Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kerry Sticks Foot In Mouth Again

At a Los Angeles campaign event, John Kerry offered the following pearl of Democrat wisdom:

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

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Thanks Pamela, of Atlas Shrugs, for letting me "borrow" this photo.

Or you get stuck as the junior senator from Massachusetts.

Or you get your foot stuck in your mouth. And your head stuck someplace else (click to see photo illustrating head position).

This is the person the Left wanted to be President. Little wonder the military, including retired military such as myself, have no trust in Democrat leadership. Kerry’s supporters, of course, don’t see anything wrong with his statement. When John McCain and other active and retired military call for John Kerry to apologize, Democrats say: “Apologize for what? Everyone knows only losers go into the military.” This condescending tone is expected from Leftist Democrats, but is not acceptable for an erstwhile leader of the country.

It is particularly unbecoming for a senator who voted to send the military to Iraq. Before he voted not to. But at least he told us: "I have a plan (for Iraq)." Maybe some day he'll tell us what it was.

Kerry ran for president solely on the basis of four months of military duty in Viet Nam. When Kerry was in the Navy, the United States military compared to today's was not as educated, not as highly trained, and contained much lower percentages of women and minorities. Plus now they are all volunteers. If they don't want to go to Iraq, they didn't have to volunteer, or reenlist.

They definitely don't have to go into the military because of economic necessity. Good paying jobs go begging, with unemployment at 4.6% already down to the level where lowering it further will be cutting into the hard-core, career unemployable population.

I apologize to the fine men and women who serve in our military, such as my oldest son Bruce, who served in Iraq and is career Army. I don’t apologize for John Kerry. Being a Senator from the same state that reelected Ted Kennedy for four decades, he can’t help himself. I apologize for all my fellow citizens who lack the courage and decency to tell arrogant John Kerry to apologize and then shut up.

UPDATE: John Kerry now says it was a "botched" joke meant to poke fun at President Bush. What typical Kerry BS! President Bush is a Yale graduate, a Harvard MBA, and had a higher grade point average (and IQ) than Kerry. He has a better job, too. (Go here to find that Bush is documented smarter than Kerry.)

Then Kerry lashed out and lectured Republicans that none should criticize him that didn't serve in the military. The arrogance (and stupidity) of John Kerry never ceases to amaze. So only doctors can criticize the medical profession? That would certainly shut a lot of Democrat lawyers out of mining their malpractice goldmine. If the Left paid heed to Kerry, almost all the Democrats would have to shut up their criticism of the military in Iraq.

John, it's Ok that John McCain and I, and President Bush for that matter, criticize you, isn't it? We all served in the military, so we're over that barrier you erected to free speech, aren't we?

Or did we have to spend Christmas 1968 in Cambodia, and get three scratches, before we can say anything?

However, I thought that here in America, Americans and legal and illegal immigrants, tourists, aliens fresh from UFO's, anybody and everybody, have the right to say just about anything on any topic they choose. Who elected you Free Speech Czar?

Actually, John Kerry, I appreciate your exercise of your free speech rights. I personally don't want you to shut up. Every time you open your mouth you remind us why we are so lucky we didn't elect you president. The only thing better than criticizing you for the stupid things you say, is listening to you trying to explain what you really meant, and then blaming it on the rascally Republicans.

"Karl Rove made me do it!

And now they're Swift Boating me!"

A Democratic congressman told ABC News Tuesday, "I guess Kerry wasn't content blowing 2004, now he wants to blow 2006, too." A Democrat congressional candidate from Iowa seems to feel the same.

Taylor Marsh at Huffington Post channels John Kerry and finds what he meant to say:

"I can't overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq." - Senator John Kerry
Don Surber interprets what both John Kerry and President Bush said about this issue.

Is there anything I would like to say about this Kerry mess? Yes!

Thanks, John.

A short while back I pondered "John Kerry - Liar or Ignoramus."

He just answered my question with his comment about military members, followed by his panicky explanation:

Yes to both.

PENULTIMATE UPDATE: John Kerry finally apologized for saying something that people misinterpreted, because they only heard his words and not the meaning in his head. He actually intended to criticize President Bush and his administration by saying: "You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush."

Or the senators and congressmen who voted for the war, like John Kerry.

Actually, Senator Kerry, I doubt if anyone who is a lazy student, dumb, and uneducated ever gets to the point in political life where they can decide for the nation whether or not it goes to war.

Unless you are speaking for yourself, John.

Personally, John, I'm sorry to see you piddle away your plans for running again in 2008. It would be fun to watch another naval battle, you in your dinghy against the Swift Boat flotilla. To revisit Christmas 1968 in Cambodia, and once more see "the hat." To hear the main stream media tell us how the hundreds of Swift Boat veterans are "discredited," as you regale us with tales of listening to President (actually President-elect) Nixon lying to the American people about not sending troops into Cambodia. As you and the main stream media well know, John, all Presidents-elect get to command American troops in the field a month before their inaugurations, so can get the feel of running the show, you know. And anyone who says otherwise is "discredited."

Bye bye, John. Hillary and Al will miss you.

Me too.

ULTIMATE UPDATE: John, in your "apology" you said a combat veteran such as yourself would never offend the troops. Wasn't it you in front of Congress accusing American soldiers as murderers, rapists and torturers "who ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam . . . [and] razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan"? Without any evidence, didn't you accuse American troops of committing atrocities that you supposedly heard about from "decorated veterans" who were not?

And if it wasn't you, who was the guy who recently said our troops in Iraq are doing similar things? He used your name.

Just asking.

ULTIMATE UPDATE PLUS ONE: I can't stop, I can't help myself, this commentary by Don Surber slapping down both John Kerry and Keith Olbermann is too good to let pass.

Forgive me, some things just have to be.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Editors And Reporters - Whores Are More Honest

In "Evita," Eva Peron goes on the Rainbow Tour of Europe, and in Italy:

Did you hear that?
They called me a whore!
They actually called me a whore!

But Signora Peron--
It's an easy mistake
I'm still called an admiral
Yet I gave up the sea long ago

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Much as Eva Peron was called a whore long after she foreswore the profession, in recent news stories we find the main stream media is careless with labels. And unlike whores, they profess virtue while making a practice of vice.

