"A [liberal] idea can be recognized by three earmarks, It will be: 1)Founded in ignorance, 2) Focussed on irrelevance, 3) Engaged in wishful thinking.
.......................................................Mark Alger

July 08, 2007

Carnival Time - Carnival Of The Insanities

Dr. Sanity is again at it and posting submissions from some of the most sane commentary on some of the insanity that is going on in the world. Take a peek and you won't be disappointed.

scream_2.jpg

This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 08:19 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (0) | Trackbacks:(0)


We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
----- Texas Preamble, 1845
"Subscribe via Feedburner"
AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

July 07, 2007

How To Get A Good Haircut And Save $387.00

Dear Senator Edwards,
Unfortunately, you have been the butt of far to many jokes about your hair, so, I thought I'd step in and give you a hand. Lord knows, right now you need it. Your fund raising is down, you are being laughed at, and people with little or no hair seem envious. The poor, whom you have always championed are aghast that you spend $400.00 on a tonsorial job, let alone fly a stylist down to Atlanta at the cost of $1250.00. Why, that would provide, at today's prices some 125 haircuts for the poor. They have to look nice too don't you think?

At any rate, I live in a fairly poor section of the United States, one of the poorest as a matter of fact. Your rival Hillary, and years ago her husband Bill (you remember Bill don't you Senator?) came to our little section of south Texas and raised millions of dollars for their campaigns, I suspect that you will too. Of course, leaving that money in the valley would do more to help the poor, but you have to run your campaign the way you think best Senator. Just ask Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan. At any rate, as I said, I'm sure you will be down to the Rio Grande Valley to take money for yourself that could better be used elsewhere raise funds for your campaign at some time, and I have a couple of suggestions.


This is where I go for my hair styling. Yes, it really is a barbershop and yes, it really does have a red, white and blue striped barber pole out front and yes, there are old magazines, new newspapers, pictures of John Wayne and Pancho Villa and upside down horse shoes on the walls. There is even old Fearless Fosdic advertising Wildroot Hair Tonic on the wall. Johnny's is everything a barbershop should be. Now, of course I don't expect you to believe me when I say that I go there and have gone there for years. So, I thought I'd show you a picture of me sitting in a chair in Johnny's getting ready to have my hair cut. You see Senator, while I'm not poor, I just can't imagine spending $200.00 to $400.00 dollars for a hair cut, let alone fly a stylist anywhere so I can look nice for the ladies and the cameras. So, I spend about $10.00 for a haircut plus about a $2.00 or $3.00 tip, and of course, I tip because Johnny trims the hair out of my ears, makes my eyebrows look less bushy and at the end, uses his very strong hands to massage the back of my neck for a minute or so and believe me, though that might be worth an extra fin, he doesn't charge for it. and, as you can tell from my hair in the second photo, I absolutely need a hair cut.


Oh, In case I haven't told you about Johnny, let me tell you a few things about him. First, he is really a terrific fellow. He is always interested in bettering himself, and towards this end, takes college courses from time to time as money and interest allows. You see, Johnny's not a rich fellow either, he just believes in doing an honest amount of work for an honest dollar. I first met Johnny back in 1994 when he was a student in one of the courses I taught at the local Community College (Psychology if you must know). So, I've known Johnny for a few years and I think the world of him. You ought to get to know Johnny and quite a few more like him. I'd bet it would shake your belief in someone that charges $400.00 for a hair cut. But, Senator I digress. At Johnny's you could save $387.00 if you went to Johnny's when you get down here and then you could donate the difference to say The Food Bank where it might help poor people more than rhetoric does. And, you would even get a tax deduction. AND, if I may be so bold, you could even use that in your campaign against Hillary who asked for a deduction based on giving Bills "used silk underwear" to charity. That ought to be worth something don't you think?


But, again, I don't expect you to believe what I'm saying just because I, a lowly blogger says it, I would expect you to want to see "proof positive, that the cut is worth every bit of the $400.00 that you spent, but it only cost me $13.00 (including the tip of course). So you see Senator, you could turn back all the laughter and smirks at your expense by following my little bit of advice. Won't you think about it?

Oh, and Senator, you could save a few bucks on your house too. Like I said, I'm not poor, but I'm not wealthy either. I built the Mantle Clock you see peeking behind my right shoulder and, I made the Mantle Piece over the fire place too. Just think of how much you could save.



This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 03:52 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (2) | Trackbacks:(0)


We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
----- Texas Preamble, 1845
"Subscribe via Feedburner"
AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

July 06, 2007

Robert Heinlein, Centenary 1907-2007

Tomorrow, July 7, 2007 is the 100th birthday of Robert A. Heinlein, one of my very favorite Authors. I've read most of his output over the years, becoming a fan in 1957 as a 6th grader reading Space Cadet, then already published in 1947 or 48 I believe. Since then, I've read so many, Stranger in a Strange Land, Glory Road, Methuselah's Children, The Cat Who Walked Through Walls. So many, so much wonder, adventure and writing that captivates the young as well as the young at heart. What I didn't know, is that Heinlein also was a contributor to Edward R. Murrows radio series "This I Believe". Among his efforts was this, and reading it sent chills up and down my spine, not because it is spine chilling science fiction, but because it is what America was, and can be again if we all collectively pull our heads out and get on with the business of America. Robert A. Heinlein ladies and gentlemen:

Our Noble, Essential Decency

by Robert A. Heinlein

I am not going to talk about religious beliefs but about matters so obvious that it has gone out of style to mention them. I believe in my neighbors. I know their faults, and I know that their virtues far outweigh their faults.

Take Father Michael down our road a piece. I'm not of his creed, but I know that his goodness and charity and loving kindness shine in his daily actions. I believe in Father Mike. If I'm in trouble, I'll go to him. My next-door neighbor's a veterinary doctor. Doc will get out of bed after a hard day to help a stray cat—no fee, no prospect of a fee. I believe in Doc.

I believe in my townspeople. You can knock on any door in our town, say, "I'm hungry," and you'll be fed. Our town is no exception. I've found the same ready charity everywhere. For the one who says, "The heck with you, I've got mine," there are a hundred, a thousand, who will say, "Sure, pal, sit down." I know that despite all warnings against hitchhikers, I can step to the highway, thumb for a ride, and in a few minutes a car or a truck will stop and someone will say, "Climb in, Mack. How far you going?"

I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime. Yet for every criminal, there are ten thousand honest, decent, kindly men. If it were not so. no child would live to grow up. Business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news. It is buried in the obituaries, but it is a force stronger than crime.

I believe in the patient gallantry of nurses, in the tedious sacrifices of teachers. I believe in the unseen and unending fight against desperate odds that goes on quietly in almost every home in the land. I believe in the honest craft of workmen. Take a look around you. There never were enough bosses to check up on all that work. From Independence Hall to the Grand Coulee Dam, these things were built level and square by craftsmen who were honest in their bones.

I believe that almost all politicians are honest. For every bribed alderman, there are hundreds of politicians—low paid or not paid at all—doing their level best without thanks or glory to make our system work. If this were not true, we would never have gotten past the thirteen colonies.

I believe in Roger Young. You and I are free today because of endless unnamed heroes from Valley Forge to the Yalu River. I believe in—I am proud to belong to—the United States. Despite shortcomings—from lynchings, to bad faith in high places—our nation has had the most decent and kindly internal practices and foreign policies to be found anywhere in history.

And finally, I believe in my whole race—yellow, white, black, red, brown—in the honesty, courage, intelligence, durability, and goodness of the overwhelming majority of my brothers and sisters everywhere on this planet. I am proud to be a human being. I believe that we have come this far by the skin of our teeth—that we always make it just by the skin of our teeth—but that we will always make it, survive, endure.

I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching oversized braincase and the opposable thumb—this animal barely up from the apes—will endure, will endure longer than his home planet, will spread out to the other planets—to the stars and beyond—carrying with him his honesty, his insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage, and his noble essential decency. This I believe with all my heart.

What a mind this man had.

H/T via Instapundit to John Derbyshire of "The Corner" who also notes that this essay and others are available from NPR and I think I'm headed over to Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy, even if NPR did put it out.

This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 11:51 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (4) | Trackbacks:(0)


We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
----- Texas Preamble, 1845
"Subscribe via Feedburner"
AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

July 05, 2007

Evocation

lost in the fog copy.jpg

Evocation
......GM Roper
Somewhere, in the fog, the sea brings forth a memory,
of friendships, of loves and laughter.
But, like the sea with fog hiding ships,
those memories are mixed, choppy and tossed.

My memory of youth has faded like that ship in the fog,
sharp and clear at first, gradually fading as distance
increases and the fog slowly, irresolutely but steadily
covers the vision until at last,
in the dark
it is
gone,
and
I
am
alone!

H/T to Raven for the photo

This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 09:44 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (11) | Trackbacks:(0)


We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
----- Texas Preamble, 1845
"Subscribe via Feedburner"
AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

Free Government Hair Care [Updated]

Will we get free government haircuts and styling if John Edwards is elected President? Given the importance that he places on his hair and his desire to identify with the common man, this is something that he can promise everyone, regardless of income. However, you must use the government supplied stylist and may have to wait three months for your appointment.

John Edwards $1,250 haricut
Hair Stylist Behind Pricey 'Dos Details Long Relationship

For four decades, Joseph Torrenueva has cut the hair of Hollywood celebrities, from Marlon Brando to Bob Barker, so when a friend told him in 2003 that a presidential candidate needed grooming advice, he agreed to help.

The Beverly Hills hairstylist, a Democrat, said he hit it off with then-Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina at a meeting in Los Angeles that brought several fashion experts together to advise the candidate on his appearance. Since then, Torrenueva has cut Edwards's hair at least 16 times.

There was one cut for $300 in mid-July in Los Angeles, shortly before the Democratic National Convention, the one for $1,250 in August in Atlanta, another in Washington in early October before a debate with Vice President Cheney, and the last was in Ohio shortly before the election.

What I did was, there was too much hair on top, always falling down, and it made him look too youthful. I took the top down and balanced everything out. He couldn't see it. But then we went into the bathroom. He looked in the mirror and said, 'I love this,' and that was it."

I'm not going to say that Ann Coulter was right to refer to John Edwards like she did, but....well, does Edwards' relationship with his stylist and his preoccupation with his looks seem a little odd?

Oh, I guess it's okay if he flaunts it because, as many men know, "hair today, gone tomorrow."

[Update]

John Edwards - Magazine fashion cover boy, as reported by NewsBusters, on Men's Vogue, which described their cover boy thusly:

The hair, up close, is peppered with tiny strands of blond. Chestnut brown and so finely trimmed, mellifluous, smooth, and feathery, it could almost be a weave, the Platonic ideal as imagined by the Hair Club for Men. Along with the piercing blue eyes, slashing V-shaped smile, and a shimmering burgundy shirt tucked into stonewashed Levi's resting low on the hips, the hair completes the man: John Edwards, a populist Adonis, a golden god of a Southern Democrat.

Newsbusters had the right comment: Ooooh, sassy!

Adonis? Golden god of a Southern Democrat? Might I add, "Make me throw up."

Update: Blogfriend Fausta has more on Prettyboy Edwards

This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 01:30 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (15) | Trackbacks:(0)


We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
----- Texas Preamble, 1845
"Subscribe via Feedburner"
AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

July 04, 2007

Democrat or Dictator? Government Healthcare [Updated]

It's gotten so that you can't tell a Democrat from a socialist dictator. It's class warfare, and if you can afford something that someone else cannot, well, that's not fair! The Democrats/Dictators will change medicine to where you will have no personal options and must obtain health care wherever the government tells you--if not today, then tomorrow. It's only fair.

Chávez threatens private healthcare

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- President Hugo Chávez said Tuesday his government will nationalize Venezuela's privately owned hospitals and clinics if they fail to reduce healthcare costs. ''If the owners of the private clinics don't want to obey the laws, then the private clinics will be nationalized,'' Chávez said in a nationally televised speech.

Venezuela has a two-tiered health system in which wealthier, insured patients often can afford prompter, better treatment at private hospitals.

''This is the evil of capitalism,'' Chávez said of the healthcare costs at private clinics. ``We have to regulate this progressively, transforming the savage capitalist market into a market of solidarity.''

Chávez has expanded the public-health system, building new clinics and refurbishing hospitals, but many public hospitals lack basic medical supplies and sufficient personnel. He has also sent thousands of Cuban and Venezuelan doctors to live in poor neighborhoods, where they provide free care.

Looking forward to having Hillary Clinton as President?

Update:

Here's a good article by John Stossel on the subject of government dictated health care:

Live and Let Live(Selections)

Increasingly, it seems that the biggest difference between conservatives and "liberals" is that the conservatives know government is force.

Michael Moore may not have thought about it, but there are only two ways to get people to do things: force or persuasion. Government is all about force. Government has nothing it hasn't first expropriated from some productive person.

In contrast, the private sector -- whether nonprofit or a greedy business -- must work through persuasion and consent.

Live and let live" used to be a noble approach to life. Now you're considered compassionate if you demand that government impose your preferences on others.

This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 10:40 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (1) | Trackbacks:(0)


We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
----- Texas Preamble, 1845
"Subscribe via Feedburner"
AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

Articles of Surrender to Political Correctness.

I Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of England hereby declare that my government will no longer allow anyone in this government to mention members of the Religion of Peace in any connection with the terroristic acts recently attempted in Glasgow or in London. I take this action for a number of reasons,

  • To keep from offending any member of the RoP lest they have a temper tantrum and threaten to behead those who insult Islam.
  • To insure that all members of the RoP understand that we are no longer talking about the "War On Terrorism" because afterall, that is merely the phraseology of the cowboy George Bush.
  • To reassure the people of England absolutely understand that we have too long degraded our asian brothers and kept them from fully expanding their caliphate as their religion demands.
  • to insure that I keep my head, cause I'm truly afraid of these blokes.

    In the very near future, I will require that all females of the English Crown dress in full RoP niqabi so that our fine women folk will not inflame the sexual desires of the resident Moslem men as everyone knows that members of the RoP cannot control their passions. To insure that there is true domestic tranquility, I require that the military turn over all arms to be kept under lock and key in the nearest Mosque, so that when we are attempted to defend ourselves and our way of life, as surely we will be if these Muslim Terrorists hooligans continue their campaign of bombing, beheading, burning and brandishing of swords and knives let alone gas canisters we won't be tempted to use extreme force against our friends, the members of the RoP.

    Lastly, to make sure that each citizen of our great country understand where our future lies, I hereby order the following flag to be used at all official government offices, buildings, and any ceremony.

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 03:48 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (6) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

  • Thus began the greatest experiment in human history, the founding of a new government that was not based on a devine right of kings and queens, but of a people that had decided that they could rule themselves. And rule themselves they have. Beginning with the Declaration of Independence drafted between June 11th and June 28th and read in congress. On July 2nd 1776 Congress declaired its independence from England and on July 4th, 1776 approved the Declaration. Congress ordered the Declaration engrossed (officially inscribed) and signed on July 19th and on August 2, 1776 delagates began to sign the Declaration.

    John Dunlap printed the Declaration on July 4, 1776 and of these "Dunlap Broadsides" 24 copies are known to exist. On January 18, 1777 Congress, moved to Baltimore to avoid the British, orders that signed copies of the Declaration of Independence printed by Mary Katherine Goddard of Baltimore be sent to the states. The war for independence was well underway.

    From that beginning, the signers of the Declaration, pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Sacred honor, what a stiring phrase that is, especially now given the events in Washington, the backbiting, the political posturing and the spending, the tussels between the legislative and executive branches, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the invasion of our shores by peoples of another country looking for something they don't find in their home countries, work, freedom, and a chance to be somebody. Yes, they are illegal, but they also contribute something, though perhaps they cost more than they contribute.

    Yet, this country, founded 231 years ago today still stands as that "bright shining city on the hill" to millions of people. If you ask a million people of countries that are, shall we say, less than ideal, less than free, a substantial majority of them will want to come to The United States of America, a country that began with people "Yearning To Be Free" and willing to fight and die for that ideal.

    Many in this country are still willing to fight and die for that ideal, and far too many have given up, surrendered to political correctness and willing to bow and scrape to an ideology that in essence says "I know better how to do for you than you will ever know."

    And yet, we are still that "Bright Shining City on the Hill." With God's help, and a willingness to do the right thing, to take our destiny in our hands trusting in a higher power to assist when and as necessary, we will continue to be that City.

    Happy Independence Day, and always be willing to celebrate: July 4th as a day when, still, the greatest experiment of human history began, for it will never end as long as man is on the face of the earth.

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 08:55 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (8) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    July 03, 2007

    Welcome Immigrants

    Why don't people like this guy slip over the U.S. border?

    Mexican tycoon overtakes Bill Gates as world's richest man

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 01:10 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (3) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Liberals Generous With OPM

    No, OPM is not opium...it's "Other People's Money."

    You can't call San Francisco 'sicko' (Selections)
    City's universal health care initiative signs up
    its first applicants in Chinatown
    Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer

    (San Francisco's) elected leaders, who in a rare display of unanimity agreed last summer to begin providing health care to all San Franciscans. At a time when the broken state of the health care system is at center stage -- in the race for president in 2008 and at movie theaters where Michael Moore's documentary "Sicko" is filling a lot of seats -- San Francisco is the first city in the country to try to tackle the problem itself.

    The initiative, dubbed Healthy San Francisco, aims within 18 months to cover all 82,000 people in the city who lack health insurance. Immigration status, pre-existing conditions and employment status don't matter in enrolling for the program.

    Healthy San Francisco is estimated to cost $200 million a year and will be paid for through a mix of public funds, participants' premiums and co-payments and employer contributions.

    The city is mandating that employers who don't currently offer health insurance to their employees contribute to Healthy San Francisco starting Jan. 1. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association has sued to block this component of the program, saying small business owners simply cannot afford it. Both sides are due in federal court Aug. 31.

    Do you qualify?
    For information on Healthy San Francisco and to see if you qualify for coverage, call (415) 615-4500, e-mail info@sfhap.org or visit www.sfhap.org.

    This should end well. Everyone who is poor or in the U.S. illegally should move to San Francisco immediately.

    Be sure to thank the small business owners before they are forced to close and fire employees because of added taxes and unfunded government mandates.

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 12:00 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (1) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Toss Your Sun Tan Lotion

    Today's left-wing attack against the evils of mankind concerns over-use and waste of a vital natural resource, which reduces the amount available to other life forms. What is this limited resource? The Sun. No, really.

    Human greed takes
    lion's share of solar energy

    Humans are just one of the millions of species on Earth, but we use up almost a quarter of the sun's energy captured by plants - the most of any species.

    The human dominance of this natural resource is affecting other species, reducing the amount of energy available to them by almost 10 per cent, scientists report.

    ...An agriculture professor at the University of Melbourne, Snow Barlow, said the (research) paper showed humans were taking up too much of an important natural resource.

    "Here we are, just one species on the earth, and we're grabbing a quarter of the renewable resources … we're probably being a bit greedy."

    Close your curtains and throw away your sun tan lotion. Save the Sun's energy for the rest of the world to use what you do not. And, remember, the Sun has a remaining life of only five billion years, so let's be wise to conserve it.

    Tomorrow's crisis...we use the Moon too much for romancing. Leftist insanity never ends.

    But, tell the left to give mankind credit. We turn off the sun when we go to bed at night, and we'll consider ending daylight savings time so that their hallucination plants get more sun.

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 11:20 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (0) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    July 02, 2007

    Reidie Rage BoyTM


    The President has commuted Scooter Libby's prison sentence. And already the howls are coming up from our own homegrown Reidie Rage Boy™. Reid began howling and pontificating within seconds of the announcement that Libbys 30 month prison sentence was commuted leaving intact the fine and two years probation. Bush noted:

    I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said in a statement. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison."
    Reidie Rage Boy™ of course decried the Presidents constitutional perogative calling it disgraceful. Bush also stated:
    Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable."
    I will give this to Harry Reid. When Clinton got off with nothing more than impeachment but no conviction, Harry Reid announced that it was also disgraceful and that Clinton deserved conviction and a prison sentence for committing perjury. He also excoriated Clinton for the massive number of pardons at the end of Clinton's term including pardon's for financer Marc Rich and Hillary's brother, calling those two pardons, among others, a disgusting exhibit of power that the president has, but should never have used. Oh, wait, he didn't say either one of those things - my bad!

    Update: For Moose's information, The Blah Blah Blog has a list of those pardoned by Clinton

    Update 2: Oh, and let's not forget one of the more famous pardons:

    Susan H. McDougal, Mail fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1341; aiding and abetting in misapplication of Small Business Investment Corporation funds, 18 U.S.C. §§ 657 and 2; aiding and abetting in making false entries, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1006 and 2; aiding and abetting in making false statements, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1014 and 2 convicted in 1996, pardoned on December 22, 2000 - 30 days before he left office.

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 07:27 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (10) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Remember The Meme!

    I've been Tagged, by Kat of Cathouse Chat, how droll. Normally I don't participate in these things, but in this case I'll make an exception and tell you a little story, then I'll tell you a little about myself. First, however I guess I'm supposed to follow the rules (I hate that) and tell you the rules.

    The Rules are: Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
    Now, doesn't it seem silly having had this foisted on me that I would even deign to foist it on someone else, but that is another story and I'll get to it shortly.

    Now, the story I promised all of you. I've told you all, off and on about my "age discrimination tall tale contest" with my friend Mustang. Mustang is a retired Marine Lt. Col. and he came up the hard way (hence the name Mustang meaning a former enlisted man who was commissioned as an Officer and a Gentleman.) An Officer Mustang certainly was, and a damn fine one too, in fact, Mustang began his career as a Marine enlisting on November 10, 1775. But, I digress, this little story is about Kat. Now, as you all know, Kat is married to David and they have a beautiful little Munchkin who is beginning to reach her teen years and I'm looking forward to the consternation that Kat will face.

    What most people don't know is that Kat is considerably older than David, and most people don't know that Kat is much older than either Mustang or I. In fact, rumor has it that Kat is secretly Mustangs Great, Great Aunt. But I've not seen any paperwork that confirms it, besides, there is little family resemblance except when sitting quietly and they think no one is looking, then they tend to pick their nose and drool a little. But, in spite of the actions being almost identical, there is not much resemblance. At any rate, back to Kat. Kat is known far and wide as a maker of Quilts. She has been doing this so long, that some of her quilts hang in the Museum of Ancient History and there are hieroglyphics of King Tut as a very young baby lying on one of Kat's quilts while his diaper is being changed. Kat made me a quilt last year when I was ill and I will be for ever grateful. It is for that reason, and that reason alone that I won't tell you about her blind date with Methuselah when he was a teenager and she a much older woman and getting drunk on elderberry wine. Nope, that story won't appear on THIS blog.

    OK, lets now get to the meat of this thing and I'll tell you 8 things about myself:

  • I have broken every major bone in my body, with two exceptions, those being the cranium and the hyoid bone. (I'll let you look up the location of the Hyoid.
  • My favourite sports are para sailing, riding a souped up Ducati motorcycle and playing rugby. I do this 6 or 8 times a year without fail, except when I am actually in traction. (See 1.)
  • I own a 6-foot teddy bear named Theodore Ursus
  • I once ate an entire Thanksgiving turkey without gravy over a two day period, roasted turkey, turkey sandwiches and Turkey A' La King.
  • I am a tetraploid mutant, having 92 chromosomes. I also have two livers.
    Despite that, I am unable to metabolize alcohol. Any alcohol I consume remains permanently in my system, like dioxins do for other people.
  • When asked to provide random facts about myself, I invariably lie.
    H/T Pixy Misa @ Ambient Irony

  • I know that is only 6, but if you think I'm going to divulge the true 7th and the 8th "facts" you are out of your minds.

    Oh, and I'm going to break the rules and only tag Woody. But, I will allow him to get off if he will pay me back all the salary I've given him over the last two years.

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 03:29 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (5) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Democratic Voting Justice

    Democrats guilty of interfering with the election process??!! Say it ain't so.

    Democrats Violate Voting Rights Act

    (AP) U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee ruled late Friday that Noxubee County (Miss.) Democratic Party leader Ike Brown and the county Democratic Executive Committee "manipulated the political process in ways specifically intended and designed to impair and impede participation of white voters and to dilute their votes."

    Noxubee County is a rural area along the Alabama line with a population of about 12,500, of whom 70 percent are black.

    The judge said there was a pattern to Mr. Brown's efforts to keep all whites out of the county's Democratic Party, including holding party caucuses in private homes rather than public voting precincts and inviting only blacks to the meetings.

    Brown, in fact, claims a number of whites as friends," Judge Lee wrote. "However, there is no doubt from the evidence presented at trial that Brown, in particular, is firmly of the view that blacks, being the majority race in Noxubee County, should hold all elected offices, to the exclusion of whites; and this view is apparently shared by his allies and associates on the [Noxubee Democratic Executive Commitee], who, along with Brown, effectively control the election process in Noxubee County."

    To the Democrats, justice is spelled "just-us." Where's their outrage? Do you think Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will go to the rescue?

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 03:10 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (1) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Tax and ...Waste

    Maybe if the government quit taking so much money from taxpayers and consumers, individuals could afford the services that liberals say that government should provide...if it really could. I'm still waiting for victory in the war on poverty that started over forty years ago.

    For the Past Six Months,
    You've Been Working For the Government

    July marks the beginning of the first day
    you start making money for yourself.
    (Abridged)

    Every hour worked, every item purchased… money is always going to the government in the form of taxes. From income tax, to sales tax, to gasoline tax, to property tax, roughly half of your income goes to Big Brother.

    The government continues to consume vast quantities of money while producing relatively little. Since the government has largely failed in providing key services such as healthcare, retirement, and competitive education, perhaps these areas of life should be left to personal choice.

    While government is an essential component of an advanced, free, capitalist society, it should only provide services that it is has a competitive advantage in – things such as national defense, the rule of law, police and fire services, and roads.

    So long as we value personal choice and accountability, we must fight to keep the government out of areas it doesn’t belong.

    Since it is finally the day we start making money for ourselves in 2007, think about the fundamental questions that have plagued man’s thought for thousands of years – what is the role of the individual? What is his duty to the state? What is the state’s duty to him? You may very well find that your answer is not the direction we are heading towards.

