Carol Platt Liebau: June 2005

Thursday, June 30, 2005

How to Support Our Soldiers

During his address last Tuesday night, President Bush called on all of us to support our men and women in uniform -- and it would be a great way to mark Independence Day.

Here are two organizations worth your support:

Soldiers' Angels
Frog Friends

The former teams up willing Americans with men and women serving who don't have friends or relatives to keep in touch with them, perhaps send a care package from time to time. (I have a soldier who's at Camp Bucca in Iraq).

The latter reaches out to the families who have lost a dear one in the special forces.

Both are wonderful organizations -- and they offer a way for generous and caring Americans to reach out to those who are doing so much for all of us.

On KABC tonight

Don't forget to tune in to AM 790 KABC -- I'm on from 9:00 pm until midnight tonight!

One More BIG Argument Against Tenure

That would be Ward Churchill, of course. Most recently, he has advocated the fragging of military officers at an anti-war forum in Portland, Oregon. (HT to Pirate Ballerina for breaking the story and staying on Churchill's miserable backside).

Churchill argued:
"Conscientious objection removes a given piece of the cannon fodder from the fray. Fragging an officer has a much more impactful effect."

"Fragging", of course, is the killing or wounding of an officer by a subordinate in combat.

Now, this isn't the first we've heard about Ward Churchill. As set forth here, not only has he called the victims of 9/11 "little Eichmanns," he's been credibly accused of plagiarism (both intellectual and artistic) and lying about his supposed Indian heritage.

One would think that he would have been fired immediately from his cushy little sinecure at the University of Colorado. But no . . . he's protected by tenure -- a concept that's an abomination, particularly in his case, as I've pointed out here.

Oh, and by the way, Professor Churchill, there's no such word as "impactful."

Help Me Understand

Their Senate minority leader denounces the President of the United States -- in wartime, mind you -- as a "liar" and a "loser." Their Senate minority whip equates American troops with Soviet Communists, the Khmer Rouge, and Nazis. Their minority leader in the House is a woman so vapid that she's given to uttering bon mots like the following (back in 2002): "Going to war would show our power, but not going to war would show our strength." One of their senior congressman steps forward to opine that the Iraq war "is the biggest fraud ever committed on the people of this country. ... This is just as bad as the 6 million Jews being killed."

Rounding out the ranks of their luminaries is a failed presidential candidate who seems unable to be straightforward about anything -- from his war records to his grades to his political positions ("I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it"). Let's not forget their shamelessly self-promoting and perpetually triangulating presumptive nominee -- or their rising star, who steps forward this week to criticize Abraham Lincoln's "limited views on race."

Their party leader, Howard Dean, has a perpetual case of verbal dysentery, attacking Republicans as a "white Christian" party (as if that's a bad thing) and lagabouts.

And yet the Democrats are "alarmed" by the drop in their popularity. Given all the above, I think they're doing pretty well to be at 38%. So what's the problem?

We Cannot Afford to Forget

What is it with the Democrats being so allergic to any mention of 9/11? Byron York discusses the importance of more discussion of 9/11, not less.

And as upsetting as they are, we need to see more pictures of 9/11. We need to remember what that day was like -- so that our resolve to guard against another one never falters. All of us should, in my view, be posting the terrible images like this one

so that Americans can readily remember the truth, and not be lulled by Kennedy/Pelosi/Durbin et al.'s siren songs promising another holiday from history.

What are we fighting for? To prevent another day of grief, shock and horror like 9/11. Can we succeed? No one knows for certain -- but like Ronald Reagan said, "I don't believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall upon us if we do nothing."

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

What Is Wrong With Them?

A splendid, splendid piece, in which Peggy Noonan asks the million-dollar question: Why is there so little modesty in the nation's capital?

Lots of KABC Coming Up!

I promise NOT to promote my AM 790 KABC hosting relentlessly . . . but here's the schedule over the next several days:

I'll be on

Thursday night - 9 to midnight PDT
Friday night - 9 to midnight PDT
Sunday night - 6:00 to 9:00 pm PDT
Monday night (yes, the Fourth of July) - 9 to midnight PDT.

Hope you'll consider tuning in.

Congrats to Republican Senator Hagel

Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) really knows how to get press coverage -- and in some unusual places, too. That would come in handy for a self-promoting, self-proclaimed "maverick" looking to run for President -- except that he's showing up on Al Jazeera.

And now, there's more.'s newest email excrescence features a fundraising pitch, so that they can run their new ad, entitled "Hagel."

Check this out:

The ad, titled "Hagel," draws a sharp contrast between President Bush's claim that we're making progress in Iraq and the words of Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who said, "The White House is completely disconnected from reality... It's like they're just making it up as they go along."1 Then, the ad calls for an exit strategy, saying, "It's time to come home. We went in the wrong way, let's come home the right way." An exit strategy with a timeline is supported by nearly 84% of MoveOn members according to the recent vote.

So, Senator Hagel, what's it liked to be used as a pawn by adversaries of the American military? And what's that sound? Could it be "So Long, Farewell" -- to your presidential ambitions? Last one out, turn out the lights. . . please.

Don'tcha think?

One of the most aggravating features in contemporary speech is the growing misuse of the word "ironic" (the other is to use the adverb "literally" when one isn't being literal at all -- "I was literally dying!" exclaims the perfectly healthy but embarassed teenager).

Perenially bummed-out singer Alanis Morrissette is probably responsible for the misuse of "ironic" -- in her song "Ironic" she enumerates a host of phenomena that are unfortunate or terribly sad (an old man dying the day after he wins the lottery, having rain on one's wedding day, etc.) but hardly ironic.

So how sweet it is finally to find a true example of good, rich irony. Here it is: A private (and mischievous) developer is seeking eminent domain to build a hotel on the site of Justice David Souter's house in Weare, New Hampshire. As most everyone knows, Souter supported the noxious Supreme Court decision of Kelo v. City of New London, which greatly expanded the reach of eminent domain.

And what, I ask you, would be more deliciously ironic than Souter having supporting a decision that eventually facilitated the taking of his own house?

The Predictable Democratic Reaction

Sadly, but predictably, Democrats chose to ignore the President's speech in their rush to criticize it. (The talking points had, after all, already been available for several hours).

According to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the President's remarks only "served to remind the American people that our most dangerous enemy, namely Osama bin Laden, is still on the loose and al Qaeda remains capable of doing this nation great harm nearly four years after it attacked America." Well, yes, Senator Reid. We haven't succeeded in defeating international Islamofascist terrorism in just four years -- thanks in no small part, one might add, to liberal insistence on resisting every effort America makes to do so (including our efforts in Iraq).

Failed presidential candidate John Kerry, apparently determined to highlight his deficiencies, showed up on Larry King to utter this bon mot about the supposedly shifting rationales for war: "The first, of course, was weapons of mass destruction. The second was democracy. And now tonight, it's to combat the hotbed of terrorism." For someone supposedly so "nuanced" in his thinking, it's surprising that he can't bend his supple mind around the concept that there might (simultaneously even!) be more than one reason to get rid of Saddam Hussein. (But wait! That's right . . . Kerry's mind may not be as "supple" as he led all of us to believe).

[It's interesting to note that much of the MSM is echoing Kerry's talking point -- attempting to cast the President's speech as an effort to reframe the rationales for the war in Iraq. See Hugh Hewitt for details. But as Hugh points out, the left at the time was complaining about the multiple justifications for war.]

But the President spoke plainly enough to ensure that even some of the ideologically-blinded would be able to "get it." Even in the midst of a largely silly editorial, The Washington Post was able to comprehend the connection between our work in Iraq and Al Qaeda:

That connection is not spurious, even if Saddam Hussein was not a collaborator of al Qaeda: Clearly Iraq is now a prime battlefield for Islamic extremists, and success or failure there will do much to determine the outcome of the larger struggle against them.

Thank you. That's right. And while Democrats continue to natter on and denigrate our efforts in Iraq, the American people are learning two things about them: (1) They don't understand the threat confronting us; and (2)they are unwilling -- and incapable -- of fighting the War on Terror.

If I were a Democratic political consultant, I'd be having a fit . . . watching my party lose America's confidence for a generation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Great President. Great Speech.

Here is the text of the President's splendid address tonight.

He did what he needed to do -- and more. He reassured the American people that he understands their concerns about the course and progress of our work in Iraq. He explained the importance of that work, and its relationship to American security. He connected the necessity of resolve to past struggles, where we have stayed the course. And he inspired by his own confidence in both the rightness of our cause, and the ability of all of us -- military and civilian -- to rise to the occasion.

For those who have been asking the questions, here are the answers to the two most important questions:

Q: Why does Iraq matter, and how is it connected to the larger War on Terror?

A: [W]hen the Middle East grows in democracy and prosperity and hope, the terrorists will lose their sponsors, lose their recruits and lose their hopes for turning that region into a base for attacks on America and our allies around the world.

Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war on terror. Among the terrorists, there is no debate.

Here are the words of Osama bin Laden: This third world war is raging in Iraq. The whole world is watching this war. He says it will end in victory and glory or misery and humiliation.

What is the "end-game" in Iraq?

A:America's mission in Iraq is to defeat an enemy and give strength to a friend -- a free, representative government that is an ally in the war on terror and a beacon of hope in a part of the world that is desperate for reform.

And my favorite paragraph:

Americans have always held firm, because we have always believed in certain truths. We know that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity and returns to strike us again. We know that when the work is hard, the proper response is not retreat, it is courage. And we know that this great ideal of human freedom entrusted to us in a special way and that the ideal of liberty is worth defending.

Great job by the President. Now use the form link in the post below to send a letter of support to the newspapers.

Cry Me a River

Chuck Hagel, plaything, whines in protest. Maybe he'll think twice in the future, before he runs his mouth without engaging his brain.

Attention, All Newspaper Editors

Here are the suggested points for "letters to the editor" that MoveOn.Org is distributing in advance of the President's speech tonight, along with a handy tool that will permit writers to select the newspaper to which it wants to send their little epistles. (Judging from the idiot-proof format, MoveOn doesn't seem to have a lot of confidence in the intelligence of its constituents).

Anyway, check it out so that you'll be able to spot the canned letters with ease. Of course, they say that "We'll update our suggestion for the best thing to write about 30 minutes after [the President's] speech ends" so some of this is likely to change.

But I do mean that the set-up is designed to be (not coincidentally?) idiot-proof. Here's a little sample of what's on the email:

Bush's speech tonight will be one of the major "tipping point" moments since the war began, and we can help make sure that no one buys his "stay the course" rhetoric. Politicians will be watching the letter-to-the-editor pages closely, and newspapers are likely to print letters on what will be the major story of the week. If we're able to push back hard enough, we can build a drumbeat for a real exit plan.

Boy, did Karl Rove ever have their number.


I'm now officially a fan of Danica Patrick, female racing phenom. Here's why -- and here's hoping that other young women will learn from her example.

Supremely Annoying

Before any Justice has even retired, People for the American Way has already reserved office space, with 40 work stations and 75 phone lines, presumably to create trouble for President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, according to this piece of trivia in The Washington Post. Former Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart and former Gore strategist Carter Eskew are the hired guns who will be in charge.

A Different Poll Question

Here's one question that pollsters never ask: How much confidence do you have in our results?

And there may be a reason for their reticence on that score. Take two polls, the results of which were run today, presumably in view of the President's speech tonight.

The CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll tells us that "Only 43 percent said they believed the war in Iraq has made Americans safer from terrorism, and 46 percent said it had made the country less safe."

But the ABC News/Washington Post poll reveals that 52 percent believe that "war with Iraq has contributed to the long term security of the United States." Forty-six percent believe that the war has not contributed to America's long term security.

So which is it? Obviously, it's pretty hard for 46% to believe the war had made the country less safe, while 52% contemperaneously are convinced that the war has contributed to American security over the long term. Unless, that is, there are people who believe both that we're no safer from terrorism but nonetheless more secure long-term -- a view that rivals recent Supreme Court jurisprudence for sheer incoherence.

It's just a handy reminder that a lot may depend on what question is asked, or how it is asked . . . or how people interpret it, or a whole host of other factors.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Question for "Blogger" experts

Today -- even before I posted the new picture -- my sidebar had slipped to the bottom of the blog. I have read all the "blogger" stuff that advises that it might be because of extraordinarily long code in a post. That's not the case here, though -- I've checked all the recent ones.

Any advice on what to do?

We Can Do Pictures!

Here's a great one.

Arrogating Power Unto Itself

The Supreme Court comes down with one of the most deplorably incoherent decisions imaginable. Apparently, a Kentucky court cannot display the Ten Commandments, but the Texas Capitol can.

With the Court's opinion, one thing is clear: These cases will continue to be decided on a subjective, case-by-case basis, with whatever judge one draws deciding whether the "motive" behind a particular display is "religious" (not OK) or historical (OK).

It's a decision with no discernible roots in any consistent constitutional interpretation. Not coincidentally, it couldn't be designed better if the left-wing justices had tried to come up with a system where outcomes would be both unpredictable and dependent on the personal views of the particular judge hearing the case. And that's great for judges who want to arrogate power to themselves; not so good for those of us who are increasingly tired of being ruled by an unaccountable, out-of-touch judiciary.

And by the way, it's interesting that Breyer is the only justice to have found himself in the majority both times. Could it be that, in his decision to permit the Texas display, he knew that the political uproar (and possibly backlash) wouldn't be worth it to the left, once mainstream Americans started to see every religious reference stripped from state (and federal) Capitol buildings?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Just One More Reminder: Tune in Tonight

You know, by now, that I'll be hosting on KABC radio from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm tonight. Either tune in to 790 AM or listen live here. And don't forget that you can call in to the show at (800) 222-KABC.

Answer: We Are Americans

Check out this piece. The title says it all: "Who Are Americans to Think that Freedom is Theirs to Spread?"

Short answer: We are Americans. We are the people who -- more than any other on earth -- have sacrificed our blood and our treasure to ensure that forces of evil are defeated, and that people all across the world can live in freedom. We are the heirs to a country that was founded on the religious principles that would pave the way for the freest, bravest, best society on earth.

Are we perfect? No. Have we always come down on the side of democracy? No -- especially during the Cold War, when we judged (correctly, I believe) that it was more important to stop the forward momentum of the evil of Communism (a particularly virulent, godless form of totalitarianism) than risk instability in countries whose admittedly sub-par, dictatorial rulers were, at least, American allies in the "main event."

But what this author seems to overlook is the importance of American idealism. For the fact that we hold certain ideals, rather than lapsing into the cynicism that characterizes so much of Western Europe (and American lefties) is what sets us apart. The author clearly doesn't get it:

And then there are the prisoners, the hooded man with the wires hanging from his body, the universal icon of the gap between the ideals of American freedom and the sordid -- and criminal -- realities of American detention and interrogation practice. The fetid example of these abuses makes American talk of democracy sound hollow.

As long as human beings are fallible, there will always be gaps between our ideals and the actions of some. But, as Donald Rumsfeld pointed out on every Sunday show, those who have been found to have violated the rules governing the detention have been punished. To say that the existence of unauthorized abuses turns "American talk of democracy" into a sham is childish -- and shows a certain absence of the nuanced thinking that liberals seem to prize so highly.

This piece is interesting because throughout it registers the ambilvalence and uncertainty about America's historical role and, indeed, its greatness that reflects so much current day liberal thought. The author concludes with this paragraph:

Even those who have opposed the Iraq war all along, who believe that the hope of planting democracy has lured America into a criminal folly, do not want to tell those who have died that they have given their lives for nothing. This is where Jefferson's dream must work. Its ultimate task in American life is to redeem loss, to rescue sacrifice from oblivion and futility and to give it shining purpose. The real truth about Iraq is that we just don't know -- yet -- whether the dream will do its work this time.

He's wrong. There are those who are eager to tell Americans that Iraq is a "quagmire" and resembles nothing so much as Vietnam -- the one war where Americans' sacrifices were for naught. Ted Kennedy's remarks on the floor of the Senate last week (check out Radio Blogger from 6/23) are a prime example.

And the point is that the sacrifices were for naught NOT because the United States could be defeated militarily -- it's because those who (like Kennedy, and to some extent, the author) were ambivalent about, or hostile to, America's traditional role as liberators and defenders of freedom got the upper hand. It's because people like John Kerry -- who see nothing exceptionally wonderful about America -- succeeded in convincing the American people that there was nothing worth fighting for, and that America really wasn't that special anyway. When everyone talks about how Ronald Reagan "gave America its confidence back" -- well, what they mean is that he reminded the America people that, in contrast to what the Kerrys and Kennedys said, we were unique, and God-blessed, and given a special role to play in the world.

Jefferson's dream of liberty has always worked, as long as Americans and their leaders were resolute enough to soldier through "the times that try men's souls." We are now in such a time . . . but we can succeed if the voices of the defeatists are not allowed to drown out the steady drumbeat of progress and of hope.

The "Right" Movies?

Here is an interesting piece about the growing numbers (and influence) of conservatives in Hollywood.

There are two approaches for the conservative movement looking to become influential there -- either approach as outsiders or as insiders. And although I do believe that there is a place for conservative networking (and training conservatives in the art of moviemaking), their influence will be felt all the sooner if they are able to find relationships with (and learn from) the best moviemakers out there today, who are (of course) predominantly liberal.

Lionel Chetwynd seems to have it right -- we don't want "ideologues with laptops" . . . we want fine moviemakers who are conservatives.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Hosting Tomorrow Evening on KABC

Tomorrow evening between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m., I will be hosting on KABC radio. Either tune in to 790 AM or listen live here.

