Sorry about the shouting, but I wanted to get your attention.
Right now, before you do anything else, go over to Katie's Dad's blog and read this post. I'm sure everyone who has been around long enough has a similar story, but this one... it takes the cake.
Thanks to KD for putting this up on his blog.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Sorry about the shouting, but I wanted to get your attention.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
I've been following this story and the lack of progress on a resolution and reserving my thoughts ever with the hope that this will be settled justly. I tend to be a realist, yet I can't help but hold out hope for the Korean hostages being held by the Taliban. Eighteen of the hostages are women, and here's today's latest news on the story.
Now, I recognize that we're dealing with fascists who are using "religion" to advance their domination. I haven't done any extensive study of Islam, so I can't say for sure that Islam is even a valid religion. Perhaps, as many say, it is a peaceful faith merely hijacked by extremists; yet, conspicuous in its absence is the outcry from the (theoretical) "moderates" not to mention any attempt at wresting back control of their religion, as it were. In fairness, perhaps that is what Karzai and others are doing.
Did you take a look at the link provided? The thing that nobody is saying is that killing is antithetical to Islam. They should release the women, of course; for that matter, they should release all of the Korean hostages. Here's the comments of Taliban thug and degenerate Qari Yousef Ahmadi:
"It might be a man or a woman. ... We may kill one, we may kill two, we may kill one of each (gender), two of each, four of each," Ahmadi told The Associated Press by satellite phone from an unknown location. "Or we may kill all of them at once."
As sad and heartbreaking as it might end up, governments should take the firm stance that they will not negotiate with terrorists. And furthermore, while Western societies pride themselves on Western values (such as patience, diplomacy, and the rule of law), we would be wise to recognize that it is an increasingly dangerous world for our values. And in an asymmetric and dangerous world, you can improve your security by being more dangerous than the perpetrators of terror. I've suggested it before, but I think that Western nations should devote a substantial amount of resources - time, people and money - to developing unprecedented clandestine capabilities. We have enemies that are willing to die in an attempt to destroy us; we would be foolish to not acknowledge this and also to not act to counter this threat.
One of the interesting lessons from the Iraq war, to my way of thinking, is this: we had to dispose of an enemy, and we chose the best option available to us to do that. Had we possessed a robust intelligence infrastructure, one that rivalled the capabilities of the CIA and the KGB at the height of the Cold War, we might not have had to invade Iraq. There are multiple ways to protect American interests abroad. We can't invade every country that poses a threat to American values. Yet, with the right commitment, we can project American power in other ways. We'd be wise to make the investment.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
This has been weighing on my mind.
I've posted in the past about our two party system; twice, as a matter of fact.
Is this just me, or does anyone else run the scenarios in their head and want to punch somebody in the face? As I see it, we're likely to end up with someone like Rudy getting the GOP nomination given the numerous "more conservative" candidates on the ticket.
Excepting for our purposes a discussion on the relative conservatism of each candidate, one can safely say that of the possible candidates, the ordering from liberal to conservative goes a little something like this: Guiliani, McCain, Romney, Thompson, Brownback/Huckabee, Hunter/Tancredo. I can't figure out if Paul falls between Thompson and Brownback or Huckabee and Hunter. So of the big name, big money candidates, I'd say I'd prefer Romney to McCain and Rudy any day. But enough people will vote their conscience (and mine is Hunter) and we end up with a liberal in elephant's clothing.
I know I've mentioned before the last primary for Illinois Governor... Judy Topinka won with a plurality, given a genuine split between "traditional" republicans on Oberweis and Brady. And we all know how Judy fared against Rod.
I'm wrestling with how to avoid the consequences inherent in our system, and have only one workable idea. "Workable" being a subject of much debate. I think the conservatives in the race should get together and decide who is going to be the candidate; I think that person should promise and deliver positions of influence for the guys who take the proverbial bullet and support the consensus candidate (Ambassador to the Cayman Islands, anyone?).
I'd be interested if anyone has any dissonance on the subject like I have, and if there's any possible solutions to help avoid a worst-case scenario. I shudder to think of a President Rudy - and he'd be hard, hard pressed to beat a Demo in the first place. There's practically no difference between him and a Democrat.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I'm a little late to the party on this, but earlier this week Hugh Hewitt had the General on his show for an interview that was very candid on the state of things in Iraq. You can read Hugh's comments on the moronic backlash against the General, and the transcript to the actual interview here.
