Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Misunderestimated

Again, in response to comments below I point out the conclusion to an excellent piece by Amir Taheri in the WSJ:

Those who have based their strategy on waiting Mr. Bush out may find to their cost that they have, once again, misread not only American politics but the realities of a world far more complex than it was even a decade ago. Mr. Bush may be a uniquely decisive, some might say reckless, leader. But a visitor to the U.S. soon finds out that he represents the American mood much more than the polls suggest.

The MSM has also misread the current situation here in the US - the momentum has shifted against them, and though they still hold enormous sway, their tide is ebbing. They are losing credibility by the day, and Americans have no reason to trust them again since we have so many more trustworthy, accurate, and intellectually honest sources to rely upon.

I make a point to withhold my support from all MSM outlets by refusing to watch or read them when at all possible, and I share my position with anyone with whom the topic comes up. Among my peers I have been very surprised by the number of people who share my views, which gives me much hope that the cause is anything but lost.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

A few quick points

An interesting comment on my last post makes me feel the need to clarify a couple things:

1) I'm pretty sure that the MSM is going to attack and misrepresent President Bush for the foreseeable future. However, when he speaks directly to the public either in speeches or in Q&A or interviews with the media he stands a better chance of getting his message across untainted than if he communicates only through press releases and spokesmen. I think he would do well to grant some interviews to bloggers and radio hosts (Hugh Hewitt maybe?) - they are some of his most intelligent supporters, and an exclusive with the president would go a long way toward legitimizing the medium.

2) The media cannot tear the country apart. People can tear the country apart, but the people of our country are far too lazy to do any such thing. The people of our country do not realize that we are a Nation at war. If they come to realize that we are at war they won't tear the country apart, they'll just tear their newspapers and TV sets apart and seek real news (and truth) elsewhere. We may not be far from such a day, but I fear that Americans would like nothing more than to be lulled back into daydreams of a 9/10 world and ignore the reality of Islamofacism.

3) I do not think the President should attack his opponents, but he certainly should hold them to the standard of truth. He should not accept false premises - he should set the record straight just as he did with Helen Thomas last week. Of course, as Commander in Chief, he must represent his political friends and foes alike, just as those of us in the military protect the rights of the protesters who abhor us. This doesn't mean that he has to let them get away with constant rejection of reality - our country is based upon objective truth and the rule of law, and he should be unapologetic about reminding his opponents of that fact.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Keep it coming

I've been listening to some clips from the President's press conference - I was definitely encouraged. He needs to go VFR direct (to use a little pilot lingo) to the American people as often as he can. Here's the transcript, but listen to or watch it if you can.

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Needed: term limits

The San Diego Union Tribune points to the real spending problem - not pork, but entitlements.

But for at least 25 years, our leaders – Republican and Democrat alike – have seen the baby boomer entitlement crush coming and done nothing about it.

No real change will occur to fix Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid without term limits for members of Congress.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

A mystery

An AP article strikes me as odd:

Amazon.com Inc. said Monday it had modified the way its search engine handles queries for the term ''abortion'' after receiving an e-mail complaint that the results appeared biased.

Until the recent change, a user who visited the Seattle Internet retailer and typed in the word ''abortion'' received a prompt asking, ''Did you mean adoption?'' followed by search results for ''abortion.''


First, why would someone be upset if, after searching for the latest hardback bestsellers on abortion, an automatic question popped up asking if he had accidentally meant to search for adoption?

Also, do most multi-million dollar companies make such a change based upon "an email complaint"? (I can only assume "an" means one email)

Finally, why exactly would the AP find this story important enough to warrant an article?

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Iraqi / Coalition Air Assault

This story is huge:

U.S. forces and Iraqi troops launched what the military described as the largest air assault since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion Thursday, targeting insurgent strongholds north of the capital.

"More than 1,500 Iraqi and coalition troops [650 U.S. troops and more than 800 Iraqi soldiers], over 200 tactical vehicles, and more than 50 aircraft participated in the operation," the military statement said.

Near the end of the first day of the operation, the military said a number of weapons caches have been captured, containing artillery shells, explosives, bomb-making materials and military uniforms.


An air assault operation like this requires an immense amount of coordination and training, and the fact that Iraqi troops constitute the majority of the assault force is very impressive considering their limited training time. The Iraqi army is quickly becoming a seasoned fighting force.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

More of the same

The endless frustration of honest and well-meaning members of Congress (assuming, of course, that such a species exists) must be the overwhelming public ignorance of what actually happens or fails to happen in our Nation's capitol.
Political stunts seem to now be the norm, and the combination of a biased (and often blatantly dishonest) media and a largely intellectually lazy population ensures that Congressmen of a certain political stripe have no reason to fear exposure.
Senator Feingold's resolution for censure (CBS paints him as a hero) is today's example, as Feingold refuses to even debate the issue and the Democrats refuse a vote.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Means to an end

David Warren draws a relevant comparison:
Mr Bush's commitment to spreading democracy was like Lincoln's commitment to extinguishing slavery -- not the key point, but necessary to the key point of recovering order. If Lincoln could have preserved the union, and it meant keeping slavery, he would have done that.
Ditto, if Mr Bush thought he could restore the status quo ante of a Middle East that was no threat to the West, without pushing democracy down anyone's throat, he would do that.


My time in Iraq proved to me the validity of Mark Steyn's words:
When history comes a-calling, you never have a choice between good or bad options. They're only between bad and much, much worse options.

Democracy and Islam my not be compatible, but until someone shows me a better, more realistic option I'll cast my lot with the Bush Doctrine.

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Explaining what should be obvious

Victor Davis Hanson:

For all the tragedy of our fallen in Iraq, if a constitutional government stabilizes in Baghdad, and liberalization follows in the surrounding region, then our losses will not be measured against the far lighter casualties suffered in Panama, Gulf War I, or Grenada, but against the far worse losses of Korea and World War II.

VDH brings an historian's perspective to our short-attention-span media cycle, and I try not to miss any of his columns.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Get serious.

Investors' Business Daily calls the line item veto "Budget Tweezers"

According to an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office, spending on the Big Three entitlements (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) will go from 41% of the federal budget in 2000 to 65% in 2040, with overall federal spending rising from 18.4% to 23.8% of GDP.

President Bush and the GOP congress certainly cannot be labeled conservative if judged by their ridiculous spending record. With few exceptions, our representatives are career politicians, and that mindset almost eliminates any chances of cutting spending. Term limits is the only serious, long term spending solution.

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Swift Justice

Looks like our justice system could use a lesson from Iraq's not-yet-two-year-old government:

BAGHDAD, Iraq – The Iraqi government said 13 insurgents were hanged Thursday in the first executions of militants since capital punishment was reinstated in Iraq after the end of the U.S. occupation.
“The 13 terrorists were tried in different courts and their trials began in 2005 and ended earlier this year,” an official of the Supreme Judiciary Council said

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Don't blame the media (but don't believe them either)

Tony Blankley:
A nation cannot design (and maintain public support for) a rational response to the danger if the nature and extent of the danger is not identified, widely reported and comprehended.

The identification and comprehension of the danger is a personal responsibility for Americans, not the job of the media. To continue as a great nation, the people of our country must demonstrate commitment to truth that outweighs desire for comfort.

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