Time to Explain the Stakes

To the great delight of Teddy Kennedy, liberals and (seemingly) journalists everywhere, it appears that public support is falling for the war in Iraq.

It's time to stop the erosion in public opinion NOW. And the best way to do it is to explain how the American lives being sacrificed in Iraq do succeed in making America safer -- and failure is, as the cliche says, simply not an option.

Here's a brief and incomplete list:

(1) Helping to build a free Iraq spreads democracy in the Middle East, a region that sorely needs it. With the example of a democratic Iraq, the people of other Middle Eastern nations are more likely to express their own God-given yearnings for freedom. Don't believe me? Look at Lebanon, where they've finally succeeding in at least beginning to kick out the Syrians.

(2) American resolve in building a free Iraq demonstrates to other Middle Eastern despots that we are serious about not tolerating threats from that region, and that we are willing to act to defend our safety. Teddy Kennedy may not get it, but the rulers of Libya (which gave up its nuclear weapons voluntarily) and Egypt (which is having a less-rigged election -- an election at all there is notworthy) do. Spreading democracy is key to stopping terrorism . . . when people have a measure of freedom to create lives for themselves, they're less likely to blow themselves (and us) up. And check your history -- democracies don't start wars.

(3) Iraq is serving as terrorist "flypaper" -- attracting Islamofascists from all over to fight and (hopefully) die in Iraq. There are nuts from Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia who are going there. It's tough on our valiant soldiers, but better that the fighting take place in Fallujah than Manhattan. And if the terrorists are fighting and hiding there, we can only hope that it's keeping them too busy to figure out how to sneak into the US to do us real harm.

(4) Failing in Iraq would encourage the terrorists (as do, doubtless, countless statements from Teddy K and others). It would embolden the very people that we MUST defeat. If Islamofascists can force the "Great Satan" out of Iraq on their terms, not only will the brave and long-suffering people of that country be devastated, it would be an enormous morale-booster for them and their deadly cause. And Iraq would be in serious danger of becoming "terrorist central" -- a new haven for the evildoers.

Again, there is no way that we can "lose" in Iraq unless we let the quamire defeatists carry the day. They have plenty of apostles in the media -- so it's vital that the other side get its message out.

Let's get to it.

Hardliner wins in Iran

This wasn't exactly the news that many were hoping for.

That being said, there's always the chance that the election of a hard-liner could spur the revolution for which Iran is due -- especially given the fact that he is a member of Iran's basiji, the state-sponsored militia that enforces social codes -- in a country where two-thirds of the population are under 30, and pretty pro-American, to boot.
News flash. lies about its anti-war positions.

So Much for the Ballyhooed "Religious Left"

Can people who behave this way really be considered "religious"?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Sitting in at KABC

Once again, the reminders have begun. I will be hosting on KABC on Sunday evening from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Tune in to 790 AM or listen live here.

A Decision Inimical to Liberty

The Founding Fathers must have rolled over in their grave, given yesterday's Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London.

Part of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution reads, "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation . . ." Historically, this has meant that one's land could be taken if, and only if, the property was going to be devoted to a public use (e.g. airport expansion).

Here, as Justice Thomas points out, the Supreme Court majority has basically rewritten the Constitution. By allowing government confiscation of private property, so that it may be made available to other private entities (albeit those that will pay more taxes), the "public use" requirement has been replaced by a "public purpose" test -- land may be taken by the government anytime that, in the government's judgment, the "public" as a whole will benefit . . . not just when the land is needed for their use.

What a terrible precedent. In other words, your property is secure only so long as the government doesn't decide that it could be more "better" used (from the government's perspective) by some other private person or entity.

The decision is deeply inimical to everything the Founding Fathers stood for. They understood that private property -- and the security of private property -- was the cornerstone of liberty and indispensable to a strong, self-reliant citizenry. Giving the government a freer hand to confiscate property (as long as its owner is "compensated") allows the government to wield a fearsome tool of powerful intimidation, and encroaches severely on the rights of free people.

It is a poor day's work, indeed.

Ted Kennedy, American Defeatist

Teddy Kennedy has, unpardonably, asserted that Iraq has descended into a Vietnam-like "quagmire." Perhaps the wish is father to the thought, Senator -- nothing makes liberals like Kennedy happier than witnessing America's travails.

He's wrong, of course. It's completely unreasonable (as should be clear to any normal person) that, given the influx of foreign fighters and other difficulties, Iraq would be operating at 100% just 5 months after its historic vote. Big changes take time, and it's imperative that the President help the American people understand that the only way that America can lose Iraq is by heeding the drumbeat of doom being peddled by Teddy and his ilk.

And BTW: Teddy is good at pointing out the mistakes of others. You would think -- given the mistakes in his life, ranging from Chappaquiddick on the personal side to his history during the Cold War -- that a little humility would be in order. Apparently not.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Karl Rove Is Right

Karl Rove is taking some heat from the Dems for telling the truth, namely that "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."

He's right. Check out the following, courtesy of the GOP:

Immediately After 9/11, MoveOn.Org Petition Urged “Moderation And Restraint” And Use Of “International Judicial Institutions.”

“We, The Undersigned, Citizens And Residents Of The United States Of America … Appeal To The President Of The United States, George W. Bush … And To All Leaders Internationally To Use Moderation And Restraint In Responding To The Recent Terrorist Attacks Against The United States.” (MoveOn.Org Website, “MoveOn Peace,”, Posted 9/13/01, Accessed 6/23/05)

“We Implore The Powers That Be To Use, Wherever Possible, International Judicial Institutions And International Human Rights Law To Bring To Justice Those Responsible For The Attacks, Rather Than The Instruments Of War, Violence Or Destruction.” (MoveOn.Org Website, “MoveOn Peace,”, Posted 9/13/01, Accessed 6/23/05)

“[W]e Demand That There Be No Recourse To Nuclear, Chemical Or Biological Weapons, Or Any Weapons Of Indiscriminate Destruction, And Feel That It Is Our Inalienable Human Right To Live In A World Free Of Such Arms.” (MoveOn.Org Website, “MoveOn Peace,”, Posted 9/13/01, Accessed 6/23/05)

Michael Moore
Just After 9/11, Liberal Filmmaker Michael Moore Derided “Terror And Bloodshed” Committed By Americans. (David Brooks, Op-Ed, “All Hail Moore,” The New York Times, 6/26/04)

Just After 9/11, Moore Blamed America’s “Taxpayer-Funded Terrorism” And Bush Administration For Terrorist Attacks. “We abhor terrorism – unless we’re the ones doing the terrorizing. We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me.…Let’s mourn, let’s grieve, and when it’s appropriate let’s examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in.” (Michael Moore Website Archive, “Death, Downtown,” Posted 9/12/01,, Accessed 7/27/04)

Michael Moore Said U.S. Should Not Have Removed Taliban After 9/11. Moore: “Likewise, to bomb Afghanistan – I mean, I’ve never understood this, Tim.” (CNBC’s “Tim Russert,” 10/19/02)

George Soros
Liberal Donor George Soros Claimed America Should Have Treated 9/11 Attacks As Crime, Responded With Police Work. “War is a false and misleading metaphor in the context of combating terrorism. Treating the attacks of September 11 as crimes against humanity would have been more appropriate. Crimes require police work, not military action. To protect against terrorism, you need precautionary measures, awareness, and intelligence gathering – all of which ultimately depend on the support of the populations among which terrorists operate. Imagine for a moment that September 11 had been treated as a crime. We would have pursued Bin Laden in Afghanistan, but we would not have invaded Iraq. Nor would we have our military struggling to perform police work in full combat gear and getting killed in the process.” (George Soros, The Bubble Of American Supremacy, 2004, p. 18)

Soros Said The Execution Of 9/11 Attacks “Could Not Have Been More Spectacular.” “Admittedly, the terrorist attack was a historic event in its own right. Hijacking fully loaded airplanes and using them as suicide bombs was an audacious idea, and the execution could not have been more spectacular.” (George Soros, The Bubble Of American Supremacy, 2004, p. 2)

Soros Said War On Terror Had Claimed More Innocent Victims Than 9/11 Attack Itself. “This is a very tough thing to say, but the fact is, that the war on terror as conducted by this administration, has claimed more innocent victims that the original attack itself.” (George Soros, Remarks At Take Back America Conference, Washington, DC, 6/3/04)

Rep. (and presidential candidate)Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH): “‘The Time For Peace Is Now,’ [Kucinich] Declared Optimistically July 11, Two Months To The Day Before Terrorists Hit The Pentagon And The World Trade Center. … Sitting In His Capitol Hill Office Last Week, Near A Window Where He Could See The Smoke Rising From The Pentagon On Sept. 11, Kucinich Insisted He Is More Optimistic Than Ever That People Worldwide Are Ready To Embrace The Cause Of Nonviolence.” (Elizabeth Auster, “Offer The Hand Of Peace,” [Cleveland, OH] Plain Dealer, 9/30/01)

