Friday, February 03, 2006

Well Done, Officers


Houston takes its share of flak for police misconduct and mistakes, but not enough for saving lives. Thursday afternoon a very dangerous situation was resolved as well as it reasonably could have been, through the courage and cool judgment of the Houston Police Department.

Somewhere around 2 PM, DeSoto Police issued an Amber Alert for Kiara Renee Allen, 4 years old, and an endangered person report for Andrea Nicole Allen, the mother. Jeremy Ethon Roberson, Allen’s boyfriend, had been overheard having a loud argument with her and when the child was not dropped off the grandmother phoned police.

Shortly after that time, police near Willis were notified about a passenger in a white Neon firing shots at another car. The caller identified the car and the police matched the license plates with the Amber alert, which led to the chase by police.

In past incidents, the police had held back and followed at a distance because of fears they might cause an accident, but because this time shots had already been fired at other cars the police stayed in close contact. The chance to stop the vehicle was hindered by the two hostages Roberson held. A Shenendoah police officer reported “The violator attempted to evade, and as the pursuit continued, our officer observed that a gun was pointed to the head of the driver”. Multiple cars were shot at by Roberson, who appeared to have a shotgun and pistol, and possibly a third weapon as well. The multiple weapons as well as Roberson’s clear willingness to fire at innocent people raised the stakes higher.

The chase continued into Harris County, and by this time Houston news helicopters provided live view of the pursuit. I saw the last fifteen minutes of the chase as it happened, in time to see Roberson fire his pistol twice at a pickup truck which briefly tried to force the Neon against the retaining wall.

Clearly in fear for her life, and aware that Roberson’s actions were increasingly desperate and reckless, Andrea Allen made a difficult decision of her own; she opened the driver side door with the car moving at more than 70 miles per hour, took her foot off the accelerator, and dived out of the car just as the Neon rammed the back of a white pickup truck, at I-45 at Crosstimbers. Allen climbed to her feet, swayed for a moment, then realized he daughter was still in the car and tried to run after the Neon, which was drifting off to the right side of the road. Police intercepted Allen and took her out of the danger zone, while a circle of officers moved in towards the car with guns drawn.

For a few seconds, it looked as though the police might be able to take Roberson into custody without further incident, but Roberson suddenly began firing at police, as I saw the back window shatter from shotgun blasts. The police then did a brilliant maneuver:

About six police officers moved towards Roberson on the right, drawing his fire and firing their own pistols towards the front of the car, away from Kiara in the back. At the same time, another four officers crouched down and ran to grab the left rear door; they opened it and grabbed Kiara. Two officers shielded Kiara with their bodies as they ran away from the car and Roberson to take the little girl to safety.

Once Kiara was safely removed from the situation, Roberson had one choice – surrender or die. He opened fire again on the police one last time, and the police fired back with lethal results.

Traffic was a mess for hours afterwards, since the police had to wait for investigators to collect all the evidence in this officer-involved shooting. And yes, some people were slightly injured. But Kiara and her mom are alive and safe, and a situation was addressed which could easily have been much, much worse.

Not to tell you your job, Mister Harold Hurtt, but it seems to me you have some commendations and awards to hand out, for valor and professional performance.

Well done, officers, and thanks. We don’t say it enough.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


You remember Harriet Miers, don't you?

I was asked by a reader or twelve what I now think about the Miers nomination in light of the events surrounding Alito. More than a couple people suggested that if Miers had been allowed to have her hearing, that it would have been the GOP, not the Dysfunctional 'Crats who would be in disarray just now. Certainly I admit that when Ted Kennedy remarked about greatly preferring Miers to Alito, it gave me pause. But there are reasons to revisit the Miers affair, if for no more than to give the lady a respect she never got the first time around. And besides, it has been very quiet lately; not one person has called me a 'bootlicker' in quite a while, so forget about letting sleeping dogs lie - let's kick that puppy and get talking.

There are three serious questions to face regarding the Miers Nomination. Not whether she was qualified, should have been confirmed, or indeed any of the what-if theories some want to present. Harriet Miers is not a SCOTUS Justice and never will be. But serious thought and discussion should be applied to these essential matters:

1. President George W. Bush has a very good track record for his decisions and appointments overall, but especially for his judicial picks. That suggests that there was a sound reason why he chose Miers for the high court. Insulting the woman by presuming she was just a crony, insulting Bush by claiming he feared a fight with Liberals, or insulting the Senate by pretending they would rubber-stamp anyone appointed for the Supreme Court without a reasonable review, are just puerile evasions of the main question - what did President Bush see in Miers that convinced him she was not only suitable for the post, but the best first choice?

