Friday, September 28, 2007

Communication Silence Imposed

Got a trial on Monday, will not be posting until after, unless something really good comes up and I am taking a break from prep.
Rabid Out!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Economics of being a MoveOn Member

Scoop had a piece that reflected my thoughts about MoveOn running a "real" anti-war candidate against Max in the Democratic primary. It kind of mirrored a post by Missoulaopolis where she was rather amazed that MoveOn would do such a thing.

This got me to thinking. There is a cap of $2,300 per person per election that can be contributed in a federal election. So, let's take a typical MoveOn couple in Montana and see what happens to them. Using a rough estimate of $40,000 for the household income, (based on the idea that MoveOn members tend to be better educated and wealthier than the average blue collar Democrat), the two adults of the presumed household could each contribute the $2,300 to the challenger of Max, for a total of $4,600. Then, after the challenger loses, they could repeat the $4,600 contribution in the general election to Max, for a total contribution in the Montana Senate race of $9,200, or nearly 25% of their gross income for one election.

The reason that this is interesting to me, is not that someone would be so committed to the idea of supporting their cause that they would spend one fourth of their gross income on a candidate, rather, there is a limit in the amount that they could practically donate, and without a challenger against Max, they would concentrate their giving to Max.

However, since Max is an incumbent, and according to some on the Left, he is soliciting bribes, er I mean donations from lobbyists, it seems highly unlikely that the MoveOn couple will have any real effect in the primary, and Max will be able to move solidly to the center, like he usually does. The net result is that the MoveOn couple will be out their contributions, Max will survive the primary and again run as a Demopublican like he always has.

I tell you, Dave is looking better and better every day. (In a figurative sense anyway)

Dave in 08!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

And so it begins

At the above link, are some of the recommendations that Cong. Dingell is going to be proposing. Some of them are:
_A 50-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline and jet fuel, phased in over five years, on top of existing taxes.

_A tax on carbon, at $50 a ton, released from burning coal, petroleum or natural gas.

_Phaseout of the interest tax deduction on home mortgages for homes over 3,000 square feet. Owners would keep most of the deduction for homes at the lower end of the scale, but it would be eliminated entirely for homes of 4,200 feet or more.

I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Who values the truth?

I have been thinking about writing a post about some of the lies that have been so recklessly flung around in the political debate. Unfortunately, the time and the effort haven't been available.
Well, lo and Behold! Someone else has written it for me. Some of my favorite graphs:
[H]ow much truth is valued may be different for the right and the left.

In the hierarchy of leftist (as opposed to traditional liberal) values, truth is below other values, such as equality, opposition to war, the promotion of secularism and a number of other highly regarded values on the left.

This does not mean that the number of truth-tellers among individuals on the left is necessarily smaller than the number of individual truth-tellers on the right. It means that truth-telling is not high on the left's list of values.

Few liberal activist groups tell the truth. Not because their members are liars — in private life they may well be as honest as anyone else — but because whatever the left advocates it deems more important than truth.

This does not mean the right is always honest. For example, conservatives who say that "pornography causes rape" are doing what the left does — putting their agenda, in this case a loathing of pornography, above truth-telling. I have seen no credible statistics linking the proliferation of pornography with increased rape.

Read the whole thing, it will be worth your while. It does raise an interesting issue though. If one side values the truth, and the other feels that the means justify the ends, can there ever be a fair debate?

Monday, September 24, 2007

M___O_ has a thin skin

Above, is a story about how MoveOn is now going legally after someone for making a T-shirt that pokes fun at them. You have to give credit to CafePress for refusing to buckle.

It also cause me to look around their site (good marketing strategy by the way) and there are a whole lot of amusing libertarian t-shirts.

Give em a look see.

Meet the New Boss, yada, yada, yada

Found this at Roll Call. Seems to verify that nothing changed after 2006.

The hard part: I don't know if that is good or bad.

On the Failure of Campaign Finance Reform

Although I like Sen. McCain for a lot of reasons, I absolutely despise his part in the so-called "campaign finance reform" of McCain-Feingold. In an attempt to remove money from influencing campaigns, they instead allowed money to have an even greater impact in campaigns through the use of "bundlers" like Norman Hsu, the Pioneers and Hillraisers just to name a few. And that's not counting every darn 527 organization that wants to poke its head into the fray.

Trying to get money's influence out of a campaign is like trying to stop the Mississippi. There is just too much pressure, and it will always find a way around any obstacle that you put in front of it. Does anyone think that capping the amount that you can give is really effective when you have people like Hsu and Feiger who hand the individual donations over as a lump sum. Those bundlers have much more influence than their individual donations, and yet we know almost nothing about them.

My proposal is to take all caps off of contributions, but make known each and every donor. In this way, it becomes obvious who is trying to buy access to a candidate. But I would also recommend a change to the law like I saw in Germany: No campaigning more than 60 days before an election.

