Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bill O'Reilly on the ACLU's (and their friends in the Press) demands for more Abu Ghraib photos:

As you may know, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is demanding the release of all Abu Ghraib photographs and videotapes, and any other damning evidence of prisoner abuse by the American military. The ACLU filed suit last year, and the case is now coming to a head in New York City.

Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified in front of the judge that any further public exposition of prisoner abuse could endanger the lives of U.S. and allied troops. He is livid about the ACLU's action.

Of course Myers is right, and the Newsweek Quran fiasco proved it. Loony Muslims rampaged in a number of countries after that magazine falsely reported the holy book had been abused at Guantanamo Bay. At least 15 people were killed, hundreds injured.

But the ACLU does not care what Myers thinks — it wants to embarrass the Bush administration, and if people die because of that, tough.

This despicable attitude is being enabled by some interesting ACLU allies. In a "friend-of-the-court" brief, CBS, NBC, The New York Times and a few other media outfits urged the judge to reject Myers' argument and dump 87 Abu Ghraib photos and four videos into the public square.

As an American journalist, I am simply ashamed that some of my colleagues have sided with the ACLU and would risk further endangering Americans fighting this brutal war on terror. An action of this type would have been unthinkable during World War II. But, today, the media operates outside patriotic constraints or even public safety considerations.

The truth is that the ACLU and its "friends" don't care if they help the jihadists and don't know how to defeat the enemy. Those who are demanding more abuse pictures are not supporting the troops and are not looking out for everyday Americans. They are putting our fighting people and U.S. civilians in even more danger. And there is no excuse for doing that.

The Abu Ghraib story pales beside this outrageous tale of the ACLU and media groups placing Americans in danger for purely political reasons.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Big Things Happen on the 3rd...

The next two months boast events larger than life on their 3rd day.

On September 3rd the Weiss era starts at Notre Dame as the Fighting Irish make their way to Pittsburgh to take on the first of many ranked teams that they'll face this year.

On October 3rd a much more momentous event will occur. Am I talking about the new Supreme Court meeting on the first Monday in October? Don't be silly. I'm talking big stuff here.

Oh yes. On October 3rd the new one-hour Peter Heck Show debuts on WIOU at 3PM.
For details see http://www.peterheck.com/.

I met Peter's mother once years ago. She was travelling with her husband to Kokomo to pay their property taxes. She was great with child. When they reached Kokomo her time came to deliver, but there was no room at Howard Community Hospital. Peter was born out back in the caretaker's tool shed. An annoying and homely baby? To be sure. But this child was destined to become a great phenom in radio history. Did his family expect greatness from this child? No. In fact they would have placed bets against it. Big bets. Lifetime savings kinds of bets. But Peter Heck fooled them all. He grew to become a man. A manly man... A man with vision, wisdom, and a keen fashion sense. He knew how to craft a sentence. He knew how to disarm a political adversary. He knew which way to turn those little twisty-ties on loaves of bread. Peter Heck could do it all!

But seriously, Mr Heck mixes faith with a passion for politics, and produces a very entertaining and thoughtful show. Can't wait!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Wunderkraut literally destroys Gary Hartpence. Its a must read:
Rural Conservatives and City Liberals

Lately I've been trying to figure out the relationship between a person's political philosophy, their daily pursuits, and the density of the population in the area in which they live. Is there some pattern or symmetry expressed in the relationship between one's recreational activities and his world view, or does his world view dictate the activities that he pursues? Are cities conducive to liberal thoughts and ideas? Why are rural areas more conservative? Do certain kinds of people naturally migrate to metropolitan areas? I wonder if simply the "pace" of a person's daily routine has a profound effect on the way he views politics and political philosophies.

The left would probably say that rural conservatives are unsophisticated, uninformed, or ill-informed rubes. I would agree that rural folk tend to be less "fashionable" in their thinking, but fashion is not a measure of mental sophistication or level of political awareness. One's attentiveness to fashionable ideas, dress, etc. is more indicative of a person being directed mentally and attitudinally by others.