2. Prior to the Miers nomination, most leading Republicans and especially Conservatives demanded that a Presidential nominee be allowed a vote - up or down - without attempts to ambush the candidate or obstruct a fair examination and decision on the nomination. When Miers was nominated, many Conservatives abandoned that principle and demanded her withdrawal before even a minute of hearings. What damage, if any, has this hypocrisy done to the Republican Party, and how might such equivocation show up again to the cost of Conservative plans?

3. A key difference between Democrats and Republicans in recent years, is the ability to debate internal issues and resolve them while still respecting minority viewpoints witin the party. That ability, while annoying at times, is alive in the Republican Party, but quite dead in the Democratic Party. For example, there are gay Republicans and there are Republicans who find the gay lifestyle offensive, but they can both support the party. No anti-gay Democrat has a voice in the party of 'Tolerance'. There are pro-Life Republicans and there are pro-Choice Republicans, but there are no pro-Life Democrats willing to take a stand on that issue. There are Small Government Republicans and there are Big Government Republicans, but there are no Small Government Democrats. The list goes on. Has the Miers debate damaged the Republican Party in the eyes of most Americans, or did their ability to debate a Presidential appointment reinforce the character in the GOP which is so sadly deficient on the Democrat's side?

Remember, this is not a thread to discuss whether Miers would have been a good Justice or should have been confirmed; that ship has sailed. Thanks.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Rights And Duties Of Power: Part Three

Part 3, Military Supremacy and Social Evolution

When I was growing up, a student was expected to learn American and World History as part of his basic public education. This meant learning about wars through History, and understanding the need for a professional army. I note that todayÂ’s students are often not so obliged, and consequently many young men and women come of age without some essential tools to understand the world and its teeth. Within our own lifetimes, we have seen wars between nations pursued for reasons of Empire, Genocide, Political Crusade, Religion, Race, and pure simple hatred of the neighboring country. We have seen that the most dangerous enemies can reach anyone, anywhere, unless they are deterred, or better destroyed. The military of the United States is not one of Empire or Despotism, but rather the wall between civilization and utter chaos.

George W. Bush understands this, in part because he listens to the men who lead his Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, Intelligence, and support forces. ItÂ’s also because the first President to earn an MBA took the time to learn the foundational strengths and needs of American government. Just as a CEO needs to understand the most critical needs for his business in order to make good strategic decisions, so much more does the President of the United States need to understand the absolute requirements of American government and military force. In addition, Bush understands the same momentum that controls politics is even more pronounced in military matters; while an offensive is not a good idea of itself, it is generally better to attack than wait to be attacked, to pursue an objective instead of waiting to lose something important. Having served in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, Bush naturally has thought about the most painful U.S. loss in current memory, especially why and how it happened and what could have been done to prevent it. Besides the cost in American life and objectives, anyone familiar with the war is angry at the needless loss of so many innocent lives, and a whole region of the world lost to fighting and control by Communism for a generation or more.

But Bush is also familiar with the Reagan Doctrine, which not only fought Communism around the globe (and won), but also used force judiciously and to great effect. It was in that mind that President Bush turned his attention to the Middle East.

It should be understand before going into that region's events, that the world as a whole focuses on certain conflicts while ignoring others. This is not just but is common to the human experience. Also, while the United States is powerful enough to strike anywhere with great effect, it cannot strike everywhere, nor with the same effect or cost in every place and time. So, choices must be made as to how to prepare, train, supply, support, and deploy the forces. And at the risk of sounding Imperial, the only proper way for the United States to do this is to plan globally.

The prime responsibility of a military is to protect the homeland. This means from invasion, and from unconventional attack. Good relations with Canada and Mexico protect the geography, while the new DHS addresses the lower-intensity threat.

South America remains a mixed bag, with generally pro-American countries keeping the anti-American ones at bay. Same for continental Africa, which is trying to grow out of the Cold War polarization and pre-War colonization, both of which stunted its social, political, and economic growths. As for Europe, with a few exceptions the continent represents a collection of nations jealous of America's strength and success, but generally stable and unlikely to either attack the U.S. or join in U.S. military initiatives. As for Asia, the continent has basically three parts-

Mainland China, which dominates in economics, politics, and military matters, though it is not able to pursue extended military operations;

The India/Pakistan region, which represents the fastest growing military sector, and which is also nuclear-armed; and

The Asian coast and Pacific nations, which have formed networks of alliances and trade associations to create collective strengths. The United States is closely aligned with most of these groups, including some nations which do not officially have close relations with America.

Asia would be worth a long article all its own, but for here it serves to note that military conquest in the region is largely too expensive for the opportunity, and so diplomatic, economic, and political measures are used in proxy.

This whole summary, of course, is far too simplistic, but for the purposes of this article and the point I am making, it boils down to 2 critical facts.

