the unsubstantiated, inconsistent and mutually contradictory statements of a woman with a criminal record.
All it takes is something that invokes the new holy trinity of the intelligentsia -- "race, class and gender." The story of a black woman gang-raped by white men fit the theme so compellingly that much of the media had no time to waste trying to find out if it was true before going ballistic.

Thomas Sowell

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Quote of the day - Cicero

A home without books is a body without soul.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Winter of 2007 cancels baseball and kills otters

So far the Winter of 2007 has closed airports, disrupted rail traffic, broken records, destroyed buildings, frozen rivers, closed highways, threatened crops and disrupted hearings into global warming.

And now it is disrupting baseball in Cleveland and elsewhere.
Cleveland AP photo 4-9-07

And setting records in Charlotte, NC.

And killing sea otters in Alaska:
An extra-cold winter on the Alaska Peninsula has frozen sea otters out of the bay and pushed them onto the tundra near Port Heiden where they're easy prey for wolves, humans and hunger.

4-10-07 update
This April is, so far, the coldest April in 113 years.
4-11-07 update
Bloomberg news confirms record cold for April in New York.

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Quote of the day - C.S. Lewis

The safest road to hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

C. S. Lewis

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

St. Stanislaus Church near Pittsburgh

Quote of the day - Mark Steyn

Instead of Jesus the wimp, Mel gives us Jesus the Redeemer. He died for our sins – ie, the “violent end” is the critical bit, not just an unfortunate misunderstanding cruelly cutting short a promising career in gentle teaching. The followers of Wimp Jesus seem to believe He died to license our sins – Jesus loves us for who we are so whatever’s your bag is cool with Him.

Strictly as a commercial proposition, Wimp Jesus is a loser: the churches who go down that path are emptying out and dying. Those who believe in Christ the Redeemer are booming, and Mel Gibson has made a movie for them. If Hollywood was as savvy as it thinks it is, it would have beaten him to it. But it isn’t so it didn’t. And as most studio execs have never seen an evangelical Christian except in films where they turn out to be paedophiles or serial killers, it’s no wonder they’re baffled by The Passion’s success.

Mark Steyn - 3-27-04

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Quote of the day - Milton Friedman

The black market was a way of getting around government controls. It was a way of enabling the free market to work. It was a way of opening up, enabling people.

Milton Friedman

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Winter conditions prevail throughout the East;

Mother nature continues to make Al Gore her prison bitch, as the Winter of 2007 continues to pile on cold temperatures, unseasonal snow and ice and generally un-global-warming-like conditions:
Just about everywhere east of the Rockies, it's extremely cold for this time of year – with snow in parts of the Northeast and Midwest, and freezing temperatures elsewhere - and it's going to stay this way right through the weekend.

Parts of the upper Northeast are slogging through over a foot of snow which closed schools, tangled traffic and knocked out power to more than 180,000 homes and businesses.

Frost and freeze warnings are in effect for the next few nights throughout much of the Southeast, while the snow continues to pile up across portions of the Great Lakes and the Northeast . . .

The result, says Cullen, is temperatures 15 to 30 degrees below normal, with many record lows likely over the weekend, from the Ohio Valley on down to southeast coast.

At least two deaths – traffic accidents in New Hampshire and Michigan - are blamed on the wintry weather, which began late Wednesday.

Click here for previous stories on the frozen rivers, record cold temperatures, death tolls, collapsed buildings, disrupted air and rail travel and general misery that has been the Winter of 2007.
cattle grazing in Kansas - April 5, 2007 - AP

Today is the 25th anniversary of a record snowstorm and cold spell in the Northeast, while Sunday is the 78th anniversary of a record heat wave. When exactly did global warming begin?

update - 4-7-07
snow on the cherry blossoms 4-7-07 AP

- cold conditions at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia.

- Cold weather threatens crops throughout the East.

Accuweather - 4-7-07

- Top hurricane forecaster says Al Gore is "doing a great disservice and he doesn't know what he's talking about."
update - April 8,2007
From KARE11 Minneapolis-St. Paul:
Easter Sunday's high temperature will struggle to make 40 degrees, barely higher than Christmas day. In fact, we haven't seen April temperatures like this in almost 60 years.

Other parts of the country are freezing, too. Friday's Twins game is canceled in Chicago, and Atlanta could see its coldest Easter Sunday in 120 years.

