Friday, September 01, 2006

What If The Left Killed Bush?

Here we go, folks. A film-maker in the UK has put together a piece which features the assassination of President George W. Bush. Sort of Michael Moore’s favorite dream, or maybe what Oliver Stone and Howard Dean talk about when they meet for brie and communism.

Specific malicious threats against President Bush have been made by many on the Left for a long time, of course. Like this, or this, or this. Everything from politicians who think vicious fantasies are fine, as long as you hate the right sort of people, to “peace” activists who would justify murder as long as the victim is an enemy. It’s hardly unlikely that someone would have a go at Dubya. The Democrats and Liberals of all flavors gave their permission, even their encouragement, long ago. For all I know, there may already have been a number of attempts which never got publicized. The Secret Service is none too keen on having would-be assassins learn about other attempts so they can compare notes. The public record is interesting on that score. Attempts against former President Clinton included a 1994 attack where Francisco Duran opened fire on the White House, firing 29 shots before he was tackled to the ground, and of course Frank Corder, who crashed a stolen airplane into the White House. I have to believe that Corder’s attempt scared the daylights out of the Secret Service.

There is, actually, a public record of known attempts on the life of President Bush.

There was a documented Marxist plot in Colombia in 2004, which was foiled before it progressed to an actual attempt, as well as that odd incident in November 2004 where one of Bush’s Secret Service agents was pushed away from him in Santiago, Chile. And we should definitely remember that 2005 attempt with a grenade in Russia. There was even a possible attempt, aborted, on him on the morning of September 11, 2001. According to a community newspaper, the Longboat Observer, a van occupied by men of Middle-Eastern appearance drove up to the hotel where the President was staying and attempted to see him, posing as reporters and claiming to have an appointment. The Secret Service turned them away, but otherwise refuses to discuss details of the incident.

Small wonder, that. But from looking at the record, it seems to me that the guy suggesting the President would be shot by a hidden sniper, or that the nation would jump to conclusions about the culprit, not only ignores the professional ability of the Secret Service, but is willing to lie to himself about how such a crime would most likely be perpetrated. Accordingly, I have thought about this situation myself, and suggest three scenarios which could happen, though I warn the reader from the beginning that the Secret Service has already considered all kinds of situations, and has taken steps to prevent just such possibilities. After all, we don’t see open-car Presidential motorcades anymore, for the obvious reason. But looking at the most likely scenarios and our likely response to them, should help give a sense of perspective to the task of protecting the most important leader in the world, as well as the fallacy of such people as Peter Dale.

Scenario One – President George W. Bush is assassinated in a foreign country.

Why it could happen – Bush has made a lot of trips while President, and not just to nice safe places. He’s been to Iraq, to Russia, and a large number of places where extremists and violent factions reside. Since he depends to some degree on the quality and dedication of protection agencies of the host countries, he is clearly at his greatest risk when outside the United States.

What if it happens – The risk of such an event is obvious. You might have noticed that Bush and Cheney are never together when outside the United States, and after the Russian attempt Bush no longer made publicized appearances outside controlled locations. While the specific method of attack is difficult to predict, the tight security would preclude the more common tactics of sniper shooting or suicide bomb. It is generally accepted that the death of a U.S. President would provoke war. Understandably, the U.S. Government refuses to speculate on its response to a possible assassination in a foreign country, but the most likely scenario would be a terrorist group attempting to destabilize the host government, as was motive the 2005 attempt in Russia. If Bush were assassinated in a foreign country, the most likely consequences would include an ultimatum to Iran and subsequent military action. See the concluding section on Mindset Change.

Why it won’t happen – There are only two kinds of countries which get visits from President Bush; allies and countries which want something from the United States. It is very much in those countries’ interests to keep the President safe; there is no conceivable scenario where Bush was assassinated in another country, where that country would not suffer for that event. Knowing this, every country which receives a Presidential visit makes his safety the top priority.

Scenario Two – President Bush is assassinated in the United States by an avowed terrorist.

Why it could happen – It has long been accepted, that a person or group which has no concern for their own lives, could find a way to reach any given individual and kill them. Some of the best-protected men in History were assassinated anyway.

