Saturday, November 12, 2005

It's Still Veteran's Day


Yesterday was Veteran’s Day. As far as I’m concerned, so is today. This is not the kind of remembering we owe at the same level as Halloween or Valentine’s Day, a day to be noted, given a token respect and them move on. Rather, we need to stop and think about what we have been given.

First, a quick review of the blog commemoration:

LaShawn Barber has a round-up of Veteran’s Day blogging has a video tribute to all servicemen

Milblogging has the thoughts and words of actual Military bloggers

And of course, I could not mention Veterans and Blogging without noting my personal favorite veteran blogger, Baldilocks.

Take a few moments and have another look and thought for the people who served to give us our most precious rights.

In conclusion, I mentioned yesterday that post-9/11 recruits are not nearly the desperate low-income, no-hope, in-it-for-some-employment losers that the Left would have you believe. I received an e-mail yesterday about one of the new recruits:

I saw your post today about who exactly is enlisting and thought I'd forward you a little item we published nearly a year ago. We picked it up from the New York Observer. Folks like Gavriel are why this country is so great. (btw, our site is subscriber-only – I have to feed the kids somehow. But feel free to use this in any way you wish.)

Former BofA Equity Analyst Killed in Iraq

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Dimitrios Gavriel, a former equity research analyst in Banc of America Securities' real estate unit, was killed last week in a battle in Falluja, Iraq, according to a report in the New York Observer.

Gavriel, 29, was a lance corporal in the United States Marines, which he had joined after being laid off from BofA in 2002, according to the newspaper. He had graduated from Brown University and soon joined PaineWebber. He then joined J.P. Morgan Chase's real estate unit and moved with it first to Credit Suisse First Boston then to BofA.

According to the Observer, Gavriel had received a job offer just before Marine boot camp. The newspaper quoted a friend who said Gavriel told him that he would be miserable had he not gone to boot camp. Gavriel had suffered a leg injury a week before going on a mission in Falluja.”

Veterans’ stories are worth a second look. And a third. And a fourth...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Remembering The Troops


There’s The Liberal Way:

New Yorker Magazine Accuses The U.S. Of Murdering A Prisoner

Hollywood’s Latest Movie About Marines Accuses Them Of Being No More Than Vicious Animals

The Largest Liberal Blog Has An Open “Veterans Day” Thread That Does Not Honor A Single Veteran, But Complains About Health Care. The Next Thread On That Blog, With Three Times As Many Comments, Is Devoted To “Rum and Coke Friday”

Senate Stupidity Leader Harry Reid Discussed Veterans’ Day By Accusing Bush Of Lying About Intelligence Data Used In Deciding To Invade Iraq, Even Though He Saw And Approved The Same Data. Reid Had No Comments To Honor Veterans Today

And There’s The Conservative Way:

President Bush Visits Army Veterans To Deliver Veterans Day Speech

Speaker Of The House Dennis Hastert Honors Veterans As The Reason We Have Peace At Home

Michelle Malkin Simply Says “Thank You”

Captains Quarters' Tribute Includes A Photo Of the U.S. Flag Which Flew Above The Pentagon On 9/11/2001

Over at Polipundit, a day after Lorie Byrd remembered the birthday of the Marine Corps, A.K. McClure recalled the debt we still owe our veterans from World War One. As for me, I would like to recall the sort of men we have in our military. Despite claims to the contrary, the men who enlisted in the U.S. military after September 11 were very unlikely to come from poor families, almost all had at least a high school diploma, and the majority of recruits were white (only 14.09% in 2003 were black).

More soldiers come from the Southern states (41% in 2003), citing a family and cultural tradition, but very few from New England, and in general Red States were significantly more likely to have men enlist than Blue States.

The military under President Bush has been deployed fourteen times, as compared to forty-eight deployments under President Clinton, yet the results have been both more controversial and successful under Dubya than under Clinton, largely because forces have been sent in for specific objectives, and not withdrawn prematurely. This has fed a good rapport between the President and the Troops, especially with historic results in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, and Pakistan for troops to show for their pains.

Soldiers are not political by nature, nor do they consciously believe that one party or ideology is automatically superior by nature. But it is obvious who just talks about supporting the troops, especially in the job they are required to do, and who backs it up where it counts.

Thank you gentlemen. May this nation and the government never forget the debt we owe you.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Enemy In The Room


The jelly-spined turncoats willing to take the name of Republican but ignore their duty and direction, have at least supplied us with a roster to know their members.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the RINOs of the United States.