A case in point. All the main stream media refer to Mark Foley engaging in inappropriate e-mailing and instant messaging with pages. However, when I read the stories I find the facts only indicate he did such with former pages.

Is this a significant distinction? Most certainly. It is a distinction a competent news editor would honor and indicate. Mark Foley did his disreputable acts with former pages, young men who were no longer government employees and were no longer in positions of subordination and servitude to him, and no longer living in the Washington, D. C. area. Saying that he was communicating with pages implies they were still in those positions, and were vulnerable to his attentions while still living in the Washington, D. C. environs. None were.

The reporters and editors also persisted in calling the young men “boys.” As Gerry Studds and his Democratic supporters made quite clear when he confessed to having had sex repeatedly with a seventeen-year old page, the age of consent was 16. Therefore, the page was not a minor, and was not a person that an experienced and scrupulous editor would allow a reporter to label a boy.

When the Gerry Studds issue was linked to Mark Foley, editors scrupulously pointed out that Studds and the page considered their sex consensual, and no one’s business but their own. The editors gave the impression that Studds was right, and that he was a victim of right-wing persecution of gays. Somehow the fact that Studds’ seduction of the page involved plying him with liquor, when the page was underage for legal consumption of alcohol, was overlooked by experienced and scrupulous main stream media reporters and editors.

Similar sloppiness in reporting and editing was rampant in the Valerie Plame imbroglio. Main stream news organizations persisted in labeling her a “covert” agent, even though these self-same main stream news organizations were parties to a “friend of the court” filing that proved conclusively that Ms. Plame did not meet the legal definition of “covert” when her CIA affiliation was disclosed.

To compound their errors, the main stream media continues to report that Valerie Plame’s husband, Joe Wilson, had documented that Iraq had not sought “yellow cake,” a uranium ore, from Niger. However, the media in their articles fail to disclose that the Senate investigation into the matter concluded that Iraq had indeed approached Niger about purchasing yellow cake, and that Joe Wilson had attested to that fact in his report, the report he presented to the CIA before he wrote his New York Times article saying the Bush administration had lied about Iraq’s intentions.

So what we have are reporters and editors that persist in reporting errors as facts, and who avoid reporting other facts that conflict with their treatment of the news. We could get the same from professed partisans, but in those cases we would at least be alert to their biases.

PS - I am happy to note that bad journalism is being properly rewarded. Daily and Sunday circulation of virtually all the major newspapers is down sharply, and CBS News has fallen to the bottom of a very shabby pile.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Seductive Disaster Of Land Redistribution

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California calling!

A fundamental mystery of life is why so many people are poor and starving. Why aren't they all like us? The statistics are appalling, and I don’t want to appall you, but you have all seen and read about it. Half the people of the world endure short, miserable lives.

The Left would have you believe that their lives are miserable because of us. We take their food, don’t we?

I have read that poor nations exporting food products to rich nations is one of the reasons the poor are starving. There is one big problem with that. Using the United States as an example, we produce an enormous surplus of food already, and have no need for the products of poor nations to ward off starvation. That doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate their bananas, coffee, cocoa, spices, and lots of other goodies. We just don’t need them to prevent starvation.

Actually, a little starvation wouldn’t be bad for the overweight populations of the United States and the rest of the Western nations right about now.

If poor nations quit producing and selling the bananas, coffee, and etc., they sell to us, wouldn’t they be better off? They could redistribute the land to the poor people, and then the poor people could plant a variety of crops and not starve anymore, is that not so?

The Left, of course, believes that land redistribution would eliminate world poverty and hunger, and as usual they are absolutely and totally wrong! It would make it much, much worse.

At this point the Left mobilizes their armies of Ph D’s to squash the heresy that this modest MBA, CPA, retired Air Force Major is spewing. For over a century the mantra of the Left has been “the people” – at various times they have had their People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, of Cuba, of Bangladesh, of Georgia, of China, and of Just About Every Failed State In The World.

Of course, while the Left was pontificating about the blessings of socialism, the smarter socialists like the Chinese, Poles, and Czechs jumped on the capitalist train to the People’s Republic of Prosperity. Some not so smart socialists, like the Russians, got pushed on board and haven’t figured out yet where they are going or how they’re going to make things better when they get there. The real dumb ones, Cuba and North Korea, got pushed under the train, but in their ignorance the North Koreans think they have it better than all the rest. The Cubans just pretend they do, while waiting to find out what the world already knows – communism is as dead as Castro, who at best is now on death support.

But I digress.

One way to foretell the probable disastrous outcome of land redistribution would be to look at where it has been done. Forinstance, in Zimbabwe, white farmers making up one percent of the population owned seventy percent of the arable land, and Zimbabwe was self sufficient in food production plus was able to earn hard currency by exporting agricultural products. Many blacks worked on the farms, but there were also many who lived and worked in growing cities.

President Mugabe fixed all that. First, he seized land from white farmers and redistributed it to blacks. Immediately agricultural production fell far below previous levels, and Zimbabwe could not feed its own population, let alone continue agricultural exports. The resulting severe hard currency shortage led to hyperinflation and chronic shortages in imported fuel and consumer goods.

At this point Mugabe displayed the genius that black African leaders have at following Leftist principles to really mess things up. In this case he noticed that the cities had filled with blacks living in shanties, desperate to escape agricultural failures. In typical Leftist fashion he had his troops tear down their homes and drive them from the cities, purportedly so that they could live in non-existent decent housing.

That’s right; Mugabe solved the problem of people living in slums unfit for human habitation by making them homeless.

Why would land redistribution to the poor of the world be an unmitigated disaster? I hope you were taking notes when I mentioned that the United States produces an incredible food surplus, by far the largest of any nation or region of the world. Why is that so, since only about five percent of the US population are farmers or farm workers?

In a word, industrialization of agriculture (OK, that’s three words). You can grow a lot more of just about any crop if you can substitute machine power for animal and human power in the process. The tradeoff is that it is not economical to use expensive machinery on small farms; the corollary is that small farmers will never be able to amass the capital to buy the machinery to be big farmers if the goal of each of them is to intensely farm the acres they receive through land redistribution to meet the food needs of their families.

