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January 24, 2009

Le Oops: Dysfunction and Dangerous Double Standards

 

 

From the “be careful what you wish for” dept., EU states who were long calling for the release of Gitmo detainees, now wary, realizing those who call Europe home will be heading there soon…

 

Here’s the money quote from the beginning of the article: “Across Europe, President Barack Obama's decision to shut the Guantanamo Bay prison has raised an awkward question: Which EU states that railed against the camp will offer new lives to released prisoners?”

 

This is classic liberalism in all its radiant glory. Here you have the Western leftist effete calling for the release of dangerous people, screaming that we mustn’t violate these terrorists’ rights, but also wanting to shield themselves from those terrorists once turned loose again on the rest of us. Best analogous perhaps to the recent illegal alien amnesty debate in the U.S. , where big business chiefs, the president, and members of congress all told us how terrible it was to deport the poor souls who entered our country illegally, even if a good number were mooches, actual criminals, and all of whose home country criminal histories were unknown.  While these elites were ranting about how “no person is illegal” and that walls are mean-spirited and never work, they continued to live in their secure walled compounds, safe from illegal alien and citizen alike and basking in double-standard hypocrisy.

 

Well clearly, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander and those in Europe, if they should choose to call for the release of these Gitmo detainees, should be willing to accept the consequences, too. If they think the terrorists are just “misunderstood”, let them show us by having them in their houses first, and then maybe we’ll believe them after we see that their own throats have not been cut.

 

My friends, it is time for a resurgence of democracy, and for that to happen, public officials need to be forced to obey the same laws, rules, and reality as the rest of us. If they do not want to live among terrorists, then they should not expect us to either. There is no logic in telling us that we are racist for not wanting our throats slit, but somehow they are not by wishing the same for themselves. Clearly, it is a power play and nothing else, designed to elevate them above us, where in reality, it is they, the public servant who should be equal, if not beneath us.

 

As for the EU, I ask: whatever happened to self-sacrifice for your convictions? To all such elitists, I ask: whither has gone the noble notion that the captain goes down with his ship? It is time that the elites’ noses be rubbed in the crap they dump on us, methinks.

 

 

Posted by Martin at 02:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 23, 2009

GOP Ultimatum for Dems: Play Nice or We Use Your Tricks

 

 

You’ve heard the expressions: turnabout is fair play, payback’s a b****, what goes around comes around, and so forth.

 

After eight years of ridiculous behavior on the part of much of the liberal organism throughout the country and on Capitol Hill, the rolls are now reversed.

 

Now we know the culprits are not all libs, but they are represented in the majority of leaders within the liberal ideology and the Democrat party. We also know that Bush was no saint, but let’s not be extremists, here...

 

 

 

It will be interesting to see these liberals now make the case for cooperation in government, for saying nice things about the president, for not being mean-spirited, being gracious, etc., when this clearly was not the chosen path for them.

 

Republicans should thus fight every judicial nominee, saddle Obama with every imaginable loathsome label a president could be stuck with, and refuse every cabinet appointment, conduct investigations in bogus criminal ties, the whole nine yards. If the Dems decide to go after Conservative alternative media, the Republicans should promise to return the favor once back in power (which always happens sooner or later) and go after mainstream liberal media. In other words, if you’re going to be the opposition party, you may as well do a good job of it.

 

Remember, it is not we who declared war on these libs, but they who have declared war on us; therefore, it is perfectly reasonable that we use proportional strength to counter strength. It is also necessary: If libs play dirty, they need to learn it hurts or they will continue doing so. It is they who escalated the lack of good will with their own childish behavior and it is they who must stand down and start being civil once more.

 

This is about more than winning the policy battle with Democrats, it is about restoring good will, tolerance, and respectful demeanor in the political process. We can come together and act like Americans who respectfully disagree on some issues and agree on others, as has been the case for the most part, but the onus is on the left to begin moving down off the ledge. Otherwise, we stop everything that is important because of the unfortunate childish behavior of the left, which  has forced us to take a stand to end the misbehavior. This should be a clarion call to the left: we are laying down the law and we are telling them how we are going to move forward. It doesn't matter which party is in power, if they refuse to act like Americans, we will shut them down.

 

The first thing liberal Democrats can do to show us they are ready to move out of diapers is to back off of any Bush administration witch-hunts, forget about silencing Constitutionally-protected opposition conservative talk-radio and the blogosphere, undo Pelosi’s recent changes to House rules, not send the IRS after political opponents, and so on. The liberal Dem leadership should also loudly condemn and prosecute threats by groups of rank and file lib citizens to commit violence and hate crimes and to create national instability every time they do not get their way, be it terrorizing church goers, harassing businesses who employ private citizens who dared contribute to a ballot initiative with which the libs did not agree, or what the libs were ready to do had Obama lost: carry out shootings, bombings, and other violence, which of course Conservatives would not then or now lower themselves to do.