Kucinich: “Afghanistan May Be An Incubator Of Terrorism But It Doesn’t Follow That We Bomb Afghanistan …” (Elizabeth Auster, “Offer The Hand Of Peace,” [Cleveland, OH] Plain Dealer, 9/30/01)

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI)
Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI): “Only Now Are We Trying To Figure Out What Is Islam. Maybe If There Was A Department Of Peace, They Would Be Able To Say, ‘Uh-Oh, We’ve Got Some Problems With These People,’ … I Truly Believe That If We Had A Department Of Peace, We Would Have Seen [9/11] Coming.” (Ethan Wallison, “War A Challenge For Peace Caucus,” Roll Call, 10/1/01)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA): “I Am Convinced That Military Action Will Not Prevent Further Acts Of International Terrorism Against The United States.” (Eddy Ramirez, “Calif. Congresswoman Alone In Vote Against War Powers Resolution,” [University Of California-Berkeley] Daily Californian, 9/17/01)

Al Sharpton (D-NY)
Al Sharpton (D-NY) Said That The Attacks On The World Trade Center Are Evidence That “America Is Beginning To Reap What It Has Sown.” (Adam Nagourney, “Say It Loud,” The New York Times, 12/1/02)

Rep. Marcy Kaptur
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) Claimed Osama Bin Laden Could Be Compared To “Revolutionaries That Helped To Cast Off The British Crown.” “‘One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown,’ Kaptur told an Ohio newspaper, The (Toledo) Blade.” (Malie Rulon, “Lawmaker Compares Osama, U.S. Patriots,” The Associated Press, 3/6/03)

Sen. (and current presidential candidate) Joe Biden (D-DE)
Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) Said The United States Would “Pay Every Single Hour, Every Single Day” That Bombs Were Dropped In Afghanistan. “‘How much longer does the bombing campaign continue?’ Biden asked during an Oct. 22 speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. ‘We’re going to pay every single hour, every single day it continues.’” (Miles A. Pomper, "Building Anti-Terrorism Coalition Vaults Ahead Of Other Priorities," Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 10/26/01)

“The Bombing Campaign, [Biden] Said, Reinforced Existing Stereotypes Of The United States As A ‘High-Tech Bully …’” (Miles A. Pomper, "Building Anti-Terrorism Coalition Vaults Ahead Of Other Priorities," Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 10/26/01)

Governor Howard Dean (D-VT) (current chair, Democratic National Cmtee)
Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT) Said Osama Bin Laden Not Guilty. Dean: “I Still Have This Old-Fashioned Notion That Even With People Like Osama, Who Is Very Likely To Be Found Guilty, We Should Do Our Best Not To, In Positions Of Executive Power, Not To Prejudge Jury Trials.” (“Dean Not Ready To Pronounce Osama Bin Laden Guilty,” The Associated Press, 12/26/03)

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) To High School Students: “How Would [Muslims] Look At Us Today If We Had Been There Helping Them With Some Of That Rather Than Just Being The People Who Are Going To Bomb In Iraq And Go To Afghanistan? … War Is Expensive Too … Your Generation Ought To Be Thinking About Whether We Should Be Better Neighbors Out In Other Countries So That They Have A Different Vision Of Us.” (Gregg Herrington, “Senator Asks Students To Ponder,” The [Vancouver, WA] Columbian, 12/19/02)

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA): “[W]ar On Terror Is Far Less Of A Military Operation And Far More Of An Intelligence-Gathering, Law-Enforcement Operation.” (The Iowa Brown & Black Coalition Presidential Forum, Des Moines, IA, 1/11/04)

Kerry: “[W]hat We’ve Learned Is That The War On Terror Is Much More Of An Intelligence Operation And A Law Enforcement Operation.” (NPR’s “All Things Considered,” 3/19/03)

'Nuf said. I'd advise the Democrats to MoveOn.

A Matter of Fairness

Both Peggy Noonan and John Podhoretz hate the book about Hillary Clinton that has been written by MSM author Ed Klein.

Fair enough. I'm proud to be on the same political page as people who won't stoop to any level to see their political enemies destroyed.

My question: Where were the Democratic voices of opposition when Kitty Kelley peddled her sleazy and poorly sourced book about the Bushes?

It's All a Matter of Priorities

How very, very revealing. Democrats remain silent when Democratic Disgrace Dick Durbin slanders American troops in the most outrageous and insulting manner.

But insult them, as they apparently feel Karl Rove did, and hell hath absolutely no fury . . . so the same people who can tolerate Durbin comparing our soldiers' behavior with the Nazis, Communists and Khmer Rouge resent very much anyone noting the softness of their response to the terrorist threat.

This alone pretty much tells you where the Democrats' hearts lie. It's not with the troops who are defending all of us. It's exclusively with their own political advantage.

And that fact alone is more shameful than words can even express.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Anthony Lewis: Wrong, As Always

Writing in The International Herald-Tribune, former New York Times-man Anthony Lewis gives his anti-American impulses full play (HT: Hugh Hewitt):

In the view of the administration, then, it is "humane" to make a detainee urinate on himself, force him to bark like a dog, or chain him to the floor for 18 hours.

It would be interesting to know where Mr. Lewis receives his information. And it should be noted that his judgment in similar matters has been somewhat "lacking" in the past, to put it charitably.

Take this excellent piece from April of 2001 by Jeff Jacoby. Titled "Pol Pot's Cheerleader," it details The New York Times' shortsighted and wilful blindness to the real threat posed to the Cambodian people by Pol Pot (recently back in the news, thanks to Senator Dick Durbin).

Despite President Ford's entreaties to the Democratic Congress that it continue to aid the pro-American government currently in power, and Republican assertions that a bloodbath would ensue if America withdrew, the Democrats (true to form) cut off all support, paving the way for Pol Pot.

On the op-ed page [of The New York Times], Anthony Lewis was calling "the whole bloodbath debate unreal. What future could possibly be more terrible," he demanded, "than the reality of what is happening to Cambodia now?"

As the death marches out of Phnom Penh proceeded, Lewis went on making excuses for the Khmer Rouge. He mused that the mass expulsions were "the only way to start on their vision of a new society." Americans who objected were guilty of "cultural arrogance, an imperial assumption, that ... our way of life" would be better.

Let's be clear. What happened under Pol Pot was real torture. If you've got a strong stomach, check out this. Here is a little written reminder of what real torture was like (and to what Durbin compared our soldiers' behavior), courtesy of this piece in The Christian Science Monitor:

Some of these class enemies were killed immediately; others were imprisoned and tortured. Arrest presupposed guilt, so interrogators sought to force prisoners to reveal their treason. "Why did you betray the Party?" they would ask. "Who else belongs to your secret network?" The Khmer Rouge utilized a wide range of torture techniques - electric shocks, asphyxiation, immersion in water, forcing the consumption of feces and urine, stringing prisoners up in the air, and prolonged bodily stress . . ..

Between one and two million people were murdered by the Khmer Rouge. Contrary to Anthony Lewis' assertion, the "bloodbath debate" was painfully real for them. And note that even the worst behavior ascribed to Americans, if true, wouldn't come anywhere close.

How to reconcile Lewis' cavalier treatment of the Cambodians with his concern for the 500 (out of 10,000 captured on the battlefield) at Guantanamo? How to reconcile his tolerance for the Khmer Rouge with his outrage at the U.S.? There's a theme here, isn't there? Whatever makes America seem bad or wrong -- that's what Anthony Lewis, and others of his ilk, will believe and propagate.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Republicans, Please Take Heed

Of this. Your supporters are paying attention.

Dispatch re:Durbin

Below is a text of a letter on the Durbin debacle sent to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (HT: Hugh Hewitt).

Good for the senators who signed it! (That is, Frist, McConnell, Santorum, Hutchinson, Kyl and Dole). My question: Where are the rest of the Republicans? There is strength in numbers, and if Durbin is going to be compelled to rectify his grievous slander, it will take a critical mass of senators criticizing Durbin, not just the leadership. Perhaps there is more to come, bcause I can't imagine any senator on the right side of the aisle disagreeing with the following:

June 20, 2005

The Honorable Harry Reid
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate

Dear Senator Reid:

We call upon you to encourage Senator Richard Durbin, the Senate Democratic Whip, to apologize for and withdraw his remarks made on the floor of the U.S. Senate on June 14 likening the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and other U.S. Government civilian employees defending America’s freedom to “Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime—Pol Pot or others—that had no concerns for human beings.” Such language and comparisons are inappropriate, unwarranted, disrespectful, and dangerous.