I know nothing about modern art, so I would say, I don't "do" modern art. Do the rank and file individuals that vote for liberals "do" politics? The pundits and activists definitely do, but the rank and file? Are they more informed and engaged with their political beliefs and leaders than the conservative rank and file? If so, how do you explain the tremendous success of the Fox News Channel? If liberals were the ones interested and in touch with current events wouldn't CNN's ratings be at least on a par with Fox? Why is conservative talk radio so successful and "Air America" such a pathetic failure? I believe that the people who "do"politics overwhelmingly vote conservative. I believe a survey would show that conservatives are more likely to know the names of their congressman and senators and are more likely to be aware of current political issues. These are generalizations, to be sure, but I believe they bear up under scrutiny.

So why are rural and city people generally so different?

Marshall McLuhan wrote about "hot" and "cool" media. A hot medium is "high definition ... the state of being well-filled with data." A cool medium is "low definition and has to be filled in, or completed, by the listener." For instance "print" is a cool medium and movies are a hot medium. I would suggest here that city life is an intensely "hot" medium that inflicts upon its audience a barrage of stimuli that is much less conducive to the detached reflection and repose often associated with a more pastoral setting. The in-your-face presence of city-life and the seemingly infinite entertainment opportunities surely has a narcotic kind of influence that leaves one constantly in search of the next "party,"... the next "distraction."

Contrast that with my little life. My conservative rural day begins with coffee, scripture reading, prayer, and a little exercise, followed by more coffee on my patio while I look out upon a soybean field. The medium in which I live gets a little "hotter" when I get to work, but afterwards there is conversation with family, neighbors, and usually puttering around in my garden. I'm asleep before 10PM every night. Fashion doesn't play a big role in my life. I would suggest here that rural life is a "cool" medium of existence in which one plays a more participatory, thoughtful, and self-directed role.

What we believe and value is always influenced and edited by our environment. I believe the values expressed by metropolitan liberals often reflect a fast-paced life that is lost in the popular culture of the day... and pop culture is a liberal manifestation of the liberal media.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times quotes a religious leader who exposes another problem arising from Pat Robertson's statement:

The Rev. Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals said in an interview that he and "most evangelical leaders" would disassociate themselves from such "unfortunate and particularly irresponsible" comments.

"It complicates circumstances for foreign missionaries and Christian aid workers overseas who are already perceived, wrongly, especially by leftists and other leaders, as collaborators with U.S. intelligence agencies," he added.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pat Robertson's Calling

So I heard that CBN founder Pat Robertson is calling for the assassination of Venezuela's leader Hugo Chavez. If I'd been next to him in the studio when he made such a remark I hope I would have had the presence of mind to ask, "What would Jesus do, Pat?" Then perhaps Pat would have said, "If Jesus was responsible for national security he would take-out Hugo Chavez."

Before I go further I want to say that I have the greatest respect for Mr Robertson. When Pat reaches heaven I believe he will be able to look around and see hundreds of thousands of souls who would not be there if not for him and his ministry through the years. Its hard to criticize a man like that.

That said, there are so many times that this gentleman will say things that just leave me shaking my head. During the last presidential campaign he said that he had warned President Bush about invading Iraq but that the president assured him that the endeavor would be an easy one.

This did not help the President. But to understand why Robertson might say such a thing about a president that he supported, perhaps you need to go back to the time when he ran for the presidency himself. It was then that he made the political blunder of saying that there were still nuclear missiles in Cuba. He took a beating for that statement and I believe he has been looking for a little respect ever since.

So when the media comes calling today feigning respect, Pat tries to project the image of elder statesman and has on occasion put his foot in his mouth.

The liberal media has become very adept at using Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to further their own agenda. And Jerry and Pat willingly step right up to be made caricatures of religious conservatives. If they were effective the media wouldn't come near them.

Pat Robertson has accomplished many great things in his ministry. His calling is more noble than politics and I wish he would stick to it.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Betsy newmark of "Betsy's Page" writes about Supreme Court Justices and their tendency to migrate to the left, and also gives an excellent definition to the way liberal and conservative labels apply to judicial philosophy:

I was talking with a friend the other day about this perceived tendency for justices to become more liberal. While there are some very prominent examples, I held that the sample size was not large enough to draw conclusions. I'm using liberal and conservative here as labels for their judicial philosophy not their partisan ideology. I would term anyone who thinks that we have a "living Constitution" as liberal and one who doesn't think so as conservative. Feel free to mentally substitute whichever term you prefer.