 

Without such a sea change among our pre-school friends across the aisle, Obama should look forward to chants of "no war for oil", "don't hate the poor", "Hitler", "don't pay off your greedy pals", "criminal"..."selected not elected", but also endless filibusters and other moves by elected Republicans to literally suck the oil out of the engine of government. After all, turnabout is fair play, and, as Obama’s own White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said, crisis is opportunity. Never mind that Americans will soon be suffering Obama-fatigue syndrome from the wall-to-wall media and pop culture worship of him from bathroom stalls to soda cans and music download sites to every magazine cover in the check-out line, it could indeed be a very long two-to-four years for Democrats in Washington.

 

 

 

Posted by Martin at 02:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 15, 2009

Reagan's First Inaugural Address: 1981

 

 

Inauguration Day is just a few more days away now.

 

The City is abuzz with visitors and dignitaries visiting from out of town or across borders and oceans, the air is crisp with the frost of January.

 

For over two hundred years presidents elected by the people in an unrivaled tradition of liberty and representative government found nowhere else in the world have stood and taken their oath of office either on this day or in March as it was originally set forth and later amended in our Constitution.

 

So in the spirit of that great tradition we celebrate every four years, let us remember a leader who understood what it means to be an American: Ronald Reagan. From January 20th, 1981, this is the first of his two inaugural speeches. Below this video you will find the full text of the speech.

 

Amazingly, Reagan's words have proven timeless, but perhaps it shouldn't amaze any of us, since the truth remains a constant. What should amaze us, however, is how much men repeat the same errors which brought them to the place of needing to hear the solution once more. It is, perhaps, less a failure of ours than those in the halls of power who must constantly be reminded it is they who are there to serve the people and not the people who were placed on this earth to serve them. However, if the effete would fully realize their desires, we would become like every sad nation our forefathers had fled when they came here to start new lives in the first place. Those forefathers began a new tradition, breaking with the old of subjugation and maltreatment of the people by their governments, and against the cynical predictions of many, that better tradition lives on today; in fact, it thrives. We are Americans, and as such we have a rich tradition of honor, freedom, fierce independence, and the ability to do what for others was thought to be impossible; in fact, we’ve proven this time and again. As President Reagan said in his address some 28 years ago next week,

 

Under one such marker lies a young man, Martin Treptow, who left his job in a small town barbershop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.

 

We're told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading "My Pledge," he had written these words: "America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone."

 

The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together with God's help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.

 

And after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans.

 

 

 

 

Inaugural Address

West Front of the U.S. Capitol

January 20, 1981

 

 

Senator Hatfield, Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. President, Vice President Bush, Vice President Mondale, Senator Baker, Speaker O'Neill, Reverend Moomaw, and my fellow citizens.

 

To a few of us here today this is a solemn and most momentous occasion, and yet in the history of our nation it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place, as it has for almost two centuries, and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-four-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.

 

Mr. President, I want our fellow citizens to know how much you did to carry on this tradition. By your gracious cooperation in the transition process, you have shown a watching world that we are a united people pledged to maintaining a political system which guarantees individual liberty to a greater degree than any other, and I thank you and your people for all your help in maintaining the continuity which is the bulwark of our republic. The business of our nation goes forward. These United States are confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions. We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people.

 

Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, human misery, and personal indignity. Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.

 

But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending. For decades we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children's future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.

 

You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we're not bound by that same limitation? We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding: We are going to begin to act, beginning today.

 

The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we as Americans have the capacity now, as we've had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.

 

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

 

We hear much of special interest groups. Well, our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we're sick--professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truck drivers. They are, in short, "we the people," this breed called Americans.

 

Well, this administration's objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides equal opportunities for all Americans, with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination. Putting America back to work means putting all Americans back to work. Ending inflation means freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs. All must share in the productive work of this "new beginning," and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy. With the idealism and fair play which are the core of our system and our strength, we can have a strong and prosperous America, at peace with itself and the world.

 

So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government--not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.

 

It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the federal government and those reserved to the states or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government.

 

Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it's not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work--work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.

 

If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay the price.

 

It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is time for us to realize that we're too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We're not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope.

 

We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we're in a time when there are no heroes, they just don't know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter, and they're on both sides of that counter. There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They're individuals and families whose taxes support the government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet, but deep. Their values sustain our national life.

 

Now, I have used the words "they" and "their" in speaking of these heroes. I could say "you" and "your," because I'm addressing the heroes of whom I speak--you, the citizens of this blessed land. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this administration, so help me God.

 

We shall reflect the compassion that is so much a part of your makeup. How can we love our country and not love our countrymen; and loving them, reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they're sick, and provide opportunity to make them self-sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory?

 

Can we solve the problems confronting us? Well, the answer is an unequivocal and emphatic "yes." To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I did not take the oath I've just taken with the intention of presiding over the dissolution of the world's strongest economy.

