Friday, March 31, 2006


So, Jonah Goldberg has joined in the Jill Carroll bashing parade. How about he tries spending three months held hostage himself? Oh, of course not. He's too much of a coward to even enlist to defend the war he championed for-fricking-ever. Him and Johnny, two peas in a Pod.

That woman has more courage in her right hand than anyone who pushed for Iraq. She went voluntarily to cover the story in a region where white women, or women period, don't get treated that great. She dealt with 82 days being held by radical Islamists. To bash her or get on her for Stockholm Syndrome is in poor taste right now.

And no, she is not Patty Hearst.

Oh, beauty

The other day, Jack Abramoff was sentenced in Florida for his role in the casino fraud case, with his sentencing in federal court delayed because of his cooperation in naming people. Now, Tony Rudy, Tom DeLay's former chief of staff, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy for his part in the Abramoff scandal. The plea includes admitting that he got DeLay to kill a bill that would hurt Abramoff's clients in return for various gifts and favors. Out and out bribery, and the really nice thing about this? DeLay and Bob Ney now will have to face the fact that this plea will likely be entered into the record in DeLay's money-laundering trial and the impending criminal prosecution of Ney by the Justice Dept.

Oh, it's a wonderful day in the neighborhood. DeLay is in much hotter water today, and Ney is quaking in his boots as all the people around him, like Tom Noe and Abramoff, are getting indicted and/or convicted of crimes. Conrad Burns is running scared, trying like hell to shake Abramoff, but the local Montana press has been digging for months on end, and keep pulling up more skeletons. This looks like it's going to make ABSCAM look like a mudhole next to the tar pit that is Abramoff's operation.

And let's be clear. Abramoff did not bribe Democrats. He is a Republican who bribed Republicans for legislation. The Dorgan and Reid memes being spread by the GOP are crap. There is a susbstantial difference between taking money from people who had donated to them BEFORE Abramoff represented them and people who directly wrote or altered or killed legislation due to Abramoff bribes, especially since their interest came only AFTER the bribes had been passed out. Furthermore, only Republicans are being named in indictments by the Republican Justice Department. Only Republicans have been convicted of these bribery charges (Abramoff, Rudy, Duke Cunningham). Only Republicans keep popping up with dirty money (Katharine Harris, Virgil Goode, DeLay, Ney, Burns, Cunningham, et al.)

No matter what the GOP tries to say, this is a Republican problem, and they are not showing any seriousness about cleaning up. And, in fairness, some of California's Democrats are being weak on this too. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer voted against the independent ethics body in the Senate, and Nancy Pelosi seems to have lost her nerve when she pulled the Dems ethics report by Louise Slaughter off the Web once the GOP complained. I do give kudos to Barack Obama and (God, I never thought I'd say this) Chuck Grassley, who pushed for much tougher reforms.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The immigration situation

The whole text of my comment from Emily's site re: immigration. She wrote that St. Aquinas would be on the side of the Sensenbrenners, basically. My response was this:

The problem with this debate is that it seems very race-based. No one's talking about securing the Canadian border and building walls there, even though THAT'S WHERE THE 9/11 GROUP CAME FROM.

Secondly, the point Hillary's trying to make, although she may be a poor messenger for it, is that Jesus didn't separate those in need based on law. He treated the adulteress and the prostitute the same as the common working person. Matthew 25: 35-36, "35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me."

That is what Cardinal Mahoney is saying. That is what many of us are saying.

Because if we ended the economic issues which created this problem, things would be a lot better. As long as vineyard and orchard owners and WalMart are willing to pay these people $4/hr. or pay them by each piece of fruit picked, illegal immigration will not stop, because $4/hr. beats the hell out of most jobs in Mexico, especially since THEY have started outsourcing.

These people risk their very lives to get here. Faced with death in unventilated trucks, by Minutemen and Border Guards, by Mexican drug gangs, they come.

Living in Southern California, I can tell you that as much as some people hate the illegals, this economy would cease to function without them. The blame isn't just on Mexico and Mexicans. It's on us for enabling it, for allowing the vineyards, the orchards, the WalMarts, to hire these people, pay them below minimum wage, and be the reason they get state help.

In all honesty, how many white people, how many of the critics, would be willing to work these godawful jobs under godawful conditions? These illegals don't have those pretentions. They will do anything for their family's well-being. Are they breaking a law? Yes, they are. So are their employers.

We have no right to demonize the illegals if we ourselves haven't cleaned up our act and showed that we are willing to work these jobs in the fields. I've NEVER seen a white, black, Asian, or Indian in those fields. They are all Hispanic out there, enduring the worst to try and support their family. This whole immigration debate is far too narrow, and will not stop the problem. The wall in Israel hasn't kept Palestinians from building ladders and scaling it. Walls are detrimental to a society, let alone our souls. The Cardinal, along with others, are following the lead of our Lord Jesus, ministering and caring for everyone, regardless of their status. Tell me, what is really so wrong about that? Legally wrong, morally right.

I'm for freedom of religion

but, reading the things I'm hearing about the TomKat baby, I don't think I can really defend Scientology as religion. It really seems to veer onto the edge of being a cult. Carrying signs into the TomKat house to remind her to be quiet during childbirth so the child isn't traumatized. I mean, come on. I'm sure my mom, your mom, and a lot of moms out there screamed their ass off. My mom told me she almost broke my dad's hand and arm grabbing him so hard. Childbirth, from what I hear (being a guy, I am anatomically prevented from knowing what it feels like), hurts like hell, so I think screaming is justified.

Not to mention, Scientologists feel contact with non-Scientologists should be limited, which is real nice for Grandpa and Grandma, being kept away from their first grandchild. These guys also don't believe in anti-depressants (witness the Brooke Shields-Tom Cruise battle last year), think some guy named Xenu from another planet is responsible for human life, implanted memories of Jesus, Islam, etc., and reincarnation.