(ht Michelle Malkin)

Confidence versus Recklessness


E.J. Dionne is happy. Democrats are taking the Virginia election, especially as a sign of a rebound. Dionne, like other Liberals, thinks that one win over a bad campaign means the good times are returning. Howard Fineman of Newsweek thinks that Democrats can win if they “run as a moderate or run on competence (or both), and surf to victory on voters’ disdain for President Bush and his party’s corrosive ad tactics.”

Hey guys, Kaine took 52% of the vote, in a campaign he was easily winning for the last 2 months. While there are lessons to be learned here, one of the biggest should be to not read tea leaves into earthquakes. Calling Harry Reid’s tantrum on the Senate floor “an outside, grassroots game” is just idiotic. Pretending that anyone not already contributing to the DNC has any interest in a persecution of Karl Rove or Vice-President is no way to convince the American public that you have matured from the rants that convinced even the DLC that Howard Dean could not win the White House.

Fred Barnes has the gist of it, in his Daily Standard article “Sound and Fury” (as in signifying nothing); Barnes points out that “both had Democratic governors coming into yesterday's election. Both will continue to. Thus, there was no change, no earthquake, no reordering of the political universe. Ignore anyone who tells you otherwise.”

Good advice.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sanity In Ohio


The losses in Virginia and Soprano-Land were a bit disappointing, but the good people of Ohio knew their business. While supporting a bonds package to help bring jobs to Ohio, voters rejected a package of Democrat attempts to subvert the election process.

The group calling itself “Reform Ohio Now” was essentially a Liberal Stalking Horse, attempting to radically alter the process in Ohio, following the 2004 election. Four issues were set before the voters, ostensibly to improve the process, but in fact they would have taken much from the public, and put it into the hands of a few elitists. The text of the actual amendments can be found here.

Issue 2 was a measure to expand absentee voting, which sounds good on its face, but this would allow voting by mail. That’s right, not only no photo ID or confirmation that the voter was eligible to vote, but no confirmation at all that the voter even existed! Also, the measure would not have required any reason to be given for voting by mail, and provided absolutely no protection or security against fraud. 63% of Ohioans decided they didn’t want to help people commit voter fraud.

Issue 3 would have lowered limits on political donations not only from individuals, but also from PACs (which exist specifically to fund campaigns), “donor action committees”, or even from local, state, or national political parties. Essentially, this would have prevented competitive campaigning by anyone but the rich and the pre-financed, creating an absurd advantage for incumbents. This went down in flames as well.

Issue 4 would have removed redistricting power from elected officials, and put it instead into the hands of a five-member appointed commission. This is plainly contrary to the spirit of all existing constitutions, both Ohio’s and that of the United States. It also raises the obvious question of who and what would influence men who were not accountable for their decisions, but held the power to decide representation before the elections could even be scheduled. A full 70% of Ohio voters decided they wanted elected officials to be making those choices.

And finally, Issue 5 would have further usurped power from elected officials, turning over the administration of elections to that same appointed commission, answerable only to their personal agenda. I don’t know about you, but the idea that the rules, boundaries, procedures, and review of elections being controlled by a few unelected men who don’t answer to anybody, just screams ‘Politburo’ to me. And 70% of Ohio’s voters thought the same.

Given the balance between Republicans and Democrats in Ohio, the decisive measure of the vote indicates that Ohioans, both on the Left and on the Right, prefer Sanity.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Fair Scores


As some of you know, I like to revisit. every now and then, the question of how the Presidents of the United States compare to each other. It's largely an unrealistic exercise, since the separation in time and conditions from each Administration makes it impossible to truly know how well or poorly one man may have done in another man's place, but it occurs to me (having rolled through the lists compiled up to now) that one significant mistake most pollers make, is that they ask people to say whom they like, and then ask why.

So, I'm turning things around, and beginning this year's review by asking readers to suggest the most important qualities for a President to have and show, and why they are important to the office.

I will begin, by saying that in my opinion the three most important qualities a President must have in order to do his job properly, are:

1. Moral conviction for the future of the nation

2. Understand his opponents, what they want and how they mean to take it

3. Understand his supporters, what they expect and how he plans to deliver

The Noise To The East, The Silence From The Far East


Paris is burning, or at least a lot of French cars and buildings have come under fire. The response by the Vichy, er, French government has been notably hesitant and timid for a country which has men like the French Foreign Legion at its disposal. Of course, France did exactly the same thing in 1978 when supporters of the Mad Mullah, the Ayotollah Khomeini threw burning objects at police and passing Americans. The French handled that one by arranging for Khomeini to be returned to Iran, and in due course a few tens of thousands died there by the time Radical Islam had secured control of the nation for Allah and the Great Jihad. It’s not unreasonable to say that the next World War began, with a spark tossed and ignored from Paris. The roots of that hatred are now bearing bitter fruit in France, and for the first time since Hitler sent the panzers rolling down the boulevards, the question of the continued survival of France under French rule is in doubt. Sneering snobs that they are, it is still vital to the health of Europe to restore stability to the Croissant Nation.