 

In the days ahead I will propose removing the roadblocks that have slowed our economy and reduced productivity. Steps will be taken aimed at restoring the balance between the various levels of government. Progress may be slow, measured in inches and feet, not miles, but we will progress. It is time to reawaken this industrial giant, to get government back within its means, and to lighten our punitive tax burden. And these will be our first priorities, and on these principles there will be no compromise.

 

On the eve of our struggle for independence a man who might have been one of the greatest among the Founding Fathers, Dr. Joseph Warren, president of the Massachusetts Congress, said to his fellow Americans, "Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of . . . On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important questions upon which rests the happiness and the liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves." Well, I believe we, the Americans of today, are ready to act worthy of ourselves, ready to do what must be done to ensure happiness and liberty for ourselves, our children, and our children's children. And as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater strength throughout the world. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope for those who do not now have freedom.

 

To those neighbors and allies who share our freedom, we will strengthen our historic ties and assure them of our support and firm commitment. We will match loyalty with loyalty. We will strive for mutually beneficial relations. We will not use our friendship to impose on their sovereignty, for our own sovereignty is not for sale. As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it, now or ever.

 

Our forbearance should never be misunderstood. Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will. When action is required to preserve our national security, we will act. We will maintain sufficient strength to prevail if need be, knowing that if we do so we have the best chance of never having to use that strength. Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors. I'm told that tens of thousands of prayer meetings are being held on this day, and for that I'm deeply grateful. We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if on each Inaugural Day in future years it should be declared a day of prayer.

 

This is the first time in our history that this ceremony has been held, as you've been told, on the West Front of the Capitol. Standing here, one faces a magnificent vista, opening up on the city's special beauty and history. At the end of this open mall are those shrines to the giants on whose shoulders we stand.

 

Directly in front of me, the monument to a monumental man, George Washington, father of our country. A man of humility who came to greatness reluctantly. He led Americans out of revolutionary victory into infant nationhood. Off to one side, the stately memorial to Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence flames with his eloquence. And then, beyond the Reflecting Pool, the dignified columns of the Lincoln Memorial. Whoever would understand in his heart the meaning of America will find it in the life of Abraham Lincoln.

 

Beyond those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery, with its row upon row of simple white markers bearing crosses of Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom. Each one of those markers is a monument to the kind of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, the Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno, and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam.

 

Under one such marker lies a young man, Martin Treptow, who left his job in a small town barbershop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.

 

We're told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading "My Pledge," he had written these words: "America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone."

 

The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together with God's help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.

 

And after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans.

 

God bless you, and thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

More of Reagan's speeches can be found here: http://www.reaganfoundation.org/reagan/speeches/

 

 

Posted by Martin at 01:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 14, 2009

Bush's Achievements

Seven or So Things The President Got Wrong

 

 

Fred Barnes posted an article the other day in his generally pro forma Rockefellerist shill style listing the “ten great achievements” of the Bush presidency.

 

In his piece, "Bush's Achievements: Ten things the president got right," Mr. Barnes claims the Bush Presidency “was far more successful than not”, particularly noting Bush’s courage as deserving of “special recognition”. Barnes went on to imply that Mr. Bush demonstrated this trait of courage even more than the great President Ronald Reagan, much, no doubt, to the consternation of conservatives. Then again, Barnes is a "post-Reagan" (really a pre-Reagan) RINO, so that is nothing new.

 

Now that Fred’s pitch has reached the utter height of what surely even he knows is hyperbole, let us take a look at each of these enumerated feats of greatness for which the RINOs believe they, like the liberals’ Franklin D. Roosevelt and the conservatives’ Ronald Reagan, finally have their man (after all, there was so much hope lost when Nixon fell flat).

 

Let’s begin where we should, which is where Fred began: The torpedoing of the Kyoto protocol. Fred is correct that this was a wise, common sense thing to do; it was not to be enforced with China or India – two of the world’s biggest polluters – and it would have hamstrung the American economy, as radical environmentalism not only does, but in fact is designed to do. Here, I agree.  However, Bush did not do it to stand against global warming hysteria; in fact, he did little to stand against it, choosing instead to come across as wishy-washy and willing to cede invalid premise after invalid premise much the same way John McCain did. While it is true that eventually the lie was put to any so-called consensus among scientists regarding anthropogenic global warming, Bush was not a key player in bringing this about. Sorry Fred, please don’t cry on your popsicle stick.

 

Now for Fred’s number two area of great goodness wrought by President Bush, I can agree with both Barnes and Krauthammer here; yet, for all of the terrorists Bush caught and interrogated, we still do not know how many have crossed into the U.S.  via the Mexican and Canadian borders, because President Bush was far more interested in helping his friends make money off of cheap slave labor rather than protecting the country from hostile foreign entities. In short, Bush was great with terrorists he caught and it’s just too bad he wasn’t as willing as he should to catch them.