    When the government does something for its citizens, it also takes away from its citizens--not only money, but liberties. Watch out for all the promises in the upcoming Presidential campaign. Government health care, anyone?

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 02:00 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (0) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Carnival of the Insanities

    Drive over to Dr. Sanity's Place, she has the Carnival of the Insanities up and it is delightful. Click on the Link or click on the Picture for a short drive over.

    scream_2.jpg

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 05:59 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (0) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    July 01, 2007

    What To Do With All Those Damned Forwarded E-Mails

    Don't you get tired of all those forwarded emails that tell you if you send this out to 10 friends Bill Gates will send you a brand new Boeing 747 or some such "prize." How about the one about some poor child with an incurable form of ingrown toenail and if you send this out to at least 10 friends, an email tracker from yahoo will know and will donate 10 cents to research a cure for him. Oh yes my friends, the guilt trip email is most often found with well meaning (but stupid) people relatively new to the internet. They also don't bother to check out this stuff on Snopes.com the slayer of urban legends. Well, worry no more, here is just the thing to send to your friends who send you that junk. Let it load and listen carefully, then forward it to the person that sent you the forwarded email. It'll serve them right.

    The Little Guy On His Soap Box

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 03:44 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (6) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Fair and Balanced?

    fair and balanced.jpg During the last senate imbroglio over the "grand compromise" (read that as amnesty bill) Diane Feinstein (D. Ca.) postulated that it was time to bring back the "Fairness Doctrine" because talk radio was dominated by the right. In spite of the fact that the left has tried to take over talk radio with Air America and previous radio shows (including the political posturing heard on NPR and seen on PBS) and failed miserably to resonate with the public, primarily because the public is saturated by left leaning folk through out the so called main-stream media. Nothing shows this discrepancy and inherent "unfairness" of the so called "fairness" doctrine more than this cartoon. Of course, Feinstein's real complaint was that a combination of talk radio, the blogosphere, emails, faxes, phone calls from all across America did in that nasty bill, sorry Lefties, that is the way a democracy works, and since you derive the name of your party (The Democrat Party if you need a reminder) from the word "democracy" you really ought to have known that.

    Lefties, we are calling your canard for what it is, a lie and an attempt to dominate what the public is allowed to hear. Won't work this time, won't work ever.

    A tip O' The GM Derby to Gribbit's Word

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 05:58 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (5) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 30, 2007

    Warning!

    warninglabel.jpg

    H/T to Pixy Misa at Ambient Irony

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 06:00 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (2) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    After 6 Years Of GW Bush, I Miss Bill Clinton


    slick willy wonka.bmp

    It doesn't matter what party you belong to - this is hilarious.
    From a show on Canadian TV, there was a black comedian who said he misses Bill Clinton.

    "Yep, that's right - I miss Bill Clinton!
    He was the closest thing we ever got to having a black man as President.

    Number 1 - He played the sax.
    Number 2 - He smoked weed.
    Number 3 - He had his way with ugly white women.

    Even now? Look at him... his wife works, and he doesn't!
    And, he gets a check from the government every month.

    Manufacturers announced today that they will be stocking America 's shelves this week with
    "Clinton Soup," in honor of one of the nations'most distinguished man.
    It consists primarily of a weenie in hot water.

    Chrysler Corporation is adding a new car to its line to honor Bill Clinton.
    The Dodge Drafter will be built in Canada .

    When asked what he thought about foreign affairs,
    Clinton replied, "I don't know, I never had one."
    The Clinton revised judicial oath:


    "I solemnly swear to tell the truth as I know it,
    the whole truth as I believe it to be, and nothing but what I think you need to know."

    Clinton will be recorded in history as the only President to do Hanky Panky between Bushes."

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 04:02 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (1) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Global Warming Causes Giant Cats!


    Read More.....

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 09:20 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (1) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    "Consensus" Explained

    Left: Skeptics ----- Right: Grant Recipients

    Via Matthew at Physics Geek

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 09:10 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (0) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 29, 2007

    Mavis Gets An Answer

    In my post below: "We The People" I received a comment from one of my favorite folk who just happens to be somewhat Left of Center. He (and let me repeat that) HE, goes by the nom de commenter Mavis Beacon (yeah, like the typing teaching program). None the less, Mavis is thoughtful, and a good friend and we have exchanged friendly emails just about ever since I began blogging. We met over at Marc Coopers so, between Marc and Mavis, you know I seldom got a word in edgewise (Just kidding Mavis, just kidding). Mavis had a number of both observations and questions and though blogging partner Lawrence Harris provided a good answer, in fact, an excellent answer, it behooves me as host, and as a friend to provide my own take. Besides, he's a friend.

    Mavis writes in the comment section:

    Good post, GM. I've got some questions, though.

    I know Republicans are unhappy because they aren't winning (which is reasonable enough), but I don't really get all the policy frustration. You've gotten a lot of what you wanted the past six years - various tax cuts for the wealthy, a much more conservative court, some modest abortion restrictions, pro-business environmental policy, and an all-consuming war against Islamic fundamentalists and Iraq. That's a lot of stuff on the wish list.

    Pork is a problem, but I didn't hear a ton of conservatives complaining while the GOP was running the show (though certainly the porkbusters crew was around). And the immigration issue is a tough one for Republicans but there are always going to be some tough issues. That can't be the sole cause of this disaffection, can it? Also, you didn't get to dismantle Social Security or rewrite the tax code, but those were pretty ambitious items and I can't imagine you'd turn on Republicans for not quite getting those through. I'd think we'd all agree that it's a good thing you can't dramatically change a ton of American institutions too quickly and without widespread support. So where's the beef? What did you want to happen that didn't, or what did they do that made you all so mad?

    Mavis, since you are such a good guy as well as a good friend, I felt that you deserved a quicker response, but I have been very busy trying to torpedo the immigration bill. OK, I'm going to re-present your words in blockquotes setting each part or each sentence by itself and follow that with my answer. Now, please understand that you complained about Dadvocate's answer as being talking points, but part of your question is talking points also, so I'll try to do my best to answer you and I hope the answer(s) are complete.

    OK, first part:

    I know Republicans are unhappy because they aren't winning (which is reasonable enough), but I don't really get all the policy frustration.
    It is less, Mavis about winning (the Democrats won fair and square) than about the abandonment of core principles by the congressional republicans in the period of time between around 1997 and 2007. During that decade, A Republican congress, and now a Democrat congress has done exactly the opposite of what they said. I expected it of Democrats, they are known as Tax and Spenders for good reason, and the reason that T&S; is a cliche is because at it's base, it is true. The Republicans on the other hand, have been spending like they expect their rich old uncle to die next week and leave them (as Pogo would say) umpty-eleven dollars. You mentioned also that "various tax cuts for the wealthy." Wow, that canard still around. The FACT is that the tax cut was the same across the board and since the poor don't pay taxes, and the wealthy are paying a higher percentage of the tax revenue, I'm not sure where that comes from. Besides, John Kennedy already showed that tax cuts stimulate economic growth for everyone, and that was when the rates on the wealthy were approaching, something lke 65% (more or less, I think) and the tax cut then had an amazing positive effect on the economy. In fact, you can show that each tax cut has spurred economic growth; it is the spending that is the problem. At any rate, part of the problem with Bushco is that there was an agreement he approved of that the cuts would only last 10 years and then automatically expire as opposed to new congressional action to make them expire. Are you ready to have your taxes go significantly up to allow the rich's taxes to go up also? Just asking.

    We did get a more conservative court but Bushco even flubbed that, unless you think it was the evil-rove that tried to push Gonzalez and then Meirs on us. Loyalty is great in any administration, but not to the point when one uses the Peter Principle to pay off loyal followers. There were much better selections out there that could have gotten approval (and Alito and Roberts did in fact get substantial approval from the senate on a roll call vote). But conservatives still got a nasty taste in their mouths from Bush's efforts to push Gonzo and then Ms. Harriet on us when they were clearly not qualified. A pro business policy is also a great thing, but can be carried to far as is often the case. For example, agribusiness got a huge boost in the arm from ethanol production, to the detriment of a lot of other food availability and cost (See Victor Davis Hanson's article in IBD and, as Hanson mentions, this may well have national security implications. So, in all, we are not happy with Bushco, but it goes back much farther than the immigration fiasco of the last couple of weeks. As to the "all-consuming war against Islamic fundamentalists and Iraq" there are a number of problems with labeling it as such, but it also goes to some of the dissatisfaction with Bushco. Specifically, though I am in full favor of the war in Iraq, I'd be a fool to deny that there have not been any problems of leadership. There have been many mistakes and stupidities and the conservative dissatisfaction is less about the war, than it is about how the war has been prosecuted. Now, having said that, let me also say that some amazing things have come out of this war including the economic and social help; schools, medical clinics and hospitals, restoration of the marshlands, an economic boom in the Kurdish part of northern Iraq. The Sunni and the Shia are beginning to turn against Al Qaeda and the surge really does seem to be working and before you say higher casualties, of course there will be, we are pursuing AQ and they are fighting back, but losing and getting decimated as well.

    You note:

    Pork is a problem, but I didn't hear a ton of conservatives complaining while the GOP was running the show (though certainly the porkbusters crew was around). And the immigration issue is a tough one for Republicans but there are always going to be some tough issues. That can't be the sole cause of this disaffection, can it?
    Actually, a whole bunch of us were griping about the increasing pork going back to about 1998 or 1999. Long before I began blogging in '04. If you search my archives, you will find entries on the shamefull spending and support of the pork busters movement as well. Immigration was and is a tough issue, you are correct about that, and one of the reasons that conservatives (and talk radio and the right side of the blogosphere and many, many independently active Americans bombarded Congress with its dissatisfaction and most of congress folded when the powers that be (Bush, Kennedy, McCain, Reid, Boxer etc) honestly believed that they could skirt Senate procedure, slip a bill under the wire, convince illegals and other Hispanics that the Dems were the best thing sliced bread, and of course the Repubs (Lott, Kyle and Graham in particular, and others in general) had to say that they were the best thing since bread. The truth of the matter is that the bill was a bad bill. Both the right and the left blogosphere knew it (albeit for different reasons) and the right took it to the president and the Senate. Then, those worthies began saying that if you didn't like the bill you were racist, you were haters, you didn't know what you were talking about and other crap. Boy, that hit the hot buttons of an awful lot of people and Bush got the brunt of the anger.

    So, in essence what I'm saying is that the immigration bill, flawed as it was, was only a single straw, but one that probably broke the camel's back. We (that is conservatives) feel betrayed, not only by Bushco, but by much of the Republican establishment and we are revolting. Does that bode well for the Democrats? Perhaps, but it is also likely to cause a major recruitment effort to elect responsible conservatives and to push to make sure that the Democrats don't get to keep the House or the Senate and that the White House stays in our hands.

    Third party time? No, I don't think so, though I could be wrong. If you will check back political posts such as the open letter to Trent Lott and to the Republicans, you will see that the anger has been there for some time, though many of us have continued to support the Repubs over the Democrats because they are A) just as corrupt, if not more so (and to be honest, I think more so) and they are liberal to boot, thus, they think government is the answer to everything. A good example of this is Joe Biden recently talking about the incidence of AIDS in the black community stating that it was the fault of the medical community and us white folk for not pushing education about aids enough in the black community and teaching black youth that wearing a condom doesn't make you less manly. No Senator, the responsibility lies with parents, with the neighborhood, with individuals and the need to instill a sense of personal responsibility. If 16% of the youth are black and they represent 65% of the new cases of AIDS, what does that say about the degeneration of family in the black community - exactly as Daniel Patrick Moynahan said and he was a LIBERAL.

    Moving along:

    you didn't get to dismantle Social Security
    No, we didn't and that is a train wreck that is a commin' down the tracks. Social Security problems started back in the Late 40's and early 50's when it stopped being a stop-gap and started to be the premier way to old age support. Roosevelt did not intend for it to be the sole support of the elderly, he meant it as "additional" savings and if it had stayed that way, it might have made it, but in the mid to late 50's the move towards something like Medicare began and Medicare was funded in the mid 60's. I still remember Hubert H. Humphrey "swear" that it would never cost more than 18 billion dollars. Well, guess he was a little bit wrong wasn't he. Elderly folk vote, and are the most consistent voters there are. As soon as the politicians noted this, they began buying votes with add-ons including Bushco and his Medicare prescription drug benefit. Wait the the bill on that boondoggle comes due. Your kids and my grand kids Mavis, will be working to pay in as much as 60% of their wages just to support Social Security and it's perks if something isn't done. No, Social Security didn't get fixed, in part because of the cowardice of the Repubs and in part because of the cowardly demonization of Repubs by the Dems over Social Security.

    Lastly you mention the Tax code and you are once again correct, this is a burr under the saddle of many conservatives, not because it didn't pass, there are too many special interests keeping it alive. From CPA's and Tax Attorneys (sorry Woody) to corporate interest, to homeowners deductions etc. The tax code is so cumbersome that not even IRS experts all give the same, or even accurate advice, yet the pressure is to add to the code, or keep the status quo. That will eventually produce a result of chaos, and it is rapidly headed there now.