What if it happens – The terrorists celebrate the 9/11 attacks, not realizing that while those attacks achieved their immediate objective, they also woke up many Americans to the threat. The Left and the terrorists have been selling Americans for a number of years on the idea that America is really the aggressor, not the victim. Killing the President would prove that lie for its evil in short order, and would radically harden American opinion of the need for permanent and effective action against terrorist groups and their sponsors.

Why it won’t happen – They’ll never admit it, but the Secret Service has been beefed up quite a bit, with some military guys and some tech tricks that would put ‘Q’ of James Bond fame to shame. While the airlines and public relations types are careful to avoid profiling, you may be assured that profiling is regularly – and more importantly, intelligently – used in protecting the nation’s highest officials. The public, after all, has largely forgotten about the Anthrax scare in 2001 and the various security issues with buildings and evacuation procedures, but the guys who sweat out the security have been working on this non-stop, and know their job inside and out.

Scenario Three – President Bush is assassinated by a home-grown nutjob.

Why it could happen – Most assassins in American history are loners. They get their chance specifically because no one knows what they plan to do until they put it into motion. It’s scary to think about it, but if a loonie with a gun happened to see Bush at some moment when he had the opportunity, he could kill him just like the attacks on Reagan, or Ford, or Truman, or Garfield. The possibility simply cannot be eliminated, and there is a perverse sort of fate which seems to smile on madmen.

What if it happens – One thing which must be admitted from the start; no one really believes that if Bush were assassinated, it would a coincidence. Even the staunchest Bush hater would be inclined to see a pattern or organized effort behind the killing, which could not avoid sending more serious consequences into motion. Certainly the military would be put on alert, and various units deployed to the places designated as most likely to need them. And the national mood would change radically.

Why it won’t happen – The Secret Service has worked for a long time for every eventuality, and they know the history better than anyone else. While there have been lapses in the past, they always came during times when a sense of peace and stability pervaded, or else when their subject was uncooperative with the steps which protected him. Neither situation exists with this President.

Conclusion (Mindset Change): Killing President Bush is a sick perverted wish of some on the Left. It should be understood that this is not a political condition so much as a personal psychological climate; during the 1990s, there were people on the Right who wanted Clinton dead, and had no qualms in saying so. For a President to be unpopular is not surprising, especially when he acts decisively in his authority, as Bush has done. But those enemies who think it would be swell to see Bush dead have certainly not considered the consequences of it. Obviously, the assassination of President Bush would mean President Dick Cheney, a man far less obliging and tolerant of the Left or of terrorist-supporting nations than Bush has been. But there is also a social component to consider. Franklin Roosevelt was criticized by many people while in office, sometimes harshly, but after his death he became untouchable. When Kennedy was assassinated, he instantly was transformed from a bungling, indecisive leader who seemed to change his mind on major policy every month or so, to a great leader cut down in his prime. Even so long after leaving office, when Reagan dies his enemies found they were compelled to praise him and testify to his accomplishments. Whatever the public opinion of George W. Bush right now, if he were to be assassinated he would undergo a similar transformation. The nation would find itself obliged to follow his ideals more closely, at least on the surface, but even that would cut the Democrats off at the knees for years to come. Anytime a Democrat started to attack a Conservative position, all a Republican would need to do would be to point to a Bush position like his own, and the polls would swing. Cynical? Sure. But look at Lincoln, McKinley, and every politician killed in office. Even Huey Long got to look like a hero by dying so visibly for a cause. If Bush were assassinated, in the end it would hurt the Liberal cause more than anyone else.

So, if Liberals want to be smart, they ought to denounce that film for the schlock it is, and support Bush the man, even though they cannot support his cause. They need him more than they know.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Why The Left Continues To Lose

The Democratic Party of the United States is in decline. That is a simple fact, yet one which the Democrats continue to deny, at least in public. This, frankly, risks an out and out tailspin, but that is the way of desperation, I suppose. Of course, the Left – which is presently in firm control, if not command, of the Donkapalooza which spews forth such notables as Howard Dean, John Kerry, and Al Gore – has at its reach the means to change its direction and fortunes, and in private the Democrats are trying to do just that. It must be admitted that, so long as people like John McCain and Arlen Specter and Bill Frist are the Republicans’ notion of national leadership, the keys to driving the national policy are very much up for grabs. Fortunately for the Republicans, the Democrats have repeatedly shown that they do not wish to take grasp of such opportunities, when that opportunity would require them to be realistic.