This front should have been expected. The War we are fighting is not so much a new enemy, as it is the fascists and communists renewing a desperate attempt to prevent the surge of Democratic representation. Appalled at the notion of women voting, of private business flourishing, and the very notion of a government dependent on consent of the governed for its authority, the forces opposed to American-style freedoms have been stunned not only by the success of the U.S. military, but also by the eager imitation of American political representation in Iraq, Afghanistan, and demanded by many in more than a dozen other countries. Small wonder the remaining tyrants have banded together, however unofficially, to defy the tide which seeks to wash away the stench of regimes that never expected to see defiance from their citizens.

The same peril looms over China, which on the one hand represents the largest potential economic force to come to maturity in the 21st Century, yet that same population is invariably going to compare the offerings of American Liberty against Chinese Communism; if Bush succeeds in the Middle East, India and Pakistan, and all the Pacific Rim may join the surge of Democratic Accountability. The only hope for the Politburo is the failure of the Bush Doctrine. And so logic and opportunity to cooperative growth is set aside, in order to press against the wave of change.

The media would have you believe that Bush has failed to sell Free Trade to Latin America, but as wrote in a Monday article, “The real story is that 29 very different states — making up 90% of the hemisphere's GDP — endorsed free trade. Even more encouraging, the summit's most articulate advocates for free trade spontaneously came from Latin American leaders whose nations have already experienced free trade. Among them, Mexico's President Vicente Fox emerged as a star, bluntly warning anti-trade factions they are "out of touch with reality."

The reason this matters in the war against the Islamo-fascists, is because they cannot offer a meaningful alternative to Free Trade. In Iraq, as an example, the International Monetary Fund reports substantial progress in establishing a stable economy. The IMF, a dour group of fellows who would be likely to congratulate a Lottery winner with tax liability advisories, notes that in 2004 Iraq’s financial “reserves ended the year well above the floor specified in the EPCA program”. Showing significant improvements from the Hussein regime, “78% of homes have access to piped water”, and “98% of households are connected to the electricity grid”. As for the government stability, Iraq held Parliamentary elections for the Transitional National Assembly (TNA) on January 30, 2005. The TNA elected its leadership, and the new government of Iraq was sworn into office on May 3, 2005. Iraq has a truly representative government for the first time in its history. The IMF noted that GDP growth was 4 percent in 2004, a strong comeback from the years under sanctions and the invasion. The GDP growth is projected by the IMF “to reach 17 percent in 2006 and then decline slowly to 7 percent by 2010”, making Iraq very attractive for investors and showing a very strong business climate. While Inflation remains a concern, the 20% rate for 2005 is a significant improvement from the 31% Inflation rate for 2004. Capital investment is encouraged, as the IMF noted “the high level of bank liquidity”, and Iraqi Treasury Bills offering 4% in 2004, and rising to 7% in mid-June 2005. All things considered, the business climate in Iraq is a good one, which bodes well for standards of living. Also, stability and transparent practices in Iraq are such that the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has “requested tenders from international auditors to audit its accounts in line with International Standards on Auditing”, something not yet done even in China or Venezuela.

The significance of this report not only demonstrates the improving economic conditions in Iraq, but shows the ties between economic improvement and social stability. It’s really simple: When a people are free, they will flourish in every significant aspect, and this attracts other people to desire the same. The people of Lebanon are not blind to the terrorist violence imported to Iraq from Syria and Iran, but they also see and understand the opportunities that Iraq now holds, and they want the same for themselves. This is why women in the Middle East are demanding the vote, and why young Iranian men are demanding free elections. They understand that in addition to creating a more responsive government, they gain a choice in setting their own goals and pursuing their own paths to success.