The first fact is that the United States has gained a military superiority far beyond historical measures. We can literally put a weapon anywhere in the world, and can land forces of armed men into any conceivable conflict. Not only are their tools technologically superior to anything a potential enemy can field, the training and doctrine of U.S. military men are significantly superior to any conceivable opponent. This is not to claim that we should always expect to win, much less win without high cost, but it does mean that virtually any objective is feasible for the United States. Consequently, any nation which intends to fight against the United States must plan asymmetrical warfare as its doctrine; anything else amounts to suicide. This, unfortunately, explains the present emphasis on proxy terrorist actions. It affords America's enemies a measure of deniability, along with a chance to probe for weakness or lack of resolve, the latter being the historical Achilles heel of the United States.

The second fact is that the Middle East has regained importance on the planes of economic, strategic, and social conflicts. OPEC has failed to regain its former influence, but nations producing Oil hope to wield it once again as a weapon to force policy changes ttheirur liking. The stability of the Middle East directly impacts the policies in Europe and Asia for their future development, and since the United States is the chief ally of Israel, the events in the Middle East cannot help but affect U.S. policy. As I mentioned before, the virtue of initiative is that it forces your opponent to respond to your actions, allowing you to choose course and direction. The present situation in the Middle East is a match between two opposing initiatives - the move to impose coercive Jihadism on the region foconcentrateded application against the "infidel" West, versus the birth of free representative republics in the Middle East, with individual rights and accountable governments. Both cannot be maintained, and so all the players watch with intense focus on Iraq and Afghanistan. If the terrorists win there, it will be because the U.S. abandons the nations as it did Vietnam in 1975. But if the nations become self-supporting, then the movement will continue to feed people in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, all across the Middle East and against the forces which breed terrorists. One will die, and the other spread across perhaps a quarter of the world within a generation. The stakes are clear.

It is a trite assumption that democracies do not war upon each other, but it should be obvious that nations which work for the common support and success of all of its citizens will be more likely to find resolutions that do not require bloodshed. This is the hope and mission of the United States, and to some measure explains the popularity of the soldier in mainstream America - such mean represent the ideals of the nation, and a better hope for the world than could exist without their help.

Defend the nation, and destroy terrorists. A simple mission, but a difficult one. But also a worthy cause, which inspires nations and which characterizes the greatest nation on earth. Some may doubt, but I am one who has no doubt that the living God has placed the USA as a guardian against the forces of tyranny and malicious fervor. And it is the right and duty of the United States of America to stand where needed, alone if necessary, as the last best hope of the world.

The Voice of Abomination


The LA Times, unlikely as ever to show good discretion, invited an editorial from Khaled Meshaal, the head of the political bureau of Hamas, the brutal terrorist organization which has murdered countless thousands of innocents and which claimed victory in the Palestinan elections last week. While repugnant in its tone and completely false in its claims, the article does provide a useful look into the rationale of an unquestionably evil political party. It is very much like hearing from Hitler, or more precisely Goebbels, in a 21st Century context. And so the words from Hamas deserve attention, if only to warn of a murderer’s intentions.

Meshaal begins by stating that the Palestinians knew what they were getting:

“When they went to the polls Jan. 25, they were well aware of what was being offered, and those who voted for Hamas knew what it stood for. They chose Hamas because of its pledge never to give up the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and its promise to embark on a program of reform.

There were voices, locally and internationally, warning them not to vote for an organization branded by the U.S. and the European Union as terrorist because such a democratically exercised right would cost them the financial aid provided by foreign donors.”

So far, it must be admitted that Meshaal is correct. Hamas was freely elected, and there is no reason to think they did not know what they were getting. To my mind, this speaks to the problem of the Palestinian mind, that they believe their best hopes for the future lie in the decisions of what amounts to an international Jihadist version of the Crips, or a chilling renewal of the sort of desperation that led to Germany thinking the Nazis might have the right idea, but they were elected. And yes, the world at large saw this for the poor and reckless decision it is, essentially forfeiting the near future in an insane belief that pathological murderers can be relied upon to provide responsive government and judicious policies.

Meshaal, in keeping with so many other Hamas communiqués, cannot help but taunt the West: ”Rather than recognize the legitimacy of Hamas as a freely elected representative of the Palestinian people, seize the opportunity created by the result to support the development of good governance in Palestine and search for a means of ending the bloodshed, the U.S. and the EU threatened the Palestinian people with collective punishment.”

That is simply a lie, a perversion of Hamas’ stated intent and America’s clear warning not to cross that line. Hamas has a bloody history and a policy of pure hate towards Israel and America. If Hamas withdraws its old threats well and good, but they cannot expect to pursue their violent goals without a deadly response.