It is difficult to reconcile some of my favorite actors (John Travolta) being mixed up with this garbage. How does John live in the same town as me and yet seem to be on another planet? I don't know what's up with the Kool-Aid in Hollywood, but I sure as hell am not going to drink it.

P.S. You can call me intolerant if you want, but I never said they can't practice their beliefs. I think calling it a religion is a stretch, and I think they are out of their everloving minds to believe in this.

Thank God, she's free

Jill Carroll was finally freed from captivity today, unharmed after three months of being held hostage by Iraqi insurgents/terrorists/fill-in-the-blank. And, in celebration of the moment, NRO's John Podheretz writes this.

John, in case you haven't followed this case or read up about Carroll, she wasn't forced to dress in moderate Muslim garb. She chose to do it to show respect for the Iraqis and for her own safety. The comment is in bad taste.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The end of an era

In 24 hours, two more of the Reagan consieglieres have passed on. Caspar Weinberger died from pneumonia and Lyn Nofziger from cancer.

As a Reagan admirer, I want to send my condolences to both families, and hopefully they're all sitting around upstairs joking around and enjoying a better place.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Another waste of taxpayer dollars, brought to you by Texas

Texas, the home state of Tom DeLay, George W. Bush, and other assorted jerks, has now passed a law to ban "sexy cheerleading."

There go the outfits, the routines, in fact, there goes cheerleading. Every cheerleading 16-year-old girl is pissed as hell now.

Unbelievable. Texas last in the nation in child care, health care, and quality of air (Houston) and instead of tackling these problems, they banned "sexy cheerleading."

For everyone in America, I simply must ask, WTF?

Gee, will he live up to his word?

(via Daily Kos)

In January 2005, President Bush promised we'd leave Iraq if the elected Iraqi government asked us to. He qualified the statement by saying that he didn't think they would do that.

Today Iraq just told him to call his hand.

Iraq wants US to cede control after raid.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's ruling parties demanded U.S. forces cede control of security on Monday as the government launched an inquiry into a raid on a Shi'ite mosque complex that ministers said saw "cold blooded" killings by U.S.-led troops.

U.S. commanders rejected the charges and said their accusers faked evidence by moving bodies of gunmen killed fighting Iraqi troops in an office compound. It was not a mosque, they said.

As Shi'ite militiamen fulminated over Sunday's deaths of at least 16 people in Baghdad, an al Qaeda-led group said it staged one of the bloodiest Sunni insurgent attacks in months. A suicide bomber killed 40 Iraqi army recruits in northern Iraq.

So, George, in 2004 you hailed Iyad Allawi as a good guy to listen to because he said what you wanted to hear. In 2006, you dismiss him because he says Iraq is in the beginning of a civil war. In 2005, you say we'll leave Iraq if the government asks. Well, the Shiites control the Iraqi government, and the prime minister's press secretary said they want us to give up security (meaning, LEAVE). Are we going to listen, and if we don't, are Iraqi security forces going to be ordered to attack us? What then? We'll become the aggressors, and draw ALL of the heat.

They want us gone. Their prime minister sent his press guy out to say it. That wasn't an accident. It's time to go, and if we stay, then it'll be clear that Bush doesn't give a damn about keeping his word, about our security, or about what the Iraqis want.

Ah, it's the PRESS who are losing the war

So says the Bushites, who are desperate to find an excuse for their incompetent mismanagement of a conflict that was supposed to end in weeks, and is now getting worse after three years.

The scary thing is, I can't believe it's been three frickin' years.

Look, the press is not to blame. In fact, they are far more courageous than those blinded-by-the-light fools that have never faced danger in their lives and sit in comfortable houses or studios and who think it's all good and dandy and if more positive stories were on the news then we'd be winning the war, the same war we've allegedly been winning for three years. If we've been winning so long, how come it's not over?

Jake Tapper talked about the story he ran on a television producer, a real feel-good deal, who was killed by insurgents after the story aired. A CBS reporter in Baghdad said that the CPA begged them to not run some of the good stories they found because it would endanger the people who'd be the subject of these pieces. It's a mix of straw-man and hypocritical arguments to blame the press. On one hand, they're to blame for not running feel-good pieces on a frickin' war zone and on the other hand, they don't want them to run those pieces because they don't want to jeopardize the safety of these Iraqis.

There are only two conclusions that can be drawn from this. Either the administration and the military is deliberately doing this to find a scapegoat for their miserable and spectacular failure in Iraq, or the administration isn't at all listening to the "military commanders" that Bush is so fond of talking about whenever timetables or troop levels come up. In both cases, the behavior is so disgusting as to be completely nauseating. In the first case, they would be using "security concerns" to push a political agenda (again) and in the second case, they're not only lying, they're jeopardizing the war effort by ignoring the people on the ground. It's that top-down ignorance of the ground troops that was one of the real reasons we lost Vietnam, not because "squishy liberals" protested or Cronkite turned on it.

If this war is being lost, it is because of the record-setting depths being plumbed by the most incompetent war administration in American history. If this war is being lost, it's because we never once did the right thing when the situation demanded it (more troops, leaving the Iraqi Army intact, not paying former regime workers, etc.). If this war is being lost, it's because we refused to bring in more worldwide help. If this war is being lost, it's because we attacked for reasons that were proven false. If this war is being lost, it is not the fault of liberals, the media, Democratic congressmen, or war critics. If this war is being lost, the only blame that can be factually placed (and I know facts are anathema to the Bush crew), it is the fault of the President of the United States, who signed off on decisions being made by the people he hired, and who has the power to demand change, but has not. This president and his administration is losing the war, and no amount of spin can save him from that reality.