Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Rice Advantage

In an earlier post, I suggested that Republicans should get behind Condi Rice for 2008 (yes, it’s very early, but then there’s hardly any question that certain Democrats have already decided to run in 2008, so it only makes sense to prepare our best candidates). One of my readers, Pawnking, asked the following questions in return, which I feel would be good to answer here:

1) Will she run?

That’s really the big question. The answer, I think, lies in the fact that Rice originally planned to only serve the first term as NSA (it is rumored, that Rice was offered the post of President of Harvard). Secretary of State was never in the picture when Rice joined Team W. Rice, by a number of accounts, is not overly ambitious, but she is so competent, that she becomes the obvious choice once she is considered. It happened at Stanford, at the NSC under Bush I, now in her selection as SecState. Dr. Rice understands her competency, so if she can be shown that she represents the best hope to continue the essential elements of Bush’s doctrine, I believe Dr. Rice will agree to run.

2) What red states will she risk losing?
3) What blue states will she have a good chance at stealing?

Condi Rice enjoys a unique position. For those who demand experience, she can point to six years plus under Presidents George .H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. But because she has not run before, Rice can also qualify as an outsider, untainted by the sort of scheming we have seen from McCain, Clinton, Frist, or Kerry. Rice also can begin without any apparent liabilities, so that whatever is drawn against her will have start, essentially, from scratch.

Condi’s campaign would, if successful, have three basic stages. The first stage is educating the nation at large about her qualifications. The existing grass-roots organizations (I belong to one, as an example) are already working to that end. The seond stage is the GOP race, where Condi would be at a slight disadvantage in states which have a guy they already like from previous elections (Jeb in Florida, Frist in Tennessee, etc.), but would do well in the Blue states, where she provides a welcome alternative to previous choices.

Assuming Condi could take the nomination, things would turn around. The Red states would not be likely at all to go for whatever the Democrats put out, so Condi would naturally enjoy their support, though like any party nominee, Rice would need to build support up in certain states, like Iowa and Missouri and Florida, which have traditionally been more Purple of late than Red or Blue. The Democrats would still own most of the Northeast, where Common Sense appears to have been banned, but a Rice ticket would be very attractive in California, creating a truly nightmarish scenario for the Left.

4) Will she be able to campaign effectivly with no experience?

The answer to that lies in Dr. Rice’s performance at the public 9/11 Committee character assassination hearings. Ben Veniste and his cohorts launched an all-out attack on Rice and Bush, and tried every manner of insinuation against her. Rice was polite and eloquent, never giving an inch yet never lowering herself to the level of her attckers. Rice can handle the Democrats, as she’s already shown, and that means she can handle her GOP rivals, as well. Think about it. Race and gender used to be considered liabilities, but does anybody doubt that Dr. Rice nullifies that possibility. Only Democrats would be dumb enough to believe that the average Republican is racist or sexist, and if Rice wins the GOP nomination, just imagine the match-up with any potential Democrat nominee. The Dems seem willing to choose between a poseur (Hillary pretending to be a Centrist), or a radical Leftist (Kerry says he’ll run again, Dean says he might). Rice may well not take the majority of the black vote, but would doubtless take a greater share than any Republican in our time. Rice is well-established as intelligent and competent, so the old stereotype of the ‘weak’ or overly sensitive female is also not an issue. Speaking of issues, there is not one significant issue where the Democrats would enjoy an advantage over Rice. National Security, in all likelihood the biggest issue in the 2008 Election, will remain firmly GOP territory if Rice is the nominee. Social Security reform will either be a hot issue to take up again, or a Bush win which needs to be continued to take best effect. In either case, Rice is not going to let the Left demagogue the issue the way they’re playing it now. As for Abortion or Affirmative Action, Rice has kept her positions largely private, not because they may be liabilities, but because she is focused on the major issues for here and now. That makes it unlikely that Democrats would be able to distract her in an election condition.