Here it is time to pause and consider another dynamic of the human condition. If the people produce enough on the land they now own to escape starvation, they will be able to expand the size of their families rapidly. Actually, they already are doing that even in the face of rampant disease and starvation. Think of what they could accomplish on full (or fuller) stomachs.

The point of this examination of family size is that soon the families will need more land to support their growing numbers. Either that, or the surplus of farmer progeny will have to leave the land to find jobs in the cities. That might not prove too difficult if their governments encourage capitalistic endeavors, but it will only add to poverty and misery if their governments resist economic modernization.

At this point we ask the musical question, “How you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm, when they can get a good job in the city?” Or at least they hope they can get a job in the city. They already know about farm work.

I hate to disillusion all the romantic “back to the land” types, but when you have to farm with just the strength of your body, and crop failures mean starvation, it makes it easy to give up the known misery of farm labor for the unknown misery of city life.

The Chinese knew the perils and drudgery of farming years ago. They knew that all that kept them alive was being able to produce and maintain the manpower needed for subsistence farming. Boys were necessities, girls were luxuries. A son would marry and bring a wife into the house to work and produce more sons. A daughter would marry, live with her husband’s family, and leave her own family wondering why they had invested so much food and care on her. Because of the selective abortion of girls, and the lure of city life for young women eager to escape the drudgery of farm life, today many Chinese farmers have to get “mail order” brides from poorer nations, particularly North Korea.

To sum it all up, the Left for many years has looked upon land redistribution as the panacea for world poverty and hunger. They cannot see the obvious, that redistribution that takes land from industrial farming into subsistence farming is a huge step backwards on the ladder of economic evolution. It drives capital, mechanization, and scientific advances out of farming, and ties the small farmers to a lifetime of hard work, material deprivation, and spiritual isolation.

The eradication of poverty and hunger is eventually going to result from the globalization of world economies that the Left fights so mightily. Economic globalization rewards higher education, and economic and political stability and freedom, with employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. In turn, there are many beneficial side effects, such as the concentration of population growth in cities, the creation of wealth to enable us to protect and improve our environment, and a higher quality of life for mankind.

The proof of my position is already in evidence in the high standard of living we have in the United States, the improving living standards in China and India, and the disastrous failures in Zimbabwe and other socially “progressive” nations.

I hope the nations of the world recognize the bankruptcy of the Left’s dogma, and in particular that Mexico understands the awful mistake they would make by promoting and supporting “democratic” land reform. It makes a wonderful sounding populist slogan, but is a counterproductive step leading to economic disaster.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Buddy loves a run on the beach!

I had been stationed at RAF Bentwaters, Suffolk, UK, for about a year when I was selected to attend Squadron Officer School (SOS) at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama in early 1971. I was pleased and excited to be selected. I was a 29-year old First Lieutenant, commissioned after six years enlisted service, with a wife and three sons. Being among the first group selected competitively from overseas to go to SOS was a good indicator that I had done well my first year as the Base Budget Officer. The other four selected from my base were all captains: a fighter pilot, two navigators, and a very senior captain Accounting and Finance Officer.

While at SOS I would be at away from Marilynn and the boys for 14 weeks, which was not unusual. In nine years of Air Force service, we already had four long separations lasting from four to six months. However, as the early January 1971 departure date got closer, I started to worry about how Marilynn and the boys would get by while I was gone. In November Scott, four years old, spent a week in the RAF Lakenheath hospital hooked to an IV because of dehydration from the flu.

I was the only one not sick during the Christmas season. Our 1970 Christmas dinner was potato soup. However, by New Years everyone seemed to be recovered to the point that Marilynn said she would be OK without me. Bruce was seven, and rode the bus to school at the base. Scott seemed to be getting steadily stronger. Three days before Jeffrey’s second birthday I anxiously hugged and kissed everyone goodbye, and left on what I hoped would be another great adventure.

The first day at SOS I found that my sedentary life, which I attributed to spending over a year studying in the MBA program at Michigan State, working long hours in budget, and helping Marilynn with the boys, that very sedentary life was going to have to change. SOS had team sports – volleyball, soccer, and flickerball – but each day we were expected to run twelve minutes, and keep a record of how far we ran in each twelve-minute period.

Besides living a sedentary life, I was a cigarette smoker, at least a pack a day of unfiltered king-size cigarettes (Pall Mall usually) since I graduated from high school in 1960. However, after a couple of weeks of running almost every day I was able to cover approximately 1.5 miles in each twelve-minute run, not bad for a smoker. It just didn’t look like I was going to improve much.

About this time we devoted one entire day to an exercise invasion of a made up island nation that reminded me a lot of Cuba. It was an exercise in logistics, and at one point I had to take a large stack of papers from our classroom down the hall to another classroom. I lit a cigarette and dangled it from my lips, then filled my arms with the papers and delivered them. When I walked into the other classroom, a senior officer instructor saw me with the dangling cigarette and remarked, “That’s the grossest thing I’ve seen in a long time.”

I pulled the cigarette from my mouth and smashed it out, and as I left the room I pulled my pack from my socks, crushed it, and threw it in the trash. I had smoked my last cigarette.

Each day after I quit smoking I could run a little further in the twelve minutes. Soon I was doing 1.75 miles, and before SOS ended I did a little over two miles per run a couple of times. Only two persons in my section accumulated more than 100 miles at SOS, and I was one of them.

When I returned to my base in England, I continued running four days a week. I didn’t run on weekends, and I never ran on Fridays, because that was fish and chips day at the Officers’ Club.

When I was reassigned to Scott AFB, Illinois, I ran five days a week because the Friday lunches were nothing special. By then my running routine was so ingrained that I didn’t let the deep winter snows stop me. When the snow got too deep, I ran in the gymnasium just as hard and fast as I did outdoors. Unfortunately, running that fast on the hard gym floor put too much of a strain on my back, and I ruptured a disk in my lower back.

I didn’t know I had a ruptured disk. The pain was in my left leg, not in my back. I went in to see the base medical center doctors several times, and I think they started to think the pain was in my mind. I think I was starting to agree with them, because it would stop hurting while I was running, then come back while I was sitting or lying down, taking it easy.