Will the surge work? Signs point to some early successes already. The General will present his report in September, but as Hugh already notes the left is out to discredit the General as a partisan mouth piece for the Bush Administration. As if we needed any further evidence of the media's role as a fifth column for the anti-America left. But hey, they "support" the troops, just not the General. Funny how they say things like this, but what they really mean is that the American fighting man or woman isn't really an adult; they are a child (or, stupid, like John Kerry thinks) and need to be protected (read: brought home) - thus, Democrats "support" the troops.
It'll be interesting to watch the news in September, when the General makes his report. Who wants to bet me a cool grand that the media will pick and pluck the sober news from the report and give the American people the "doom and gloom" version?
All the news that fits, prints.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
I've ceased being amazed by the things that people say and do, and have begun to accept that it takes an awful lot of effort to change a person's mind. And how's that saying go? A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still?
Check out this link to the Sam Adams Alliance, and especially this commentary by Paul Jacob. I really like the Alliance; I've been to their events and am planning on attending their next one (unless I'm booted off the guest list, LOL). Yet, I feel compelled to respond to these things all the same.
It's a shortcoming of human nature, I suppose, that when the mind fixates on a thing - in this case an apparent solution - it becomes difficult to see beyond the idea to the consequences of such action. This is something I recognize, and I hope that we collectively keep this in mind as we support our own solution, Balanced Government, to our problems governmental.
I've posted a reply to Paul's piece, and I encourage you to do the same. Our efforts at education are going to take many forms, and if we can't educate friendly "competition" like the Alliance, then we've got bigger problems than we realize.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Brought to you by the good folks at the Patriot Post, see this link for a petition to "free the Texas three."
(But for Heaven's Sake, let's all just please keep quiet about our 16th President, and we'll all get along fine.)
Laura Ingraham had Johnny Sutton on her show today; it's nice to see this story isn't dying and people are still concerned enough about our border and those guys who were doing their jobs that this is staying in the public conscience.
What are you waiting for? Go sign the petition!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
So much news to blog about, so little time. This was good news that came out yesterday and, shame on me, I'm just getting around to it now. So it's going to be sometimes, folks, when blogging doesn't pay the bills.
I'm always on the lookout for positive stories like this; they seem hard to come by in the MSM and so contrary to what Democrats and their Fifth Column in the media would have you hear.
If you're a jihadist in Iraq, you've got to be wondering about promotions. Getting kicked upstairs into management might not be the best career move. I know it's only a matter of time before we close the noose around guys like al-Masri and bin Laden, and that catching them doesn't mean the fight is over. But things like this story give us a hint that things might be going in our direction.
God Bless the American fighting man and woman.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
What follows is the text of an e-mail I got from the Hunter campaign:
For immediate release:
July 17, 2007
Hunter will go to hearing with "fight" on his mind Seeking full pardon for border patrol agents Ramos and Compean (Washington, D.C.)...United States Congressman Duncan Hunter continues his pursuit of justice in the case of two border patrol agents that have been imprisoned. Hunter will attend and will testify for former agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean at a hearing to be held in Washington, D.C.
The agents allegedly shot a fleeing drug smuggler in the buttocks. They were subsequently given sentences of 11 and 12 years in prison, while federal prosecutors granted the drug smuggler immunity to return to the United States and testify against the law enforcement officers. Hunter exclaimed, "The circumstances of this case have outraged many Americans concerned with the problems of illegal immigration and drug-running from Mexico. I have and will continue to call for a full pardon from the President in this case."
In February 2005, the agents tried to stop a van driven by alleged drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila near the Mexico border. After a scuffle with Compean, Aldrete-Davila fled on foot. Ramos says he believes that he saw a gun, which the smuggler denies. Both agents fired at Aldrete-Davila, who fell, then continued his escape across the border. After he got away, Ramos and Compean filed a report on the 743-pounds of marijuana they found in the van, but not on the gunfire. As it turns out, Ramos had shot Aldrete-Davila in the buttocks. A Homeland Security agent heard about the episode went to Mexico and offered Aldrete-Davila immunity, if he would testify against Ramos and Compean.