Two recent articles in the press abundantly show what I mean. The first one was an article The American Prospect by Justin Logan titled Mind the Gap, and the other was Message of Misery by Anne Kim, Adam Solomon, and Jim Kessler in The Democratic Strategist. Between them, they demonstrate an amazing lack of attention to the American public, and a continuing and serious case of denial, both of which have and will continue to prove fatal to any goal of national leadership. Let me walk you through some of their statements to show what I mean.

First, Logan’s piece. I like a man who sets out his thesis right from the start. I like Logan, therefore, because he is wrong from the very first sentence, which reads ” It is becoming increasingly obvious that Democrats have a stronger grasp on national security issues than do Republicans.”

Uh-huh. While I have long observed that there is a serious disconnect between the Left and most of America on Iraq and the subject of National Security, this is a still a very peculiar statement for Logan to make. The Democrats made Iraq an issue in the 2004 election, remember? Considering how that turned out, one would think the Left would have got the message, but it seems not. Logan claims America is on his side – the White Flag brigade – because he claims ” A recent CNN/New York Times poll showed 61 percent of Americans want to cut and run, with just 34 percent now supporting a “stay and die” policy.” A few problems with that claim. First off, I could not find any poll commissioned or produced jointly by CNN and the New York Times, and I have to say I find it suspect that Logan would not cite a source or link in an online journal. And as to the question about whether we should stay or go, the most consistent poll on the subject, Gallup, clearly states that Democrats want to leave and Republicans want us to finish the job.

If Logan meant the Gallup poll, then he is not only sloppy, but dishonest. Most people want the war over, which is a natural emotion for wars, but significantly more people said they understand the President’s reasons than said they understand the Democrats’ position. In other words, it is simply not true to claim that most Americans prefer the Democrats’ position. Logan is lying.

OK, so what Logan really means is that most Democrats are hard-line Left, and he would like to have us believe that most Americans are leaning Democrat. I found it amusing that he cited the Lieberman-Lamont primary as an example of the tide, deliberately hiding the fact that in the polls covering the general election, Lieberman is clearly leading Lamont. That can only mean that most Democrats in Connecticut changed their minds, or most Connecticut voters do not buy the Left’s White Flag strategy.

With that fairy tale put to bed, I now turn to the one in The Democratic Strategist. The dream team in that article also set out their argument from the start, stating ”$23,700. That is the household income level at which a white person became more likely to vote for a Republican over a Democrat in congressional races in 2004. That's $5,000 above the poverty line for a family of four, less than half the median income of the typical voting household of all races, and an emphatic repudiation of all things Democratic among the white middle class. Obtaining a sustainable Democratic majority in either house will be impossible unless there is a significant change in this economic tipping point.”

The problem is immediate and obvious to anyone who has ever asked someone why they voted the way they did in an election. Not once in my life, has anyone ever told me ’Well DJ, I woulda voted for the guy I thought was better-qualified, but my economic demographic demanded that I vote for the other fellah’. I mean, really, just how dependant on a class-warfare worldview does someone have to be to think that a specific economic bracket dictated election results? While it can be argued that Republicans or Democrats may be more appealing to people of a certain economic condition because of the likely effects of their recommended policies, the last several elections have been on character and security concerns, not paycheck envy. The blunder made by the team which wrote this article was in looking too closely at individual data sectors, rather than stepping back and seeing the trend overall. This team sees the Global War on Terror and the fight to reform Social Security as some kind of “clever … trick”, rather than the strike-home real-world concerns they are.