”We are being punished simply for resisting oppression and striving for justice.”

No, you are simply being warned that your history of kidnapping and murdering innocent people must stop. Hamas knows justice like Mike Moore knows bulimia.

” the Zionist occupiers of our land.”

Get used to hearing that phrase, folks. It’s the modern reference to the “Final Solution”. It also demonstrates the arrogance of Hamas. Israel belongs to the people who live there and no one else, not another nation and certainly not Hamas, which has paid nothing but claims what they never owned.

”Our people who gave thousands of martyrs, the millions of refugees who have waited for nearly 60 years to return home and our 9,000 prisoners in Israeli jails have not made those sacrifices in order to settle for close to nothing. Hamas has been elected mainly because of its immovable faith in the inevitability of victory”

History shows that Arab groups made deals with the Nazis during World War 2, in hopes of seizing the territory after the war. They also apparently learned the same propaganda tactics: People who murder innocent women and children are called “martyrs”, millions who never set foot in Israel are called “refugees”, and as for the ‘inevitability of victory’, Hitler and Saddam said a lot of the same things, didn’t they? Got bunker, Meshaal? Or just a hole in the ground?

”Hamas is immune to bribery, intimidation and blackmail.”

The chutzpah of such a statement from a group so steeped in the bloody use of just such methods for so long is stunning.

The message is interesting, when we see how Meshall addresses the rest of the Arab and Muslim world:

”Our message to the Muslim and Arab nations is this: You have a responsibility to stand by your Palestinian brothers and sisters whose sacrifices are made on behalf of all of you.”

In other words, Meshaal is publicly admitting Hamas does not speak for the Muslim world in these matters, nor for the Arabs. Apparently, the people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, and many other nations in the Middle East are no more keen to have leaders on the order of Charles Manson in charge, than is the West. Therein lies hope.

”we demand you lift all restrictions on civil society institutions that wish to fundraise for our cause.”

Insh’Allah, of course. Seriously, what an opening. ‘Hi, we just got elected, so fork over the cash and maybe nobody gets hurt. At least not right now.’ Classy, huh?

”Having won the parliamentary elections, our medium-term objective is to reform the Palestine Liberation Organization in order to revive it as a true representative of all the Palestinian people, without exception or discrimination.”

In which case no member of Hamas could represent the PLO.

”Our message to the Israelis is this: We do not fight you because you belong to a certain faith or culture…Our conflict with you is not religious but political. We have no problem with Jews who have not attacked us”

‘Just ignore the thousands we have killed with bombs and shootings all these years. Those kids we blew to pieces in 2003, they had it coming, trust us. That 7-year old little girl we shot with a rifle during an agreed cease-fire, don’t you know she represented a threat to us?’

”Hamas is extending a hand of peace to those who are truly interested in a peace based on justice.”

Hamas knows nothing of justice nor peace, and deserves only its destruction and consignment to hell forthwith. Make no mistake. These are evil men who lead Hamas, and in the end we shall have to deal with them as we did Hitler and other madmen and bloody tyrants.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


[ kos rnp ]

You better believe the Dem establishment knows we exist.”

In rather the same way that a cancer patient is aware of a malignant tumor, yes.

“While this may feel like a huge loss (and it is), understand that it's not the end of the road. Republicans are still fighting to turn back the country to the 18th century, and we're all that stands in the way. And we are doomed to keep losing until we boost our numbers in both the House and the Senate. That's the ONLY way we will prevail.”

Seeing as Dubya is bringing parts of the world into the 21st Century, that claim is a bit ironic. Seeing as how the MSM and Kos try to play down New Media and return to the scripted control by the MSM, it’s insidious.

But Kos is right about one thing – he is doomed, because informed Americans will never allow his ilk to grab power again, and it is our job in the blogs to keep truth front and center, whether it is convenient or not, ugly or pretty, good news or bad. Face the facts, lance the boils, and kick tyrants of any stripe to the curb.

You are doomed by your own methodology, Kos. America will see to that .

Monday, January 30, 2006

Puppies Defy Physics

[ hmm ]


Two puppies

Six days

Puppy total weight, 1.8 pounds

Total weight poop produced by said puppies in six days, 5.5 pounds.

305.5% body weight pooped in six days, or 50.9% body weight in poop per day.


Puppies are immune to the normal laws of mass and physics

Poll Perspectives

[ . . ]

Readers may be aware that I was fairly focused on national polling during the 2004 Federal Election campaigns, but have since dropped my scrutiny for the most part. There are a number of reasons for this, not the least being the very different methodologies applied by polling agencies during the ‘off-season’, so to speak. For instance, polling agencies query “likely voters” during the election campaign, and pay attention to respondents who claim to have voted in the last election. Now however, the polling agencies query only ‘registered voters’, or simply ‘adults’. This skews the results, and to my mind impairs the credibility of the conclusions reached. Even so, sometimes valid conclusions can be reached by a careful study of the poll results, if sufficient details are present.