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, a Bush appointee, prosecuted the agents. In March, a jury found them guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon, discharge of a firearm during a violent crime, obstructing justice, lying about the incident, and willfully violating Aldrete-Davila's Fourth Amendment right to be free from illegal seizure.
Because there was gunfire, the mandatory-minimum prison sentence the agents will serve is 10 years. The U.S. Probation Office in El Paso, Texas, had recommended 20 years for each of the two agents. Aldrete-Davila, who faces no charges, is believed to be considering a civil suit against the agents and the United States Government. It is believed that he will seek $5M for the violation of his civil rights.
Hunter's congressional district is in southern California near the border with Mexico. He has led the Congressional campaign for border security, joined by dozens of his fellow members, and several activist groups, in calling for a full pardon for the duo.
White House spokesperson Tony Snow recently said he wanted "cooler heads" to prevail and "facts" to be presented in the flaring dispute over the sentences imposed on the two former agents. Following a failed request, lead by Hunter, to keep Compean and Ramos free on bail pending their appeal, the former agents surrendered to federal custody on January 17, 2007. Hunter noted "The very day they surrendered to federal custody, I recommended that agents Compean and Ramos be segregated and was assured they would be removed from the general population and close attention was being paid to their personal safety. The attack against agent Ramos indicates concerns for his personal safety and protection were ignored."
Hunter sent a letter to the President asking for an investigation into the attack against agent Ramos. The letter also requested the discharge that Bureau of Prisons Director Harley Lappin if facts show him to be derelict in his administration of his duties.
Hunter, the only Republican Presidential Candidate expected to attend the upcoming hearing, has been in the forefront on the immigration issue. He has led the way for tight border security and for extraditing the immigrants who are in this country illegally."
There's volumes written out there on the case, and as I have little to add to it, I'll simply state: this is a good example of leadership on Hunter's part. While the release seems hastily prepared and probably not as eloquent as it could be, my hat is off to Hunter on the issue.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Check out the new feature on the side of the blog. This should point newcomers in the right direction (I hope). The last thing I want to do, after all, is confuse a visitor. For the life of me, I can't recall where I saw this feature, but it was such a good idea I couldn't let it go. TM, might it have been that fellow at the Brave New World? I'm too tired to check right now, LOL.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
So in my continued efforts at outreach, I set up a blog at Townhall.com. I know what you're thinking - another blog? Cool your jets, its purpose will be to create some interest over there and direct it back here. This should mean no additional work on your part, for it is going to be very little in the way of work on my part. ;)
I should probably provide the link, don't you think?
For me, the goal remains getting people excited about balanced government and advocating for the principles we all get worked up about. Little by little, day by day, let's keep working to change the conversation.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Well, I was over at my personal page, replying to comments on my latest post. Such a mundane topic of rain came up, which naturally got the old brain a-working.
I had heard maybe a week ago on the radio that particularly in Texas and Oklahoma, the central-southern states had been pounded with some heavy rains, to the point that certain communities might be declared disaster areas, the newsman speculated.
So, I got to thinking about balanced government, of course, and how the reaction to a "disaster" is different in a balanced vs. imbalanced scenario.
Today, when a storm hits, the feds rush in to "save the day" and declare the affected area a "disaster area." This ostensibly frees up the feds to marshall resources to communities that need them. Except... didn't we have a pretty big storm a couple years ago that proved this model doesn't work as effectively as the most local spheres taking charge?
There were lots of lessons to take away from Katrina. Like, don't hire your buddy for FEMA Chief if he's not qualified for the job. Well, true, but more importantly: the federal government is too big, distant and slow to respond to the needs of citizens when you get right down to it. And on the heels of that: self-governing people are the best responders to disasters like Katrina.
Now obviously, when a genuine disaster hits (Katrina's estimated cost: $80 billion), states are going to need help. In a more balanced government, however, we'd witness states helping each other out more often before rushing off to call in the feds.