Referring to one person’s characterization of treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Senator Durbin said:

“When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here [Guantanamo Bay] — I almost hesitate to put them in the Record, and yet they have to be added to this debate. Let me read to you what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his report:

‘On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold . . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.’

“If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.” (emphasis added)

Such hyperbolic, insensitive, and inaccurate statements should not be spoken on the Senate floor. As numerous Senators collectively noted on the Senate floor on June 16, such statements:

· Tarnish the U.S. Senate as an institution by making comparisons of U.S. actions taken against the Nation’s enemies and in accordance with U.S. and international law, i.e., the Geneva Conventions, to those of Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Pol-Pot, who slaughtered tens of millions of innocent civilians, mostly women and children, for reasons such as racism and political ideology.

· Insult and demoralize the overwhelming majority of U.S. soldiers and civilian employees honorably defending America.

· Exacerbate the terrorist threat against Americans by providing “evidence” of what they claim are reasons for attacking us. (The Arab media were quick to publicize the criticisms.)

· Are unproven and part of a legal investigation being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Defense.

· Deny due process legal rights to those alleged of committing abuses (by presuming guilt upon the accused party).

On June 16, Senator John Warner (R-VA), seeking to clarify the “Nazi” reference as well as to obtain a formal apology from him, engaged in floor debate with Senator Durbin and said:

“I go back on my own recollections [of] those three examples the Senator used. I don’t know what interrogation took place. Perhaps if we go into the sinews of history there were some, but what the world recognized from those three examples the Senator used, they were death camps — I repeat, death camps — where, as my colleague from Kentucky very accurately said, millions of people perished. It is doubtful they were ever often asked their names.

“To say that the allegations of a single FBI agent mentioned in an unconfirmed, uncorroborated report give rise to coming to the Senate and raising the allegation that whatever persons of the uniformed military, as referred to in that report — albeit, uncorroborated, unsubstantiated report — are to be equated with those three chapters in world history is just a most grievous misjudgment on the Senator’s part, and one I think is deserving of apologizing to the men and women in uniform.”

Subsequent statements by Senator Durbin indicate only that he was regretful if people misunderstood his remarks. We do not believe his remarks were misunderstood.

In deference to the Senate as an institution for which we serve and to the millions of men and women currently serving this Nation in uniform and civilian dress for which we owe so much in the War on Terrorism, we ask Senator Durbin to issue a formal apology and strike his remarks from the record."

Signed by Senators Frist, McConnell, Santorum, Hutchinson, Kyl and Dole.

A House We Can't Stand

Greetings from New York! With no commitments until later in the day, I had time this morning to go to Rockefeller Center to see James Taylor perform live on "The Today Show" (I've loved his music since I was a little girl, and his politics are at least slightly less noxious than many of his fellow performers'). You had to love the assembled crowd -- mostly tourists from the southern Red States. Up close (I was able to get behind the stage and then move forward), it's clear that James Taylor is a very shy person, although apparently very nice . . . and that Matt Lauer is going bald (not that there's anything wrong with that -- it just explains why he sports those less-than-flattering very short haircuts).

It was a great way to start the day -- as was reading this piece by Howard Fineman, entitled "A Democratic House Divided" (based on Abraham Lincoln's admonition that "a house divided against itself cannot stand"). It's about the divisions in the labor movement, and the fact that Andy Stern (president of the service employees' union) isn't willing to sign on for more of the same from the AFL-CIO's playbook of simply handing out money to Democratic politicians. That, of course, is good news for Republicans, because there's some indication that Stern might be open to working with the GOP on common causes.

In the end, changing with the times is the only way that the unions can hope to remain relevant. And there are interesting parallels between them and the Democrats -- although the Dems haven't yet faced their own need to change. Right now, they remain hunkered down, unwilling even to condemn Dick Durbin for the most egregious slander of the American military . . . hoping desperately for strength through unity.

Normal Americans don't appeciate Beltway bigmouths "disrespecting" their soldiers (or mealymouthed politicians who put "collegiality" ahead of the country's honor). Nor will they side with a party that would rather suck up to a corrupt United Nations than reform it -- a policy choice Dems seem to have made through their inexcusable decision to continue filibustering John Bolton (a decision facilitated by "Slow Joe" Biden's presidential ambitions, and enabled by the weak-mindedness of Senate crybaby George Voinvich -- the latter, a Republican, to our shame).

It's time for the Dems to take a good long look at themselves with the honesty demonstrated by at least some in the unions. It's not that I'm in any hurry for them to recover their electability nationwide -- it's that their repugnant partisanship is, at the moment, damaging American standing in the world in too many ways.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Apologies to Senator Frist

Over the weekend, I wrote and said that Senator Bill Frist's reaction to Dick Durbin's remarks (that he was "disappointed" in them) was inadequate. I based this opinion on a radio news report by Fox News. In fact, as noted by Brit Hume, papers like The New York Times failed completely to report on Republican senators' reactions.

Today, on the plane, I had an extensive opportunity to watch Fox News, and saw a clip from Saturday of Senator Frist, denouncing Durbin's remarks as "heinous," and using much stronger language than that quoted by the radio report. In fairness, it seems as though he has spoken out, at least to some extent.

Senator McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Kyl (R-AZ) have been, in my view, the most outspoken (and properly so!) senators. Kudos to them for standing defending the honor of our troops.

I stand by my criticism of John McCain. He has not denounced the remarks with the passion that he seems to reserve for critiques of administration policies. However, he's quoted below as predicting that "by the time this program is shown next Sunday, that Mr Durbin will have apologized." I assumed that he had talked to Tim Russert before yesterday morning, and that he was therefore predicting that Durbin would have apologized by yesterday morning. However, Hugh Hewitt and others seem to have understood Senator McCain to have been referring -- not to yesterday -- but to next Sunday. If indeed their interpretation is correct (as is quite possible), then Durbin has a week.

We shall see.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Just FYI

Thanks for all your great input and phone calls earlier this evening when I was hosting over at KABC. If you look to the right of this page, you'll see where to email me with your suggestions and comments!

Also, I'll be traveling until Friday afternoon, so posting may be lighter than usual.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

As my piece tomorrow at The One Republic points out, it's up to the American people to draw the line on what constitutes acceptable civic discourse from our elected officials, and Dick Durbin's slander of our troops was way, way over the line.

So far, official response to Durbin -- on both sides of the aisle -- has been underwhelming, far short of the massive repudiation that our troops and our national honor demands. Please contact your senators, and/or the following, to demand that Senator Durbin either resign or face censure on the floor of the United States Senate. It is imperative that his remarks elicit a response that will tell the world unequivocally that Durbin's slander is neither the truth nor does it represent the opinion of the vast majority of Americans.

To Contact Dick Durbin:

Phone: (202) 224-2152 (Washington, D.C.)
(312) 353-4952 (Chicago, IL)


To Contact Bill Frist:

Phone: (202) 224-3344 (Washington, D.C.)
(615) 352-9411 (Nashville)

Web: Here

To Contact John McCain (who will be sensitive to these comments as he's running for President -- and has great media contacts and credibility as a former POW)

Phone: (202) 224-2235 (Washington, D.C.)
(602) 952-2410 (Phoenix)

Web: Here

Tune in to KABC tonight - 6-9 pm PDT

Just (another) gentle reminder: I'll be hosting on AM 790 KABC from 6-9 pm tonight. Tune in or listen online here.

An Apology is Not Enough

Here, Mark Steyn tells some of the truths about Dick Durbin and the Democrats that needs telling.

His final sentence is arresting: "Shame on [Durbin}, and shame on those fellow senators and Democrats who by their refusal to condemn him endorse his slander."

Quite right. Every U.S. senator should be repudiating and condemning his remarks -- and calling for censure -- in terms strong enough that there's at least a chance that they'll receive some portion of the press attention around the world that Durbin's slander has received.

Instead, the response in the Senate from BOTH sides of the aisle (with Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky an honorable exception) has been hardly stirring.

Senator John Warner (R-VA): Durbin's remarks are "a grievous error"

Senator Bill First (R-TN): "Disappointing"

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY): No comment

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV): Came to Senate floor to defend Durbin.

Do these people not understand that the honor of America's military has been sullied in the eyes of the world? Senator Frist, can't you do a little better than calling it "disappointing"? (It's disappointing when you want vanilla ice cream and all they've got is chocolate. It's disgusting, repugnant, outrageous and unacceptable when our troops are equated with heartless mass murderers and torturers).

Even John McCain -- who prides himself on his support for the military (and who served with honor himself) could muster only the gentlest of rebukes on "Meet the Press":

“Senator Durbin owes not only the Senate an apology because it does a great disservice to the men and women who suffered in the gulag and Pol Pot’s killing fields . . . There’s no comparison whatsoever and it does a great disservice to the majority of men and women who are serving in Guantanamo and are doing the job that they’re told to do and they’re doing it in a human fashion. To tar the American servicemen and women with the brush that applies to the gulag or to the killing fields is a great disservice to the men and women in the military who are serving honorably down there.