Look at the current Court to see if this theory about justices drifting to the left holds up. I don't count Souter and Stevens, although they were nominated by GOP presidents. They were pretty liberal all along. Ginsburg has always been liberal. Breyer is generally liberal, but he has voted on the side that could be labeled conservative a few times and I'm sure disappointed liberals when he did so. O'Connor and Kennedy have drifted to what seems to be the liberal side more frequently on some key votes but have gone back and forth. However, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas have been reliable conservative votes. So, from that small sample, I don't know that we can generalize that conservative justices will become liberal. Some will, but some will remain firm in their original convictions. The real problems (in my view) are with the ones who were liberal to begin with and got appointed by presidents who either wanted a moderate like Ford choosing Stevens or were deceived about their nominee's views like Bush and Souter.

So those who fear "another Souter" don't have that much to worry about if the nominee, as Roberts seems to be, has a long history of firm conservative beliefs. Most importantly, he has a deep belief in the limited role of judges. That, more than a stand on any single issue, is what I was looking for in Bush's nominee. And so far, everything that has come out about Roberts goes to show that conservatives have a very good nominee in John Roberts.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Betsy Newmark of Betsy's page talks about Wolf Blitzer's investigations into how Bill Clinton would be handling world problems if he was president today:

Well, we know what he would do because he did or didn't do it for eight years. Look there for thoughts on how he would have handled terrorism: a few stray missiles, lots of talk, and then hope that eagle-eyed customs officials would catch those coming to bomb LAX for the millennium. For Africa and AIDS, lots of talk and apologies, but again not much there. Clinton was good on sounding good, but actually did little to carry out his fine-sounding words. Because taking action is hard and expensive.

To find out how Clinton would have handled things, don't ask him today when he can say anything, look to his real record. For example, now he's mouthing off that he would have really, truly gone after Bin Laden if he'd just had the proof that OBL was behind the bombing of the Cole.

Oh, yeah. Remember when he launched a few missiles into the Bin Laden training grounds in Afghanistan. If he knew enough to do that, why didn't he continue the battle instead of just stopping?

Just remember, if Hillary is elected, we'll get two for the price of one. Do the American people really have such a haze of good thoughts about his presidency that they want him back cruising the world with lots of free time and no elective office, just whatever assignment his wife would give him? Even if you believe that he was responsible for the economies of the 1990s, we're in a different world now and I hope voters would be clear-eyed about what he actually did and didn't do in office. But I have no such optimism. The fact that so many people remember his feckless presidency fondly is just as depressing to me as it must be to the far left to know that so many people like George W. Bush.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

George Will writes about how Jimmy Carter has accused him for years of helping Ronald Reagan win the great debate by giving him Jimmy's briefing book:

A quarter of a century has passed since 44 states said "No, thanks" to Jimmy Carter's offer to serve a second term, yet he still evidently thinks his loss is explained not by foreign policy debacles, such as invading Iran with eight helicopters, and a misery index — inflation plus unemployment — of 22, almost triple today's index.

Rather, he seems to think approximately this:
Ronald Reagan won because he won the only debate. He won it not because of Carter's debate performance ("I had a discussion with my daughter, Amy, the other day, before I came here, to ask her what the most important issue was. She said she thought nuclear weaponry . . ."), but only because Reagan had Carter's briefing book. And Reagan had it because this columnist gave it to him.

That last accusation, for which there is no evidence, is, as he has been told, false. But he is a recidivist fibber. Last Oct. 21, on National Public Radio, he said: "We found out later that one of Ronald Reagan's supporters inside the White House had stolen my briefing book, my top-secret briefing book that prepared me for the debate. And a very prominent news reporter was the one who took the briefing book to Ronald Reagan and helped drill him on the things that I might say if he said certain things." Asked who that reporter was, Carter replied, "It was George Will, and it was later known that he did that."