Something like this happened in my neighborhood on a small scale a few years back. After a pretty strong storm, an enormous tree branch was hanging down off of one of the neighbor's trees, laying partially attached in the middle of the yard. Three of the neighborhood guys were attempting to turn the branch and dislodge it from the main trunk, with no success (bunch of Sallies). Naturally, I came along and volunteered my services and the four of us were able to dislodge the bugger; then the chainsawing could commence. If you have a meat head like me in your family, take heart: even we have our moments of glory, although it usually involves lifting heavy objects.
I think this is a fine analogy to illustrate how a more balanced government would work. Before calling in the cops (or the public works department, or a tree cutting service, or whatever) we all grabbed hold of the problem and turned it around.
This is not to say that there shouldn't be times when the feds might have to step in and lend a hand - use the same analogy and have the entire tree knock down some power lines for the whole block. Clearly, this is something that a handful of neighbors aren't equipped to handle. Yet, there is much that we can do for our neighbors when they need help without running off at the first sign of difficulty to get some help from the "authorities."
Lord knows that the lesson from Katrina was that there are times when the "authorities" aren't going to be able to help you, and you need to count on your own wits and the help of your community.
Monday, July 09, 2007
I often find myself telling the same story over and over. Perhaps it's an occupational hazard (sales), or perhaps it's "dependent-induced acute onset forgetfulness" (aka parent-brain). Before you go and roll your eyes, that happens to be an ADA-recognized condition.
OK, it's not, but you could imagine that it might be, right?
Anyway, have I mentioned before that my dear and wonderful Bride found me a copy of The Patriot's Handbook by George Grant?
Well, she did. And I had the true delight of reading a sermon delivered by Samuel West entitled On The Right To Rebel.
Well, my Countrymen (and -women), lend me your ears (or, eyes) and I'll share a little of this wisdom, 1776-style...
...the same principles which oblige us to submit to government do equally oblige us to resist tyranny..."
Oh, and here's a good one for the Libertarians:
The law of Nature gives men no right to do anything that is immoral, or contrary to the will of God, and injurious to their fellow creatures..."
And here's one for the tyrants (you know who you are):
As magistrates have no authority but what they derive from the people, whenever they act contrary to the public good, and pursue measures destructive of the peace and safety of the community, they forfeit their right to govern the people."
And later, more along the same lines:
...for it would imply a gross absurdity to assert that, when magistrates are ordained by the people solely for the purpose of being beneficial to the state, they must be obeyed when they are seeking to ruin and destroy it. This would imply that men were bound to act against the great law of self-preservation, and to contribute their assistance to their own ruin and destruction, in order that they may please and gratify the greatest monsters in nature, who are violating the laws of God and destroying the rights of mankind."
And there is much, much more where this came from. When I was reading this - incidentally, right around the time of the Senate's and President's attempted sell-out of America - you can imagine the frightening, terrible, and wonderful thoughts I was having about the nature of the American Revolution.
See, and I think I have said it before, I don't think the Revolution has ended. I think there's times where it lessens in intensity, and other times when it increases in intensity. Heck, there's times where it takes steps forward and times when it takes steps backward.
And, God willing, the Great Experiment will once again - soon - take a big leap forward.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
I remember reading Ann Coulter one time and she made the point that the only people who are ever surprised are liberals. It's as if every morning they wake up and they've completely forgotten everything that happened before. This is why you'll notice liberals in shock, SHOCK, I tell you, when something predictable happens.
So I had to laugh when I read this article from the Associated Press. No, when a politician tells you something, you can count on it!
Look, only a liberal or an AP reporter wouldn't understand that the 2008 election is wide-open, and that when Hagel says he won't run as an independent, it just means "in the next 48 hours."
And what the deuce is a "power projector" anyway?
Oh, yeah, and in other news... the Iranians say that their nuclear program is simply for energy. Isn't that great news??
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Here's my favorite part of the Declaration...
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Is there a more stirring political statement?
Tomorrow I will take the time to read the Declaration to my family, and hope that the kids get a little out of it. I'll remember to pray for Patriots past and present and give thanks for everything I have. I'll enjoy being surrounded by the people I love most in the world.
And I'll say a prayer of thanks for you, Dear Reader, and ask for His guidance and protection for us all while we carry on for the noble cause.