It is Conventional Wisdom that only an elected official does well in campaigning, but we can see from recent history, that this is a fallacy. Ross Perot was a strange sort of mind, but it should be remembered that he led the 1992 Presidential Race for the early part of the year. Arnold Schwarzenegger had no political experience of any kind before his victory as Governor of California. A candidate needs to show they are qualified for the job, and competent in the race. Dr. Rice meets those standards, in fact her resume is better-suited for the job than anyone else out there. Yes, from her experience and past public appearances, tere is no real doubt that Dr. Rice can campaign very well. She did a great job making Bush look good, so it makes sense she will be adept in her own advocacy.

Thanks Pawnking, for the great questions.

Friday, March 11, 2005

A Quick Thought

For those who are undecided about who to back for President in 2008, ask yourself these questions:

1. What is the most important issue we face in the forseeable future?

2. Since W can't run in 2008, what is the best way to ensure his policies are continued?

3. Who is most competent to handle the War on Terrorism from the Oval Office, who also understands and supports President Bush on every critical issue?

4. Who scares Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Howard Dean the most?

Please vote for President Rice in 2008. Thank you.

Murder by Indolence

Against all odds, Terry Schiavo is still alive. That could be the starting sentence to a piece about the miracles of modern medicine, or the will to live, or the strength of family, but it is not. It is an examination into deliberate cruelty, the continuing attempt by many to pronounce a social blessing on an expedient murder. Yet by the grace of God, Terry Schiavo remains alive.

Some pretend that this case is complex. In truth, that’s not really so, but some of the parties involved have done their worst to blur the facts and suggest a moral equivalency between their position and the truth, with just a nudge more to their own side, so they can get their way without having to consider the evil their choice represents.

In 1990, Terry Schiavo suffered a heart attack, and because of complications (which resulted in a successful malpractice claim) became unable to care for herself, specifically to eat and drink on her own due to brain damage. From this point, two opinions have been set out – one contends that Terry Schiavo is in a “persistent vegetative state” and should be allowed to die, while the other contends that Terry is not only alive but conscious. Unfortunately, the question cannot be scientifically confirmed one way or the other. There is clear brainwave activity and motor activity in muscles, denying the traditional notion of a person being kept alive by a machine. In fact, Terry does not need artificial breathing or cardiac assistance, so except for the feeding tube, she is as alive as many senior citizens or mentally disabled children. On the other hand, Terry is unable to speak or write to express herself in a manner confirming she is aware of the world.

The matter is distilled, in most minds, to four pieces of evidence. First, is a video made by Terry’s parents, which appears to show the woman making eye contact, and responding to people around her. That is compelling on a subjective level, but since it cannot be repeated under laboratory controls, it does not sway scientists and doctors, even as it hardens the conviction of the 'Let Terry Live’ faction that to remove her feeding tube is murder.

Next, is the legal definition of Michael Schiavo as Terry’s legal guardian. Like it or not, as Terry’s husband, Michael has the legal authority to speak for Terry.

Third, is the matter of the ‘PVS’ condition. There is no clinical definition, especially as there have been cases where patients regained consciousness from similar conditions to Terry Schiavo’s, most famously Sarah Scantlin (hat tip: Jollyblogger), and Terry’s parents have produced doctors who testified that Terry’s condition does not meet the definition of PVS. We must therefore, bear in mind that the decision to kill Terry depends on an unproven claim, even among the medical witnesses.

The fourth condition is the most critical: Terry had no ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order or any sort of ‘Right to Die’ document drawn up. Also, Michael Schiavo has not been able to support his contention that Terry would want to die in these circumstances. As a result, any decision to remove the feeding tube must be made in the knowledge that the patient did not consent to the action. To kill someone against their consent, who has not been convicted of a capital crime, is murder by any reasonable measure.

Why does Michael want Terry dead? Is he greedy, looking for money, or is he trying to cover up a past history of abuse, as some have claimed? Is he just tired after more than a decade with Terry in this condition, or is the fact that he has a girlfriend who lives with him in the house an indicator of his rejection of his wife? Why doesn’t he just let Terry’s parents take over as her guardians, divorce her and move on? I don’t know and I don’t care, really. Michael has done nothing to convince me he is thinking about Terry’s welfare, and that’s all there is to that. As to the courts, I find it laughable, that the last verdict claimed that the court could not step in. The courts have seen fit to redefine what a marriage is, what racism is, what religion is, what the rights of a legislature is, even what the Constitution means, yet they don’t feel they can step in to protect a woman from being murdered, simply because a couple people find her condition inconvenient to her lifestyles. Consider the hypocrisy here; less than a month ago, the US Supreme Court said that convicted murderers could not be put to death if they were teens at the time they murdered people, but an Appeals Court has ruled that an innocent woman may be murdered in her bed because her husband is tired of her. Imagine that system deciding your fate, because sooner or later it very well might.