 

Additionally, Fred’s reference to Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus is both specious and dangerous, the latter in two ways: First it is dangerous because it promotes a time in which countless members of the press and American civilians were arrested without cause for simply being political dissenters to Lincoln’s agenda. In fact, prior to Maryland’s vote on secession, Lincoln had countless Marylanders arrested without charge in order to prevent the state from following what at the time was considered by many a constitutionally protected right: that of dissolving union (in fact, in the 1840s, 50s, and earlier, many New England states had considered secession in order to mitigate the increasing economic influence it feared from the South). The second reason it is dangerous is that Barnes equates Bush’s treatment of illegal foreign combatants to that by Lincoln of U.S. citizens; in so doing, Barnes does the footwork of the left, which could then say that the rights of illegal foreign combatants and U.S. citizens are equal. Bad move, but then RINO logic usually doesn’t run too deep, anyway. While there are reasonable temporary actions which must be taken during national emergencies measured against the nature of the emergency, Bush’s actions in Gitmo are nothing other than standard operating military procedure undertaken against those captured on the battlefield without uniform and conforms to the international law of armed conflict, as agreed to by its signatories around the world. Bush’s policy at Gitmo, therefore, is not comparable to Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, which was an extreme and inappropriate power grab by a president who was fully aware the Confederacy had no intention of destroying Washington or the North.

 

“Bush's third achievement was the rebuilding of presidential authority, badly degraded in the era of Vietnam, Watergate, and Bill Clinton.” Bill Clinton was naturally a mixed bag, in that while his presidency was weakened significantly by his various scandals, it was also strengthened through his repeated use of executive orders and by some of the backroom deals made during his time in office to keep himself in the game. It is true, however, that Bush did succeed in strengthening the executive by defending the right of the office to make the decisions enumerated to it by the Constitution and keeping its own internal and confidential meetings and such private just the same way that congress does. As Barnes quotes Cheney as aptly saying of congressman Henry Waxman, he "doesn't call me up and tell me who he's meeting with."

 

“Achievement number four was Bush's unswerving support for Israel. Reagan was once deemed Israel's best friend in the White House. Now Bush can claim the title.” Really? I’ll give Bush credit for not being as anti-Israel  as the Clinton or Carter administrations, but as much a friend as Reagan? Perhaps Mr. Barnes should also take a look at the records of the two secretaries of State the president appointed. Indeed, Rice was better than Powell, but their constant pressure on Israel to forfeit land for “peace” and a policy of constant retreat has now cost countless Israeli lives and endangered millions more. Hamas and Hezbollah have been allowed to build up arms and further their training, aided by Iran, Syria, and Russia with very little if any real public criticism from the U.S. , while any real criticism of Arafat was muted by the legitimacy the State Department conferred on the known terrorist, whose arm patch to his death displayed the entire land of Israel as land claimed by his group (translation, Arafat to his death never wavered in his call for the total annihilation of Israel). Because Bush was criticized for his support of Israel does not mean he was a good champion of Israel; rather, it is simply par for the course for those who hate America and the left, who will continue to show displeasure with any policy short of outright hatred for Israel. Once again, RINO thought is a mile wide and an inch deep.

 

His fifth success was No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the education reform bill cosponsored by America's most prominent liberal Democratic senator Edward Kennedy. The teachers' unions, school boards, the education establishment, conservatives adamant about local control of schools--they all loathed the measure and still do. It requires two things they ardently oppose, mandatory testing and accountability.

 

 – As is the case with many RINO policies, this is long on assertions and short on proof of any success. In fact, in this case, Barnes offers no proof at all of NCLB success. While part of the policy is laudable in making teachers more accountable, it neither is the federal government’s place nor is it best done by the federal government to micromanage education, which is best handled on the local level. Bush does get some credit for supporting tuition tax credits for poor families to be able to send their children to private schools – after all, competition is what works – but he was somehow completely unable to get such a policy enacted even with bicameral Republican control of congress. Thus, Bush’s education score card gets a big “F”.  As for Fred Barnes’ ceding the argument of the left that conservatives do not know what’s best for education, we find again RINO thought both damaging to the Republican cause and ignorant of the facts; conservatives generally hold a far deeper sense of importance of education than many of those over-fed former frat boy RINOs.

 

“Sixth, Bush declared in his second inaugural address in 2005 that American foreign policy (at least his) would henceforth focus on promoting democracy around the world. This put him squarely in the Reagan camp…” This is both on the face and in fact untrue. What Bush promoted was at best, strategic democracy; that is to say, democracy in states otherwise deemed both an immediate threat to American interests by the Bush administration and comparatively easy to tackle. At the same time, Bush continued to see butterflies and fairies in Vladimir Putin’s soul and dollar signs in Hu Jintao’s even as those leaders not only continued to accelerate their abuse of fundamental human rights and liberties in their respective countries, but began exporting their misery abroad both militarily and through soft power. Bush, rather than coherently and realistically pushing for democracy in Russia and freedom among its “near abroad”, simply embarked on a policy course which simply followed Clinton’s lead on Russia with far too few improvements and acted as an irritating fly on a horse more so than a convincing defender of democracy.