I took a look at two recent polls, once each by the LA Times and Bloomberg, and by CBS News and the New York Times. What I found tells a much different story than the media would have you believe. The headlines in the LA and NY Times do their utmost to sell the lie that Bush is failing, when the facts in their own polling speak to the contrary. I chose to detail these two polls, because no one can reasonably claim that the LA and NY Times or Bloomberg or CBS News has any interest whatsoever in advancing support for President Bush or the Republican Party. Therefore, any statement in their polling which does so must be at least as strong as stated; their pretense in print scurrying to the Left as always.

First, I would like to address the methodology of both polls. The LA Times/Bloomberg poll fails to fully disclose the nature of their respondent poll, stating only that “1,555 adults nationwide” were contacted “by telephone January 22 through 25”. While the LA Times claims that the respondent poll was “weighted slightly to conform with” Census numbers by “sex, race, age, education, and region”, they also admit that “certain subgroups” may have results which skew the error margin “somewhat higher.” Just how badly the poll misses the target, one can only guess. It should be noted from the LA Times’ statements however, that they did not weight their polling to match known party identification, they did not make any effort to ensure that rural adults were properly contacted, or that the unemployed and low-level employed would not be over-represented. Yet the nature of their methodology (all-telephone polling, with three of the four days during the work week) strongly implies a bias against professionals and traditional family structures, and hints at heavy dependency on the urban, the under-employed, the coasts, and the young (this can be done while pretending to follow Census guidelines by allowing for broader age classifications – legitimate polls limit age groups to static ranges, but newspaper-based polling often accepts a variable range, allowing them to manipulate polling by oversampling, say, 20-25 year olds and using them in place of 35-39 year olds, but lumping them all in the same class to pretend objectivity).

As for the CBS News/NY Times poll, I have mentioned before that while I find their conclusions unreasonable many times, I still respect the poll for relatively transparent reporting of its respondent pool. The CBS/NYT poll also contacted its respondents by telephone, but for over five days instead of four, including the weekend. The CBS/NYT poll did not reveal specifics on the demographics of its respondents, but weights its poll according to the 2000 Census. A key indicator, which CBS/NYT has always supplied, is the hard numbers of party identification. The unweighted tally for the poll showed 1.229 adults, with 469 identifying themselves as “Independent” (yes, that seems a bit high to me), 388 calling themselves “Democrats”, and 372 calling themselves Republicans. After weighting, the poll decreased the Independents’ weight to 456 effective respondents out of 1,228, and decreased the Republican weight to 360, while increasing the Democrat weight to 412. Obviously I find such weighting absurd in the face of known results from the 2004 and 2002 elections, but at least with the CBS/NYT poll, they are up-front about telling you how they played with the numbers. The reader can understand the lean the poll has from the beginning.

With this in mind, we can now examine the meat of the polls. I skipped the summary presented by the papers because the screed and lying was predictable. I say ‘lying’, because the facts in the poll results themselves tell a story worth hearing. In the LA Times/Bloomberg poll, for instance, despite the clear bias of the poll’s sponsors, the actual results bear up rather well for Bush and the GOP. On page 13, for example, Bush rolls in at 46% overall for “honest and trustworthy”, but that’s better than the Republicans’ 38%, which is better than the 36% claimed by Democrats. Note that Independents gave the GOP in Congress a 38 favorable to 34 unfavorable nod, while tagging the Democrats with a 31 favorable/41 unfavorable slap. That alone proves that the LAT heavily weighted the polling to avoid a steep lean against the Democrats. Or to put it this way, let’s see the numbers as the LAT printed them:

Dem Fav.....36......54......31......18
Dem Unfav...45......27......41......70

Rep Fav.....38......16......38......71
Rep Unfav...44......67......34......19

If we simply balance the three groups evenly, here’s the new result:

Dem Fav.....34......54......31......18
Dem Unfav...46......27......41......70

Rep Fav.....42......16......38......71
Rep Unfav...40......67......34......19

That is, a balance response moves a 2-point advantage for the GOP up to an 8-point advantage. Well, well.

Even though the poll is clearly biased against Bush and the GOP, on page 14 we see that overall response to the question of whether George W. Bush’s polices “have made the country more secure” is Yes by a 52 to 21 point response. Even Democrats (34% to 33%) have grudgingly agreed to this. If this were weighted to correct the bias, the support would be even more pronounced.