    So, I guess the answer to where's the beef is all inclusive, overly intrusive government, being lied to by those we elected congressmen and senators, Demos and Repubs alike. (and no, I am not talking about WMD lies - that is another canard)

    It is truly an accumulation of things, all of it adding up to being overly governed, and misgoverned and the Democrats are as much at fault as the Republicans, maybe even more so since they promised to clean up the mess and have done nothing except exacerbate it bringing congressional approval rates down to less than half of the Presidents, and he deserves his rate.

    Hope that answers your question Mavis, take care and thanks for commenting.

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 08:04 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (4) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Bush Gets Serious on Global Warming

    Bush Addresses Climate Crisis

    WASHINGTON, DC—In a nationally televised address reminiscent of President Kennedy's historic 1961 speech pledging to put a man on the moon, President Bush responded to the global warming crisis Monday by calling for the construction of a giant national air conditioner by the year 2015. (Continue Reading)

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 12:10 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (2) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 28, 2007

    Sell Carbon Credits in Your Sleep

    From The Joy of Tech via John Ray at Greenie Watch

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 03:20 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (3) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 27, 2007

    You Never Know What Might Happen

    What if Terri Schiavo had been treated according to a judge's order in Arizona instead of Florida?

    Injured man's awakening called 'miracle' - USA Today

    PHOENIX — Eighteen days after his wife instructed doctors to disconnect food and water tubes, a Chandler, Ariz. man is sitting up in his hospice bed, giving the thumbs-up sign and communicating with visitors.

    Jesse Ramirez Jr.'s awakening, which friends called "a miracle," occurred after his sister, parents and other relatives went to court and obtained an emergency order for feeding and hydration tubes to be reinserted, reversing a directive given by his wife, Rebecca Ramirez.

    Maybe the wife of Ramirez felt that life was worth little after what happened to Terri Schiavo. Isn't that what the liberals said...some lives are not worth as much as others, especially if they inconveniece you. "I kept my promise," indeed.

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 10:30 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (0) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Move Over Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq, You've Got Company

    My very first Dodo Award went to Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq for a truly dimwitted remark on the Knighting of Sir Salman Rushdie. This second award is somewhat different, and although I initially intended this award for truly stupid statements, at the time the possibility of utilizing it for other purposes should have entered my mind, but didn't. This second award is awarded to the United States Senate, to John McCain (Idiot, Az), Ted Kennedy (Drunk, Ma) and George W. Bush, RINO Prez. Why, you may ask? Simple, for trying to shove down our throats Amnesty Bill II (the first being passed in 1986). Oh, they'll tell us that it isn't, but it is, and it is because we were flooded with illegal aliens following the Amnesty I just as those of us who understood human behavior said we would be. And so, to those named I present the 2nd Dodo Award and the first for Conspicuous Stupidity!

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 07:40 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (2) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    More Proof!

    Of what? Don't ask.

    South Africa: Johannesburg recorded its first confirmed snowfall for almost 26 years overnight as temperatures dropped below freezing in South Africa's largest city....

    Australia: Local citrus producers have their fingers crossed waiting to see if their fruit suffered frost damage after the area experienced its coldest June day ever last week.

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 02:50 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (4) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    'Nuff Said

    reformjj0.jpg

    This Picture is worth at least 1000 words, if not 100 times that. Sad isn't it?

    H/T Hugh Hewitt

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 07:33 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (5) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 26, 2007

    We The People.

    The three most important words in the English language other than expressions of love or faith. And yet, even those three words make possible in this country free and unfettered expression of religion and faith.

    Yet, it would seem that not enough people in this country, and certainly not enough people in the United States Senate or United States House of Representatives understand that these three words are central to our form of governance.

    We The People, three words that when the constitution was written meant that a new establishment of government was being initiated in the midst of a world, raised on royalty. From the ancient Persians to the Kingdom of Hawaii, from the Aztec to the Germans, from the French to the Norwegians, from the English to the Ottoman Empire heads of state derived their power from God or from some deity or from Muhammad. Nowhere, was there a peoples who proclaimed for themselves that "We The People" were and would be the source of our own destiny. We established on this earth something never seen before except in some prototypical democracies, a Republic, as Lincoln so aptly stated "Of the people, by the people and for the people."

    What a radical idea some two hundred plus years ago: We The People. The People themselves took responsibility for their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, not ordained by God as a "Divine" right to rule passed down from father to son under some form of empire or monarchy, but from a peoples decision through their elected representatives to be in charge of themselves. Or as Ben Franklin is said to have said in response to the query "Well, Dr. Franklin, what do we have? A republic or a monarchy?" Wise old Franklin is quoted as saying "A Republic, if you can keep it."

    And keep it we have, through invasion by the British during the war of 1812, a terrible civil war pitting neighbor against neighbor, a war against Spain, against imperial Germany and the fascist Axis powers, through the cold war in which a mistake of intent or interpretation could have resulted in thermonuclear mutual destruction. But, today, today is different, today we have forgotten and our elected leaders have forgotten what the real meaning of We the People.

    In September of 2005, We the People began to organize around an idea promoted by Glenn Reynolds of the Instapundit fame and N.Z. Bear of The Truth Laid Bear called Porkbusters. The idea, spread by the people, taken up by the people was to call down grief on legislators that thought bringing home the bacon was all that they were elected to do, by hook, by crook or by earmark. One of the more egregious porkers, one Senator Trent Lott. Now, please don't get the idea that Senator Lott is the only scoundrel in congress on a diet of pork, pork and more pork, but he is the ONLY one who said:

    I'll just say this about the so-called porkbusters. I'm getting damn tired of hearing from them. They have been nothing but trouble..."
    Sadly, this merely underscores that we have recently gone from We the People to those who are, as Newt Gingrich just recently said, "... the inarticulate and unimaginative leaders all across government who now preside instead of lead." (H/T to Glenn Reynolds)

    Preside, as in reigning? I thought we had gotten rid of that in 1776. If we indeed did get rid of monarchy in 1776 (although it did take a few years of force of arms to convince the Brits that we meant it) and if as Franklin said "...if we can keep it," how did it end up that one of our more articulate politicians decide that our current leaders "all across government" are "presiding?" And therein lies the rub, for indeed we the people (notice, no longer caps) have pretty much abdicated our responsibility to our leaders rulers.

    And this is pretty sad, because we have forgotten our power, we have forgotten the sacrifices of those that came before us and we have forgotten the very core of this republic. We the people hold the power to set to rights our own governance. We the people have the responsibility to let those in Washington know where the power, and the right reside. We The People!

    There are myriad ways for us to regain our power, myriad ways in which the power of the people, inviolate, right and strong can be expressed. From the people demanding term limits, to people voting out the rascals in toto, to town hall meetings across this great land where we hear the voices of the true common man; the ditch digger, the teacher, the Marine or the Soldier, the plumber and the dentist. Where our voices become united in decrying what those who think they are the masters, but indeed are, and should be the factotums of our society have done. And we, dear people, have allowed that to happen.

    But we can reclaim our birthright. We can, through the power of the ballot box teach lessons that those going to Washington will not soon forget, but we cannot do it if we allow those in Washington to dictate the terms of the debate. America has spoken about the current "amnesty bill" and yet those who should be listening are not, and yet they are not leading either, they are engineering methods and ways for themselves to stay in power. If you think that amnesty is not about future votes and which "party" gets the lions share, you are sadly mistaken. If you think that unparalleled spending on pork (the current numbers of earmarks exceed, 32,000 read that again thirty. two. thousand.) that averages almost 60 earmarks for each Congressman and Senator. And yet we have done nothing to curtail this practice effectively. Oh, to be sure we are trying with organizations such as Porkbusters, Citizens Against Government Waste and the Sunlight Foundation, but the people have yet to raise their voices in unison and shout ENOUGH.

    Recently, the Democrat Party ran an effective election campaign promising to bring responsibility to spending in congress. Many of us took that with a grain fifty pound bag of salt, but they won any way, fair and square. They mounted an effective campaign and convinced enough voters to give them complete control of the House and near complete control of the Senate (but only because two independents caucus with and usually vote with the Democrats). But the changes haven't materialized, in fact, it seems nothing so much as Glenn Reynolds put it, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

    I'm hoping this post will inspire people to gather together and decide to take back their country and their government, not by armed revolution, not by denigrating people of the opposite political party(s) but by discussing needs and desires, by ironing out political differences so that an excitement builds, and people gather together to defeat the entrenched politicos of any party much as the fabled Minutemen gathered together to shake off the shackles of the King of England, not by armed insurrection, but by the power granted to us in our constitution, so that once again this government becomes a representation of

    We The People!

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 11:23 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (12) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Headlines That You Notice

    When you see a headline like this, you just have to read the story.

    Texas Inmate Executed; Doesn't Tell Joke

    Was I right? Well, in his position, I don't think that I would be in a humorous mood myself--and, that's no joke, either.

    Update: Another person had a different take on this story....Death row inmate who looked for jokes to tell at his execution dies without telling one, leaves everyone hanging

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 08:40 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (0) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Global Warming Threat Gets Under Your Skin

    Today's global warming threat is sponsored by America's pharmacies, who are itching to serve you.

    Climate Changes Are Making Poison Ivy More Potent

    Poison ivy, the scourge of summer campers, hikers and gardeners, is getting worse.

    New research shows the rash-inducing plant appears to be growing faster and producing more potent oil compared with earlier decades. The reason? Rising ambient carbon-dioxide levels create ideal conditions for the plant, producing bigger leaves, faster growth, hardier plants and oil that's even more irritating.

    To fight this, we're going to need an ocean of calamine lotion. (Scroll to appropriate song in this nostaligic flash back.)

    Good grief.

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 04:20 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (2) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Reality Check For The Anti War Crowd

    My friend Chrys writing at Pettyfog has a terrific article up by Pete Hegseth of the Vets for Freedom. Go read it here. And you wonder why the Anti-War Crowd is looked on with disdain by the majority of Americans? Now you know.

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 06:32 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (1) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 25, 2007

    Blowing Smoke Over Global Warming

    This:

    Al Gore Speech on Katrina and Global Warming
    Now, the scientific community is warning us that the average hurricane will continue to get stronger because of global warming.

    Gives us this:

    Study links hurricane stress to teen smoking
    Teenagers in a southeast Texas county were more likely to smoke cigarettes if they or their family members were affected by Hurricanes Katrina or Rita, according to a university study. ..."The hurricanes had an emotional impact on the youth and we need to recognize that and give them the help they need. Otherwise, they use tobacco as a crutch and then they become addicted."

    Mankind makes global warming worse, which makes hurricanes worse, which makes kids smoke more, which kills them. None of this has anything to do with other factors, naturally. And, it's Bush's fault, too.

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 02:30 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (4) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    A Little Monday Humor

    Monday Humor.bmp

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 11:09 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (1) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Attack of the Killer Worms

    Obviously, birds are not doing their jobs to eat enough worms. As a result, global warming could be getting out of control because of these wigglers, who seem intent on taking over the world after destroying mankind...if the melting ice caps don't drown them first. I also blame fishermen who spare worms by switching to artificial lures as bait. Note this article from Material Recycling Week.

    Worms are killing the planet

    Worm composting could be doing more harm than good to the environment, a leading researcher claimed today.

    Composting Association research director Jim Frederickson said: “Worms produce a significant amount of greenhouse gases. Recent research done by German scientists has found that worms produced a third of nitrous oxide gases when used for composting.”

    The ‘wiggly ones’ naturally produce nitrous oxide gases when they are put into the process of composting.

    ...Frederickson said: “Everybody loves them because they think they can do no harm but they contribute to global warming. People are looking into alternative waste treatments but we have to make sure that we are not jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

    ...“The emissions that come from these worms can actually be 290 times more potent than carbon dioxide and 20 times more potent than methane. In all environmental systems you get good points and bad points.”

    This is a serious problem. Worms represent a group that Democrats can't control by promising amnesty and the right to vote. ...but, I bet that they thought about trying. They each have something in common...they are both slimy.

    Don't think that attacking worms and cutting them into pieces will help. Doing that will allow them to regenerate into even more worms. How sinister can they get?

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 10:50 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (2) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 23, 2007

    And I Quote: Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq

    I can see this becomming a regular part of this blog, I mean afterall there are so very many stupid sayings out there that one is bound to come across one so bizzarre, so stupid that one is left scratching his head and wondering "What? What was that? Did I hear right?" So, our first forey into the world of And I Quote is from Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq, Pakastani Minister of Religious Affairs.

    The West is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism. If someone exploded a bomb on his body, he would be right to do so unless the British government apologizes and withdraws the ’sir’ title."
    You read that correctly! Wow, of all the ignorant bits of drivel to come out of the mouths of Islamist idiots, this one has to take the cake. And this guy is a government official? Will someone go ask John "I actually voted for the war before I voted against it" Kerry for his award back so we can give it to this guy?

    Dodo award 1.jpg

    A tip O' The GM Derby to Evan Coyne Maloney

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 04:07 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (15) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    CNN = "Cannot Name Nations"

    What is wrong with CNN's placement of Afghanistan?

    Nothing more than what is wrong with CNN overall...it's too far left.