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Quote of the day - Ann Coulter

"The idea of a bowed and terrified liberal minority during McCarthy's 'reign of terror' is poppycock. Then as now, all elite opinion was against McCarthy." -- Ann Coulter, P. 92

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Quote of the day - Joe Sobran (gay marriage)

The simplest refutation of the gay version is that some societies have been very tolerant of homosexuality and pederasty, like ancient Greece and Rome, without feeling any need to institute same-sex marriage. In fact, it apparently never occurred to Greco-Roman homosexuals and pederasts to demand such a thing. They seem to have been content with their informal arrangements, since procreation wasn’t involved.

Institutions have their own purposes and inner logic. That is what makes them institutions. Their definitions make them more or less exclusive; a Baptist can hardly complain if he is rejected by a Catholic seminary. To say that Baptists ought to be accepted is really to say that Catholic seminaries shouldn’t exist. You can argue that they shouldn’t exist in the first place; but you can’t argue that if they accept non-Catholics they remain Catholic.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Quote of the day - Thomas Sowell

The Democrats' political strategy is to ensure that there is an American defeat in Iraq, in order to ensure their own political victory in 2008.

Thomas Sowell - 4-3-07

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Quote of the day - Thomas Sowell

Only an American defeat in Iraq can ensure the Democrats' political victory next year. Their only strategy is to sabotage the chances for a military victory in Iraq without being held responsible for a defeat.

Thomas Sowell - 3-27-07

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Monday, April 02, 2007

The "open letter" is now an "open and shut case."

I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but circumstances have proven that many of our conservative allies made a tactical mistake last month on one discreet issue.

Numerous conservatives expressed displeasure at Ann Coulter's use of the word "faggot." In response, I wrote an "open letter" to Michelle Malkin, in which I wrote the following:
Will criticizing or even banning Ann from CPAC and other events soften the tone from the left? Or will it embolden the left? Have we changed the tone of political discourse? Does the left now recognize that you are somehow "fair" or "civil", thus causing them to stop their attacks on you? . . .
I am guessing that they will continue their personal attacks against you. They attack you not because some conservative said the word "faggot" or because they really care about gay rights (or any other rights), but because you are an effective voice for conservatism, America, free markets, etc. . . . .
They will continue to attack you with even more ferocity if Ann Coulter is silenced or marginalized - for they will have one less enemy in that instance.
emphasis not in original

Today, Michelle quotes the following from a leftist blogger:
If your newspaper carries this hateful bitch - this self-loathing immigrant [referring to Michelle Malkin] - contact the editorial board. We got Ann Coulter and Linda Bowles banished from the op-eds in this town - can we get the Star to come to their senses about this idiot child, too?

The point is, conservatives should leave Ann Coulter alone, no matter what she says. That leftist blogger never gave credit to Michelle for Michelle's annoyance at Ann Coulter's "faggot" comment. Niether did any of the other leftists Michelle cites in today's post. The leftists are attacking Michelle harder than ever.

Michelle and the rest of us will be safer with Ann Coulter speaking uninhibited than with a kindler, gentler Ann Coulter.

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Falklands War 25th anniversary; Frank Reynolds; John Chancellor; Elizabeth Drew

25 years ago today - British soldiers taken captive

Today is the 25th anniversary of the start of the Falkland Islands war between Britain and Argentina. I won't try to repeat the entire story. Suffice it to say that Argentina seized some British Islands in the South Atlantic on April 2, 1982. The British took them back after a three month war.

The war began when Argentina seized South Georgia Island on April 2nd and later seized the main Falkland islands 750 miles away.

South Georgia Island H/T

The war is notable for several things.

(1) As we already have established, the MSM/DNC is wrong about almost everything. This war proved to be no exception. On the night of the invasion, the teleprompter of ABC's anchor Frank Reynolds opened the nightly news broadcast with the following:

"It would appear the sun has set on yet another corner of the British Empire."

[My source is my own tape recording from the news the night of the invasion.] Reynolds' teleprompter did not anticipate that the British would fight back and retake the islands. ABC was apparently too eager for a western power and U.S. ally to lose territory. Weeks later, Elizabeth Drew would appear on "Agronsky and Company" and insist that even if Britain retook the islands by force, Britain "can't sustain it." I hope you didn't hold your breath waiting for Drew to apologize when it became apparent that the invasion was, in fact, sustainable. [If you don't recognize the names Elizabeth Drew or Agronsky, don't worry about it. You didn't miss much.] MSM/DNC is frequently guided by wishful thinking and is deluded by its own ability to issue self-fulfilling prophecies [like polls].