On page 15, we see that even this slanted poll admits that President Bush is better trusted than the Democrats in Congress to protect the nation against terrorism, by a 45 to 32 margin overall. 55% of the people overall think the “economy these days is doing very well or fairly well”, and 61% think of their “personal finances as very secure or fairly secure”. On page 16, we find that overall, 58% of the respondents are more secure financially, or about as secure, as when Bush became President. Bye-bye, mandate for class warfare!

Well, there’s always the PATRIOT Act. Surely people hate that, right? Overall, 59% “agree with those who want to reauthorize provisions” of the Act. Hmm, well that’s interesting.

Well, what about that NSA domestic spying thing? While the issue is controversial, 52% of the total respondents said that even if “a congressional investigation finds that George W. Bush broke the law”, they would say his action was “not an impeachable offense”.

As to Iraq, we find on page 21 that everyone agrees that the U.S. is doing more to win than the insurgents are. Even Liberals agree on that point. On page 22, we find that overall, even in this biased poll the consensus is that the war in Iraq is “part of the war against terrorism”, 51% to 46%. Again, a balanced weighting would show an even stronger support for this fact. But the clear message from this poll, is that the President and Republicans are so strong, that even after skewing the weights to over-count the Left, the “summary” writers had to ignore the facts in their own poll in order to pretend that Republicans or the President are doing poorly. The evidence says otherwise, and strongly.

As for the Voice of Dan Rather, one other thing I like about the CBS/NYT is their internal consistency. As a result, a reader can track progress in the public mood by noticing movement within the poll. Even though the poll skews Left, it does so consistently enough that the reader can compensate. And that makes it interesting to note, that on page 1 of the poll, CBS/NYT admits that Bush’s Job Approval numbers are higher than their January 9th, December 7th, or October polls. On the opinion about whether Bush has “strong qualities of leadership”, his present numbers in the new CBS/NYT poll are higher than in December or September of last year. Support for his actions regarding Katrina are the highest CBS/NYT tracked on the question. And CBS/NYT was forced to admit that 61% of respondents think his NSA authorizations were intended primarily to fight terrorism. His approval numbers on that question have climbed 4 points in 3 weeks.

CBS/NYT was forced to admit that the American public “support the idea of monitoring the communications of those the government is suspicious of”, by a 68% to 28% count.

CBS/NYT wanted to sell that people are not especially expecting the economy to get better, but that’s in some part due to the fact that 57% of the people already think it’s in good shape. And 61% think it’s staying the same or getting better.

Of course, both polls played the “push poll” game, by asking questions with emotional weight while hiding important information from the respondents. For instance, they asked whether people felt there were more terrorist incidents now, without citing the statistics showing the actual conditions. They asked about how people felt the economy was doing, without pointing to low unemployment and inflation, and strong GDP growth over Bush’s time in office. But it is still interesting, for all of that, to notice how these enemies of George W. Bush, however inadvertently, are documenting the measure of his success and the stability of his support.

The Rights And Duties Of Power: Part Two


Political Supremacy and Party Evolution

The Democratic Party of the United States must be avoiding mirrors, for the most part. Not only have Republicans won five of the last seven Presidential elections, the majority control of Congress is growing and continues to threaten higher numbers. Worse, there is no single face or name which seems to accurately represent the ideals and philosophy of the Democratic Party. No one seems to represent the next FDR or JFK, not even a new Bill Clinton. Yes, Hillary is a major face, but even top Democrats concede she lacks the charismatic touch that Bill had. Yes, Barack Obama is a gifted speaker, but his ideas are pedestrian, already stale and passe.

This is not a coincidence. The Democratic Party once held near-total control of government in the United States, but no more. The Republican Party spent most of the Twentieth Century fighting to catch up in power, and so they had to compete with the ideals of Reform and Accountability. This is what propelled Reagan into the White House, and made the Contract With America the vehicle for Congressional control. And what’s worse, Republicans have in some portion continued to support that initiative. Not nearly all, but enough to make a difference. The real nightmare of the second Bush Administration for Democrats, is that Dubya has instilled some of his character and ideals into people working for him, so that the next generation will reflect him in many places and duties. When Reagan did that, his legacy was not only assured, it led directly to the spirit which drove Dubya’s election to the White House. Democrats understand that many things which Reagan could not do in his two terms, he made possible for Bush. And so they fear, correctly, that Bush is laying the groundwork for still more permanent success by the GOP. That’s gotta hurt.

The 2000 Census revealed bad news as well for Democrats. First off, the South continues to gain population, meaning more Republican Electoral Votes. But also, companies are more often setting up headquarters and major plants in the South, because of tax conditions, meaning the South is growing richer, as well. Demographics are hurting Democrats as well, with Republicans picking up greater support than before from women, the young, and blacks. Pew showed the Republicans as a party are even with the Democrats in identification, and self-identified Conservatives continue to enjoy much broader support than self-identified Liberals. This means that in the coming years, there will be more of a natural identification for Republican candidates than for Democrats, even in states traditionally strong for Democrats. It is no exaggeration to say that the Republican strategic position, nationally, is sounder than the Democrat position.