    Via Bob Harris

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 09:50 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (0) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 22, 2007

    Carrying Global Warming Too Far

    How far would Al Gore go to lower Lady Liberty's carbon footprint?

    Anything so that he can keep his pool heated.

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 03:20 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (2) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Assimilation versus Immigration

    Since the final decades of the twentieth century American culture has been challenged by an ever-growing economic and continuous immigration from Latin America. This immigration differs from past immigration due to a combination of illegality, scale, contiguity, regional concentration, persistence and historical presence. This particular and persistent infusion of Hispanic immigration threatens to divide the US into two peoples, two cultures, even two languages.

    Continuous high immigration tends to retard the assimilation process and fosters ethnic enclaves that, all too often, accommodate semi-permanent ethnic communities These trends are exacerbated if the immigration occurs in conditions of official bilingualism and multiculturalism rather than of Americanization. Immigrants will be less likely to assimilate and more likely to retain ethnic identities and links with their places of origin.

    It is well to ask at this point: what is America’s national identity? Historical roots show that culturally, linguistically and religiously, America was formed from northwestern European, Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture. So if Anglo-Protestant national culture is the defining quality in the formation of the American character, then that which threatens to alter that national culture will have profound repercussions for the character of that culture.

    For the first two hundred and fifty tears of America’s growth its dynamic social structure derived from the ideological foundations of Anglo-Protestantism. After that point other influences enriched the America experience. But from America’s initial period of development came forth its distinct political culture expressed as the American Creed, embodied in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. This creed was the product of the Anglo-Protestant culture of the founding settlers. Key elements of that culture include the English language; Christianity; religious commitment; English concepts of the rule of law, including the responsibility of rulers and the rights of individuals; the dissenting Protestant values of individualism, the work ethic, the principle of merit, and equality before the law.

    This imbued American culture from the start. Early visitors to America like Tocqueville were impressed by the common habits of self-reliance and voluntary co-operation that were seen everywhere. The Lewis and Clark expedition of 1803 was an exemplary manifestation of that character.

    Today much of the debate about immigration looks at its economic impact. However, while that is important, the unique problems posed by Hispanic immigration are in the cultural and social context. The question now is, will the country remain one with a single national language and a core Anglo-Protestant culture or will it be transformed into a country with two peoples, two languages, and two worldviews?

    The net effect of losing the American core culture and the common language may well undermine the already indeterminate American national identity which has been beset by the doctrines of unrestricted multiculturalism, political correctness, diversity; the rise of group identity over national identity; the growth of identity politics, the expanding numbers of immigrants with dual loyalties; and the growing predilection of America’s elites for transnational identities and allegiances.

    If America were to be transformed into a country of two languages, two cultures, like Belgium or Canada, would it remain the nation it had become over the last two hundred and thirty years? It is well to wonder whether the United States would be what it is today if it had been settled by French or Spanish Catholics.

    Whether the future course of events produces a new and better nation, posterity will show. Americans need to ask themselves whether they will take charge of their own destiny or be affected by events that, through loss of political will and national identity, spiral out of their control.

    Lawrence S. Harris
    © June 2007

    This Post Blogged By: Lawrence H. at 01:56 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (3) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 20, 2007

    Michael Bloomberg: King Maker or Spoiler?

    Is Michael Bloomberg (here-in-after known as Bloomy) the Big Bad Wolf with his billion dollar treasure chest? And, if he is, who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Not me, and I'm pretty sure not any of the Republican candidates. Here's why. First, Bloomy was never a Republican in any sense of the word except for running under that banner to get elected. Bloomy figured, rightly as it turned out, that he could fool a lot of republicans by "turning in" his Democratic loyalty and becoming a Republican. Now, Bloomy had been a liberal Democrat all his adult life, so why the sudden switch? Well, pretty simple, he thought (rightly again) that he would have a difficult time getting the Democrat nomination for the Mayor's job with the fairly large field running. So, in 2001 he turned in his liberal Democrat credentials and ran as a Republican winning some 50% of the vote to Mark Green's 48%.

    As you will recall, the Primary's were set for September 11, 2001 but because of the jihadist attack killing some 3000 people and bringing down the Twin Towers, the primary was re scheduled. Bloomy had Giuliani's endorsement against Giuliani's foe Mark Green. Bloomy was elected again in 2005 and is prohibited from running for a third term.

    Because he had no compunctions about running as a Republican when he had been a life-long Democrat, he likewise figured that since he can't run for Mayor again, he no longer needs the Republican party in New York as a backer and so once again he switches this time to being an "Independent." This of course allows him to finance his own presidential run should he decide to run.

    What kind of Mayor he has been may indicate what kind of President he would be should he win an election. Mr. Bloomgerg is pro-abortion, anti-gun, anti-smoking and willing to tell restraunts what kinds of fat they can use in their various recipes. He has angered the US Federal Attorney for running sting operations looking for gun dealers who "don't follow the law" all the while breaking the law in doing so. He has police officers issue citations to citizens smoking; the activity being legal, the place where you do the activity being tightly scrutinized by police officers whose time might be better spent in pursuit of other, say higher profile criminals. In short, Mr. Bloomberg just might issue in the nanny state in spades. Oh, and he is pro gay marriage as well.

    I have a hard time believing that Bloomy, in spite of his wealth (he is the 142nd wealthiest billionaire according to Forbes) will be able to attract enough right, center right and center votes to win any election in a three way race. He may however be a spoiler for the Democrat running much as is Ralph Nader if you believe that Nader took sufficient votes from Al Gore in 2000 or that Ross Perot took sufficient votes from George H.W. Bush in 1992.

    Doubtless, Bloomy will be perceived to run well to the left regardless of how he attempts to run if the Republicans have anything to say about it. And, if Hillary gets the Democrat Nomination for President, Bloomy will be up against the fearsome Clinton machine, not something to sneeze at despite his wealth.

    And, since we are on the topic of his wealth, note that spending his own money won't have the same constraints on him that the Democrats and Republicans will have. Bloomy can afford a massive, effective and widespread media buy and have his name on every two bit journalist's notebook as they pursue the story of the rich maverick. And, the MSM do indeed love a maverick; look at the ink that flowed when John McCain ran in 2000 with his "Straight Talk Express."

    In fact, being liberal, and a proponent of the nanny state (and he really doesn't care if you have to pay for it with your taxes, after all, he's already made his. I can see it now, the Federal Department of Fats, The Food, Drug and Cigarettes Administration and even perhaps the United States Gun Confiscation Commission. I know, I'm being a little facetious but there may be some hidden truths here in that Bloomy has already tested those waters in New York and the slavish population has gone along without serious revolt.

    All kidding aside, a Bloomberg candidacy may well throw the presidential race into the house of representatives if he gets enough states to deny 270 electoral votes to the leading candidate. Then you also have the factor of how many candidates there are at present. Both the Republicans and the Democrats are running a lot of people in the primaries. Those that lose, and that will be all of them save one from each party, may be stiffed and angry, much as McCain supporters were in 2000. Should enough stay home or vote for Bloomy out of spite, that could possibly change the complexion of the election. A fractured party is not unusual for Democrats ("I don't belong to any organized political party, I'm a Democrat" said Will Rogers - and things haven't changed that much) and sometimes, not that unusual for the Republicans (remember the tiff between Goldwater and Rockefeller in 1964 and between Reagan and Ford in 1976, let alone Bush and McCain in 2000). And, in each case concerning both Democrats and Republicans, the tiffs hurt their focused campaigns.

    Currently, the Democrats are all running to the left as fast as they can to satisfy the netroots, that mishmash of hard leftists who are nothing if not anti-war and that seems to be all that drives them (where oh where are the classical liberals in the Democrat party besides Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman?) Then, when the race is decided and the winning Democrat moves back to the center as they will no doubt do because that's where the winning votes are the radical left will be without a champion. Now, all of this is of course speculation, but the possibility is definitely there and Bloomy could conceivably take votes from the Democrat nominee more so than from the Republican nominee. And that would drive the Democrats totally bonkers. Truth be told, enough leftish folk voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 that it probably, nay, likely cost Gore the election. It is very doubtful that anyone voting for Nader would have voted for Bush, though I could be wrong about that. But the fact remains that Nader took 97,488 votes in Florida and had Nader not run, the vast majority of those votes would have gone to Gore and thus Florida's 25 electoral votes and the election. This could happen again with a Bloomberg candidacy.

    So, will Michael Bloomberg be a Kingmaker for the Republicans, A Spoiler for the Democrats or vice versa? You decide.

    Will Michael Bloomberg hurt the Republicans, the Democrats or will he have no effect at all?
    Help the Republicans
    Help the Democrats
    Spend a lot of money and have no discernable effect
    Michel Bloomberg will WIN the election
    Who Is Michael Bloomburg
    Man O' War in the Fifth at Hialeah
      
    pollcode.com free polls

    Technorati Tags: , , ,

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 07:24 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (3) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    100 Years Ago

    "In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
    ....................................................... Theodore Roosevelt 1907


    Technorati Tags:

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 01:33 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (2) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 19, 2007

    & Then I Had A Lump In My Chest

    No, not me, but a new friend. It turns out that the lump was a something else, but he blogged the whole process. It was and remains a scary trip and the blogger "Duke of DeLand" tells the story in a straightforward manner. Great reading, drop by and give him some support.

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 01:19 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (1) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Mustang 'N Me™ - Part 45,298,483

    Those of you who have been reading this blog for some time, will no doubtedly remember my good friend Mustang who blogs at Social Sense. Well, old (and I do mean really, really old) Mustang and I kid each other about who is older. A contest that I win of course being by far the "truthier" than he (how's that for a convaluted sentence?). If you are interested, you can find the "tales" of Mustang 'N Me™ here. The tales are funny, poignent and have a ring of truth about them that is hard to imagine in standard fiction writing.

    But, I digress, recently (about 20 minutes ago to be specific) a dear friend named Kinder sent me an e-mail with some "truths" about Mustang 'N Me™ and lists some fairly well known "truths" about Mustang. Of course, most of what he says about me are dastardly lies. At any rate, I am nothing if not fair and balanced so I will not delete the canards about me, and will show them all. But you my dear friends, my faithful readers will be absolutely certain that you can tell the truth (about Mustang) and the fibs (about me). Now, Kender blogs at Kender's Musings and fancies himself as an ereudite fellow. Of course, the truth is that Kender barely graduated from the 6th grade and can't write worth a darn. On the other hand, he does have a Muse, or someone that feeds him thoughts from time to time and he types them uo (with only two fingers) and after about 6 to 10 hours produces something he calls a Musing. Be that as it may, Kender is really a good friend except I don't know why he would print via e-mail so many nasty things about me. About Mustang I can understand, but about Moi? Perish the thought!

    So, without further ado (I always wondered where the word "ado" came from), I present The Truth About Mustan And GM.

    Read More.....

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 01:10 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (6) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Innocent Children - Heartless bastards

    Human suffering during war is bad, it has been so for tens of thousands of years and will never get better. War is hell it has been said, and the incumbent suffering of the victims of war, both on the battlefield and off is heart wrenching at times, and at times so sorrowful that one has to step back, take a deep breath and know that eventually, some good will come from the tragedy.

    And so it was in central Baghdad when Iraqi soldiers and members of the 82nd Airborne looked over the wall into an orphanage for children with special needs. According to CBS reporters there to record the incident:

    They saw multiple bodies laying on the floor of the facility," Staff Sgt. Mitchell Gibson of the 82nd Airborne Division told CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan. "They thought they were all dead, so they threw a basketball (to) try and get some attention, and actually one of the kids lifted up their head, tilted it over and just looked and then went back down. And they said, 'oh, they're alive' and so they went into the building."

    Inside the building, a government-run orphanage for special needs children, the soldiers found more emaciated little bodies tied to the cribs. They had been kept this way for more than a month, according to the soldiers called in to rescue the 24 boys.

    "I saw children that you could see literally every bone in their body that were so skinny, they had no energy to move whatsoever, no expression on their face," Staff Sgt. Michael Beale said.

    "The kids were tied up, naked, covered in their own waste — feces — and there were three people that were cooking themselves food, but nothing for the kids," Lt. Stephen Duperre said."

    The photographs under the read more link are heart breaking. They show the worst that man can do when dealing with retarded or otherwise mentally deficient children. Having spent years working with the mentally retarded, I know both how many needs they have, as well as the true joy on their faces when they have, after much trial and error learned something new. They need to catch the bastards that did this and open a very large can of whoop-ass on them, then sentence them to 50 years hard labor for each child they abused.

    Warning, these photos are graphic

    Read More.....

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 10:44 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (2) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 18, 2007

    Hurricane Preparedness

    It is never too early to prepare for a Hurricane. So, if you live anywhere on the Gulf Coast, or within 75 miles of the Gulf Coast, or on the eastern Seaboard, this message is for you:

    We're about to enter the peak of the hurricane season. Any day now, you're going to turn on the TV and see a weatherman pointing to some radar blob out in the Gulf of Mexico and making two basic meteorological points:

    1. There is no need to panic
    2. We could all be killed

    Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be on the Gulf Coast, will we be blown away, or will it miss us this year?

    If you're new to the area, you're probably wondering what you need to do to prepare for the possibility that we'll get hit by "The Big One." Based on our experiences, we recommend that you follow this simple three-step hurricane- preparedness plan:

    1. Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at least 3
    days.
    2. Put these supplies in your car.
    3. Drive to Nebraska and remain there until Halloween.