Which brings us back to Europe. Why, you might wonder, is France in such bad shape? Partly, it was the corrupt government which thought it could simply deny a consistent protection of rights, so that minorities see no purpose in supporting the government. Partly, it was the political climate which denied reality, demanding continued use of obsolete and dysfunctional policies of Socialism and Franco-isolationism. And partly it was the arrogant refusal to admit when policies did not work; the same French pride which refused to see the Algerian secession clearly half a century ago, now supposes it can ignore the radical fascism in its own towns simply because it is cloaked in religion instead of a foreign nationalism. The government of France has made no attempt to address the root issues, especially the economic conditions which have driven minority unemployment in France to record levels, along with three straight years of negative relative GDP growth.

The University of Dayton also notes that the French have a poor record in matters of Racism, so that a rotten economy is matched by a sour social environment. And the State Department warned in 2004, that an overt hostility against religious minorities in France, particularly “illegitimate police violence”, was leading to broad resentment against the government at grass-roots levels, and given the recent history of Islamo-Fascist reaction to perceived oppression (as in Chechnya), such a conflagration was certain to occur.

Also, the Al Qaeda attack in Spain, and Chechnya, and London, along with discoveries of Al Qaeda cells throughout Europe, demonstrates that the Islamo-Fascism movement attempts to open a Northern Front. Small wonder; the U.S. effectiveness in Iraq and Afghanistan, no matter what the Liberals say, has been stunning and broad; the terrorists have been forced to seek softer targets in Europe, because in Iraq even the local population has begun to fight back against the terrorists, and the terrorists have seen their own consolidation break down into feuds. The blunt conclusion is, that while resolution of the conflict is still a long way off, the Islamo-Fascists have failed dismally in Iraq, and are attacking targets in Europe to try to distract Coalition allies and redirect the conflict. This can be demonstrated by noting that there is no clear strategy on the Islamo-Fascist attacks in France; as alarming as the violence is, at some point order will be restored and the Islamo-Fascist factions will be no stronger than they were before. What’s more, if NATO understands the nature of the attacks, stronger resolve to stabilize the Mediterranean through eradication of Islamo-Fascism cells and networks is likely, so that pressure on moderate Arabs to establish some sort of representative political reform will be increased and maintained. This will create a natural opposition between Europe and Asia, as China sees a stable and cooperative Middle East as a political and economic threat. Also, Israel is unlikely to approve of any comprehensive Arab unity, unless guarantees are made to ensure Israeli protection from the increased Arab presence. It would not be at all unlikely, therefore, for Al Qaeda and it’s shadow emulator groups to attempt coordination in the future with China, especially to disrupt the royal families in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Now that Iraq is stabilizing, and Europe only a temporary distraction, the last remaining royal Houses will be the logical targets to destabilize the Middle East again, and if the Islamo-Fascists are lucky, reignite the fires seen during Khomeini’s reign. The Islamo-Fascist Mullahs, however, are likely to fail, since they have yet to consider why those fires lost their heat the first time.

A small possibility exists, that the Islamo-Fascists could claim a foothold in South America, through cooperation with governments like Venezuela. However, the cultural landscape there is inhospitable for Jihad, and like the failed attempts to create functioning networks in North America, the Islamo-Fascists do not have the sort of credible ideals to attract significant support, and will find that Islam not only does not, in the main, hold the objectives of Fascism as noble, but in the Western Hemisphere is likely to consider Fascist Jihad as an atrocity, rather than an act of faith.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday Thoughts


Sorry, too much work, not enough free time.

Getting ready for a trip, trying to chase down a couple numbers, and to put France into perspective.

But for now...

Harry Reid is a traitorous jerk...

Karl Rove is not in trouble...

France played too long with the vipers, and simply got bit.

Sunday, November 06, 2005



Everyday is Armageddon, it seems. I recall in 1984, how Democrats claimed that if Reagan was re-elected it would mean the end of Civilization, Civil Rights, and worst of all, the absolute reign of the Democratic Party as the sole Authority in American Politics. By 1988, both the Democrats and Republicans emphasized that the coming election was the most important in a generation. The trend continued, reaching highs in decibels and lows in ethics in the 2000, 2002, and 2004 campaigns. Rhetorical hatred was matched by a sharp rise in physical violence, in both cases the worst coming from the Left.

With the MSM trying to tie the Bush White House into every conceivable scandal, and quite a few inconceivable ones, and the growing coordination of Leftist resources, we can only expect the 2006 elections to be the most vile and offensive in memory. Given the public response to the behavior at Wellstone’s funeral some time back, I am not sure that we shouldn’t just let them have all the rope they want, with only a careful means applied to be sure America sees the Democrats as they truly are, rather than the Truman image they have so carefully plastered over the face.

But get ready, because it’s going to be ugly.