May God save Terry Schiavo from her husband, and our nation from our judges.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


One of the problems of modern media, is that people get so much information, they can begin to think they fully understand an issue, when in fact they are just scratching the surface. This is particularly true in the case of war, which the media has used for the past generation not only as a means of entertainment (movies and television shows), but also as a platform to advance Leftist agendas and politics. As a result, many people have been unable to understand the nature of the conflict in the Middle East, especially Iraq. This article evaluates the essential nature and effects of the so-called ‘insurgency’ in its true character as guerrilla warfare, and is intended to demonstrate why it cannot succeed, and has been turned on itself to drive the wave of representative government ahead.

It is a stale truism, that generals generally prepare to refight the last war. This is not surprising, really, since wars also repeat themselves in many respects. The American Revolution was not very different, in logistics and tactics, than the French-and-Indian Wars before them. Many of Hitler’s generals in World War 2, simply followed the same successful routes they used in World War 1 to invade France. Communists in Angola overthrew the government in a rebellion patterned after Castro’s successful uprising in Cuba. But some people are able to also look to the past and learn lessons for the present. Patton used his knowledge of military history to select the best roads and to anticipate weather conditions. Japan used a successful raid from a war against Russia, as a pattern for their successful raid on Pearl Harbor. It follows that while knowing the future is impossible, planning for the future may be as simple as learning the lessons from past events.

Karl von Clausewitz is a staple among political leftists, who all too often forgot his letter to his wife, wherein the general warned his wife that he had by no means completed his works, and “should the work be interrupted by my death, then what is found can only be called a mass of conceptions not brought into form... open to endless misconception”. Indeed, von Clausewitz succumbed to Cholera in 1830, and it was his estate which edited and published his collected works, including “On War”. It happened, therefore, that Clausewitz’s disciples picked up his maxims and rules without any sort of caveat or balance from their teacher. In any case, Clausewitz wrote little on guerrilla warfare, ignoring totally the brilliant effect Wellington put the Basques to in Spain in his harassment of Napoleon, as an example Clausewitz certainly knew about. He wrote a small chapter on the subject, which he buried in Book VI after 30 chapters on other matters. Clausewitz made his disinterest in guerrilla warfare clear from his apportionment of so little space to it.

T.E. Lawrence wrote far more extensively about guerrilla warfare in his book, “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom”. This is of particular interest, since Lawrence wrote about and took part in guerrilla warfare in the Middle East during World War 1. Lawrence’s work was, for more than half a century, the only serious military consideration of guerrilla warfare in the Middle East by a Western military officer. Unfortunately, Lawrence only focused on the offensive value of guerrilla warfare, and never seriously considered that the nature of his warfare hurt the cause for Arab independence from Europe, especially as Arabs came to blame the guerrillas for the harm they caused when the Germans and Turks withdrew.