 

Meanwhile, Africa continues to fall to the neo-imperial Sino slave machine, while Latin American does also and increasingly falls under the sway of Russia, China, and Iran. Bush’s answer in Africa was to offer aid to AIDS sufferers and some limited investment, which was noble and greatly lauded, but inadequate from a strategic standpoint. In Latin America, Bush mostly offered a hand to Colombia and called it good. Bush has also continued liberal trade with China, a declared hostile regime which has promised to nuke Los Angeles if hostilities erupt over Taiwan. Such trade makes the U.S. economically vulnerable to China and also allows China access to dual-use technology that could be directly used against us in war. Bush has meanwhile continued to wage war on the tactic of terrorism while not forthrightly dealing with the states which are sponsoring the states which sponsor the terrorism; again, Russia and China. Because of this, many in the Pentagon (and in Russia and China) believe we are on the verge of a new Cold War, this one far less to our advantage than the last. Democracy around the world (let alone protecting it here in America)? Fail.

 

The seventh achievement is the Medicare prescription drug benefit, enacted in 2003. It's not only wildly popular; it has cost less than expected by triggering competition among drug companies. Conservatives have deep reservations about the program. But they shouldn't have been surprised. Bush advocated the drug benefit in the 2000 campaign. And if he hadn't acted, Democrats would have, with a much less attractive result.

 

Wildly popular, Fred says, but then again Fred suddenly becomes ignorant of the most wildly popular issue with the public ever to hit Washington during the Bush administration: enforcing the borders and as such enforcing existing laws designed to protect Americans from unlawfully present foreign nationals who can carry disease, add cost to the penal, education, and healthcare systems, and introduce acts of terrorism. For that “wildly popular” notion, Fred calls its proponents ugly things like “hate-mongers” “restrictionists” “racists”. Finally, Fred’s notion that the Democrats would have done it if Bush had done nothing seems to make the point for me here: a lot of things Democrats wish to do that conservatives won’t: make abortion legal and often under every circumstance and for any age, pull us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, introduce socialized medicine… you get the point. If our goal here is to simply find what the Democrats want done and be the ones to do it first, then why don’t we just become Democrats? Oh, I know why: because the GOP is supposed to be a club for people who are just too stuffy to be Democrats, otherwise known as the “Democrats in Plaid Golf Pants Club”.

 

Then there were John Roberts and Sam Alito. In putting them on the Supreme Court and naming Roberts chief justice, Bush achieved what had eluded Richard Nixon, Reagan, and his own father. Roberts and Alito made the Court indisputably more conservative. And the good news is Roberts, 53, and Alito, 58, should be justices for decades to come.

 

Alas, Fred Barnes and I are mostly in agreement. It’s too bad, though, that Bush didn’t get there on his own; instead, the president merely careened down the appointment road, requiring significant intervention along the way in order to avoid the disaster that would have been the appointment of Harriet Miers. Meanwhile, his allies who controlled the Senate failed to get most of his other judicial appointments on track for those six years, leaving a horrible gap certain to be filled by an in-coming Obama administration.

 

“Bush's ninth achievement has been widely ignored. He strengthened relations with east Asian democracies (Japan, South Korea, Australia) without causing a rift with China.” Indeed, the second half of this sentence alone tells us something is seriously wrong: Beginning with the EP-3 reconnaisance aircraft incident in April of 2001, the Bush administration has gone out of its way to act as if the U.S. were a vassal of China, seeking the country’s approval for nearly every policy and apologizing ahead of time for any pro-human rights statements the President was obliged to make from time to time. This Nixonian appeasement policy is a proven failure in our history, which of course is why the RINOs love it so much. Incidentally, I don’t mean so much Nixon’s olive branch to China (although that was of questionable wisdom in many respects), but Nixon (as well as Ford’s and Carter’s) appeasement of our great enemy of their time, the Soviet Union. All three presidents pursued ever-opening trade of technology and goods with the Soviets and ignored the USSR’s increasing strategic threat until it was almost too late. One of Reagan’s first acts as president, by contrast, was to turn a deaf ear to the Chamber of Commerce where it conflicted with national security by significantly reducing or eliminating certain kinds of trade with the Soviets which could be harmful to the U.S. were war to break out.

 

“On top of that, he forged strong ties with India. An important factor was their common enemy, Islamic jihadists. After 9/11, Bush made the most of this, and Indian leaders were receptive. His state dinner for Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh in 2006 was a lovefest.”

 

Barnes is right on this fact, India is an important ally; however, allowing call centers to be moved to India also put the personal data of thousands and perhaps millions of Americans at risk; negative far bigger than the annoyance of poorly-understood English. For this reason, the U.S. government had a compelling interest to block such outsourcing.