Q. Should he formally apologize?

A. I don’t know about formal but he should certainly apologize

Q. Will the Senate take any action against him?

A. I predict to you by the time this program is shown next Sunday, that Mr Durbin will have apologized.

Senator McCain's prediction was wrong. So now what is the Senate going to do about it?

And please note that Senator Durbin owes an apology to more than just the Senate. Let's start with an apology to (1) our fine military men and women; (2) the American public, especially the relatives of our soldiers; (3) the people of Illinois (many of whom must be profoundly embarassed by him) and finally, wrap up with a special expression of regret for (4) the relatives of those who died at the hands of Hitler, the Soviet Communists and Pol Pot, for the disrespect with which he treated their loved ones' unjust persecution and suffering. After all, he compared these innocent victims with the Al Qaeda suspects and thugs that are populating Guantanamo.

Truly, an apology is not enough.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Guest hosting tomorrow night on KABC

I'm posting reminders throughout the weekend . . . I'll be hosting on KABC radio (for those in the LA metro area, that's 790 AM) from 6-9 on Sunday evening. Listen live here.

Bad News for SIECUS

Abstinence education works.

And that makes sense -- unlike so-called "abstinence plus." We don't tell children: "Don't drink -- but if you do, don't drive" or "Don't do drugs -- but if you do, use a clean needle." So why in the world has anyone thought it makes sense to tell them, "Don't have sex -- but if you want to, here's what to do"?

Durbin Isn't Sorry -- He's Speaking for the Left

Nope. Durbin's not sorry. Not one bit.

He's actually speaking up for his leftist constituency. And yes, these people really do believe that America's the problem.

Exhibit 1: The following exchange took place tonight between Bob Costas (sitting in for Larry King) and Vanessa Redgrave:

Costas: "Even given mistakes or perceived mistakes of American policy, what is the greater evil in the world: America and its policies, or America's enemies?"

Redgrave: "It's an important question. One of our most respected judges and highest up on our judicial system said that laws which detain indefinitely . . . are a greater evil than terrorism and I feel the same."

The total lack of any moral perspective is staggering. Holding people who would slit your, mine and our childrens' throats, or drop a nuclear bomb on Manhattan, is worse than actually slitting throats or dropping bombs? What kind of moral idiots are these people?

And as for "laws which detain indefinitely" -- well, give me a break. None of the detainees are subject to the Geneva Conventions, which were specifically put in place to protect civilians by clarifying that they were not a legitimate focus for military action. People who act like soldiers while dressed as civilians abjure all protection of the Geneva Conventions.

And although Vanessa Redgrave may be too wilfully blind or too ignorant to recognize it, there have actually been administrative hearings for many of the detainees at Guantanamo. Some have been released; some have been released and then recaptured because they returned to the field to fight against our soldiers.

Frankly, if holding all these suspects (who are, again, NOT protected by the Geneva Conventions) saves the life of even one American soldier, I'm all for it.

First things first, please

"Leading" a church on the verge of schism, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams (leader of the Anglican, i.e. Episcopal, Church) nevertheless found time to criticize new web-based media as a free for all “close to that of unpoliced conversation.”

Heaven forbid. There's "unpoliced conversation" taking place. Who can rest until all conversation, everywhere, is "policed" to the Archbishop's satisfaction?

With a Church riven by strife over fundamental tenets of its theology, one would presume that the Archbishop could find more fruitful uses for his time than attacking new media. It's not perfect . . . but its performance, frankly, is no worse than his.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Check It Out

One place to keep abreast of the Durbin Debacle is at Blogs For Censure. Check it out.

And can it be true, as reported here, that when asked about these remarks, Hillary Clinton had nothing to say? So much for all that apple-polishing on the Armed Services Committee, Hillary.

Every Democrat in America should be asked whether he (or she!) agrees with Durbin.

Guest Hosting on KABC Sunday night

I'll post reminders throughout the weekend, but here's the first -- I'll be hosting on KABC radio (for those in the LA metro area, that's 790 AM) from 6-9 on Sunday evening. Listen live here.

Democratic Disgrace Dick Durbin

At least some in the MSM grasp what a heinous, outrageous slander has been perpetrated on our military by Dick Durbin.

The Senator isn't doing anything to mitigate his enormous offense against all standards of decency and honor. He appeared this morning on a radio show in Chicago (see Hugh Hewitt for transcript), and actually refused to apologize. No doubt it's because he said what he really thinks -- and certainly no voices from the left have been raised in opposition to his disgraceful comparison of Guantano Bay to the gulags of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot.

Needless to say, the poor souls who suffered under the regimes of those evil men would find even the worst day at Guantanamo to be a walk in the park -- on a sunny day with an ice cream cone, no less.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

An Ironic Juxtaposition

How ironic that many of the people who saw nothing wrong in Terri Schiavo's death by dehydration are so concerned about the discomfort of suspected Al Qaeda in Guantanamo.

Let's ask Senator Durbin: Would the death of Terri Schiavo have been murder if American soldiers had been the ones withholding food and water?

Dick Durbin Should Resign

America is a nation at war. And yesterday, Democratic whip Senator Dick Durbin took to the Senate floor and equated our servicemen with the minions in evil regimes like the Nazis, the Soviet Communists and the Pol Pot Communists.

He has handed our enemies a propaganda victory, slandered the military, and perhaps even endangered our soldiers. Any public servant with a modicum of patriotism would apologize, clarify to the world that he was wrong and then RESIGN. If he won't resign, he should be censured by the Senate. Such remarks cannot be allowed to stand without an official, institutional rebuke.

To hear such America-hating venom spewing from the mouth of a top elected official is beyond the pale. The question is whether the Senate -- and the American people as a whole -- are willing to hold Senator Durbin to any standard of conduct.

The silence of the Democrats -- their failure to rebuke Durbin -- is deafening. And instructive.

MSM Agenda Set by Move-On?

It's instructive to know that if the left wing stamps its feet enough, the MSM will dutifully follow its instructions to coverthe not-so-new "revelations" in the Downing Street Memo.

To me, there's no "there" there. As even Philip Taubman admits, "Given what has been reported about war planning in Washington, the revelations about the Downing Street meeting did not seem like a bolt from the blue."

As this piece and this piece point out (hardly with great joy) the "evidence" presented in the DSM is hardly incontrovertible.

Before I waste more time commenting further, I am going to wait for the British government to conclusively confirm that the memos are genuine. They so perfectly track the arguments against war that were made subsequently by the left that it's hard to believe that either (1)they hadn't been circulated more quietly, much earlier or (2) they aren't real.

In any case, every argument that the DSM attempts to "prove" was exhaustively made during last years election. And all were rejected by the American people. As they say in court, "Asked and answered. Move on."

A Moment of Decision

With the remarks of Dick Durbin comparing Guatanamo Bay with the death camps of Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Pol Pot comes a moment of decision for the Democratic Party.

Such talk is not only valuable propaganda for our enemies. It is inaccurate, ignorant, morally reprehensible and absolutely indefensible. As the linked article points out:

"About 9 million persons, including 6 million Jews, died in Hitler's death camps, 2.7 million persons died in Stalin's gulags and 1.7 million Cambodians died in Pol Pot's scourge of his country.

No prisoners have died at Guantanamo, and the Pentagon has acknowledged five instances of abuse or irreverent handling of the Koran, the holy book of Muslims."

Sure, that's the same. Right.

With Durbin, the Democratic whip in the Senate, having implicitly compared our men and women in uniform to Nazis or Soviet prison guards, the Democratic Party must decide whether this is the kind of rhetoric it supports. Does Durbin, as a party leader, speak for his party? Yes -- unless we know differently.

What a revealing moment for the Democrats. How interesting to know that a leading Democrat is more concerned about the comfort of America's enemies than the honor of its soldiers.

If the rest of the party DOESN'T agree with Durbin, they'd better speak up. And fast.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Liberals Turn on their Inky Friends

Frustrated and helpless, the left has now taken to attacking its friends in the MSM.

Howard Kurtz devotes many words to the feelings of the poor Democrats, feeling unloved, disenfranchised and marginalized by the press.

Do you ever recall reading a similar piece taking seriously the Republican claims of media bias? I don't. The Dems' recent big gripe? The press didn't cover the Downing Street Memo enough.

Please. The press isn't covering the wonderful progress in IRAQ (check out Radioblogger from yesterday for text and audio on the real state of affairs). . . and they're worried about a memo rehashing tired allegations that were thoroughly addressed in last year's election?

How exactly do the Democrats explain this and this?

How does that whole right-wing bias thing work again? Riddle me that, Batman!