The Democrats have done themselves no favors, by embracing policies and positions which run contrary to the national mind. They oppose reforming the derilect Social Security program, they oppose serious efforts to intercept terrorists and discover their intentions, and they attack Republicans at every chance, regardless of how absurd the charge or how petty they appear by following such a regimen. Especially when the facts show Democrats to be as guilty or more of charges they throw at Republicans.

A good example of what is really going on in Democrat minds, can be deduced from comments made during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. Five major Democrats on the Judiciary Committee made statements claiming that Alito was unsuitable, because in their opinion he would grant too much power and discretion to the President. Think about that. If the Democrats were able to expect control of Congress, they would be able to act against the President as they have in the past. And if the Democrats were comfortable with their chances to take the White House in 2008, since Bush cannot run again and Cheney has shown no desire to do so, and no clear and charismatic front-runner has yet appeared on the Right, they should be happy, not worried, that a SCOTUS judge would accomodate a President. This suggests that for all the talk in public, Democrats are not seriously expecting to come into power. A hard look at the evidence suggests optimism would be unrealistic for the Left.

So, what to do with a clear control of the government? One thing that has to be done, is to consolidate power. In the past, when a party has appeared to be in power but was fragmented in its focus, it failed to accomplish its promised results, and fell from power. This requires the GOP to grow, to increase its pace to follow through on the Contract With America, especially the spirit of reform. This is because there is good news and bad for the Republican situation.

The first piece is good news. The Republicans not only control the American government, but have been increasing their control over time. And as I said, the landscape appears favorable to continued growth. Part of this is due to the New Media, especially the Blogosphere, which counters spin and MSM bias.

The second piece is bad news, or at least a warning. If the GOP becomes a ‘go along’ party as the Democrats did, they will surely suffer the same loss of confidence. And the blogs are far more independent and loyal to an ideal, than to the Party. If a Republican screws up, the blogs will not hesitate to pursue justice, because their readers will accept no less. If the Party starts to forget what brought it into control, the blogs will tear away at the hypocrites and fakers, to save the core of the Party. For the most part, the only currency of blogs is Credibility, and that comes from authentic identity, and no imitation. The other media sources are either waiting for a chance to tear down Republicans, or else will follow the lead of the blogs, because that is the direction of New Media.

The third piece is good news. The Democratic Party is in denial, but at some point they will have to face the fact that their party cannot continue as it is now. The present course inevitably means losing more and more seats in Congress, and becoming less and less relevant to the issues the people care about. Between now and the time the Democrats understand this point, they will be penalizing themselves in every national election. Imagine the party of Andrew Jackson; the modern version is nothing like it. Imagine the party of Grover Cleveland; again the modern Democrat is a mockery of the reform-minded Cleveland. Imagine the party of FDR, which understood the Nazi threat and met it head-on, and compare that to the shrill liars who cannot even come to accept victory against a despotic thug in Iraq.

The fourth piece is a warning, however - sooner or later there will be an effective counterweight to the Republican Party. Whether that pary is a renewed Democratic Party or some new national perspective (say, a Libertarian-Constitutionalist mix) , the Republicans can only maintain the upper hand by staying true to their stated ideals, to constantly renewing their commitment to reform and accountability in government, and to cleaning house regularly.

To Come - Part 3, Military Supremacy and Social Evolution

Prayers for Woodruff and Vogt


While we in the New Media often find fault with the Old, let’s all send prayers and wishes for a full and speedy recovery for ABC’s Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt, and comfort for both their families in this time.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Rights And Duties Of Power: Part One


It is an undeniable fact that the Republican Party is not only the majority party of United States government, but also the clear preference of the nation. That said, we should acknowledge that the Democrats, even now, remain in just such denial. But for this article, the question must be addressed - what is to be done with command of the country, indeed of the Free World?

That’s the problem so many on the Left have with George W. Bush, you know. Despite losing a series of elections which were basically referendums between whether Americans wanted Democrats or Republicans in charge, Liberals continued to hope that George W. Bush would play the “Gerald Ford” style of leadership - bumbling, never in command, and always sensitive to the opinion of the Left. When it became clear that Dubya not only intended to complete his duties by taking the Conservative road, but worse - meant to put the nation above all, Liberals discovered a danger to their game plan which they had never seen coming. After all, politicians are a piece of lint a dozen, but the man who truly serves the nation is rare, especially in a President. Some might take the JFK or Nixon route, and do some good while never quite letting go of personal pride, but a man in the mold of Lincoln, Jackson, or - shudder - Reagan is quite out of the Liberal’s league. That was part of the Reagan charisma, the common man’s realization that Ronnie was a Republican, but only after he was an American. Men before Reagan fought the Cold War, but Ronnie won it. And Liberals now perceived that Dubya meant to take that same commitment and dedication to modern fronts. Against such a force they had no counter.