The role of ex-President requires a grace and restraint notably absent from Carter. See, for example, his criticism of America when he is abroad, as in England two weeks ago. Having made such disappointing history as President, Carter as ex-President should at least refrain from disseminating a historical falsehood.

So strong, however, is the human impulse to believe comforting myths, Carter probably will continue to promulgate the fiction that I gave Reagan the utterly unimportant briefing book, thereby catalyzing the 1980 landslide. But to be fair: As a candidate, Carter promised only that as President he would never tell a lie, thereby leaving himself a loophole for his post-Presidential career as a fabulist.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Thomas Sowell writes of the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima:

What was new about these bombs was the technology, not the morality. More people were killed with ordinary bombs in German cities or in Tokyo. Vastly more people were killed with ordinary bullets and cannon on the Russian front. Morality is about what you do to people, not the technology you use.

The alternative to the atomic bombs was an invasion of Japan, which was already being planned for 1946, and those plans included casualty estimates even more staggering than the deaths that have left a sea of crosses in American cemeteries at Normandy and elsewhere. "Revisionist" historians have come up with casualty estimates a small fraction of what the American and British military leaders responsible for planning the invasion of Japan had come up with.

Who are we to believe, those who had personally experienced the horrors of the war in the Pacific, and who had a lifetime of military experience, or leftist historians hot to find something else to blame America for?

Japan's plans for defense against invasion involved mobilizing the civilian population, including women and children, for the same suicidal battle tactics. That invasion could have been the greatest bloodbath in history.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Thank you Bryan Alexander... lest we forget:

(By invading Iraq),"All we've done is created more hatred for Americans around the world and created more terrorists."
I've heard this argument many times, that by invading Iraq, we are somehow responsible for causing others around the world to hate us.Here is a partial list of terrorism activities against the United States, all occurring before the invasion of Iraq:
December 29, 1992: A bomb exploded in a hotel in Aden, Yemen, where the US troops had been staying while en route to a humanitarian mission in Somalia.February 26, 1993: World Trade Center bombing - kills six and injures over 1,000.
October 3, 1993: Eighteen US troops killed in a guerilla attack in Mogadishu, Somalia.
November 13, 1995: Five Americans and two Indians killed in the truck bombing of a US-operated Saudi National Guard training center in Riyadh.
June 25, 1996: A large truck bomb at the US military residence in Dhahran - 19 servicemen killed.
February 1998: Bin Laden issues joint declaration with two terrorist groups which stated that Muslims should kill Americans including civilians--anywhere in the world.
August 7, 1998: US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania bombed, kills over 220 people and injures over 4,500
October 12, 2000: USS Cole in Yemen is rammed by a small craft loaded with explosives - 17 US sailors killed and 39 injured.
Sept. 11, 2001: Terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon kills thousands.
These people hated us well before the invasion of Iraq. I think people can reasonably debate the merits of invading Iraq, but it makes no sense to me to say that we are causing hatred. The hatred has been there for a very long time.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Joseph Sobran writes about the new course in judicial confirmations:

But eventually the Democrats came to realize the tremendous power potential of the Federal judiciary. Aggressive or “activist” judges might change the most basic rules of American society through tendentious interpretation of the Constitution, without the bother of winning elections and passing legislation. So, especially after World War II, the courts began imposing a liberal agenda on myriad issues.

For anyone who still didn’t get it, the 2000 election showed just how crucial control of the Court could be. George W. Bush’s victory came, quite literally, by a single vote. Today both parties know very clearly what the stakes are. And American politics will never go back to “normal.” Those days are over. So it’s quite understandable that the Democrats may not want to lie back and let Roberts have a share of the Supreme Court’s arbitrary power for perhaps thirty years or so. No matter how nice he seems, no matter how professionally “qualified” he is, nobody can be really qualified to possess that kind of legal authority — the last word on how Americans shall live — for the remainder of what may be a very long life. What lies just ahead? Maybe filibusters, calumnies, and Ted Kennedy diatribes — ugly stuff, all very distasteful, but such is the price of a system that saddles us with a puissant nine-member body beyond political control, beyond removal, and virtually beyond correction even when it acts most egregiously.