    Unfortunately, statistics show that most people will not follow this sensible plan. Most people will foolishly stay in their homes. We'll start with one of the most important hurricane-preparedness items.

    HURRICANE INSURANCE: If you own a home, you must have hurricane insurance. Fortunately, this insurance is cheap & easy to get, provided that your home meets 2 basic requirements:

    1. It is reasonably well-built
    2. It is located in Nebraska

    Unfortunately, if your home is located in the Gulf Coast, or any other area that may actually be hit by a hurricane, most insurance companies would prefer not to sell you hurricane insurance. So, you'll have to scrounge for an insurance company, which will charge you an annual premium roughly equal to the replacement value of your house. At any moment, this company can drop you like used dental floss. Since Hurricane Georges, I have had an estimated 27 different home-insurance companies. This week, I'm covered by the Bob and Big Stan Insurance Company, under a policy which states that, in addition to my premium, Bob and Big Stan are entitled, upon demand, to my kidneys.

    SHUTTERS: Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows, doors... And, if it's a major hurricane, the toilets. There are several types of shutters, all with advantages and disadvantages:

    1. Plywood shutters: Advantage is that because you make them yourself,
    they're cheap. The disadvantage is that because you make them yourself, they will fall off.
    2. Sheet metal shutters: These work well, once you get them all up. But, once you get them up, your hands will be useless bleeding stumps that will not heal until December.
    3. Roll Down Shutters: The cream of the crop in shutters, they are very easy to use and will definitely stay up. Sadly, you will have to sell your house to pay for them.

    HURRICANE PROOF WINDOWS: These are the newest wrinkle in hurricane protection. They look like ordinary windows, but they can withstand hurricane orce winds. You can be sure of this, because the salesman says so. He lives in Nebraska.

    HURRICANE PROOFING YOUR PROPERTY: As the hurricane approaches, check your yard for movable objects like BBQ grills, planters, patio furniture, visiting relatives, etc. You should, as a precaution, throw these into the swimming pool. If you don't have one, get one installed immediately. Otherwise, the hurricane winds will turn these objects into deadly missiles.

    EVACUATION ROUTE: If you live in a low lying area, you should have an evacuation route planned out. To determine if you live in a low lying area, look at your driver's license. If the address says La., Tx., Ms., AL, FL Ga., or any of a dozen or so other two lettered abbreviations (you know who you are) you live in a low-lying area.

    The purpose of an evacuation route is quite simple. It is to avoid being trapped in your home when the storm hits. Instead, you will be trapped in a gigantic traffic jam several hundred miles from your home, along with 200,000 other evacuees. So, as a bonus, you will not be alone.

    HURRICANE SUPPLIES: If you don't evacuate, you will need supplies. Do not buy them now! Gulf Coast tradition requires that you wait until the last possible minute, then go to the supermarket and get into vicious fights with strangers over who gets the last bottle of water.

    In addition to food and water, you will need the following:
    A. A $100,000 line of credit at your bank so you will able to purchase gas.
    B. 23 flashlights
    C At least $156 worth of batteries that turn out to be the wrong size for when the power goes off
    D . Bleach (I don't know what for. Nobody seems to know what for but, it's traditional, so get some)
    E. A buggy full of deodorant
    F. A large quantity of raw chicken, to placate the alligators (ask anyone who went thru Camille or Audrey there will be irate alligators)
    G. $35,000 worth of cash or diamonds so that you can buy a generator
    after the storm has passed from some man with no discernable teeth

    These are all, of course, just basic precautions.

    As the hurricane draws near, it is vitally important to keep abreast of the situation by turning on the TV and watching reporters in rain slickers stand right next to the gulf and tell you over and over and over how important it is for everyone to stay away from the gulf.

    The last item you will need, but definitely not the least, is alcohol. This is the most important item. Make sure you have enough to last from June-November. This is necessary for escape when you are stuck with relatives. But, remember, after season is over, you will need to restock for the holidays.

    (author unknown, but obviously a hurricane veteran)

    ,

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 04:10 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (3) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Is Obama Walking The Walk? Not So Much.

    Barrak Obama has about three times the amount of money in donations than reported from Tony Rezko, an indicted businessman who was indicted in an unrelated fraud scheme. Rezko has donated or caused to be donated around $168,000.00 but Obama had originally put the figure at about $30,000.00 to $50,000.00.

    According to the Chicago Sun Times article:

    Obama, who wants to be the nation's next president, has been purging some of those donations -- giving charities more than $30,000 he got from Rezko and three of his business partners referenced in Rezko's federal indictments. All three attended a lavish fund-raiser Rezko hosted for Obama four years ago.

    Obama, however, has kept $6,850 from others who also are referenced in Rezko's indictments. Obama also has hung on to contributions from doctors whom Rezko helped appoint to a state-government panel involved in some of Rezko's alleged fraud schemes.

    "We've made our best effort to run the most ethical campaign possible in all ways and release donations when appropriate," Obama's press secretary, Bill Burton, said Friday."

    So, Senator Obama who opined on ethics once said:
    This past Election Day, the American people sent a clear message to Washington: Clean up your act."

    "After a year in which too many scandals revealed the influence special interests wield over Washington, it's no surprise that so many incumbents were defeated and that polls said "corruption" was the grievance cited most frequently by the vote."

    "It would be a mistake, however, to conclude that this message was intended for only one party or politician. The votes hadn't even been counted in November before we heard reports that corporations were already recruiting lobbyists with Democratic connections to carry their water in the next Congress." [emphasis added]

    Obama also said (on the Senate floor no less):
    The American people are tired of a Washington that's only open to those with the most cash and the right connections. They're tired of a political process where the vote you cast isn't as important as the favors you can do. And they're tired of trusting us with their tax dollars when they see them spent on frivolous pet projects and corporate giveaways."

    "It's not that the games that are played in this town are new or surprising to the public."

    "People are not naive to the existence of corruption and they know it has worn the face of both Republicans and Democrats over the years." [emphasis added]

    Senator, don't you think it is time that you too quit giving the appearance (if not the actual fact) of impropiety? You've been running on that plank. You are obviously talking the talk, but so far, you ain't walking the walk, and believe me Senator, we the people are getting fed up and plan to vote for people that are walking the walk. The culture of corruption continues, and the new boss is the same as the old boss. And maybe, just maybe the Democrats are worse because they pushed "ethics reform" as their number two goal to win the election.

    H/T to Glen Reynolds

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 02:37 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (0) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 17, 2007

    The BBC Is Biased - Who Knew?

    The British Broadcasting Corporation is biased according to the BBC. Wow, what a revelation that is. Many of us on the right have been saying that for as long as we have been blogging. Others have said that time, after time, after time to serious denials from the left.

    Of course, the BBC is part of the much despised (and, much vaunted truth be told) MSM or the Main Stream Media. And that too has been labled biased by the right for a long time. The left on the other hand, makes a rather nonsensical counterclaim that the MSM couldn't possibly be biased because they are owned by corporations and everybody knows that corporations are right wing tools out to grab everything it can from the poor and the working class (uhhh, Roper, could you cut down on the hyperbole a little?...ed). The argument is of course, absurd on its face. Why absurd? Simple, corporations are interested only in the bottom line, as long as the media and its associated reading heads, journalists and pundits make a profit, they continue. If the profit falls, so too do the then stars. Look at what is happening in the L.A.Times for example. Look at the issue of Katie Couric at CBS.

    But, I digress. The BBC has had its staff on a year long investigation and the report was released today as reported in the Telegraph (UK):

    The BBC has failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff, a report commissioned by the corporation has concluded.

    The report claims that coverage of single-issue political causes, such as climate change and poverty, can be biased - and is particularly critical of Live 8 coverage, which it says amounted to endorsement.

    [...]

    But it says coverage of Live 8, the 2005 anti-poverty concerts organised by rock star campaigners Bob Geldof and Bono and writer Richard Curtis, failed to properly debate the issues raised.

    Of course, the BBC being the BBC referred mostly to its Live 8 coverage, as far as "political reporting" goes, the BBC said:
    After a year-long investigation the report, published today, maintains that the corporation’s coverage of day-to-day politics is fair and impartial.
    Does that surprise anyone with an iota of common sense?

    One senior reporter accused the BBC of having an "Anti-American" stance. That shouldn't surprise anyone either. The fact of the matter, as the Beeb (the somewhat derisive but commonly used nickname of the BBC) also noted:

    The report concludes BBC staff must be more willing to challenge their own beliefs.

    It reads: “There is a tendency to 'group think’ with too many staff inhabiting a shared space and comfort zone.”

    A staff impartiality seminar held last year is also documented in the report, at which executives admitted they would broadcast images of the Bible being thrown away but not the Koran, in case Muslims were offended.

    This one section, 3 paragraphs, 3 sentences, 70 words and three key ideas. The first idea is that there is a need to challenge their own belief systems; the second is the tendency to group think and the third is that they worry about offending Muslims, but not Christians or Jews. Lets take these one at a time.

    Challenge their own belief systems: Difficult for anyone to do, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, Libertarian or independent, BBC or Fox News. Having said that, I would postulate that it is easier for a conservative than a liberal to challenge their belief systems than a liberal. Conservatives are said to be riged and hide-bound by liberals but I've found the opposite to be true. One need only look at the writings of folk on the Daily Kos or MMDD to observe that and a significant part of that is the contamination brought about by group think. I alluded to some of the group think problems among liberals in my post on Group Think - Democrats and Their Allies:

    The purpose of this polemic then is to take a look at the symptoms of Group Think as applied to the current incarnation of the Democratic Party in light of their taking control of Congress this coming January. This is not, if I need to say it, solely the problem of the Democrats. Indeed, there is more than adequate information available to lay many of the same foibles on the Republicans who controled congress from 1994 to 2006 especially in the later years of that span of time. Indeed, group think on the part of the Republicans is in part, why they lost.
    Illusion of Invulnerability: Members ignore obvious danger, take extreme risk, and are overly optimistic.

    Collective Rationalization: Members discredit and explain away warning contrary to group thinking.

    Illusion of Morality: Members believe their decisions are morally correct, ignoring the ethical consequences of their decisions.

    Excessive Stereotyping:The group constructs negative sterotypes of rivals outside the group.

    Pressure for Conformity: Members pressure any in the group who express arguments against the group's stereotypes, illusions, or commitments, viewing such opposition as disloyalty.

    Self-Censorship: Members withhold their dissenting views and counter-arguments.

    Illusion of Unanimity: Members perceive falsely that everyone agrees with the group's decision; silence is seen as consent.

    Mindguards: Some members appoint themselves to the role of protecting the group from adverse information that might threaten group complacency.

    I think suspect know that there are a large number of conservative Democrats, I've voted for some of them over the years. Yet, you do not hear them, see them ever speak up against the liberal leadership. It has often been said and amply demonstrated that in the Democratic party, you have to tilt liberal to get the presidential nomination or any Democratic ticket place, but you absolutely must tilt back to the center or even slightly right of center (Bill Clinton anyone?) to get elected. Of course, then, typically the tilt is back to the left. A cogent example of this is the rightward tilt (not to the conservative dark side so to speak) of the followers of her Pelosiship but now that the election is over, back to the left.

    If the Republicans are smart (a postulation that is coming into more and more doubt) they will learn from their own group think and become conservative Republicans again, not merely Democrat-lite.

    The last item in the BBC report is most disconcerting. The admission that they fear offending Muslims but not Christains (or Jews). In a free society, I'm not sure where it says that people have a right to not be offended. Indeed, if this article offends someone, good! I'm delighted because in a truly rational mind, offense will cause someone to think through as to why they were offended and possibly change their viewpoint. The average islamist and even perhaps a majority of muslims seem incapable of doing this, either through "rioting" vis-a-vis the Muhammad cartoon fiasco in which pillage and murder happened, to keeping silent and not speaking out against those rioting. While many Muslims may indeed, nay, probably condemned the deed, they did not speak out publically possibly because of fear of their fellow Muslims or perhaps silent agreement with what was being done. Is that a fair statement? I don't know, I do know what was seen, and the silance from the Umma was deafining.

    The Beeb has been ridiculed worldwide for its blatant prejudices, anti-American and anti-western rhetoric, not by everyone, but by a significant number of folk including quite a number of Brits, for example the Rottweiler Puppy Blog and the Melanie Phillips blog and last but not least the Biased BBC blog

    So, if there is, little hope for the BBC, (they can call for change, but do you really believe that they will change?) what hope is there for our own MSM... None?

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 08:46 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (6) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 15, 2007

    American Hegemony, Guarantor of Sovereignty

    Yes, America is the hegemon today. That rankles some, causes others to apologize, some others to fear, still others to breathe a sigh of relief. Commentators speak of America‘s disproportionate power, its global reach, its pervasive pop culture. Its detractors say America paternalistically tells other countries how to live, that she even violates other nation’s sovereignty.

    Americans like to think of themselves as exceptional. But others, in a less congratulatory tone, will say that we are self-absorbed, even infamous, and have run amuck in the world. That are our sins so egregious that we are actually dangerous, more a threat to the world than the likes of Saddam Hussein, Kim Jung Il, or even Hugo Chavez? Such were the sentiments of many on the eve of the liberation of Iraq.