One morning a couple of young doctors were examining me, and an older doctor who seemed to be just taking a break overheard the discussion. He came over and asked me to keep my big toes rigid while he tried to bend them. After pulling on my big toes for just a moment, he announced I had a ruptured disk. He had been able to determine that my left big toe was much weaker than the right, signaling that the muscles in my left leg had already atrophied because the ruptured disk in my back was pressing on the nerve and radiating pain down my left leg.

I went into the hospital and into a bed where I lied flat without leaving the bed for eighteen days. When that didn’t fix the problem, I had an operation and have been fine ever since. While I was in the bed in the hospital I read a Playboy Magazine article, “Jogging can kill you.”

My next Air Force assignment was Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where I started running seven days a week, three to six miles each day. I usually ran in the afternoon after work, in the heat and humidity, at an average pace of six and a half to seven minutes per mile. We lived across the street from the largest base swimming pool, so at the end of each run I would put on my swim suit and do a quarter mile in the pool.

I ran every day I was on inspection duty in Japan, The Philippines, and Korea, too. In Korea I created a small international incident. Korean soldiers guarded the Air Force bases we inspected, and at one base at least one of the soldiers filed a complaint that I was running without a shirt, and he or they were offended by my bare chest. Reluctantly I started wearing a shirt whenever I ran in Korea.

The final base in my twenty-one year Air Force career was Travis AFB, California, where I ran three miles each day on a sixth of a mile track near the gym. After a couple of months on the track, I noticed that I was doing each lap in just a few seconds over a minute. I realized that if I could run every lap in a minute, in eighteen laps I would cover the three miles in eighteen minutes. After that, my goal was to run each lap in one minute for as long as I could hold the pace.

The summer of that year, 1983, I turned 41 and ran in the Gualala Ridge Run. It was a mostly level five-mile run from the intersection of Iversen Road and Ten-Mile Cutoff to Bower Park on Old Stage Road. I hoped to run well, because Pop, who was slowly recovering from a horrific operation for throat cancer, would be at the Finish line. I was first in my age group and fourth overall in just over thirty-two minutes, and I was very happy to see how proud Pop was.

Pop died suddenly three months later.

That summer I also had to do the annual 1.5 mile run required by Air Force physical fitness standards. As I waited on the quarter-mile track to begin the timed run, I looked at the guys I would be running against and felt extremely intimidated. In particular, there was a large group of young, black, very athletic looking Airmen. They were half my age, and looked like they spent most of their spare time on the basketball court and in the weight room. When the whistle blew to start us, they raced off ahead, even though I started at my fastest pace. However, I didn’t feel despondent too long, because I soon started to pass each of them, and by the time I started the sixth and last lap, I had passed them all again. I finished first in my group for the mile and a half, in eight minutes and 25 seconds, and didn’t see any of them cross the finish line for another two minutes.

I hope they had some words and thoughts about the “old guy” who passed them twice.

Just before I retired from the Air Force and started working at Lockheed in early 1984, I was finally able to sustain one-minute laps for eighteen laps, and did a couple of three-mile runs in just under 18 minutes.

That marked the high point of my running. In the twenty-two years since I have let work, minor illness, slow but steady weight increase, travel and family activities, and sometimes just plain laziness erode my running discipline. Now I run with Buddy, and our ten-year old puppy and I average about an eleven-minute mile pace.

We do finish by running up a very steep hill for the last 200 yards. It is really steep. I have fallen off cliffs that were not as steep. (OK, this is country boy humor by exaggeration, but it is not far from the truth.)

When we get to the house, Alice always asks, "Did you have a not-too-horrible run?"

With sweat dripping, chest heaving, I answer, "It was horrible, but not too horrible," sounding all the while like it was beyond horrible. But "it was not too horrible" means that while all runs are horrible, the fact that I apparently survived this one, it couldn't have been too horrible. Just horrible enough.

A year ago I ran a 10K (6.2 miles) in the Gualala River Run, tying for second in my age group in just under an hour and seven minutes. This year I ran the 5K, and finished fourth in the 60-69 age group in 33 minutes 25 seconds, which would have been good for second place in the 30-39, 40-49, and 50-59 age groups. The 60-69 age group is very competitive.

However, I was thankful to just run the 5K instead of the 10K, because I had been on my feet for eight hours the day before working at the Gualala Rotary Dinner/Dance, and my legs were dead. But I also realized that I had slipped a lot in the past twenty two years. The times I ran when I was 41 would have been good for second place for all runners in the 10K River Run this year, regardless of age, but now I can’t even place in the top three in my own age group.

The 235 pounds I’m packing on my 6’ 2” body probably has something to do with it, or maybe the way I have eased off on my running over the years has resulted in the 30 pounds I have added to get to 235. Regardless, I can stand to lose some weight, so I’m going to put pressure on myself to lose it.

Today, October 27, 2006, I weighed 232.8 pounds.

After Thanksgiving I weighed 228.6 pounds. So far so good.

After Christmas I weighed 228.0 pounds, which is fantastic. I think I have always gained weight over the holidays, and this time I actually lost a little.

Just before the Super Bowl I will weigh - it's a complicated story, but suffice to say, about a week after the Super Bowl I weighed 226.0.

Next weigh point, March 19 for Alice's birthday.

Here it is, the 8th of August, and not long ago I weighed in at 221.2. I would be congratulating the heck out of myself, except during the same period Alice quite effortlessly lost 26 pounds, and is now down to her weight at our wedding 18 years ago.

I won't say what her weight is now (or then), but this is a picture from then.

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If I can continue to lose weight, then the next project will be to keep it off.

Wish me luck, or discipline, or whatever it takes. I’m sure I’ll need it.

Hopefully you are not now an ounce heavier than when you started reading this long tale.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

New York Times Admits They Effed Up

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After the damage was done, the New York Times finally gets around to agreeing with what sensible people were saying all along: the SWIFT program was legal in the United States, and there was never any evidence of abuse of private data.