 

Finally, a no-brainer: the surge. Bush prompted nearly unanimous disapproval in January 2007 when he announced he was sending more troops to Iraq and adopting a new counterinsurgency strategy. His opponents initially included the State Department, the Pentagon, most of Congress, the media, the foreign policy establishment, indeed the whole world. This makes his decision a profile in courage. Best of all, the surge worked. Iraq is now a fragile but functioning democracy.

 

Finally, a no-brainer, indeed. Mostly. Unfortunately, even Bush had to be sold on the idea of a surge; it was, after all, John McCain who was largely behind the idea. I am no fan of John McCain, but credit should go first to where credit is due.

 

I suppose that two or three out of ten isn’t bad, though. After all, Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama would have likely failed every one. But this is far removed from Reagan, and certainly not as courageous. Courage isn’t going along with establishment beltway insiders against the people; courage is standing up to that establishment for the people, which, as history has been our guide from the Kennedy and Reagan eras, sometimes gets you shot and 50% of the time gets you dead. Further, there is no courage in handing out pardons to convicted cocaine dealers with weapons violations or white collar criminals, while allowing two border agents you know full-well are nothing more than political prisoners who acted against an unspoken rule to be put away by the crooked U.S. Prosecutor Johnny Sutton for ten years of hard time. That unspoken rule of course is and always has been under the Bush administration: thou shalt not touch the in-bound Latin American slave, for he hath been bequeathed to the Big Business plantation owner. My sincere hope is that I am wrong about this, that President Bush knows something that we do not and that these two men,  Ramos and Campian, are evil, dangerous men who did something horrible but also classified so that the administration was forced to keep the real reason of their arrests under wraps. Otherwise, for this last lack of courage on Bush’s part he deserves neither praise nor the words “kind” or “Christian” attached to him in any way, which would be a truly sad thing to have to say, given his countless hours spent with the families of soldiers wounded and killed, which indeed was an honorable act. Of course, it would have been helpful for morale also for some Reaganesque investment in our military size and readiness.

 

“How does Bush rank as a president?” Barnes may be right that history may judge him better, once the sealed documents are finally opened, things have had a chance to slowly leak into the public domain and the policy decisions are judged on a broader historical scale. Will he succeed in being judged kindly? At present doubtful: despite his overtures to liberals, they will never like him because he wasn’t liberal enough. And unfortunately, Bush didn’t do much to reform education, so liberals for the most part still write the text books. However, a “fair and balanced” exploration into the Bush administration is likely not to churn up anything impressive, either. Certainly nothing on the order of Ronald Reagan or FDR. Indeed, the Rockefellerists will still likely be without their great leader. Understandably, unless you are simply to rank a great president by his ability to extend executive power alone, filling that spot is a bit harder for RINOs than for liberals or conservatives; after all, finding one who achieves greatness in mediocrity is in its very face a paradox.

 

 

Posted by Martin at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2009

France TV Using Old Pix to Impugn Current Israeli Ops

Worse: Photos were of Palestinians murdered in 2005…by Hamas

 

 

So we had the fake murders of Palestinian civilians by Israeli troops.

 

This, of course, was reported by most world media without the little detail about the Israeli’s acting in self defense against attackers using those now-dead Palestinians as human shields (which, by the way, not that anyone will notice, but was a violation of the law of international armed conflict by Hamas). We also got, as we did in the Hezbollah war in 2006, UN officials cooperating with the terrorists and covering for them, then crying foul when Israelis opened fire on those UN installations. Then there were the fake Reuters articles and Photoshopped news photos in 2006 and the one the other day telling us how bad the Israelis were for once more bombing a UN school. The article managed to cover every minute detail including taking the time to describe how a donkey lay dead in the street among the scattered human dead, except for the part where Hamas terrorists fired mortars on Israelis from the school, apparently with no protest by the UN school officials.

 

Now French Public TV channel 2 (also known as French state-run media) has been caught doctoring the news, so to speak, by showing photos of Palestinians who it claimed were victims of present Israeli Air Force attacks. However, unfortunately for Israel-hating Frenchmen everywhere, it eventually came to light that the station had used photos from 2005 of Palestinians killed by Hamas, when a truck smuggling explosives suddenly…exploded killing several bystanders. This comes on the heels of France being one of the only Western countries to side with Hamas in the current conflict (ironically, it Egypt did not see it France’s way).  And just when we thought the French were becoming more civilized.

 

According to QassamCount.com, close to 40 rockets have been fired on Israel in the past two days alone, with thousands more during the years before Israel finally stood up to stop it. Close to 8,700 since the year 2000, to be precise (Thanks to MaggiesNotebook.blogspot.com for keeping a tally as well). Another source giving details about just the rocket attacks in 2008 is Wikipedia. Although it’s always good to double check what Wikipedia publishes, in this case its information seems consistent with other sources.