Continuing down the illusory road that class warfare is the ideal campaign strategy, the team of Kim, Solomon and Kessler (KS&K) fall even further into the foolishness of their own fairy tale. Even as they warn that “gloom and doom” won’t get far with the American voter, KS&K cannot resist claiming that ”Our kids are falling behind in math and science. Our middle class is shrinking. And by the year 2062 our GDP will be half the size of Burma's.” Those claims can only be considered panicked assumptions at the most, and in the context of political strategy they carry the stink of deliberate lies.

Having started down that road, LS&K gain speed in their little slander-fest, claiming that the Bush Administration means ” high debt, tax giveaways to the most affluent, a theocratic faith that corporate America will solve our health care and energy crises, and the growing income inequality found in our country” Even in the very next sentence, KS&K admit that ” America's vital economic signs are fundamentally robust”, without once considering that the President they are mocking with such little basis in reality had quite a bit to do with that economic health.

Essentially, what both articles miss, as everything I hear and read from the Left misses, is that George W. Bush has actually been successful as President. And while it would be unreasonable to expect Democrats to become just like Republicans and support them in everything, until Democrats and the Left accept that Bush has been successful, and become willing to study him with an objective mind to how they can improve in their own discussions and policies, their very hatred of Bush will continue to hold them down. I am emphasizing this need for two reasons. First, there is a need in this country for two healthy, functional national political parties, but the Democrats have got to heal themselves of this delusion and hatred of the Right. And second, since the Left has never really accepted the success of the Reagan Administration, I can offer them this advice in a pretty secure sense that they will not be mature enough to understand it, let alone accept it and correct their course.

UPDATE: Mr. Logan has replied by e-mail to my post. As a courtesy, I post his message in its entirety. I note as a prelude that Mr. Logan displays petulance, not cogency, in his argument. He also fails to note that I am the author, preferring to address a different person entirely. Thus, Mr. Logan remains as careless in his second attempt at accuracy, as he was in his initial attempt. Mr. Logans writes as follows:

"Dear Mr. Aylward:

I find it fairly misleading that you did not include the second sentence of my article (nor, indeed, the thesis) in your critical post. However, the poll I cited was only a CNN poll, not a CNN/NYT poll, so thank you for pointing that out. I think, though, you might want to set a higher standard for “lying” than that, especially since you apparently support the Bush administration.

In addition, it is going to become increasingly difficult for dead-ender war supporters to characterize opposition to an endless occupation of Iraq as “hard-line Left.” As the CNN poll indicates, you’d need to call sixty percent of the American people hard-line Left in order to do so, and I don’t imagine you’d want to do that.

As for the Lieberman-Lamont race, I made no statement on the drivers of current polling. (Obviously, the war is not the only issue.) I demonstrated fairly clearly, though, that to the extent the primary was a referendum on the war, Democrats were strongly against. I didn’t imagine anyone would find this point controversial.

If you’d like to post this email in its entirety as an addendum to your post, please feel free to do so. Otherwise, if you’d correct your claim that I am “lying,” I think that would be at least a mark of civility that is all too rare in the blogosphere.


Justin Logan"

In response, I begin by noting that I chose to leave off Mr. Logan's title, as a self-proclaimed "foreign policy analyst". I rather doubt his qualifications, if his recent attempts are an indicator. I would note also, that Mr. Logan completely ducked the points of my critique, and did such a complete flip-flop that although he considered the war in Iraq the salient indicator in the primary race between Lieberman and Lamont, he now wishes to use different standards now that the anti-war candidate is clearly lagging in the present condition. That sir, is weak, and to my mind proves your dishonesty. Logan still refuses to cite the specific source, falling back limply on a vague reference to "CNN" as the source, without so much as a date for the poll, much less the address to pull up the information ourselves. I could go on, but the reader can see for him/herself what passes for diligence on the Left. Tragic, in that the debate is one-sided when only the Right bothers to prove or defend their contentions.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Perils Of Online Learning

There are some truly impressive advantages to pursuing a degree online. Freedom to choose when to do assignments and participate on discussion boards, easier organization of work and progress, no traffic, to name a few. But there are costs and problems as well, and in the interests of full disclosure I am writing about one of those.