Byron Calame, the New York Times's Public Editor, waffles that he still thinks the decision to expose or not expose the SWIFT program was a close call. How he could arrive at that conclusion is a complete mystery to me.

At the outset he admits he never had any reason to think the program was illegal, either in the United States or overseas. In fact, I haven’t seen anything by anyone that cites any law or regulation that suggests the surveillance was illegal. I have seen uninformed speculation that the surveillance must have been illegal because it had to violate privacy, but without any information or evidence of how privacy was violated.

He admits an “… absence of any evidence that anyone’s private data had actually been misused.”

So why was it exposed?

No evidence then, none now, of illegality.

No evidence then, none now, of privacy violations.

Don’t you have to have some reason before you compromise national security?

But Mr. Calame admits a very strange thing. He admits that he did it because of “vicious criticism” of the New York Times by the Bush administration.

How gallingly unprofessional can you get?

I won’t go into the Bush Administration criticism that must have set him off. Power Line has already done that masterfully. Suffice to say, it doesn’t seem sufficient to excuse sabotaging the war on terrorism.

I am outraged and dismayed that an editor of the New York Times could rationalize a decision that impedes our ability to identify and track terrorists because of his pique at being criticized.

I thought professional journalists would be above such petty vengefulness. Mr. Calame treated this serious national security matter the way a child on the playground reacts to an insult.

And he still doesn’t seem to understand that he effed up.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Economic Hypochondria

All statistics used below are from a recent column by George Will, to which I was alerted by Captain Ed of Captain's Quarters. Please take the time to click on the link to Captain's Quarters for more of George Will's column, plus insightful comments by Captain Ed.

Democrats would lead us to believe that the economy of the United States is terrible, and that we need a big dose of “Demonomics” to fix it. The Demonomics prescription, of course, would increase taxes and government regulations, add protectionism for American jobs and workers, institute national health care, and increase government bureaucracy. Why does our economy need such demonic intervention?

According to John Kerry in 2004, it was the "Worst economy since Herbert Hoover." However, growth in gross domestic product in 2004 was 3.9 percent. John must have confused our economy with the anemic economies of Europe. Economic anemia may be terminal for many European economies, and is caused by national healthcare, high taxes, excessive government regulation, and rampant welfare state-ism.

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How Democrats increase employment.

Nancy Pelosi vows that Democrats want to “jump start” the economy.

Nancy, President Bush already did that with his 2003 tax cuts which got us out of the Clinton/Gore Recession of 2000. Since the Bush tax cuts went into effect in 2003, the economy's growth rate (3.5 percent) has been better than the average for the 1980s (3.1) and 1990s (3.3).

Today's unemployment rate (4.6 percent) is lower than the average for the 1990s (5.8) -- lower, in fact, than the average for the past 40 years (6.0). Nancy, only an idiot or Democrat leader would try to jump start an engine running at full power.

Quoting columnist George Will: “President Bush's tax cuts were supposed to cause a cataract of red ink. In fiscal 2006, however, federal revenue as a share of GDP was 18.4 percent, slightly above the post-1962 average of 18.2. And the federal budget deficit was $247.7 billion, just 1.9 percent of the $13.1 trillion GDP. That is below the average for the 1970s (2.1), 1980s (3.0) and 1990s (2.2).”

Methinks the Democrats want to save us from the realization that we are experiencing economic prosperity the likes of which the world has never before seen. Democrats need misery to convince their faithful followers that only Democrats will give them handouts, and that they can't be like Republicans and make it on their own.

A Democrat leader (oxymoron alert) is like an arsonist who sets a fire, and then plays the hero who helps the survivors after their house burns down. They are eternally grateful, and much worse off than before.

Lemuel Calhoon at Hillbilly White Trash adds more.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Women's Liberation, Muslim Style

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With certain pictures, like this one I copied from Atlas Shrugs, no words are necessary.

However, for Liberals and other moral equivalence types, it would be presumptuous of me to assume they get the point of this picture. After all, the women in their veils proclaiming they are the liberated ones certainly don’t realize they are lampooning themselves. In their ignorance, and under the oppression of daily life as Muslim women, they probably sincerely believe that Westernized women are the oppressed of the world.

To them it makes sense. Westernized women are oppressed because they are forced to look sexy, dress sexy, compete with men for jobs, and go alone into the dangerous world every day. The concept that escapes these Muslim women is that other women think of these issues as matters of “choice,” or personal freedom. Westernized women don’t have to look or dress sexily if they don’t want. Many examples of such women come to mind, women such as Barbara Mikulski or Roseanne Barr.

Muslim women feel that education for females is wasted, because all a female has to do to please Allah and her husband is stay home and produce and raise little jihadists, the more the better.

And after the clitorectomy, what use is it to the Muslim wife to look sexy? The good Muslim husband will be attentive anyway, regardless of her pleasure or lack thereof.

It is a fundamental mystery to me that Liberals, so easily upset about issues of women’s choices – female sports reporters having access to male locker rooms, women in combat – and of equal rights for women, could be so blind to the treatment of Muslim women. Do you Liberals think the Muslim women choose to be illiterate and uneducated, to be confined like prisoners and to have limited contact with the world around them, and to be beaten at the whims of their husbands and to be murdered to redeem family honor?

Do you really think we shouldn’t criticize Muslims for their treatment of women?

Do you really think we should accept that they have chosen to live their lives as miserable slaves to their families and husbands?

Do you really see moral equivalence in the way Muslim women live compared to Westernized women?

The women in the veils – don’t you think they are brainwashed? And scared?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Democrats, Gays, and Pedophiles

The following headline was on MSNBC.com

Feds probe trip that Kolbe made with pages
NBC exclusive: Congressman alleged to have been inappropriate in '96

Is there no end in sight?

Of course there isn’t. As long as a Republican is involved, the media feeding frenzy will go on.

What will we see next? Will there be investigations of school field trips with gay teachers?

Of course not, don’t be a ninny. Teachers are Democrats.

In the “NBC exclusive” – wow, doesn’t that make it sound significant and dramatic? – the subheadline is “Congressman alleged to have been inappropriate in '96.”