PBS - It's About Time

It looks like PBS will start attempting to provide, on the whole, a balanced menu of programming, thanks to the work of PBS Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson. And balance is appropriate, given that PBS is funded by taxpayer money -- in a country that is not overwhelmingly liberal . . . as PBS' programming has predominantly been for some time.

PBS Chairman Tomlinson has been unfairly maligned by critics on the left who have no clue. They need to understand that in an age where communication options are exploding, there is a shrinking rationale even for PBS' actual existence. That rationale diminishes exponentially if it's merely Air America on television. By requiring PBS to broaden up a little bit, Tomlinson is actually doing more to save it than the hot-headed left wing commentators who, for too long, have treated PBS like their clubhouse.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

How sad. Another soldier has died in Iraq -- and his mother has decided to devote her life to attacking President Bush and the war in Iraq.

It's interesting that the press always chooses to cover this kind of story. After all, there are certainly more gold star mothers who still support President Bush and the war . . .but we never seem to read about them in the pages of our newspapers.

I feel for this woman's loss. And I certainly sympathize with her exploitation by anti-Bush partisans in the MSM. For shame.
Let us see if the "Bush lied" crowd is willing to hold Kofi Annan to any standard of probity whatsoever.

First Things First

Before Paul Krugman rants anymore on the supposed crisis in health care insurance (or the lack of it), perhaps he'd like to take a crack at solving the immigration problem.


Vice President Cheney speaks sense on the issue of closing Guantanamo -- specifically, that "those who are most urgently advocating that we shut down Guantanamo probably don't agree with our policies anyway." True enough. Who honestly thinks that moving the prison would eliminate criticism from the likes of the morally-stunted Amnesty International? Or even, sadly, from the International Red Cross -- whose impartiality is now being credibly called into question?

What's most stunning is the quote by Patrick Leahy that concludes the linked article. Vermont's senator is quoted as saying, "We want other countries to adhere to the rule of law. And in Guantanamo, we are not." Granted, Leahy is not known for his discretion -- he was forced to resign from the Senate Intelligence Committee after leaking a preliminary copy of the Iran Contra report. But at least back then we were not at war. Here, his lack of judgment and proportion has provided America's enemies with priceless (and ill-informed) propaganda. He has no shame. He is a disgrace to the US Senate.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Special Election in CA

Well, he did it. Governor Schwarzenegger has called for a special election, with ballot measures on capping state spending, increasing the time required for teachers to gain tenure, and handing legislative redistricting to a panel of elected judges, rather than the legislature.

Another key measure that will be voted on is "paycheck protection" -- which would allow state employees' unions to use their members' money for political purposes only if authorized to do so by their union members on an annual basis. All the unions will be kicking in to fight this one -- because if the union bosses lose the power to fund their political friends by collecting money even from unwilling members, they lose a big chunk of their political clout.

No supporter of Governor Schwarzenegger can be under the illusion that this will be an easy fight. The teachers' unions have already imposed a special assessment on their members (willing and not) that will raise a whopping $50 million to oppose the measures. No doubt the government employees' unions -- and others -- will do the same.

The importance of this election can hardly be overestimated. Either California is going to pull itself together and stop being manhandled by left-wing special interests (like the unions) or it is going to continue slowly down in a fiscal death spiral.

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Another Sign of MSM Disconnect?

Check this out. It appears that "ordinary Americans" define "journalist" somewhat differently than the journalists do. What some would consider remarkable is that many regular Americans consider commentators -- like Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly -- to be journalists. Or maybe it's not so remarkable . . . given the good sense of the American people, they can see that many self-proclaimed MSM journalists are, in fact, commentators. So in the end, perhaps it all makes sense.

A Profound Disappointment

That's the verdict in the Michael Jackson case.

Somehow, in the fog of "the law," the jury lost touch with common sense: What is a 45 year old man doing with (male) child pornography, giving alcohol to (male) minors, with a bedroom that has several sets of alarms to alert occupants if unauthorized people approach it, living in a house that is tricked out to appeal to children -- and SLEEPING WITH (male) CHILDREN?

Yes, the OJ Simpson and Robert Blake cases were travesties of justice, in my opinion. But this one is worse. Why? Because Simpson most likely would only batter/kill another woman with whom he was involved -- and any woman who chose to take up with OJ Simpson would be assuming that risk as an adult. Blake seemed to be a once-in-a-lifetime type of murderer, who wanted his wife out of the way for his child's sake (not that this justifies what he might have done, but it does suggest he's not likely to be a repeat offender).

In contrast, it seems that Michael Jackson continued to molest children even after he paid off Jordy Chandler to the tune of $20 million about a decade ago. This suggests that he can't help himself. And what this jury has done, it seems to me, is free a serial molester to victimize children with impunity -- few prosecutors, after all, will rush to indict him again after this debacle. As for a civil trial, there's little left to come out about Michael Jackson that hasn't already been admitted . . . and as the trial showed, the complaining parties (the family that testified in this case) don't go over well with juries.

One thing is certain: Any parent who permits his/her son to go NEAR Michael Jackson should, figuratively speaking, be taken to the town square and shot at dawn.

New Tactics by Dems and MSM?

According to this piece in The Washington Times, Democrats are formulating a new filibuster strategy. The piece notes, "The new filibusters are not based publicly on ideologies -- as with several of the nominees to the federal bench -- but on demands for additional information from the administration."

In other words, the Democrats intend to lie. Although the real reasons for the filibusters will, in fact, be the ideology of the nominees, Democrats instead intend to make frivolous demands for irrelevant, classified or unnecessary documents, and then base their opposition to Bush nominees on the Administration's failure to provide them.

From the Democrats' perspective, the move makes sense. Given their absolute dearth of new ideas -- and an uneasy suspicion that a fair proportion of the country actually agrees with the Republicans on policy issues -- the only way (they reason) to give people a reason for voting Republicans out and Democrats in is to paint Republicans as secretive, out of touch, power-mad evildoers. And that's the strategy.

Will it work? Perhaps not, but not for any lack of cooperation from the MSM. It's doing its part by painting the situation in the War on Terror -- wrongfully -- as a disaster. The LA Times today notes that "Support for Guantanamo Eroding in Bush's Circle," yesterday's Washington Post offers "U.S. Campaign Produces Few Convictions on Terrorism Charges," and The New York Times worries, "Some Held at Guantanamo Are Minors, Lawyers Say." (sorry - links don't seem to be operating properly).

It's enough to make one suspect that the press has bought into Judy Woodruff's analysis yesterday on Meet the Press:

"When you have that view on the part of the American people crumbling and you have people thinking, 'Well, it's not making us any safer in the United States to be fighting the war in Iraq,' to me that removes a huge chunk of the underpinning of the political strength of the Administration."

So Guantanamo is portrayed as a public relations disaster for the US ("creating more terrorists"), prosecutions of alleged terrorists supposedly aren't yielding fruit, and our efforts in Iraq are punctuated by the drumbeats of journalists' predictions of doom. Could it be that -- on journalists' part -- the wish is father to the thought?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Truth, Anyone?

Here is a little common sense from Mark Steyn about the jihad spin job being done on allegations of American mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo. As he points out, instances of abuse (by Americans -- it turns out Muslims are abusing their holy book more than we are) average one per year.

It's difficult to understand why any patriotic American would be willing to permit our foes this propaganda win by closing Guantanamo Bay. Instead, we should be fighting the misinformation with the real information -- as Duncan Hunter attempted to do on today's Fox News Sunday, pointing out that "prisoners" feast on dishes like lemon glazed chicken, with their prayers broadcast five times daily over the loudspeaker. Note to Amnesty International (and Human Rights Watch, who had a representative on the program -- a Clinton administration alum): Guantanamo's gotta be the only "gulag" in the history of man where its "victims" emerge better-fed and healthier than when they went in.

As for our other detention centers in Iraq and elsewhere, yes, regrettably, there have been deaths. About 25 out of 68,000 people processed. Any death is one too many, but get real . . . a "killing field" this is not.

A lot of the Democrats and interest groups seem to be advocating what amounts to unilateral disarmament in the war on terror in order to win what they think would be a public relations victory. They are wrong. Our enemies will always be with us, and they will always be willing to distort and lie in order to paint America in the worst possible light.

They are a scary group, indeed -- as are those who, through their hand-wringing, indecision and willingness to denounce America, permit their propaganda efforts to succeed.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

MSM "Meth Mouth"

Just another reason that confidence in the media is at an all-time low, and deservedly so. According to this piece in Editor & Publisher, there is "serious doubt on whether either newspaper took sufficient reasonable care in evaluating the chain of transmission by which they received the Kerry [military records] documents."

Apparently, standard form 180 can be filled out artfully, to allow for the production of some documents and not others. Wonder if the documents would have been President Bush's National Guard Records -- would they have encountered such an, ahem, loose standard of scrutiny?