    And the liberation of Iraq is what the invasion accomplished. Sovereignty is no longer a guarantee in the modern globalized world. Even Kofi Anan proclaimed that genocide, use of WMD, repeated aggression, and violations of the NPT will not insure a nation’s sovereignty, but in fact endanger it. Such violations of international norms can be used as a pretext to intervene militarily, thus Operation Iraqi Freedom to restore sovereignty.

    America is the world’s hegemon, that is clear, and though she stands heads and tails above all others, she shares a situation common to all; for we are all in the same boat – on the same ship of the international system, on the same sea of anarchy. It would do well for the blame-America-firsters to remember that. Anarchy is the defining condition of international relations – no clear over-arching authority to govern international politics. That state of affairs existed long before America came on the scene. To invoke a cliché: the world is what it is. To paraphrase President Bartlett (a la The West Wing), we live in a .357 magnum world.

    Now of course America is not without faults and has made mistakes. That doesn’t make us special or worse; it does, however, make us rather like everyone else. But one significant difference is that America’s foibles are pretty much open to view. There is transparency -- look at Abu Ghraib and the election 2000 controversy. There is still respect for the rule of law, sanctity of a free press and freedom of speech.

    However, if we are looking for naked, unrepentant violations of sovereignty, that do not meet the criteria stated by the UN, we need look no further than the former USSR, its usurpation of Eastern European countries after WWII and their constant subjugation until the USSR’s demise in 1991. We need look no further than China with its invasion and occupation of Tibet. Is there any question that China would violate Taiwan’s sovereignty without the presence in the Pacific of the US Seventh Fleet? Is there any question that North Korea would violate South Korea’s sovereignty if the DMZ were not an armed camp backed up by the US Eighth Army? This is what “violation of sovereignty” really means.

    Could anyone call the post-WWII Marshal Plan and the rebuilding of Japan violations of sovereignty; or the allied zones of occupation in Germany after WWII, or the numerous reconstruction projects throughout the world?

    From the blame-America-firsters perspective what missed opportunities America had in its grasp at that time; a chance to show the world how to really violate sovereignty and gobble up vast swaths of territory. But we didn’t. We must have been asleep at the wheel. But we weren’t. Territorial aggrandizement is antithetical to liberal democracy. But the nay-sayers are unyielding. They say we are bungling fools undeserving of our global might and incompetent to wield hegemonic leadership. If America has an attention deficit disorder, as Niall Ferguson has said, it is the shallow memory of that which should make it proud.

    After all, never mind the leadership shown in WWII, the leadership of the UN forces in the Korean War, the guidance and support during the Cold War, the leadership in resolving the Balkan crises, the leadership in coalition building in the first Gulf war. America is the guarantor of the sovereignty of South Korea, of Taiwan, and even Japan. During the Cold War, NATO with America at its head guaranteed the sovereignty of Western Europe and Check-Point Charlie was the tip of the spear.

    Yes, America’s influence is profound, but it is vastly inaccurate to say that its foreign policy violates other countries sovereignty or is a threat to world peace. Have there been abuses? Yes. Are they corrected? Yes. Should this conduct and transparency serve as an example for the world? It already does, and it rankles some; but let them be rankled.

    Lawrence S. Harris
    © June 2007

    This Post Blogged By: Lawrence H. at 02:00 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (6) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 14, 2007

    New Voters Key to Florida for Democrats

    How will the Democrats win Florida in 2008? Well, they just gained 16,000 new voters with more coming, many of whom think stealing is no worse than what the Democrats tried to do with the state in the 2000 election. Here's the source of the new Democratic voters that could swing Florida to them.

    Nearly 16,000 Ex-Cons Get Vote in Florida

    Which political party did you expect the felons to support?

    The second part of the Democrats strategy for 2008 is to get as many military votes disqualified as they also did in the 2000 election.

    I think we know whom the Democrats think are the real criminals, whose votes should be tossed.

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 09:10 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (1) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Fun with Liberals

    Want to get a point across to a liberal and make his head swim for fun? In this order, highlight and copy the script below, scroll to the top of the site, paste the script into the browser's address bar, hit enter, and watch him try to absorb pictoral lessons from this site.

    javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI=document.getElementsByTagName("img"); DIL=DI.length; function A(){for(i=0; i-DIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style; DIS.position='absolute'; DIS.left=(Math.sin(R*x1+i*x2+x3)*x4+x5)+"px"; DIS.top=(Math.cos(R*y1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5)+"px"}R++}setInterval('A()',50); void(0);

    Now, watch him sprain his fingers as he tries to type really fast commenting about everything that he sees.

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 05:30 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (3) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Happy Birthday to the United States Army! UPDATED

    CIB.gif

    By an act of Congress, June 14, 1775 What was then to become the United States Army was founded. Charged with protecting the then colonies, today the Army is a world wide fighting force that protects and projects freedom around the world.

    colonialsoldier_thm.jpg

    From this

    To this

    soldier_gears.jpg

    So my friends, if you are reading this, thank a teacher. If you are reading this in English, thank a soldier!

    H/T to Big Dog

    UPDATE: 4:37 PM H/T Lt. Col Tad Curtis, USMC (Ret)

    The Marine Corps sends a salute to the U.S. Army, thanks Tad for the heads up:

    ALMAR 029/07

    Date signed: 06/05/2007 MARADMIN Number: 029/07

    Subject: UNITED STATES ARMY ANNIVERSARY MESSAGE

    UNCLAS 042144Z MAY 07
    CMC WASHINGTON DC(UC)
    AL ALMAR(UC)
    ALMAR
    ALMAR 029/07
    MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC CMC//
    SUBJ/UNITED STATES ARMY ANNIVERSARY MESSAGE//
    POC/SGT M.E. BELL/ADMIN CHIEF/CMC STAFF GROUP/-/TEL:(703)614-2326// GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. ON BEHALF OF AMERICA'S "SOLDIERS OF THE SEA," IT
    IS AN HONOR TO SEND BEST WISHES TO OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN ARMS AS YOU CELEBRATE THE 232ND ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY! 2. SINCE 14 JUNE 1775, THE ARMY HAS DEFENDED THIS NATION AND HER INTERESTS WITH COURAGE AND DEDICATION - FROM THE EARLY STRUGGLE FOR AMERICA'S INDEPENDENCE TO PRESENT DAY CONFLICTS. AS MARINES AND SOLDIERS STAND SHOULDER-TO-SHOULDER IN THE FIGHT FOR FREEDOM AROUND THE GLOBE, WE BUILD UPON A LEGACY OF TEAMWORK THAT HAS ITS ROOTS IN PLACES LIKE BELLEAU WOOD, GUADALCANAL, OKINAWA, INCHON, AND FALLUJAH. 3. AS YOU CELEBRATE THIS IMPORTANT DAY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, KNOW THAT THE MARINE CORPS IS PROUD TO STAND WITH THE PATRIOTS OF THE U.S. ARMY WHOSE BRAVE SACRIFICES AND SELFLESS DEVOTION TO DUTY HELP KEEP THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SAFE FROM HARM. IT IS YOUR WARRIOR ETHOS, YOUR ARMY VALUES, AND YOUR PEOPLE THAT ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE AROUND THE WORLD - ARMY STRONG! SEMPER FIDELIS, JAMES T. CONWAY, GENERAL, U. S.
    MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS.//


    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 07:51 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (2) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 12, 2007

    My Uncle Jimmy


    The really elderly handsome gentleman to the left (no, no, the one with the glasses) is one of my heroes. His name is James Melbert and he is my beloved Uncle. Now, one thing you absolutely must know about Uncle Jimmy is that he is a liberal Democrat (hence, his picture is on the left of course) but other than that one serious flaw, he is a really good fellow and the last surviving member of my Mom's family. Fortunately for Uncle Jimmy, he is married to a marvelous woman by the name of LaVerne who is conservative.

    Uncle Jimmy is the father of two terrific cousins, Bruce and Kay whom I also love dearly. Kay sent me an e-mail not too long ago letting me know that Uncle Jimmy is about to have a repair to the mitral valve of his heart. Now, Uncle Jimmy is a member of the "Greatest Generation" so you know he is no spring chicken, but despite that, when you talk to him, you'd think he is much closer to my young age (and no, I'm not going to tell you how old that is.) At any rate, some of my fondest memories are of the times I spent with the James Melbert family, first in Lake Jackson, Texas, then Angleton, Texas and most recently in Houston, Texas.

    Mom, Jimmy and his family, our family were all tied together by the patriarch of our family N.H. Melbert, D.D. preacher-man extraordinaire and probably the finest man I've ever known. But, I digress.

    Jimmy enlisted in the army and was in the european theater in WWII. He was a chemist for Dow Chemical Company until his retirement and has a number of patents under his name when he worked for Dow (now, there is this story that Uncle Jimmy once brewed beer in the basement of the Parsonage and the bottles exploded just as my grandmother was entertaining a bunch of ladies from the church. This was back in the late 20s to mid 30's so you know how well that went over - Uncle Jimmy, now you can come clean... did that really happen?).

    One ultra-memorable summer in the late 50's I spent a couple of weeks with my grandparents in New Orleans and was invited to spend the rest of the summer at Uncle Jimmy's and Aunt LaVerns'. Wow, what a summer that was. There was a popcorn machine to make fresh popcorn when we watched T.V. and this really big garden spider that lived under the eaves out in the back yard. I remember Bruce and I making up little plays and acting them out with Jimmy, LaVerne and Kay playing the audience. Glorius, absolutely Glorius.

    In 1998, my beloved mother became seriously ill and rapidly declined, both physically and mentally and passed away that November. I miss her quiet love and strong personality to this day, but though I told her many many times how much I loved her towards the end (and, indeed all the years I knew her), I've never been sure that she heard or processed it. I'll not make that mistake again. So, the purpose of this blog entry is simple, Uncle Jimmy, Aunt Laverne

    I Love You!

    There, got that? I thought so!

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 05:50 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (6) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    What Is It About The Law That You Don't Understand? The L., The A., Or The W.?

    My good friend John Bambenek writes a terrific blog over at Part Time Pundit and is a blogger's blogger. John puts thought out posts, and very well thought out posts I might add, in a variety of places. Today, John sent me an e-mail letting me (and a few others) know that he had posted at Blog Critics a new article titled "What the Law is vs. What the Law Ought to Be". Now THIS is a read.

    John's premise is that the law needs to be interpreted as it is written, not as someone thinks it ought to read. And he makes some outstanding arguments. Go and read, comment there then come back and let me know what you thought. Good job John, damn good job!

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 03:32 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (4) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    These Changing Times

    The Youtube video below is by one Albert Gore. Remember him, once Vice President of these here United States? Ole Albert was giving a speech in 1992 running for election (he won too!) and he was running against Pappy Bush, you remember him doncha? He was George's Pap., President number 41 and he had beat Saddam sumpin bad back in the gulf war O' 91.

    Well, I'm digressen' agin, Ole Albert, his speechifying is just sumpin to beholt of why he actually sounds pret near edukated, least wise, fer as I kin tell. Any who, ole Albert he taking Pappy Bush to the woodshed for not going all the way and taking out Saddam, ne'er mind that he weren't allowed ta cause of that there wha-cha-ma-call-it Yewnited Natshuns.. or sumpin like that.

    Any ways, now ole Albert is all agin the war that he wanted and spent 8 years sayin we needed it. Damned if I kin figger out these here college edukated folk.

    Ya'll be good now, ya hear?

    H/T toBig Dog

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 02:11 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (3) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 11, 2007

    Count 'em = 12; Count 'em again = 13

    image001.gif

    Where DOES that 13th person come from... Don't ask me, that's why I posted it cause I don't know!

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 09:37 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (5) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Death Of A Bad Bill

    One of the greatest courtroom dramas of all time was Anatomy of a Murder., and over the last 48 years, I must have watched it at least a dozen times. Jimmy Stewart plays a small town lawyer who gets Ben Gazarra off of a murder charge by getting the jury to believe in an "irresistible impulse."

    An Irresistible Impulse, one that far to many senators succumbed to in authoring and/or supporting a bad bill. Last week, America watched enthralled as the United States Senate debated, and ultimately killed the latest iteration of immigration reform. Earlier "comprehensive" reforms occurred in 1952 and again another in 1986. In the 1986 signing, President Ronald Reagan noted:

    Distance has not discouraged illegal immigration to the United States from all around the globe. The problem of illegal immigration should not, therefore, be seen as a problem between the United States and its neighbors. Our objective is only to establish a reasonable, fair, orderly, and secure system of immigration into this country and not to discriminate in any way against particular nations or people."

    "The act I am signing today is the product of one of the longest and most difficult legislative undertakings of recent memory. It has truly been a bipartisan effort, with this administration and the allies of immigration reform in the Congress, of both parties, working together to accomplish these critically important reforms. Future generations of Americans will be thankful for our efforts to humanely regain control of our borders and thereby preserve the value of one of the most sacred possessions of our people: American citizenship." [emphasis added]

    "Regain control of our borders." Well, that didn't happen as any one with a lick of sense could have told you (and many of us did.)