In the body of the article that allegation is made by one anonymous participant, who said he was uncomfortable with the attention Kolbe paid to one of the former pages. He was "creeped out by it," he said, adding that there was a lot of "fawning, petting and touching" on the teenager's arms, shoulders and back by Kolbe.

However, Gary Cummins, the deputy superintendent of the Grand Canyon National Park at the time — and who also was on the trip — said he did not see anything inappropriate take place. National Park Service employees also were on the three-day trip, along with several Kolbe staffers and the congressman's sister.

NBC also interviewed the two former pages, who are now in their late 20s. One of them said that Kolbe was a gentleman and never acted in an improper fashion. He recalled that the pair spent time in Kolbe's house at one point — and briefly were alone with him on the trip — and that Kolbe always acted professionally and decently.

The former page — who is the one to whom Kolbe allegedly paid special attention — said he had a "blast" on the trip and did not report anything improper to his parents or any House officials after the trip. He said he has a favorable impression of the page program to this day and likes Kolbe.

NBC, change your headline:

“Congressman alleged to have been appropriate in '96”

If the Congressman were a Republican, that wouldn’t be news, but it would be big news if it were a Democrat.

Bill Clinton, James McGreevey, Gary Condit, the late Gerry Studds, Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy, and any Kennedy relatives who have served or are serving in office – isn’t that right?

I wonder what the gay community feels about the eagerness of the Democrats to score cheap political points by linking any contact between gay Republicans and pages with pedophilia?

There are a lot more gay teachers having a lot closer contact with students than there are gay Republican congressmen with pages. Added to that, the pages are under much greater supervision and tighter control than students. In fact, the gay teachers are often responsible for the supervision and control of students.

When will the media attention on “inappropriate” behavior fall on gay teachers?

Oh, how silly of me!

I forgot.

Teachers are Democrats.

Friday, October 13, 2006

John Kerry - Liar, or Ignoramus?

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Welcome, able mates of Captain's Quarters, and thanks, Captain Ed.
You've caused a lot of excitement at Anchor Bay!

John Kerry, at a New Hampshire Democrat fund raiser, according to the Associated Press, criticized the Bush administration for blaming the North Korean nuclear test on former President Clinton.

"That is a lie. North Korea's nuclear program was frozen under Bill Clinton. When George W. Bush turned his back on diplomacy, Kim Jong Il turned back to making bombs, and the world is less safe because a madman has the Bush bomb," he said.

If Kerry paid attention to testimony to the Senate Committee on Armed Forces, January 1995, by Gary Milhollin, Professor, University of Wisconsin Law School andDirector, Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, he would know what he said isn't true.

According to Professor Milhollin's Senate testimony, in 1995 the North Koreans were already cheating by extracting weapons grade plutonium from spent fuel rods because the U. S. State Department cut a special deal exempting Pyongyang from inspections for at least five years.

If he made his remarks at the Democrat fund raiser and didn't know he was wrong, on an issue that can easily be researched on Google, then he is either dumb or ignorant.

His audience ate it up, so they were probably both.

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. He has been a senator for a long time, so I doubt he's ignorant of information presented to the Senate.

He is a college graduate, so I doubt he's dumb, even if he acts that way.

So again I must conclude that Kerry's a liar.

A Pre-Googleian™ liar.

A Pre-Googleian™ liar is one who doesn't realize how easy it is in the post-Google age to verify the truth or falsity of a statement.

John Kerry's hot words have barely cooled in the crisp autumn air of New Hampshire before an average citizen such as me is sitting at my keyboard posting a link to the source that proves his lie.

I guess Kerry can thank Al Gore for giving us this incredible capability to stay on top of the flights of fancy he spouts to his unreality based Democrat supporters.

That reminds me. Al, next time you present a Global Warming history, don't conveniently leave out the Medieval Warm Period just because it doesn't serve your purpose. The Medieval Warm Period may be an inconvenient truth in your Global Warming road show, but you just can’t ignore a period less than 1,000 years ago when it was warmer than today without the benefit of greenhouse gases.

You and Kerry are both so Pre-Googleian™.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Pre-Googleian™ Fred Kaplan At Slate

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Pre-Googleian Journalist Fossile

Fred Kaplan posted this article to Slate. The Slime Talk Express - McCain is dead wrong about Bill Clinton and North Korea, posted Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2006, at 4:32 PM ET

Mr. Kaplan has previously spun for the cream of the leftist Main Stream Media: Boston Globe, New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly. His Pre-Googleian writer's credentials are impeccable.

The following are my comments on his article.

According to Fred Kaplan, President Bush is responsible for the failure of the magnificent agreement Bill Clinton negotiated with North Korea to end their nuclear bomb program. Mr. Kaplan is certain Kim Jong Il would have adhered to the agreement brokered by Jimmy Carter if only President Bush didn’t say harsh words about North Korea. Mr. Kaplan and Jimmy Carter evidence a much higher degree of trust in the North Koreans than in President Bush’s administration, since neither seemed concerned that verification was left out of the agreement.

They probably have a good laugh when someone reminds them of the words of President Reagan, “Trust, but verify.”

However, the Pre-Googleian™ Mr. Kaplan pays scant attention to the events that occurred during the Clinton presidency after creation of the Agreed Framework on October 21, 1994. Mr. Kaplan then fast forwards history to October 2002, when, confronted with United States intelligence data, North Korea admitted they had been enriching uranium. Mr. Kaplan had noted that the North Koreans were obviously upset with President Bush, thus justifying their cheating.
This apparently explains all that a Democrat is interested in knowing – It’s Bush’s fault.

Mr. Kaplan crows that the North Korean “bomb” (which appears to have bombed) was apparently (meaning we aren’t sure, but this assumption fits Mr. Kaplan’s view) fueled by plutonium from the fuel rods that North Korea kept locked up under international inspection during the Clinton administration, not from the uranium they had been enriching during his presidency. Mr. Kaplan makes the point (assuming a plutonium bomb rather than uranium) that the plutonium bomb was created totally during the Bush presidency.

A neat point, if you overlook the fact that the Agreed Framework allowed North Korea to keep the spent fuel rods they would one day process to make their bomb, even in the regrettable circumstance that a Democrat was President.