By far, though, the most interesting work on this topic is B.H. Liddell Hart’s masterpiece, “Strategy”. Hart also spent relatively little attention on guerrilla warfare, and he made the same mistake that Clausewitz and Lawrence did, in believing that the conditions of his day were permanent. In Hart’s case, that included the assumption that the Soviet Union would remain a major player in world events indefinitely, that nuclear confrontation would be a factor in any major military action, and that any guerrilla warfare situation would be a popular revolt against an occupying power. To his credit, however, Hart presented a good working description of the guerrilla method. Hart noted that guerrillas take advantage of “social discontent, racial ferment, and nationalist fervour”. Certainly, these attributes correctly describe the major uprisings since World War 2. Hart also commented that guerrillas enjoyed being “shielded by the population”. However, Hart also noted that guerrillas were very unlikely to accomplish much on their own effort, unless they were supported by a strong regular army. That is, they could be very effective harassing the enemy’s rear if the enemy was already committed to a front, but they could not accomplish major goals on their own. Further, Hart observed that guerrilla warfare also creates the handicap of encouraging the young to defy authority, and any existing government. This makes the eventual rebuilding that much more difficult, especially since the guerrillas often end up connected to organized criminals, who have no intention of giving up a lucrative practice. Stability, wrote Hart, is very difficult “on a foundation undermined by such experience.” And that sums up the strategic condition of the Arab Jihadists, whatever one calls them. They know they cannot win, so for the last half century they have committed themselves to denying peace, stability, or freedom to anyone else. Look at the historical record - Cuba, Vietnam, Angola, Zimbabwe, the Sudan. and Iran (as examples) all used insurgencies to overthrow the existing government, but none of them has grown into a stable and prosperous nation.

With all this in mind, I now turn attention to U.S. Military Theory. I have always found the European pride on the matter of military analysis to be amusing in its cheek. Clausewitz is the European’s idea of a master thinker, yet he failed to anticipate and warn the Germans about the possibility of a militant group rising to overthrow the government, as essentially the Nazis did a century after Clausewitz’s death. Lawrence carried encyclopedic knowledge about the tactics and customs of Arabia, but could not understand that the method of warfare he encouraged, created social chaos in the countries he was trying to help, and pushed back their independence instead of bringing it back. And Hart failed to understand that the conditions of guerrilla warfare could also be turned back on themselves, to help stabilize a nation and bring popular support to a government of reform.

After the Vietnam War, American generals spent a lot of time and effort looking at what went wrong, and how to correct it. Despite the slogans and jibes from the Left, the loss came from a variety of causes, but mostly because the United States failed to keep its commitment to South Vietnam. There were, however, improvements in battle management to consider, not the least of which was interaction between the branches. Over a period of time, AirLand was created, which revolutionary changes were made obvious in the first Gulf War during the first President Bush’s Administration. AirLand tested every assumption in military theory, threw out what was faulty and replaced it with a better, functional option. Not only was AirLand a better plan than anything else being practiced in the world, it was not something an enemy could implement on his side. Partly, this was because the U.S. had better weapons systems than anyone else, partly because AirLand had to be trained at all levels, and depended on a level of professionalism you can’t achieve in a short course, or at all using conscripted troops. It was also impossible for our enemies to implement, because it granted troops at every level far more personal authority and discretion of judgment than any autocratic regime can afford to allow their military. AirLand not only improved the performance of military strategy, it established a political prerequisite to that level of ideals, attainable only by those nations least likely to ever fight a war against the United States.

The terrorist organizations of the Middle East largely came into existence during the Cold War, and some of them were originally sponsored, supplied, and trained by the Soviet Union. The clear intent by the Soviets was to destabilize the Middle East, and in this were largely successful. This, however, also explains why the Soviets were themselves unable to accomplish much to their advantage. The Ayatollah Khomeini, for example, certainly hated the United States, but it should also be recalled, that one of his first orders after taking power in Iran, was to find and kill every communist in the country. The removal of the United States from the Middle East, in diplomatic terms, also began to soften the mood against Americans. That is, by the time George W. Bush came to office, most Arabs had heard the hate-filled slogans against America, but had no personal reason to hate the USA. Without a reason to trust Americans, it’s reasonable that Arabs would resent American forces being sent into their part of the world, 9/11 or not, but even then a small number were fed up with the traditional corruption they knew in the Arab world, and hoped that maybe this time things would be different.

The Afghanistan invasion itself was the first sign. Where invaders before had always used overwhelming force, this time the Americans made deals with native Afghans, and threw out a group widely regarded as an oppressive invader itself; the Taliban. When the US made clear that self-rule for Afghanistan was a substantial commitment, it started a ripple. When the US led the invasion into Iraq, it enforced that message, especially as the Coalition was careful to avoid the heavy-handed tactics expected. Al-Jazeera discovered that America bashing was not always applauded, especially as details of Saddam’s brutality began to be revealed.