The University of Houston at Victoria has a very nice system set up for online classes, which they call “WebCT”. It runs a lot like Microsoft Outlook, which happens to be the format for students’ e-mails as well. This past weekend, however, something went wrong and the system ran very very slowly. At times it was impossible to access WebCT at all. Tuesday morning, for example, the techs thought they had it fixed, but that was incorrect; most people to tried to access their online classes could not get in, and the ones who could found that the system did not allow access to their classes. For hours the techs sweated and struggled, and finally got the system up and running a little after 1:00 PM. It worked well enough for me to take my first on-line quiz (Chapter 1 in Accounting, I got 8 out of 10 right, need to study harder) and participate in some Discussion Boards.

I should mention again that online education is much, much different from in-class learning in how the student does his work. Where in the classroom, the student physically shows up and gains credit for attendance whether or not he actively participates or just sits like a lump, in the online condition the student is required to participate in online discussions (the Discussion Boards) as proof of a virtual “attendance”, which means that the online student cannot afford to slack off. Also, where the classroom instructor relies on subjective impressions to determine whether a given student has advanced the discussion and materially contributed, in the online situation the student’s comments and questions are posted on the board for everyone to read and address. The student’s volume and quality of work will be simple for the professor to verify, whether participation was regular, whether the comments were substantive, whether sources were cited, and so on.

Also, it seems that the volume of reading is much heavier for the online student. In the classroom setting, of course, there is the text and the assigned readings, as well as sources for research projects, but in the online class since there is no lecture – at least, not so far in the three classes I am taking this semester – the student is tested and challenged by the assigned reading and text. He must use his own judgment to consider the essentials of each chapter, and he must decide on his own how much time to devote to memorization and how much to analysis. Of course, as a rule whenever a professor repeats an instruction, like saying ‘read the whole textbook all the way through by the end of the second week’, he’s giving a strong hint about what he will expect in his quizzes and tests.

I discovered another unique feature to the online class today; one of my professors asked a student to leave the class because of unacceptable conduct on the Discussion Boards. In these days of blogs and chat rooms, it seems that some folks have forgotten basic rules of civil discourse. It’s a little bit tricky, when people discuss issues which they feel strongly about, to remember that how they say something can be just as important as what they say. The professor, understandably, was a bit displeased that a notice about courtesy and professional conduct now has to be added to the board.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Kids. Baseball. Winning.


Katrina One Year Later

So it’s the one-year anniversary of hurricane Katrina. We usually prefer to celebrate happy occasions, like birthdays and anniversaries, not recall the devastation of several states and the death of more than eighteen hundred people. But we must remember Katrina, for so many reasons, not the least being that we must be ready for the next hurricane to hit us.

Back on September 2 and 3 of last year, I wrote about how Katrina developed, and what the response was.

In short, Katrina was the twelfth named storm of the season, following eight tropical storms and three hurricanes (Dennis, Emily, Irene) two of which were deadly and powerful but none of which did much to frighten Americans, even though the first hurricane, Dennis, smashed into Florida while still a Category 4 storm. I wrote last September about the mood when Katrina was forming:

”So, because there were eleven storms in the Caribbean during 2005 before Katrina, there was a kind of fatigue, a 'been there, done that’ assumption. Also, since the three August storms before Katrina were less dangerous than expected, a false optimism prevailed.”

As late as August 26th, the National Weather Service was announcing Katrina was weakening after hitting Florida as a Category 1 hurricane, and was expected to make landfall over Florida’s panhandle as a tropical storm. No one at the time was noting that Katrina had become a tropical storm just one day after the tropical depression was formed, and gained strength to hurricane force faster than anyone expected.

On August 27, when weather reports began to warn that Louisiana and Mississippi were likely to get hit by the rain, the public did not take the danger seriously. A common response was one made by Fred Wilson, quoted as saying “The only dangerous hurricanes so far are the ones we’ve been drinking.”