    The fact of the matter was that when you handed out citizenship to earlier illegal immigrants, you did exactly what Pavlov proved would happen. Reward a behavior and you will get more of the same, in this case somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 to 20 million additional illegal immigrants since 1986. That should be tattooed on the inside of the eyelids of every man and woman that wants to be a United States Senator, let alone on the inside of the eyelids of each and every current U.S. Senator.

    The latest "comprehensive" immigration bill was fraught with difficulty, hence, the multiple votes on amendments to the bill. Each amendment as proposed was to "remove a significant fault" or to add a "significant enhancement" either to the bill, or conversely from the bill, and the American people were up in arms.

    The media kept telling us that a "majority" of Americans wanted a comprehensive immigration bill, and that is probably true, but like always, the devil is in the details. Just prior to the final ignominious defeat of the bill, a Rasmussen poll showed some 70 + percent of those polled did not like this particular bill or its multitude of provisions for an alphabetized system of visas. Indeed, they were probably perplexed by the bill.

    George W. Bush, Harry Reid, John McCain (who probably tossed his presidential candidacy into the toilet) and Ted Kennedy all fought for the bill and ultimately, the people said "no." And it is a good thing they did. As I commented on another site (see, I don't spend ALL of my time here):

    I’m surprised (as perhaps were other) that Marc, who touts polls left and right doesn’t mention that the most recent Rasmussen Poll indicates that a majority of Americans (presumably legal ones) do not indeed support “the Bush backed plan to grant legal status” to the illegals rather, a whopping 74% oppose this bill, many on just those grounds (and this includes Democrats, Republicans, independents and not a few legal immigrants from Mexico and other Hispanic countries.).

    You can call them undocumented workers, illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, or as the sublimely stupid Harry Reid said “undocumented Americans,” but the fact of the matter is that the majority of them are hear [sic] because of the last “flawed bill.” A flawed bill is not “better than nothing,” a flawed bill is bad law. [emphasis added, link to the exact quote added]

    You read correctly, Harry Reid said, and I quote:
    This week, we will vote on cloture and final passage of a comprehensive bill that will strengthen border security, bring the 12 million undocumented Americans out of the shadows, and keep our economy strong. [emphasis added]
    By the way, Dennis Miller did a wonderful take-down of "shallow Harry Reid" here (via Glenn Reynolds) but I digress. Those who were interested in establishing a "legacy" by passing this bill were shot down by the blogosphere (H/T to Danny Glover) both the left and the right calling it a bad bill, by individuals of the left, right, center and no stance at all wrote, telephoned, faxed, emailed and otherwise let their Senator know that this bill was no damn good, and 50 Senators responded. Now, despite what you have heard, the vote was NOT to defeat the bill, the bill was "defeated" because Harry Reid pulled the bill from further consideration (feeling, I guess, that discretion is the better part of valor here). The actual vote was merely to cease debate or not to cease debate. If the vote had been for cloture (that is ceasing debate) then the Senate could have voted in the affirmative (passed the bill - in which case it would go to conference committee to hammer out any differences between it and any bill passed by the house) or voted in the negative which would have effectively killed the current bill.

    A vote to continue debate would have added amendments, removed amendments or otherwise bastardized an already bastardized bill. But the underlying principle of rewarding behavior remains unchanged. Once again, gentle reader, if you reward (visas, citizenship, voting rights, pathways, what ever you want to call amnesty without calling it amnesty) a behavior (illegal immigration), you get more of the same behavior. The are only a few real ways to stop the inflow of illegal immigrants (and don't call them undocumented Americans please).

  • Adopt a draconian set of laws modeled almost exactly after Mexico's laws (and wouldn't that be a fine kettle of fish?)
  • Fines and prison sentences for anyone caught crossing the border a second time after already being deported once for illegal crossing.
  • Fines and prison sentences for those hiring more than a few illegal immigrants (big business has always supported illegal immigration, it allows them to pay substandard wages).
  • Changing our constitution to eliminate the "anchor baby" phenomenon, thus, if you're illegal, any offspring born in the United States would not gain citizenship by dent of being born here.
  • Please understand, I am not advocating any of these positions, I'm merely saying that we will never gain control of illegal immigration unless we adopt some manner of gaining control of the borders and the American people understood that, even if 45 Senators did not. It seems as though, for once, 50 senators listened to either their conscience or their constituents. And I'd have to guess that in the outpouring of disdain to the U.S. Senate an awful lot of Americans succumbed to an "irresistible impulse."

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 08:25 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (5) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    Explosion at Fox News - Delightful To Watch

    There was a massive explosion of wit and a major fisking on the Half Hour News Hour and you need to see it to believe it. Dennis Miller let's loose on Harry Reid (via Glenn Reynolds) with a 155mm broadside at point blank range. Sad to say (OK, OK, happy to say... there, is that better?) there is little left of that shallow little man.

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 05:28 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (2) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 10, 2007

    American Success In Iraq, Civil War, And Paternalism

    In the current climate of anti-Americanism and opposition to the Iraq War several lines of thought have proliferated regarding the dire circumstances of America’s policy. They are the unlikelihood of American success, the problem that the conflict in Iraq might be a civil war, and the unwarranted paternalism of American foreign policy. These viewpoints betray a misunderstanding of America’s role in the world.

    Firstly, it must be said that there always was a chance for success in Iraq and there still is. According to journalist Michael Gordon and military analyst Bernard Trainor, in their book “Cobra II “, the operation for the liberation and reconstruction was planned but imperfectly executed. And what many critics of the war fail to realize is that Islamic extremism has its own agenda regardless of the maneuvers of the Bush administration or the perfectibility of operational plans. So even if strategy is competently executed Radical Islam will not go quietly in the night.

    The Bush administration’s strategy of engagement with Islamic Extremism is an existential to threat to their ideology. The threat of the Coalition’s success is so dangerous to the Jihadis that if it wasn’t, then Al Qaeda and others would not have declared it the central front in their war against the West, nor would they and the insurgents have stepped up terrorist attacks in the last year. The establishment of a viable democracy in Iraq represents a mortal threat to the Jihadist worldview in such a way that it must be met with all possible resistance.

    Actually, one could say that the war was slowly being won before March 2006. The bombing of the “Golden Mosque” at that time signaled a downward turn of events in Iraq. Before that terrorist attack several milestones and opinion polls in Iraq showed movement on a more positive trajectory, economically, politically, and societally. Since the Samara bombing, however, there has been a reversal.

    But, this reversal is itself being reversed or at least contested. The recent successes of the “surge”, the political awakening of the Sunnis, the coming together of Sunnis and Shiites in Baghdad to oppose the Coalition wall to separate neighborhoods are instances of cooperation and reconciliation.

    Moreover, the chance for success in Iraq is put into historical context by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s position paper about insurgent warfare. This study shows that insurgencies fail half the time and thus, counter-insurgencies succeed the other half of the time. A 50/50 ratio is a pretty good chance of success, especially in war.

    So historically, data shows a legitimate chance for success; contemporaneously, developments show a halting realignment; and journalistically, reportage reveals the inherent problems of nation-building.

    Secondly, the label of civil war has been applied to Iraq with the idea that if it is, then it is a losing proposition to continue to stay in such a benighted land. Even Democratic politicians like Senator Schumer have categorically asserted that Iraq is in a civil war and that America hasn’t even chosen sides. But to say that Iraq is a civil war is to imperfectly understand the meaning of that term.

    The conventional view is that a civil war is a war in which parties within the same culture, society or nationality fight against each other for the control of political power. A more sophisticated view entails a broader and more accurate understanding.

    John Keegan, an eminent British military historian, says Iraq is not a civil war because the criteria for civil war include, not only the conventional view, but that the opposing sides are recognized and are public in their views, that a significant portion of the population is associated with the opposing sides, and that there is hostile contention by means of armed forces. (This does not necessarily mean formal battles, but there must be a minimum degree of organisation, formality and identifiability of combatants). A civil war also requires leaders who say what they are fighting for, a public that understands what it is all about, and a sense of unity among the opposition. Most of these criteria are not met. Additionally, the point of the violence must be to achieve sovereign rule, control over a separatist state, or to force a major change in policy. Fighting for revenge, for rights, mass criminality and economic gain are not sufficient motives to proclaim civil war.

    In contrast, a sectarian insurgency (which is what the Iraq war has become) is violent action by a minority group or groups within a state (or in some instances a majority group which lacks power) intent on forcing political change by a mixture of subversion, propaganda, military pressure, and ethnic or religious strife.

    Furthermore, Senator Schumer’s allegation of civil war doesn’t hold up when the question is put to the very people who are supposed to be in the civil war – the Iraqi people. In a poll conducted in Iraq from Feb. 25 to Mar. 5, 2007, and published in the Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index, the question was asked: Is Iraq in a Civil War? The overall response was 58% said no.

    So the label of civil war does not hold in light of the criteria for the term, or even in the opinion of those Iraqis who are experiencing the war itself.

    Thirdly, America’s role in Iraq has been impugned as paternalistic, that the US knows best what the Iraqi people want, and will force them to accept it.

    But this is simplistic and misconstrues America’s role in the world. The idea that the America espouses democracy is not paternalism, but evidenced by the planet-wide movement towards democracy. One has only to look at the expansion of democracy around the world in the last 50 years. According to the UN, in the 1960’s there were about 30 democracies in the world, now there are about 120. That growth didn’t come about by paternalism. That growth came from a consensus by peoples around the world to embrace a system of government that encourages individualism and empowerment. America has been at the forefront of such a movement both directly and indirectly through the exercise of “hard and soft power”.

    Moreover, the Iraqi people in three elections in 2005 voted in overwhelming numbers, under threat of death. This was not from some top-down directive, but a demonstration of a grassroots desire for choice and self-determination.

    So Iraqis have voted freely without directives, don’t think it is a civil war they are in, and are following a trend in world history that embraces democracy; hardly the victims of paternalism.

    The assessment that the policies of the America are misguided and even detrimental in individual cases can be argued; but in a wider context, over a period of decades, even centuries, the comparison with other countries and political systems would yield more beneficial results than detrimental ones. Hasn’t recent world history already shown a preference for liberal democracy over totalitarian communism? This is not to say that liberal democracy is the apotheosis of human government, but at this time in history it provides the best framework for the realization of basic human aspirations. This is the project outlined for America in the Bush administration’s National Security Strategy of 2002.

    America is not paternalistic, but quietly, perhaps annoyingly, confident that democracy will prevail.

    Lawrence S. Harris
    © June 2007

    This Post Blogged By: Lawrence H. at 09:32 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (3) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 09, 2007

    Once Upon A Time...

    Tail Gunner Joe to Witness:

    Mr. Jefferson, Do you now, or have you ever owned, possessed, fired, or otherwise used a device called a gun? And if you have sir, and I remind you Mr. Jeffeson that you are under oath here in the Senate Hypocrisy Committee, have you ever supported anti-gun legislation?"

    This Post Blogged By: GM Roper at 06:00 PM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (4) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"

    June 08, 2007

    Today' Media Covering Yesterday's War

    What if the Normandy invasion had occurred on June 6th, 2007? How would the modern media report it?

    D-Day: Crisis On Omaha

    And, the coordinated response and influence of the Left? "Bring the troops home! We can never defeat the Nazis! We should stay out of Europe, where we're not wanted. Hitler didn't attack us. Give peace a chance."

    Or, something like that.

    The source of the video is The Combat Report, which has more to say on this issue and publishes articles about Americans in combat, past and present.

    This Post Blogged By: Woody M. at 08:40 AM | Talk Back but Remember That Comments Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinion Of GM or of Woody: (14) | Trackbacks:(0)


    We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
    ----- Texas Preamble, 1845
    "Subscribe via Feedburner"
    AddThis Feed Button "Subscribe via Add This Feed Button"




    Oppose Harry Reid



    Categories


    I Stand With Piglet, How About You?


    Reject The UN
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting







    Archives

    101st Fighting Keyboardists






    Prev | List | Random | Next
    Join
    Powered by RingSurf!

    Naked Bloggers


    Improper Blogs



    Milblogs I Read

    The Texas Connection
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting



    American Conservative
    Blogroll


    Image hosting by Photobucket





    The Wide Awakes
    
twalogo.gif



    < TR>
    AgainstTerrorism 1.jpg
    [ Prev || Next || Prev 5 || Next 5]
    [Rand || List || Stats || Join]

    Open Tracback Providers

    No PC Blogroll


    Blogs For Bush
    newmed.jpg





    My Technorati Profile
    Major Media Links



    Other
    Grab A Button
    If you would like to link to GM's Corner, feel free to grab one of the following buttons. (Remember to save the image to your own website).





    Whimsical Creations by GM Roper
    My Store


    Technorati search

    Fight Spam! Click Here!
    YCOP Blogs



    The Alliance
    smallerer_seal_whitebackclear.jpg
    "GM's Corner is a Blogger's
    Blog, and then some!"
    -----Glenn Reynolds


    Coalition Against Illegal Immigration




    Southern Blog Federation


    Kim Komando, America's Digital Goddess
    Credits
    Powered by:
    Movable Type 2.64

    Template by:


    Design by:
    Slobokan

    Hosted by:
    Mu.Nu