(2) The MSM/DNC will oppose Republican policy no matter what.

The U.S. remained officially neutral during the war. President Reagan didn't lie/no kids died. Halliburton made no profit. There was no quagmire. No one mentioned Vietnam. We didn't need a timetable in which to "redeploy" our troops to Okinawa. We didn't lose standing in the world due to warmongering "go-it-alone" cowboy policies.

Was this neutrality good enough for the MSM/DNC? No. Did Reagan get credit for keeping the U.S. at peace? No. John Chancellor's teleprompter denounced the administration for not siding with its ally, Great Britain. Even though Britain was more than capable of handling this war on its own, Chancellor's teleprompter would be satisfied with no less than all out war by the U.S. against Argentina. [MSM/DNC commentators are happy to support war so long as the enemy (e.g. Argentina) poses no real threat to the U.S.]

(3) Appeasement provokes aggression. Here is one headline I am afraid we will not see as a result of Iran capturing 15 British sailors last week. This difference between the two incidents is that today England and much of the west places its faith in international institutions, like the UN and EU. These institutions will not recover the sailors or prevent aggression from rogue states. See Mark Steyn's commentary for more on this point.

[For those who cannot conceive of a military response to Iran, see this.

There were many who doubted the potential for success of a military resolution back in 1982, but the doubters were wrong. They did not anticipate the following:

D-Day - British invasion


June 17, 1982 - Argentine POWs returning home

We can either learn the lessons of the Falklands war and act accordingly today, or we can treat the 1982 war as just another historical event, forget about it and allow the danger from Iran to grow.
update - 9:30 AM 4-2-07 Michelle Malkin posts her thoughts, including this quote from Diana West:
When a civilization no longer inculcates an overriding attachment to its own survival, well, it no longer survives as a civilization. In peacetime, the disintegration appears more theoretical. In wartime, the holes really begin to show.

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Quote of the day - Mark Steyn

Yet, like the Americans, the British persist in trying to resolve real crises through pseudo-institutions. A bunch of unelected multinational technocrats can designate an entire continent as "citizens of Europe" but, as Pat Buchanan wrote the other day, "dry documents, no matter how eloquent, abstract ideas, no matter how beautiful, do not a nation make." Similarly, the West's transnational romantics can fantasize about "one-world government," but, given the constituent parts, it's likely to be a lot more like Syria writ large than Sweden. In fact, it already is.

. . .

The U.N. will do nothing for men seized on a U.N.-sanctioned mission. The European Union will do nothing for its "European citizens." But if liberal transnationalism is a post-modern joke, it's not the only school of transnationalism out there. Iran's Islamic Revolution has been explicitly extraterritorial since the beginning: It has created and funded murderous proxies in Hezbollah, Hamas and both Shia and Sunni factions of the Iraq "insurgency." It has spent a fortune in the stans of Central Asia radicalizing previously somnolent Muslim populations. When Ayatollah Khomeini announced the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, it was not Iranians but British, Indian, Turkish, European, Asian and American Muslims who called for his death, firebombed bookstores, shot his publisher, fatally stabbed his translator and murdered anybody who got in their way.

So we live today in a world of one-way sovereignty: American, British and Iraqi forces in Iraq respect the Syrian and Iranian borders; the Syrians and Iranians do not respect the Iraqi border. Patrolling the Shatt al-Arab at a time of war, the Royal Navy operates under rules of engagement designed by distant fainthearts with an eye to the polite fictions of "international law": If you're in a ''warship,'' you can't wage war. If you're in a ''destroyer,'' don't destroy anything. If you're in a "frigate," you're frigging done for.

On Sept. 11, a New York skyscraper was brought down by the Egyptian leader of a German cell of an Afghan terror group led by a Saudi. Islamism is only the first of many globalized ideological viruses that will seep undetected across national frontiers in the years ahead. Meanwhile, we put our faith in meetings of foreign ministers.

Mark Steyn 4-1-07

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Quote of the day - Mark Steyn

On this 25th anniversary of the Falklands War, Tony Blair is looking less like Margaret Thatcher and alarmingly like Jimmy Carter, the embodiment of the soi-disant "superpower" as a smiling eunuch.

Mark Steyn - April 1, 2007 (commenting on the British response to the Iranian seizure of 15 British sailors).

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