For those who want to whack Mayor Nagin, I agree that I find him an insufferable jerk, but as a point of record, Mayor Nagin suggested a voluntary evacuation Saturday evening, warning residents in low-lying areas “We want you to take this a little more seriously and start moving — right now, as a matter of fact”

As for those morons who still want to blame President Bush, it is also a matter of record that he ordered a state of emergency for the state of Louisiana Saturday, two days before the storm hit, which specifically authorized FEMA ”to coordinate all disaster relief efforts and to provide appropriate assistance in a number of Louisiana parishes, or counties”

I hate the blame game, but with all the noise from liars and jerks
it is necessary once again to home in on responsibility. On the one hand, Mike Brown at FEMA should have done a better job of following up on his teams, and the lack of comprehensive planning for the scale of the disaster is an indictment of the process and the men who led the department. And there is no question that Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco were first negligent, then cowardly in their responses to the disaster. Nagin’s refusal to use available busses to evacuate people ranks up there with Blanco’s refusal to allow Red Cross supplies to the Superdome for stupidity, but the common link to it all was Bennett C. Landreneau, the head of Lousiana’s Department of Homeland Security, who was directly responsible for communicating condition updates and rescue information to both Nagin and Blanco, and for coordinating the response from responders at all levels. In a truly immoral resolution, Nagin was re-elected, Blanco was untouched by her negligence, and the MSM has still not said a single word of criticism about Landreneau, who belongs in a jail cell for his actions, or rather their lack.

I mentioned a year ago the blunt fact that ”Katrina came up faster than expected, did not go where expected, and hit harder than expected, taking out the infrastructure which is generally used by emergency services. The plans in place for refugee housing did not include provisions for the total collapse of the levies and the number of victims. It should be noted that no exercise in disaster management is possible for this scale of disaster, nor has anyone responded to a disaster on this scale in less than a week”. Let’s step away from the hype.

Here in Houston, we did right in a big way. We opened up our town, and I don't just mean the 'Dome and some cots. Companies went out looking for folks to hire, agencies arranged new residences. Shewt, even MORTGAGE COMPANIES, who are supposed to be heartless bastards, made some sweetheart deals to get Katrina relocaters houses and a solid chance to start again. For months, just about EVERYONE here in Houston went out of their way to help in every way they could. My family and I gave money, furniture, food, and support. When a Katrina evacuee stole my car a week later, I didn't blame the whole group, although my wife was really PO'd, and when my company hired Katrina evacuees, they were welcome just as anyone would be to our team.

What did we get out of all this? Well, yes, we had some problems, mostly because the N.O. gangs got into fights with H-town gangs for turf and drug territory. And that led to some murders and assaults and nastiness. Frankly, we've seen that before - I remember in 1995 when a couple Asian gangs got into a nasty war with the Latin Kings here, and it had zip to do with what city they were from. Same thing here, just one set of losers going after another. Yes, Katrina brought them here, but that's not N.O.'s deal.

So, what about the people who can't get jobs? To be blunt, a lot of people from N.O. have money and property. Those are the ones who could not wait to get back and rebuild; they have investments to get moving again. And people with strong professional skills had no trouble catching on. The problem is the same thing we regular folks always see with jobs at the floor level, no matter what industry and company - most jobs suck in some way. No, I'm not buying the "all I can find is restaurant waitering" excuse, that's a lie and you know it. Houston has some high-paying, solid opportunities. The problem is, finding a decent job takes a lot of work. The last time I had to go job hunting it took me three months to find the right position, and that was with a stable home situation and my family in decent shape.

Life is cruel sometimes. You get good, you get bad, and not usually because you deserve it. What most of us do is get by and try to get better, and sooner or later the folks who got hit by Katrina will find their way. It will be tough, and probably not fair, but in the end you get what you make.

You don't owe anybody, but NOBODY OWES YOU, either.

It's not your fault, but that doesn't make it somebody else's fault.

And even if you are having a rough go of it, spitting on people who gave you help and tried to be there is not smart or right.

Houston is still doing pretty well, and the problems that can be solved are being worked on. If you want a job, there's still a lot here to be had. And if you want a better job, they are also available, as open to people from New Orleans as to anyone who has lived in Houston all their life.