The Bush Administration understood the nature of guerrilla warfare,and worked to remove the causes for its support. To address social discontent, the United States rebuilt schools, and constructed new water treatment and power plants. The US immediately allowed for licenses to Iraqis, to create and run their own businesses. To address racial ferment, the Coalition made clear that no racial violence would tolerated, nor would the Coalition favor one group over another, except on actual actions against the peace and law. And to address nationalist fervor, the Bush Administration worked hard to rebuild and supply the Iraqi police and Militia. In fact, most of the actions taken now to hunt down terrorist cells in Iraq, are planned and manned by Iraqi Militia. The US assists, but it’s the people of Iraq who are taking their nation back. And this is why the terrorists cannot hope to be shielded by the population. The population now understands they bring nothing but pain and death, and more and more of them are being turned in by Iraqi people.

George W. Bush has shown he understands the culture and nation of Iraq, and has a pretty good grasp of the region. Accordingly, the troops are in good morale and confidence, because they see we are winning. The military retooled and regrouped with a plan named AirLand. I would say that US Foreign Policy has also been revamped, and I would call that plan SandLand.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

'Daddypundit' Interview

Tom Parsons, over at Daddypundit, is interviewing other bloggers. Here are his questions for me, and my answers:

1. Why did you decide to start a blog?

I have been a talker all my life. I love conversation, especially explaining things. I started leaving long comments on various blogs I liked, and to my surprise, I started getting emails from people suggesting they liked them. I started my own blog in July of 2004, and have been rolling along ever since.

2. Apart from the Bible, what book has had the greatest influence on your life?

Hard choice, picking just one, but I'd have to say B.H.L. Hart's masterpiece, "Strategy". It's a good primer in Military History, and I have always found it thought-provoking, even on non-military topics. The basic theme is that the predictable method fails, while the unexpected very often wins.

3. What is the best and worst thing about living in Houston?

Best - the people. We have folks from over 180 countries living here, with every possible kind of food, music, and art. We have more museums than New York, more top-level medical centers than Los Angeles, and every kind of sport is played here. And of course, there's no better barbeque or chili than what gets served up at our Cookout at the Livestock Show & Rodeo every year.

Worst - political corruption. We haven't had an honest mayor or an effective City Council in my lifetime here.

4. Other than Jesus, what one person in the Bible would you most want to meet? Why?

James. As Jesus' brother, he knew Christ when he was very young, and had a hard time understanding who Jesus really was. His transition from disbelief to devotion is the most compelling of all the disciples to me.

5. What television character best describes you?

Lt. Columbo. Nothing too flashy, sometimes awkward in social situations, but I know when I'm right, and I don't give up easy.

Thanks Tom!

Hey, that was way cool. If you'd like to interview me, or would like me to interview you, just shoot me an email,

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


I remember the anecdote of the college professor, who paced across the classroom floor and observed the drowsy stupor of his students. He spoke quietly for a while, then suddenly shouted the word


which shook his class back to attention. When I first heard that story, the message was that some words have immediate and deep-seated importance in our minds. I would suggest that when we speak of politics and morality, "Money" also gets our attention. And that is actually a good thing.

The Democrats, and their Liberal subset, are raging at the re-election of the President, and worse, the continuing move to the Right in America. Why such hatred? You see it in their protest signs. "No War for Oil" they demand, failing to accept the nascent democracy forming in Afghanistan, Iraq, and possibly in places like Lebanon, Egypt, maybe something like representation in Saudi Arabia, maybe a step towards reason in Syria and Iran. You see it in their demand that the US pass a "Global Test", as John Kerry stated it during the Presidential Election Debates last year, unaware that the U.S. Constitution is well suited for our self-governance, and the rest of the world in poor position to suggest that they have a better model. Liberals assume greed on the part of the Right, even as they use the same motivation to scare Seniors into opposing Social Security reform.