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However, let me play reporter and ask, “When did the North Korean cheating start? Under Bush or under Clinton? Is it not logical to assume that the cheating had been going on long before President Bush took office? United States intelligence identified North Korea cheating in 1997, and the CIA had observed in 1995 that North Korea would not have been a party to the Agreed Framework unless they had already figured out a way to cheat.

In January 1995, Gary Milhollin, Professor, University of Wisconsin Law School andDirector, Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, testified before the Senate Committee on Armed Forces that the North Koreans were already cheating by extracting weapons grade plutonium from spent fuel rods because the U. S. State Department cut a special deal exempting Pyongyang from inspections for at least five years. (Read all the January 1995 tesimony by Mr. Milhollin, then ask Mr. Kaplan why he thought no one would Google it and expose his miserable partisan spin piece. I guess you don't think of that when you're a Pre-Googleian™.)

In 1998 the North Koreans tested a long-range missile by firing it over Japan. Did the Clinton administration wonder why North Korea was developing long-range missiles? Did Mr. Kaplan?

The facts are that the Clinton administration’s dealings with North Korea had stalled out by 2000, a year before President Bush took office. The North Koreans continued their missile development and sales activities, stalled on promises to continue summits and family exchanges, and provoked military clashes at sea. Plus, let’s not forget, they continued clandestine uranium enrichment. It's no wonder that when President Bush saw the collapsed state of the agreement with North Korea that he pressed to revise it.

According to Mr. Kaplan, that’s when the problems with North Korea started. Pre-Google, Mr. Kaplan had a good chance of sneaking such absurdities past an American public whose information appetite was starved for the meager scraps the Main Stream Media deigned to toss their way.

Unfortunately for Mr. Kaplan and the other Pre-Googleian™ writers and reporters, interested citizens can now dine from the riches of the Internet archives and select from a veritable buffet of information.

We're eating it up, while Mr. Kaplan's dead-tree journalism is starving for attention. For affection. And for credibility.

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Note: Although “Pre-Google” is already in the lexicon, this post introduces the term “Pre-Googleian™” to modify a word such as “writer” or “reporter.” In that context, Pre-Googleian™ refers to the dinosaur writers and reporters who think they can still feed misinformation to a citizenry whose ability to research topics is limited by time and resources.

It can also be used as a pejorative noun: "Fred Kaplan is so Pre-Googleian™."

Message to Pre-Googleian™ hacks: Your time has passed. You had better stick to the facts.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

October Surprise Time

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An article in Harpers Magazine, Republicans Want to Turn Over a New Page - The Foley scandal is no “October Surprise”, Posted on Tuesday, October 10, 2006, by Ken Silverstein, is a strange and very interesting bit of spinning.

First point – Harpers had the “innocuous” or “creepy” e-mails as early as May 2006, and chose not to run a story based on them because they didn’t prove anything. As Democrats have since noted, courtesy of 20/20 hindsight, it was obvious given that Foley was gay that any communications he had with male pages should have been closely monitored and scrutinized. As Democratic Strategist Bob Beckel noted, “…having a gay man around boys was like letting notorious bank robber “Slick” Willie Sutton hang around banks.”

That’s right, homophobes of the world, a Democratic Strategist has found Mark Foley guilty of “E-mailing while Gay.”

But back to my first point, we find from Mr. Silverstein that the e-mail requesting a former page’s photo was not explained convincingly to him when he asked Foley about it several months ago. But Mr. Silverstein also discloses that the e-mails were already known to many newspapers, magazines, and Democrats, and none of them, including Harpers, thought there was sufficient cause to run a story about the e-mails, former page, and Foley. Mr. Silverstein and others however noted that Foley’s e-mails were “creepy,” a new category of offense apparently reserved for Gay Republicans.

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"My story, a real page turner!" Gerry Studds
"Poor Foley. I got to play with my page, he only got to play with himself."
(Note: This is a made-up quote which, in keeping with CBS journalistic standards, although fake proves a greater truth.)
(Gerry Studds, May 12,1937 - October 14, 2006. RIP
"He was somebody's brother
He was somebody's son")

Democrats clearly have also convicted Foley of being “Creepy while Gay,” an offense they never applied to Gerry Studds or Barney Frank.

Another interesting point. When Republicans bring up Gerry Studds having sex with a male page who was both a minor, reluctant, and a government employee at the time, the Democrats whine about Republicans exhuming a twenty-three-year old Democratic transgression. However, since much of the current Democratic leadership were comfortable working with Studds for fourteen years after he defied House censure, the question remains: Are only the actions of Gay Republicans suspicious?

A final point brought up by Mr. Silverstein: The Foley Follies couldn’t be an October surprise because so many Democrats knew of it long ago and did nothing. Again, this is a curious position taken by an apparently very incurious journalist who already has demonstrated that no one thought the e-mails they had seen proved anything except Foley was “overly friendly.”

So now Democrats have convicted him of “Overly Friendly while Gay.”

I am surprised Mr. Silverstein didn’t notice that nothing seemed significant to anyone until the almost-October debut of the salacious Instant Messages, which had been tucked away somewhere for about three years. Someone knew of them, someone had them, someone very recently released them.

Might I be so bold as to play journalist and ask: Who knew of the graphic three-year old Instant Messages, and when did they know of them?

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Is it as clear to you as it is to me, that if any Democrat knew of the existence of these Instant Messages for one, two, or three years, and did nothing about them, that that Democrat was far more concerned about mounting a political ambush on Republicans than he/she/it was concerned about a Republican mounting a page?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Pelosi - Democrat Page Protector

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Pelosi is still obstructing, and Reid is instructing her how to make a killing in Las Vegas real estate long after you sell it.

Nancy Pelosi turned down a suggestion from Speaker Dennis Hastert that they jointly appoint former FBI Director Louie Freeh to recommend improvements in the page program. She probably wanted Gerry Studds for the job.

"That was about protecting their majority" rather than the pages, she said dismissively.

Ah, the Democrats, protectors of pages. How soon we forget that in 1983, when the Democrats totally controlled Congress, and Tip O’Neill was Speaker, Congressman Gerry Studds, D-Mass., admitted he had sex many times in 1973 with a reluctant underage page, including on a European vacation, and continued serving in the House until he retired in 1997.