First of all Sobran doesn't mention the results of re-counts that showed Bush won in Florida, meaning he won by more than just one Supreme Court Justice's vote. Secondly, he forgets that the Republicans hold a majority in the Senate and can change Senate rules on filibusters. But I do appreciate his honesty when he says that Democrats have found a way to circumvent the electorate and their elected representatives.
Do I love Ann Coulter? Oh yes. Yes I do. Here are more of her thoughts about Roberts' judicial philosophy:

I don't give a rat's behind whether the guy is pro-life, whether his wife is pro-life, whether he used to be pro-life, whether he will become pro-life, etc. That tells us how he would vote as a state legislator. He isn't being nominated for state legislator. The relevant question for a prospective justice, and it can be asked properly either by a president or a senator, is: "What, in your view, is the legal force of a Supreme Court opinion?" If Roberts believes that Supreme Court opinions are law of some kind, all is lost. Now comes the news that Roberts says he respects "precedent" — which is another way of saying: We can count on Roberts to uphold the court's previous unconstitutional findings. It doesn't help to have someone who thinks that, as an original matter, the Constitution says nothing about state abortion laws if he is then going to "balance" the law against "the integrity of the institution," "public confidence in our system of justice," "the need for stability and predictability," "the sweet mystery of life," blah blah blah. The problem with establishment types is precisely that they worry about everything except the law. Just get the law right and shut up.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

After reading the Kokomo Perspective Blog Pages where I found several "anonymous" anti-war, anti-bush comments I responded,

These "anonymous" comments make me very tired. I don't know if radical Islam can be stopped. I'm quite confident that France will be Muslim in our lifetime and many of their freedoms expunged. I know we are at war with a people and culture that are growing much faster than we are. Unlike the left and the lazy hedonists I'm not ready to lie down and surrender my progeny to these murderers. We can either capitulate to their will, or we can engage them in Afghanistan, Iraq, New York, and anywhere else we find them. Grow up, wake up "anonymous," there is no road that leads back to Septmber 10, 2001. We are at war with Radical Islam and either young men and women are going to die, or their descendants are going to lose their freedom. "Anonymous," I hope your thinking doesn't prevail in Washington so that you may one day reap the benefits from the sacrifices of our troops. I hope you'll be free to embrace your illusions, laugh at honor, and cling to your pacifist, liberal dogma that throughout history has freed no one.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Betsy Newmark of "Betsy's Page writes about the recess appointment of John Bolton:

What gets me is the media and the Democratic senators acting as if the Senate had already rejected Bolton. Nope. The minority had filibustered the appointment, but Bolton would have been approved, probably narrowly, but approved with a straight up or down vote. And the Constitution gives the President recess appointment power, a power many presidents from George Washington on have used.Seeing as how the job of the UN ambassador is to vocalize the administration's foreign policies at the UN, the president has the right to pick his own spokesman. It is not as if Bolton will be making policy there. If Democrats have problems with what Bolton says while he's there, their problem is with the fact that Bush is the president, not John Bolton.

Monday, August 01, 2005

John Hawkins asked "right -of-center bloggers (47 responded) to pick their least favorite conservatives. Here they are with the number of votes they received:

18) Tom Tancredo(4)
18) Ralph Reed (4)
18) Newt Gingrich (4)
18) Lincoln Chafee (4)
18) James Dobson (4)
18) George Pataki (4)
18) Arnold Schwarzenegger (4)
14) Tom DeLay (5)
14) Rush Limbaugh (5)
14) George Voinovich (5)
14) Chuck Hagel (5)
13) Andrew Sullivan (6)
11) Tucker Carlson (7)
11) Bob Novak (7)
9) Sean Hannity (8)
9) Rick Santorum (8)
8) Arlen Specter (10)
7) Jerry Falwell (15.5)
6) Bill O'Reilly (16)5) Michael Savage (17)
4) Pat Robertson (19.5)
3) Ann Coulter (20)
2) John McCain (21)
1) Pat Buchanan (28)