It was bad enough for the Liberals, when Bush handled the 2001 collision in International waters between a PLA fighter jet and a U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane with tact and sensitivity, avoiding an almost-bloody escalation. It was bad enough when Dubya ignored the MSM’s polls and pushed for tax cuts. But when Jihadist terrorists killed thousands of Americans on 9/11, Liberals were horrified to discover that Bush had no intention of stopping his response at a few speeches. For all the bluster from France, the Democrats, and other enemies of Democracy, the last few years have demonstrated a resolve and thorough accomplishment in the U.S. Military and Government long believed to be dead. The balance of power in the modern world is distinctly managed by the Bush Administration.

So, the Republicans own a condition seldom imagined by a single political party, much less anticipated. The Liberals will denounce it as Imperialism, of course, but that comes from a predictable defeatism and fear of strong ideals. And yes, that’s a fair description of the policies in West-Central Europe, as well. President Bush has seized on an important military lesson, and applied it to international affairs as well; whomever has the initiative forces his opponents to act in response to his actions. Al Qaeda understood this during the last decade, and used that principle to act with relative impunity during the Clinton years. China did the same thing by brazenly making deals with international pariahs like Saddam Hussein, because they knew their opponents lacked the courage to escalate the matter. In the same vein, Russian President Putin took harsh measures to put down an uprising in Chechnya, on the same concept. Obviously, there is a risk to such gambles - if an opponent decides the escalation of a response is worth the cost, you can lose everything if you turn out to be bluffing. It is important, therefore, to remember that Poker is primarily an American game, and in his younger years, Dubya did quite well by it. Some have suggested that he bluffs well, while others have claimed that he is so lucky, he never has to bluff. In either case, George W. Bush came to the White House singularly equipped not only to respond to such challenges from opponents, but to seize the initiative himself. As a result, Americans’ IRS taxes are lower, the Republican majorities in the House and Senate have grown, and there are two more free nations in the Middle East than when he took office. Just to be clear, these are all good things.

Obviously, an election or two could change things greatly. In 2008, a Democrat or a weak Republican could take Dubya’s place, or even in 2006, a change in either house of Congress could emperil the progress made so far. As a result, the first order of business is to protect the gains made, by increasing the Republican majority, by increasing the Conservative share of GOP seats, and by never forgetting that the initial revolution in 1994 was just that - a promise for fundamental reform in government, and not just to change the logo of the team in charge. To accomplish this, Republicans in general and Conservatives in particular must make efective use of all the tools provided, especially the blog and new media resources at their disposal. That means, in practical terms, that Republican Congressmen and Senators must recognize the paradigm shift in the forces of information dispersal, and must be available and open to the media which is friendliest to them, as well as the most trusted and credible.

Many on the Left are counting on a force known as “party fatigue”, the theory that voters eventually grow tired of one party in control, and increasingly want to give the other side the reins. The problem with that theory, is that when applied to the longer term it does not work out that way. Democrats, for instance, held control of Congress pretty much from when FDR came to office in 1933, through the first couple years of the Clinton Administration. Also, between 1860 and 1912, it was pretty darn hard for a Democrat to get elected President. The truth is, when a party gets away from the trust which brought it into control of a government, support wanes and people start looking for a better alternative. This is important to the present condition, because while a number of Republicans have done a poor job indeed of addressing the needs of the citizens and nation, the Democrats have been absolutely empty in the ideas department. Hiding from terrorists, increased taxes, and oppressive government regulations are not going to win over the majority of Americans. So, the Republicans can hold onto control, if they will just remember their promises and keep them.

On the international level, the field is just as open. Europe, with the notable exceptions of England and Italy, is largely squishy in their resolve to fight terrorism. Africa is as it always was, a continent with unfulfilled potential and endless ethnic violence. East Europe seems to be following the same sad course. Asia as well is showing stress fractures, especially along the Southwest frontier. South America is improving from the squalid conditions it suffered a century ago, but remains factional, almost feudal, in actual practice. And the Middle East, save for where America has left its influence, appears to have trouble deciding whether to indulge suicidal or homocidal predilections. In short, a nation which chooses to act with decision and resolve finds much ground for gain, which means that the United States must act with even greater resolve to insure its objectives, even for the sake of the world.

To Come - Part 2, Political Supremacy and Party Evolution