After Pelosi was elected in 1987, the Democratic leadership made Studds the Chairman , Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, in 1993. The Republican landslide in 1994 did not crush Studds, from ultra-liberal Massachusetts, but he lost his chairmanship and did not run for re-election in 1996.

When the Studds scandal broke, the Democrats didn’t worry about pages. Instead, they claimed that the “anti-gay crew worked hard to demonize him.” To Democrats, the issue was not protecting an underage government employee under their protection from a predatory superior, but of protecting a gay politician from the homophobes.

Ironically, Studd’s supporters (who also revere former Speaker Tip O’Neill as a god) are now rabid in their attacks on Foley and Speaker Hastert.

This issue is full of the rich stench of hypocrisy.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

E-Mailing While Gay - Democrats Convict Foley

Democratic strategist Bob Beckel, recently on Hannity & Colmes, Fox News, opened up several large cans of worms for Democrats. First, Mr. Beckel noted that the fact Mark Foley was gay should have raised questions in the minds of Republican House leaders when they were told of the “innocuous” e-mails he sent to pages. According to Mr. Beckel, the same Republican leadership criticized for intercepting messages from terrorists overseas should have intercepted communications because Foley was “e-mailing while gay.”

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To prove his point, Mr. Beckel stated that having a gay man around boys was like letting notorious bank robber “Slick” Willie Sutton hang around banks.

Did I just hear the Democratic Party flip and land on its ear? Didn’t the ACLU, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party (or is it the other way around?), just lose a lawsuit in the Supreme Court challenging the Boy Scouts' ban on gay Scoutmasters? I wonder which Democratic Party has the floor in the Foley fiasco?

Is it the Party of Democratic strategist Bob Beckel, who apparently feels that a gay who is friendly to boys should set off all sorts of alarms, or is it the Democratic Party of ACLU lawsuits against the Boy Scouts for excluding gays? Is it the party of the liberal movement in the Catholic Church, or the party condemning that leadership for not taking a tougher stand against gay priests? Is it the party that now seems to want to put gay teachers under a microscope, or the party that said criticism of "a brief consenting homosexual relationship"” between former Massachusetts Representative Gerry Studds and a page boy was a “witch hunt against gays.”

In the florid words of Washington Post columnist Colman McCarthy: "New England witch trials belong to the past, or so it is thought. This summer on Cape Cod, the reputation of Rep. Gerry Studds was burned at the stake by a large number of his constituents determined to torch the congressman for his private life."

What is that I hear, Democrats? Penetration of a minor is OK, provocation isn’t? As far as has been disclosed, Mark Foley invited pages for ice cream; Gerry Studds used liquor. When I was a teenager keeping score, taking a girl for ice cream was not even considered getting to first base. Democrats must feel that for a gay Republican, having ice cream together is a home run, and for a Democrat, buggering a page boy is only a bunt single.

So, Democrats, step up to the plate and call it. To help you, Ann Coulter has provided a handy rulebook for Democrats to judge leaders’ suitability:

- Boy Scouts: be as gay as you want
- Priests: no gays!
- Democratic politicians: proud gay Americans
- Republican politicians: presumed guilty, including all their Republican leadership
- White house press corps: no gays, unless they hate Bush
- Active duty US military: as gay as possible

To Ms. Coulter’s list I would add:

- Teachers: whatever the Teachers Union says
- Big Brothers: don’t ask, don’t tell

Are the Democrats who applauded Gerry Studds' defiance of House censure now the ones casting the first stones at Foley and at Republican leadership?

UPDATE: I added "Gerry Studds used liquor" because Democratic apologists have made a case that the page Studds seduced was 17, and the age of consent in Massachusetts was 16 at the time. I don't see how that makes any difference from a morals perspective, but Democrats are notoriously legalistic.

I would like to know if the law applied equally to boys propositioned by a superior and plied with alcohol? Also, it would seem that giving alcohol to someone under the age of 18 is and was illegal in just about every state. Then there is the issue of whether the sex was only in Massachusetts. It has been determined that Studds and the page had sex numerous times on a vacation in Europe. Is there a federal statute against interstate transport of a minor for immoral purposes?

I'll bet there is, and was.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Democrats as Prudes

Nothing can make a Democrat a prude faster than a Republican sex scandal. To Democrats, Republicans are guilty of inappropriate sexual activities if they make suggestive remarks to a page or an intern on the phone. Democrats feel this way because they know that Republicans consider any such conduct inappropriate, and will resign immediately upon being found out.

Other examples of inappropriate Republican sexual activities are going to a strip show, or renting a pornographic video. There is definitely no chance of Republican forgiveness if a Republican leader tells a state employee to “kiss it.”

However, Democrats certainly don’t care if Democrats engage in similar conduct. As far as sexual conduct between a Democrat and another individual goes, in which at least the Democrat is an adult, just about anything is permissible. One possible reason is that if a Democrat does it, the activities are not considered “sex,” whereas if a Republican does the same thing, everyone considers it sex.

As an example, a Democrat friend of mine noted that Bill Clinton did not lie about “not having sex with that woman” because oral sex is not sex. I’m sure her definition of what is and isn’t sex would make a lot of gay and lesbians examine their “sex” lives, which in many ways would be greatly reduced by the “oral sex is not sex” definition.

Forinstance, the definition that Democrats say protects Clinton from being branded a liar, that sex is not sex unless there is penetration of a vagina by a penis, totally eliminates all gay and lesbian “sex” from being called “sex.” Come to think of it, it eliminates a lot of heterosexual “sex” from being called “sex” too.

Following that same definition, the activities Gerry Studds engaged in with a 17-year old page boy were not sexual relations, because although there was a lot of penile penetration going on, not even one vagina was in evidence.

That is not to say that Democrats no longer engage in inappropriate sexual activities. Democrats still have Jesse Jackson, Gary Condit, Bill Clinton, tales of Ted Kennedy before his alcohol-induced impotence, and memories of JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr. and their legendary exploits.

But by redefining “sex” to give Bill Clinton an alibi, who would have thought it would be Democrats who eliminated so much sex in the world?