Just another sign of the media's bias, and its moral decay. Kind of like this -- as, with nary a qualm, the New Yorker glorifies a spy responsible for American deaths in Vietnam.

Or this story, from yesterday, about repeated failings on the part of the FBI in the run-up to 9/11, during 2000. Note the conspicuous absence of any linkage between the events and the incumbent president at the time (Clinton, that is). Wonder if the same would have held true had the events being reported taken place in 2001 (Bush years), instead? My particular favorite quote in the story comes from 9/11 commission member Jamie Gorelick, deputy attorney general during the period in question -- an important "detail" tactfully omitted by the Post. She thinks there is "quite a bit of work left to be done" by the FBI. Well, she should know, having basically run the cabinet department charged with supervising the Bureau (remember, her nominal "boss" was the barely competent, we're-desperate-to-find-a-woman-to-run-Justice pick Janet Reno).

Seems to me that a significant part of the MSM is afflicted with the journalistic equivalent of "meth mouth".

Friday, June 10, 2005

Shocker! Trust in MSM down

So confidence in the newspapers and TV news has fallen to an all-time low.

In the wake of Rathergate, the retracted Newsweek Koran desecration story and other assorted media scandals, is that really any surprise? Even now, there is a disgraceful drumbeat for defeat in Iraq (exhibit 1: Howard Fineman's piece about how it wasn't worth it).

The difference is that, today, there is alternative media to tell (as Paul Harvey would put it) "the rest of the story" -- and to cover the stories that the MSM would otherwise ignore. Inevitably, as manifold deficiencies are revealed, public confidence in MSM -- shown to be biased, arrogant and occasionally incompetent -- will continue to fall.
Writer Richard Rodriguez will not be speaking at California State University-East Bay's commencement. Apparently, there were protests by some who intended to boycott the ceremony. Rodriguez believes in assimilation, apparently, and that's too much for the ethnic pride fanatics who apparently dominate the school.

Similarly, last year, Professor John Yoo of Boalt School of Law (a friend, incidentally) didn't attend its commencement because students had threatened disruptive protests, given Yoo's association with the controversial (and oft-misrepresented) torture memo during his tenure at the Justice Department.

In the linked piece discussing the treatment of Rodriguez, Debra Saunders notes the danger of Americans never being required to entertain opinions that are different from theirs. But let me add that -- at least for college-educated Americans -- that danger is much greater for those on the left than for those on the right.

That's, of course, because American universities are almost monolithically liberal. It's almost impossible to attend one without being confronted by a barrage of left-wing ideas -- in the classroom, through campus protests, etc. Look even at the ranks of graduation speakers, which tends to be predominantly liberal. (At Princeton in 1989, the end of the Reagan years when there were plenty of recent administration alumni available, our baccalaureate speaker was . . . Pat Schroeder).

In contrast, liberal students can get by without ever having to confront conservative ideas -- at least until they're out in the real world. And then, because of their earlier "holiday", they're at a disadvantage.

How ironic that the leftist faculty is creating a generation of conservative students who have been intellectually challenged and have the "battle scars" of ideological combat, while the leftist students are ill-equipped to defend their intellectually impoverished ideas after they must leave the nurturing arms of the ivory tower.

Wealth and Envy

Liberal Jonathan Chait insists he doesn't envy the rich -- he just wants to tax them (more). And doubtless this reaction is precisely the editors hoped for when The New York Times decided to run a series of pieces on class in America.

Even setting aside the fact that the "super-rich" (referred to by the article linked above) is only about 1/1000 of the U.S. population, Chait dodges inconvenient questions by setting up straw men:

Whenever you broach such inconvenient facts [about rising income inequality], conservatives invariably have three pat replies. One is to accuse you of envying the rich and/or wanting to kill them. Another is to suggest you want to turn the United States into a clone of some god-awful country . . .. The third is to insist that it's good for everybody when the country gets less equal.

Chait's piece is distinguished by its ignorance of conservative argument. I have known many, many conservatives over the years -- and have never heard anyone accuse redistributionists of wanting to kill rich people, or insist that it's great for everyone when the country gets less equal. There is, in my view, a well-justified suspicion that liberals like Chait would be pleased if this country began to resemble some of the more redistributionist European or Scandinavian societies -- but, in fairness, shouldn't Chait concede that this suspicion is justified, given the reverence in which liberals seem to hold these countries compared to their critical attitudes toward the United States?

But even more, Chait never addresses the real objection to those who would impose punitive tax rates even on the very rich. Let's be clear here -- I'm no fan of conspicuous consumption, having, for example, been less than impressed to read that Donald Trump's wife wore a $300,000 wedding dress less than half an hour. The same amount of money, after all, could have made a big difference, even divided between a number of poor families.

But as gauche and ill-judged as the Trump wedding dress spending decision may have been, it did have the effect of employing a number of seamstresses for a period of time. And moreover, if you've got the money, you've got the right to waste it even in ridiculous ways (although you shouldn't expect boatloads of admiration when you do).

One question people like Chait never answer: How much taxing is enough? That is, what tax rate is too high, as a moral matter, even when imposed on no one but the super-rich? Is it 50%, 60%, 70%? Isn't there some point when we decide that a certain tax level is immorally confiscatory, whomever it's imposed on? (For liberals, there doesn't seem to be).

For these purposes, there's not really even an argument for distinguishing between earned and inheirited wealth (although earned wealth is certainly more worthy of admiration, especially in the era of Paris Hilton). After all, someone had to do something to earn the money in the first place, and many are motivated by the aspiration to leave something of value to their heirs.

No, the heirs didn't do anything to deserve their fortune, necessarily. But models didn't do anything to deserve the beauty that wins them money and renown. So should they be taxed at a higher rate than risk-taking entrepreneurs like Bill Gates? And do we really want the government in the business of deciding who deserves what, and drawing the tax lines accordingly?

If Jonathan Chait had answered these questions -- instead of setting up straw men and taking the easy cheap shots -- well, that would have have been a piece worth reading.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Howard Dean: Longtime Religious Bigot?

Seems that Dean's recent comments are merely his most recent anti-religious rantings.

What does it say about the Democratic Party that its members would choose a man like this as their leader?

Democrats' Determined "Dissing" of People of Faith

First it was Howard Dean, charging that the Republican Party was "pretty much a white, Christian party" -- as though the word "Christian" was a term of opprobrium.

With Dean having made it clear how little the Democratic Party values Christians, it seems to be Charlie Rangel's turn to take a shot at those of the Jewish faith. To Rangel, the Iraq war "is the biggest fraud ever committed on the people of this country. ... This is just as bad as the 6 million Jews being killed."

Wow. Is he really trying to follow in the footsteps of the despicable Amnesty International, which compared Guantanamo Bay to a gulag? Rangel really believes that our prison camps in Iraq are the equivalent of Dachau or the other concentration camps, or that President Bush is comparable to Hitler, or that United States soldiers are acting like Nazis?

Abraham Foxman of the Anti Defamation League, responding to Rangel, put it well:

"If the world had recognized the evil of Hitler early enough - just like we're confronting the evil of terrorism and fundamentalism now - then maybe the 6 million wouldn't have died."

People like Dean and Rangel are revealing the Democratic Party's true colors. Do they really think there are enough practicioners of the radical, anti-American variety of Muslim faith combined with atheists to make an electoral majority?

As a committed Republican, I hope so! Even so, such bigotry and ignorance is always disheartening, especially when it emanates from representatives of a major political party.

LA Times Sour & Misleading on Brown Confirmation

Here is the piece from the LA Times covering the elevation of Janice Rogers Brown to the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

It's disappointing, but not surprising, that the LA Times drops some inexcusably loaded language into the piece without providing the proper context.

From the Times:

California's two senators — Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both Democrats — opposed Brown's elevation to the federal bench. Before Bush came to office, the Senate traditionally considered opposition by home-state senators sufficient to block a nominee.

The Times conveniently forgets to note that before Bush came to office, the Senate traditionally considered filibustering nominees with majority support in the Senate to be unacceptable, too. So, to put it mildly, the biggest lapses in precent are assuredly not coming from the Bush White House.

From the Times:

Initially nominated to the federal bench in July 2003, Brown was one of 10 appellate court candidates whom Democrats blocked during Bush's first term, describing them as "extremists." Unlike previous presidents, who often let controversial nominations lapse, Bush took the unusual step of renominating seven of the 10, including Brown, earlier this year.

Exactly what Presidents do they mean? Like Reagan, or Bush I, or Clinton? Could this have anything to do with the fact that, unlike Bush II here, they were dealing with a Senate dominated by senators from the opposing party? That would, of course, mean almost by definition that a "controversial" nominee would lack majority support.

And let's not forget that President Bush was gracious enough to nominate a Clinton recess appointment -- Roger Gregory -- to the Fourth Circuit, even though he could have rescinded it. Bet you couldn't read a lot about that in the Times.

What poor reporting.