But like it or not, and for whatever motivation, the economies of the world will play their roles in our futures. The proven track record of the New York Stock Exchange, shows the clear superiority for attaching Private Savings Accounts to the Stock Market in place of trusting government to suddenly become efficient and productive in providing for the financial security of millions of citizens. The Stock Market also shows up as a valid barometer of health in other places, whether it is the Nikkei in Tokyo, the Mumbai in New Delhi, or any other place where ordinary people are able to trade and invest in shares of corporations. I knew Iraq would succeed as a self-sufficient nation, when I learned that over four thousand Iraqis applied for licenses to open their own businesses the first day they were eligible to do so. That speaks to confidence, and ultimately drives its own success.

I'm amused by the current arguments thrown out by the Left. Essentially, they are assuring us the good times can't last. They say this to cast doubt on the notion of allowing people to put their own money into the Stock Market, which over the past century has grown at an average pace more than ten times the increases in Social Security (which itself depends on a healthy economy for it's strength, but no Liberal will aver admit that inconvenient tidbit), and to suggest that the incipient wave of democratic reform moving in so many countries will perhaps evaporate the next time the market hiccups. In point of fact, we may argue (and economists surely do) about the reason that the United States has more or less exploded in growth since its creation, but the historical fact itself must not be denied, or its significance discounted in the pallid interest of political resurgence.

Which brings me to my conclusion for this article. Money does not make the world go around, but it is true, that you have to pay your way. Reagan recognized that the Soviet economy could not keep up with the American economy, and that became a foundation for the U.S. victory in the Cold War. Before that, in 1941 Admiral Yamamoto warned the Imperial Command in Tokyo, that the Japanese industry could not match the U.S. industry in a protracted war. He was right, and so even though the Nazis and Japanese both exceeded the United States in men under arms and material in 1941, by 1945 the United States had beaten them both. No other continent, let alone single nation, can match the United States in economic power. That is, and will continue to be, the trump card in our affairs in any conflict for the foreseeable future. We can only lose if we first defeat our own confidence.

2005 Democrat Grand Strategy: Hide

During the 2004 U.S. Presidential Campaign, some observers noted that Kerry did worse in polls when he made any kind of statement on an issue, and so recommended he stay out of sight. It was enough to get him the Democratic Party nomination, and kept him in the General race for awhile, but in the end he couldn't ride the hide into the Oval Office.

Even so, the method was successful enough for Democrats, that now DNC Uberscreamer Howard Dean has taken it on as his raison d' lunacy. ABC News, via 'The Note', has noted that President Bush is "the 10,000-pound gorilla of American politics", suggesting the obvious message that Democrats don't do well in direct confrontation. So, says 'The Note', "Dean has largely eschewed the national political press corps since becoming chair."

Run away!

Run away!

Rather than admit again what they have confessed once, ABC suggests "according to Democrats familiar with the strategy, ... Dean simply doesn't have the time or inclination to sit for interviews right now."
Uh huh.



So, what's the plan?

Well, you could always tape what you want to say, then send it out to media you know is likely to be sympathetic to you (cf Al-Jazeera), and sure enough, that's what Screamy Deany did. 'The Note' relates:

"if the national press corps is wedded to a certain view of you, such as as your alleged propensity to say things that get you in trouble, simply bypass that filter. Dean has taped at least a half dozen interviews with local television stations in the three weeks he's been chair"

Nice to see they've at least learned something from the past year.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Picture Perfect


I'm not usually the superficial sort, but I found it interesting that Michelle Malkin has updated her blog photo.

Here is the old photo, and here is the new photo. I leave it to the reader to decide which is more attractive.

I sent Michelle a compliment on her new photo, but to be honest, I originally thought the new photo was older than the one she had before. Certainly, either of the two photos is impressive, and there is no serious doubt that Ms. Malkin is, well, a knock-out beauty.

Why mention this? Michelle tells her readers that some geniuses on the Left have mocked her appearance, insulting her teeth, hair, even her complexion. I'll admit they must have impressive imaginative faculties to be able to suggest such things, but it also goes to show how far from reality some people on the Left can be. I have always tried not to insult people on the basis of their appearance - it's petty and misses the point of articles presented. That, I suspect, is the point. Ms. Malkin's beauty is exceeded by her wit and intelligence. Since her work stands on its own merit, and is fairly nigh unassailable on the basis of any logical critique, her detractors have fallen back to the tactics of 4th grade, and taken to making up insults about her appearance, in the hope of distracting people from the brilliance of her work. It's not working, though. The fallacy of their position is only highlighted by their inability to find any salient point from which to attack. Yet they remain oblivious to this truth, as if hoping against hope that rumor and boorish spite will somehow trump reason and the simple truth of beauty.