And by the way, you're welcome.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Politics and the Clueless

Well, I have finished my first week of MBA school, and while that’s a lot like bragging after you’ve gone only five feet up a mountain, I have already begun to notice some things about my fellow classmates. Some of them have jumped right in and got busy with the assignments and discussion boards. Good thing too, because those DBs count towards the grade in every one of the classes. And more, the professor in each of those classes is going to start closing the old DB and open up a new one each week, meaning that to get a score for participation, the student had better not dally. Which of course brings me to the fact that a fair chunk of the students are dallying, not posting even a single thought on the DBs so far. Yes, it’s early yet, and even if they miss the first set of boards (in one class, the first set of boards is supposed to close tonight at 11:59 PM), they could make comments in other boards and bring their numbers back up a bit, but frankly that’s a poor plan, to fall behind even from the start. The schedule is only likely to get faster and tougher, and if someone is lazy in August, I wouldn’t say they will have a good time the rest of the semester.

What that has to do with Politics is this; we are all of us creatures of habit, and it’s a strong urge we fight to keep doing things the way we always have been accustomed to do, and to think in ways we always found to be our habit. There’s a real laziness to that, and it’s just not smart. While I will be quick to admit that there are Republicans who fall into this trap, mostly it’s a problem for the Left. And if you think about it, it makes sense.

Republicans reached a rough stretch from 1964 to 1978. They put up candidates who were experienced, smart, principled, but they lost, pretty much across the board. This forced Conservatives to reconsider not their ideals, but their delivery, and to expand their tent to grow the party. In that time, Republicans evolved from the principled loser Goldwater to the principled winner Reagan, while the Democrats went from the pragmatic LBJ to the clueless Jimmy Carter. A key insight to how the two parties differ in their development, is that Republicans are able to accept that Richard Nixon was bad for the country, yet Democrats cannot accept that Carter, for different reasons, was as bad or worse.

We see the symptoms in the public forums as well. I compared the present war to World War 2 in a number of articles in the past few years, and supported it with rhetorical and historical parallels. I never expected Democrats to agree with my conclusions, but it is disappointing to observe that I have never yet seen a thoughtful response from the Left in rebuttal. Personal insults and derision may make them feel better, but it does nothing to advance the debate or illuminate the issue. It occurs to me that the reason Democrats do not debate this conflict on the merits, is because they have lost the ability to debate in terms which accept the fact of their own errors, or that their opponent should be respected for those places where they are right.

Gore-bal Warming

Al Gore has been making a lot of nasty accusations about a lot of people he does not like.

If this story is true, it looks like Mr. Gore may be getting a hard lesson in Karma.

And since Democrats always like to guess about what scandals might mean for Republicans, I can’t help but wonder what a former Donk VP getting into financial shenanigans might mean?

in the interests of accuracy, I should mention this post was originally dated August 31.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

This Week In Iran

August 22 is a special day if you’re an Islamofascist. That’s the day, according to Mohamathugistan tradition, when the “Hidden Imam” will reveal himself, apparently by killing everyone in the vicinity of his arrival. As near as I can gather, everyone dies but after that the Hidden Imam or ‘Mahdi’ really starts to get mean with the infidels, who by that time include just about everyone who is not a bloody-handed Muslim Jihadist complete with beard, Mullah-approved version of the Quran, blade for beheading and of course a fine selection of de riguer explosive accessories for that night on the town killing civilians on the way to the Mosque. Santa’s older psychopathic brother, maybe.

Naturally, such a season is a fine time for the current President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmatotalnutjob. Like a member of the Crips anticipating his first murder of a storekeeper as part of his initiation into the gang, Ahmatotalnutjob looked forward to the 22nd and talked up the day as a big event.

But on Tuesday the 22nd, not much happened. The Iran ambassador to the UN declared Iran was “ready for serious negotiations”, and the Jihadapalooza tour continued to rave reviews from the blade-flashing clergy – and I mean stark raving mad reviews, but nothing that seemed to meet the hype. So, pretending to be French, my special investigative unit went to Teheran to interview the President of Iran (Ritually Pure Since 1979) Wednesday morning to find out what happened. The following is a transcript from that interview.