U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), sponsor of the ‘Secure Borders Now’ petition, today lauded the defeat of the 2007 Immigration Reform Bill (S.1639) after a fourth cloture vote failed by a margin of 53-46:
Today’s defeat of the Senate Immigration Bill is a victory for the American people, the integrity of our borders and the rule of law. For the past several weeks, a small cadre of Senators have manipulated the traditional legislative processes, strangled debate, and prevented the introduction of worthwhile amendments. In doing so, they turned a deaf ear to the will of the American people and the overwhelming sentiment of their constituents.
“I created the ‘Secure Borders Now’ petition as a way for voters all across our great nation to register their opposition to this disaster legislation. Thankfully, Americans of all stripes weighed in on this issue, influencing Congressional opinions and helping to once again defeat this bill.
“Despite its proponents’ claims to the contrary, the Senate Immigration Bill was fatally flawed from day one. Since its inception, this legislation has failed to address the key issues of concern for almost all Americans: the enhancement of border security and the enforcement of current immigration laws.
“From the beginning of this debate, I have stated that I would vehemently oppose any immigration legislation that guarantees amnesty for illegal immigrants, unfairly burdens taxpayers or fails to secure our borders. In the wake of this latest vote against amnesty, I sincerely hope the Senate will now turn its attention and efforts toward meaningful immigration reform. It is clear that in the future we must deal with the issue of illegal immigration by focusing first on securing our borders - without a path to amnesty.
“I want to offer my sincere thanks to all those who stood firm for increased border security and against amnesty. Today, your voices were heard and a Senate long deaf to the will of the American people on this issue, responded as directed by its constituents.
Copies of petition signatures from each state were provided to their respective Senators.
To sign the petition, view the map of signatures, or join the discussion on the ‘Secure Borders Now’ blog, please visit http://www.securebordersnow.com/.
Case in point? Border State, Arizona, whose Legislative and Executive branches have apparently been embroiled in a three-year-long battle over tough legislation intended to make the State less inviting to illegal mexican immigrants. Below are some excerpts from the AP story which you may read in full here: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Employer-Sanctions.html
PHOENIX (AP) --
Arizona's governor signed a bill Monday that prohibits people from hiring illegal immigrants and requires businesses to verify applicants' employment eligibility, saying Congress was apparently ''incapable'' of helping.
The bill's approval by Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, marks the end of a three-year fight at the Republican-controlled Legislature to create state-imposed employer sanctions. The goal is to weaken the economic incentive for immigrants to sneak across the border and to lessen Arizona's role as the busiest illegal gateway into the nation.
But the governor said that the bill she signed had major flaws, and that she was willing to call a special legislative session to address them.
''Immigration is a federal responsibility, but ... it is now abundantly clear that Congress finds itself incapable of coping with the comprehensive immigration reforms our country needs,'' the governor said in a statement. ''I signed it, too, out of the realization that the flow of illegal immigration into our state is due to the constant demand of some employers for cheap, undocumented labor.''
I guess the 'major flaws' inherent to the bill Gov. Napolitnano signed Monday are what kept her from signing earlier, but apparently those flaws don't rise to the same level that they once did when she thought our saviors at the federal level were going to get her off the hook. Apparently the legislation has been sitting there prepared and waiting for the governor's signature for some time now, if I read the story right. But the governor was withholding her signature in hopes that the feds would release her from the responsibility.
Like so many others, Governor Napolitano is working under the false impression that 'immigration is a federal responibility,' in exclusion of any independent responsibility from the States which make up this federal union of ours. But even if her view were the correct one, it wouldn't take away from the fact that it is a flawed and an improper view, which ultimately leads to improper manifestations thereof. Speaking of which, I reckon that at least some of the flaws contained in the bill she signed would be more rightly denominated 'perceived flaws' based on her incorrect view of the subject.
On the one hand it's worrisome that we have governors of States who fallaciously believe as Napolitano does. On the other, I'm encouraged that despite their reticence to sign the appropriate legislation into law, we've been given yet another example, in the State of Arizona, of representative government working as it should.
Don't be surprised when the feds, the pundits, and the talking-heads start throwing a fit about the dangers inherent with 'allowing' the States to decide the question of immigration reform. And don't let that influence you. You can chalk it up to one of two things; either they're simply misinformed, or they fear a diminution of the federal government's power and influence over the States. In either case they should be called on the carpet at the very moment they begin shouting their declamations.