 

Clearly the French and other world media continue to go to bat for bloodthirsty terrorists, and one can only ask why, especially in light of the obvious facts. When Hamas fires rockets by the thousands into Israel with the express purpose of killing civilians, it isn’t even reported; yet, when Israel responds to defend itself, it’s suddenly attacked in the media as the aggressor ruthlessly bombing and killing little Palestinian girls whenever possible. What the media leaves out, of course, is that the civilians most often die when they are being used as human shields by Hamas. The use of Palestinians by Hamas as human shields (by firing missiles and other weapons from and hiding out among civilians - not to mention setting booby traps throughout Gaza which end up killing children and other unsuspecting Palestinians) is an egregious violation of the international law of armed conflict. One may visit UN.org to find out more about international law and the law of armed conflict.

 

Yet the press and academia continue to treat Hamas as a legitimate party rather than a terrorist group, in spite of the fact that Hamas is listed by the State Department (PDF) as a terrorist organization. And those on the left, don’t count on the Obama State Department departing from that any time soon, either; Obama will likely see the security writing on the wall with this one. Hamas is labeled so both for its continued acts of terrorism and the continued call for the total destruction of Israel as a state among Hamas members, including Mahmoud Zahar, a co-founder of the organization and a current member of its leadership. Perhaps it is less PC to say “terrorist” these days, however, so how about “hate group”. Here is Hamas in its own words:

 

“We will not rest until we destroy the Zionist entity" - Hamas leader Fathi Hammad in Gaza - January 2nd 2009

 

"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him." - Article 7 of the Hamas Covenant

 

In addition to these quotes, follow this link to watch several videos where Hamas not only calls for the destruction of Israel and indiscriminate murder of Jews, it uses children in the process: http://www.pmw.org.il/tv-hamas.htm

 

A Council on Foreign Relations article points out that although Hamas has performed some acts of charity among Palestinians, it also maintains an extremely violent, terrorist side. One might argue that Hitler did some nice things for white racist Germans, including great child care, health care, and other social services, but we can certainly agree this does not undo the evil that was the German Reich for its manifold crimes against humanity against Jews, gays, Christians, Gypsies, competing types of militant socialists, the weak and infirm, and so on.

 

Another thing worth noting is the criticism coming from the Arab world against Hamas. The editorial this blog links to is but one of many unofficial and government voices in the Arab community at present. My friend Chaim Szmidt at Freedom’s Cost blog quotes from a Kuwaiti commentator. But there are certainly others.  In fact, so pervasive is the criticism coming out of Arab and Muslim media that even the Iranian government is in a tizzy shutting down newspapers critical of Hamas for stirring up the IDF. It’s a shame Western media isn’t half as fair these days as even the Arabs are.

 

As we know, Hamas is a militant arm of the Iranian government. Yesterday, Turkey  announced it had intercepted a suspicious shipment between the governments of Iran and Venezuela. What does the Arab world see that the Western media is ignoring? Perhaps that this is far bigger than anything having to do with Israel; it has a lot to do with a power grab going on by a strange alliance of Iran,  Syria and their allies in one sense, and a power grab by Russia seeking to use Iran, Syria, their allies, and terrorist groups to gain more power over the oil market and control prices, among other short and long term goals.

 

Remember all of those "charitable" projects in which Hamas is engaged? Let’s look at how Hamas, in violation of international law, educates its children to be combatants:  

 

 

 

Hamas kills Palestinians regularly. In the video below, it’s for daring to sing in public. Watch as Hamas shows up and shoots up a wedding party, killing the groom. After this, more clips in this video show acts of violence against Palestinians by Hamas in broad daylight for no other reason than their support of the Abbas government and other things that will make any humane, decent person's blood boil. The narrator, who is critical of Hamas, is Arab:

 

 

 

Here's part two:

 

 

 

Here's a Palestinian girl who may not long live after blaming Hamas for the deaths of her family:

 

 

 

Hamas launching its rockets, reminiscent of the German V2s, which terrorist England during World War II:

 

 

 

Meanwhile, most of the Western media and academia turn and look away, "Pallywood" is shown here staging events for the cameras:

 

 

 

The impact of the Qassam rockets on ordinary Israelis (now how would you react to such daily attacks; how did the English react to constant missile bombardment by the Nazis?):

 

 

 

(Videos above courtesy Chaim’s blog.)

 

Hamas is a terrorist organization. Worse, they are a terrorist organization whose members repeatedly call for genocide. “But that is the Third World,” you say. “What of those ‘moderate’ Hamas supporters right here in the United States?”  Perhaps you’re right, perhaps there are more moderate elements in the United States; one then has to be in awe of how extreme the extremists in the Middle East are then:

 

This video depicts the haters the Left defends at all costs, claiming they're the victims of Nazi-style intolerance on the part of Israel. But did you catch who was chanting "Go back to the ovens"? This is exactly why the pro-terrorist paradox on the left is indefensible. As I've stated before, how can the left both defend Nazism and in the same breath accuse Israel of being heartless Nazis? And just think the people in this video are just starter-terrorists. These guys are Islamists-lite! As Trento tells us, just imagine how they would be acting in Paris or London or someplace in the Middle East where there are no Ft. Lauderdale police to keep them at bay?