After greetings, which included pro forma praise for Allah, sharp objects, and Sharia’s allowance for dark chocolate, President Ahmatotalnutjob got to the point and asked us the purpose of our interview.

Us: As you know sir, “Blame America” magazine is examining the current Middle East condition from the perspective that everything which is going wrong, is the responsibility of President George W. Bush

President Ahmatotalnutjob: Well, to be fair, we must understand from the beginning that Bush is no more than a puppet of his Zionist masters.

Us: And this affects the resolution how?

A: Now that Israel has been destroyed, Bush is no longer of consequence.

Us: Israel was destroyed? When did this happen?

A: This past Tuesday. It was glorious, to see all those Jews destroyed.

Us: (look at each other in stunned silence) But … we saw no such destruction on Tuesday.

A: Of course not. Allah knew you would not understand his glory in such an undertaking, so he allowed only the faithful to see and comprehend. The rest of the world sees the ghost of Israel.

Us: Okaaaay. So, what does this mean for the region, that Israel is gone?

A: As I said, the puppet Bush is now powerless, having lost his masters.

Us: What about Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh?

A: Aiiiiiiiiiiiiigh!!! Do not speak the names of such infernal monsters in my presence!

(we pause as Ahmatotalnutjob burrows through his desk until he finds a burka-clad teddy bear wearing what appears to be a tiny suicide-bomb vest. Ahmatotalnutjob murmurs to the bear while rocking back and forth for a time, then settles down, replaces the bear in a desk drawer and faces us with renewed calm)

A: I am sorry, I should have specified that I meant his Jew Zionist masters. His Washington Zionist masters, we must wait to deal with later.

Us: What other effects does the eradication of Israel mean? Will Iran stop trying to make a nuclear weapon, for instance?

A: (blinks innocently) But we are not trying to make a nuclear weapon! We are simply advancing Science for the greater good, and for service to Allah.

By the way, if certain cities residing in countries with whom my government is displeased were, say, to vaporize in a green glow, that would be merely an unfortunate coincidence, and not at all the work of Iran. I’m just saying …

Us: (Look again at each other) Well then, what is Iran’s position with regard to France? You understand our curiosity, of course.

A: Certainly we in Iran will never forget that it was France which gave a home to the Ayatollah Khomeini before he returned to expel the hated Shah and began the blessed revolution to establish a home for the 12th Imam. Also, we remember that it was France who had the courage to say ‘no’ to George Bush at the United Nations.

Us: Why then have so many Muslims in France rioted against the government?

A: Because you have not yet advanced to the point where you accept the truth of Sharia.

Us: By the way, since Israel is gone, even if we in the West cannot see it, what is to become of the land?

A: It belongs to the Palestinians, of course. And we in Iran will be happy to direct the proper dispensation of the land, when it is ready.

Us: Ready?

A: Of course! The place has been infested with nasty filthy Jews for more than half a century. It will take a long time just to get rid of the smell.

Us: Pardon, but that sounds just a bit anti-Semitic.

A: Not at all! If we were discussing someone’s opinion of Arabs and someone were to use such words to describe Arabs, especially Muslims, I could see how it would be very wrong, but this is talking about Jews. Surely we can all agree that Jews are icky, nasty, poo-poo animals?

Us: Riiiiiiiiiiiiight. So, why will Iran be in charge of dispensing the land?

A: It is obvious we are the proper people for such a task, is it not? Besides, the rest of Islam will be busy.

Us: Doing?

A: We are waging a Jihad, of course. Some – like Iran – must lead, and some – other nations – must accept orders.

Us: And France?

A: Don’t worry, we will get to you.

Us: And America?

A: Death to America. It’s not just a catchy slogan, you know. Besides, Insh’Allah they are working to destroy themselves.

Us: Really?

A: Oh yes. They keep putting out leaders like Clinton and Carter.

Us: What about Bush?

A: I admit, he scared us at first. Determined, idealistic, and not fooled by propaganda, it’s a pity he chose to stand against us. But look, even his own party thinks he is a war mongerer. His allies ran away as soon as the task became difficult, and when he leaves office I do not see anyone who will follow his course. This leaves everything wide open for us.