I don't understand how you can be a conservative and not like Santorum. And, I've heard things about Newt's personal life that aren't very attractive, but we can't forget what he did for the Republican Party. I have a hard time not liking the religious leaders mentioned, but I do think they should stick with their ministries and stop letting the left-wing media use them against conservatives. Ofcourse Pat Buchanan does not strive for conservatism, he strives for the glorification of Pat Buchanan. I love lists, but this one I don't understand.
Cassandra Vinograd reports in the Washington Post:

BIRMINGHAM, England -- Former President Carter said Saturday the detention of terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay Naval base was an embarrassment and had given extremists an excuse to attack the United States.
Carter also criticized the U.S.-led war in Iraq as "unnecessary and unjust."

"What has happened at Guantanamo Bay ... does not represent the will of the American people," Carter said Saturday. "I'm embarrassed about it, I think its wrong. I think it does give terrorists an unwarranted excuse to use the despicable means to hurt innocent people."

Having the "Carter Legacy" hung around one's neck must be a very burdensome thing, and I'm sure its a temptation for this aging man to scrape about for any crumb of recognition. But Carter knows the effect his words have on the war, our enemies, and our troops. Our boys and girls could pay a high price for his moment in the spotlight.
I'm getting to be quite the fan of David Limbaugh. About the Lib's plans for Roberts he writes:

Schumer warned that the White House's refusal to turn over every last document, no matter how remote or irrelevant, was "strike one" against the nominee. Robert's unwillingness to answer questions about past and future Supreme Court cases would be "strike two," and the Republicans' Sept. 29 deadline for voting on the nomination could be "strike three."
The tyrannical, would-be Umpire-in-Chief Schumer issued an edict from his minority pulpit declaring there will be "negative consequences" if one or more of these "strikes" accumulate against Roberts.

Elsewhere, Sen. Leahy was unwittingly auditioning for a stand-up comedy gig as he righteously announced, during an interview on Vermont Public Radio, that he will vote against Judge Roberts if he seems likely to pursue an activist philosophy. Leahy said, "I want to find out if he's going to be as active as … people like Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas, who have almost willy-nilly overruled things."
To devout liberals like Leahy, Kennedy and Schumer, an activist Supreme Court judge is one who would roll back precedent established by rampant liberal judicial activism. They know "judicial activism" has a negative connotation, just like "liberal," which they euphemize as "progressive," so they simply turn it completely on its head, accusing its fiercest opponents – Scalia, Thomas, etc. – of being its practitioners.

Jacob Weisberg comments on candidate Hillary:

Yet Hillary does face a genuine electability issue, one that has little to do with ideology, woman-hating, or her choice of life partner. Plainly put, it's her personality. In her four years in the Senate, Hillary has proven herself to be capable, diligent, formidable, effective, and shrewd. She can make Republican colleagues sound like star-struck teenagers. But she still lacks a key quality that a politician can't achieve through hard work: likability. As hard as she tries, Hillary has little facility for connecting with ordinary folk, for making them feel that she understands, identifies, and is at some level one of them. You may admire and respect her. But it's hard not to find Hillary a bit inhuman. Whatever she may be like in private, her public persona is calculating, clenched, relentless—and a little robotic.
With the American electorate so closely divided, it would be foolish to say that Hillary, or any other potential nominee, couldn't win. And a case can be made that the first woman who gets elected president will need to, as Hillary does, radiate more toughness than warmth. But in American elections, affection matters. Democrats lost in 2000 and 2004 with candidates Main Street regarded as elitist and aloof, to a candidate voters related to personally. Hillary isn't as obnoxious as Gore or as off-putting as Kerry. But she's got the same damn problem, and it can't be fixed.
In yet another example of the fair and unbiased press, Matt Drudge reports:

White House press doyenne Helen Thomas is plenty peeved at her longtime friend Albert Eisele, editor of THE HILL newspaper in Washington, D.C. In a column this week headlined "Reporter: Cheney's Not Presidential Material," Eisele quoted Thomas as saying "The day Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I'll kill myself. All we need is one more liar." Thomas also said: "I think he'd like to run, but it would be a sad day for the country if he does," according to Eisele's column.