I will admit it's a good thing for the VRWC that these dwinbles of liberal malfeasance did not focus on my own photographic congeniality. I kept my own picture off my blog, in hopes I wouldn't scare off my readers. Hopefully, however, my own work will serve to produce an image and reputation of reason, and so attract its own audience in time. I suppose, if I wanted to put up a really beautiful pic, I could let ya'll have a look at my little girl Jagan, but these days, that takes a risk I am not willing. For now, I will taunt the Left with reason and rhetoric, knowing their own is weak enough that it cannot stand. And for the nonce, I leave my own window a mystery, proving the saying once again that I have a "face for radio".

Meanwhile, if Ms. Malkin should desire additional income, it may be time for the good folks at Vogue, Elle, or Allure magazine to discover her.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Charity, Reality, Obscenity, Stupidity

Afghanistan, Iraq, and the PLO just held what were, arguably, their first free elections ever. What is a liberal, just-beyond-the-horizon paranoid MSM hate rag to do? Why, suggest that the real goals were something other than a representative government and, in true liberal fashion, pretend failure on the part of the Conservative President and the Conservative Congress.

This week, the cover story of TIME magazine does just that. The issue is effectively devoted to a forthcoming book by Jeffrey Sachs, which carries the title “The End of Poverty”. Sachs, however, appears determined not so much to solve problems as to attack the Bush Administration. A highlighted claim, for example, is “U.S. Spent $16 Billion This Year to Address Extreme Poverty;
$500 Billion Was Spent on the Military
”, a Moore-esque distortion so misleading it may reasonably be called a lie on its intent. For instance, the tax relief the Bush tax cuts provided to working poor is completely left out by Sachs. Same for the improved Prescription Medicine coverage for Medicare. The main message by Sachs, that the Bush Administration does not care for the poor, is nothing but a liberal lie.

So what is Sachs using for evidence, anyway? The $16 Billion he derides is being spent to help, as Sachs says, “the poorest of the poor, whose societies are destabilized by extreme poverty”, as if spending more money would change the domestic policies of the nations whose citizens are in the worst thralls of poverty. Let’s take a look at that for a moment. Who are the poorest nations, which come to mind? Maybe North Korea, which refused to accept aid from the United States after a chemical explosion last year, out of fear we would use the opportunity to build a profile of the regime’s stability. Maybe the Sudan, where terrorists are killing, raping or enslaving any Christians and Westerners they find, and U.S. charity is accepted only on the condition that we ask no questions about what the government is doing with the money and materials sent, even after much of it has ended up being sold for personal gain of government officials. Maybe Cuba, where the state’s idea of education includes chanting anti-Western slogans. Maybe places like the Iraq under Saddam, which we now know was selling oil for money to support the dictator and his regime, under the explicit approval of several high-ranking United Nations officials, even as Iraqi children starved because food meant for them was diverted. The very notion that the United States is somehow complicit in these conditions, much less insulted for giving billions of dollars a year to nations which spit in the face of the nation which send the aid, is obscene.

Sachs goes on to list “nine steps toward the goal of ending poverty”, none of which works on a government level. Sachs, for example, wants people to make a “personal commitment”, which is fine and worthy, but hardly the action of Congress, now is it?

TIME magazine tries to justify this worship of unreal fantasy by including a note from Managing Editor Jim Kelly, who says “it is impossible to deny that the needless deaths of so many people every year call for action on a global scale”. Such a claim can only be made by someone who believes at least one of two things:

Such a person must either believe that the United Nations, despite all the evidence, is functionally effective in helping nations grow their economies and welfare or their citizens, or that person must honestly believe that the United States has the right to dictate terms and conditions to every nation on earth, even to the point of controlling their economies and distribution of wealth.

It truly worries me, to discover that the Managine Editor of TIME Magazine is truly that far removed from Reality.