 

 

So why then is it alright for the British to defend themselves when attacked by German rockets during World War II, but it is not alright for Israelis to defend themselves when attacked by Hamas rockets in 2009? Of course, the answer to this question is impossible, and that’s why the Western media simply ignore it.

 

 

RELATED:

 

Danish schools now refusing to admit Jewish children in order to appease likely violent Arab students and parents. Vidkun Quisling would be proud.

 

"Stop This Vicious Slaughter! England Must Stop Waging War on the Nazis!" A fun little piece of satire courtesy, amazingly enough, the Huffington Post. Hat tip to Freedom's Cost blog for this one and to the article for two Hamas quotes earlier in this post.

 

UPDATE: CNN Reports "unknown" group has begun firing rockets into Israel from Lebanon. Assuming this is Hezbollah, things may have just gotten more interesting: a proxy war between Israel and an Iran-Syria axis, which in turn are proxies for Russia. As a bonus, such an overt axis would prove yet again that Shiite and Sunni work happily together when it suits them. (05.00 CST)

 

 

 

Posted by Martin at 04:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 04, 2009

More Gun-Free Madness for the Law-Abiding in Aussie

New Page 3

 

 

Why is it dangerous to declaw your cat? Because one day he will probably get out of the house and encounter a wild animal or some fully-operational outlaw cats.

 

For this and other reasons, there’s a general consensus that declawing your cat is inhumane. Then there is Australia, whose elites treat their people worse than most agree we should treat our cats.

 

Painfully or ironically you get to choose, since the effective outlawing of civilian firearms in Australia, violent crime involving a firearm has drastically risen, not abated. Now that guns have become the bane of the civilized, even those going into law enforcement are too scared of them and inexperienced to know how to use one to uphold the law:

 

Australian police spend two million on a shooting simulator because their officers have so little firearms experience they are afraid to use their own guns.” – Fark, 03 January, 2009.

 

In unrelated news, China invaded Australia today without firing a shot.

 

Of course, the best way to handle fear of real guns is to give new recruits fake guns with which to practice. Liberals, of course, believe that fake guns are the same as real ones, which is why they want to outlaw fake guns, too. Police and those familiar with guns (apparently not fully overlapping groups in Australia), understand, however, that is a lot of hooey.  (By the way, police have already spoken up saying that Nintendo Wii doesn’t replace live-fire training.)

 

Meanwhile, those on the left are angst-ridden police fear of firearms may actually cause them to shoot more innocent bystanders rather than not shoot those who need killin’. Even worse, it may cause police to shoot liberals’ favorite constituent and protected class: the criminal (i.e. the one that needs killin’). Heaven forbid. Although, predictably, the liberal logic soon falls apart: If being taught by society that honest people should fear firearms (as is going on in Australia) causes them to use them more, why would liberals in Australia want to push that message that lowly commoners should fear firearms so much? Of course, the left doesn’t think “fear leads to hatred and hatred leads to the dark side”; they just see a big spending program they hope earns them brownie points with Aussie police as a win-win, and they’ve conveniently lost their notes from the last issue as they dig around for something with which to win this one, like fear and ignorance of guns causes more gun crime. Did I mention the left is insincere?  

 

And remember what the Aussie elites promised when they grabbed everyone’s guns? Don’t worry, the police have ye covered, mates. Just sit back, relax, and throw another prawn on the barbie. So if your idea of security is Barney Fief careening down the street and waddling over from his car 30 minutes after the crime, then you will love what libs in Aussie have for you!  

 

As a local Dallas talk radio personality, Jonathan David Wells, likes to remind us when he does his ads for a local gun range: “When seconds count, police are only minutes away”.  

 

We know this is true with a lot of things, actually, which is why when someone has a heart attack, we rush to get out the defibrillator we bought a few months ago, which is now marketed to the home and office. However, unfortunately in Australia, death by murder is not something you have any right to prevent. Your next move instead when a criminal breaks into your house or business and flashes his gun, if you are the lucky survivor, will be to call CSI and a local Servpro cleanup crew; hopefully, the latter operates in Australia. Whatever you do, though, don’t touch the criminal. He has rights, you know.

 

I guess in a former colony of criminals, one might say it’s unsurprising all of this criminal coddling and hostility toward the victims; yet, as we already so painfully know, it’s equally as bad in Canada and the UK at present and things could get kind of interesting right here in the U.S. over the next few years. The reality is that a nanny state does no more to protect its people from real danger than raising a wild animal as a pet prepares him for being turned loose one day in the wild. In fact, it’s the most inhumane thing anyone could do.

 

When claws are outlawed, only outlaws will have claws.

 

 

 

Posted by Martin at 12:41 AM | Comments (0)