This is not really an infringement on 1st Amendment rights, since the SCOTUS has already held that restrictions can be permitted. But what it would do, is to limit the amount of money that could be spent just based on time.

Plus, it would only annoy me for 60 days, instead of the perpetual campaign that we now have to suffer under.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Deconstructing Wulfgar

I have been amused by Wulfgar's sense of self importance, in that he has taken a break from playing Doom and taken me to task for my postings. While I really don't care what Wulfgar thinks of me, he did ask that I clarify for him what I consider to be his errors in his tendentious reviews of my postings. And in that regard, I will undertake to show him where he has gone so horribly wrong. He can take it or leave it, but I am sure that he will react in an utterly predictable way. So, this review is probably pointless, but since it is raining out, I can't go play golf and might as well give him a shot.

First, in order to understand someone, you need to gather all of the information you can about them. Wulfgar is a minor character in Beowulf, but he is a major character apparently in some video game, where synthetic violence substitutes for reality. According to Wikipedia the character Wulfgar is
roughly seven feet tall, blond-haired and blue-eyed (common for the barbarian tribes he hails from), and developed his awesomely muscled physique when he was in servitude to the dwarf Bruenor Battlehammer for five years--working alongside dwarves, who are renowned for being tireless. Wulfgar is broad-shouldered and thick-chested with a wiry waist, and his arms have been described as thicker than a fat dwarf's thighs.

I can't find the photo that the Missoula Independent ran of him online, but as I remember it, the real Rob Kailey bears nothing resembling the physical attributes of his alter ego. The article also included this "Though an amiable fellow in person, as Wulfgar! Kailey’s anger gets the best of him online and it comes through in his rants, which are usually directed at conservative bloggers and commentators." Apparently, Wulfgar is Rob's personna allowed to run wild. Too bad, because I am sure that the real Rob Kailey is an interesting person, and I wouldn't mind meeting him.

Examining his front page, we find a snarling wolf with glowing eyes, Ooh, scary. Just under his title is some link that includes the overuse of exclamation points. Psychologists say that all of our choices reveal a part of ourselves. Rob's use (or overuse) of the exclamation point is probably his way of dealing with his own awareness of his inability to be in! your! face! in real life.

It would be easy at this point to fall into the same trap that Wulfgar lives in, and simply use insulting and taunting language in place of any logic or facts. I do not want to do this, and I hope that Rob realizes this is not personal, since Wulfgar is an imaginary creature.

So, let's take Wulfgar's most recent tirade and examine it, shall we?

First, what was it that I said about Congressman Murtha? My point, when viewed in context of the video, is that Congressman Murtha accused the Marines of murder without knowing all of the facts. Then when the facts became clear, he has refused to apologize for the slander, or even to say that he might have been wrong. Admittedly, the subtext is that Murtha is remaining adamant, because it conforms with his political agenda. But still, the reckless accusation of such charges are dangerous for the accused. In the military, commanding generals are the ones who order the convening of a court martial. They are prohibited from entering any opinion of the accused's guilt or innocence in order to prevent "undue command influence" from tainting a fair trial. The purpose being that you don't want the court martial panel to be swayed one way or the other because of perceptions of what their commander wants to have happen. As a senior member of government, and a former Marine, Murtha has to recognize that fact. Because he refuses to retreat on his accusations, says more about Murtha than who he accuses.

So, how does Wulfgar address this point? Mostly by making some nonsensical accusation totally alien from the original post. Here is his opening paragraph:
The foot-stamping defenders of appropriate speech are at it again, demanding that the leftlibdemocomfascists do what the children want, when they want it done. It's always fun to point out that what they are demanding is the same as always, that the lldcfs (read 'Democrats') aren't sacrificing one of our own to appease the god of rightful thinking (which would be the whiny little children's view of themselves.) Here's a tip, kids: if you want Murtha sacrificed to sate your outrage and hate ... do it yourselves, if you have the balls.

Notice the use of scurrilous names. Why is this necessary, and why does he do it so often? One can only assume that Rob is attempting to demean his opponents as a substitute for logic or reason. And it does have a certain level of effect, especially at the junior high playground level. But within the body of the paragraph, is the idea that I have called on anyone to sacrifice Murtha. Apparently, this is a figment of Wulfgar's fervid imagination. My entire post was directed at Murtha. Sure, I did ask why Democrats are given a free pass. But then Wulfgar reinforces my point. As below, there is a significant difference between a political operative who relies on his past military service for attaining a certain level of credibility, and that of a serving military officer who is doing the job that Congress gave him.

In the next paragraph (omitting the usual trite attempts at insult) Wulfgar says:
He missed completely the story that CREW (you know, that left wing organization that so viciously slandered Conrad Burns) has placed Murtha on their Most Corrupt Congress-person's list. I guess CREW didn't get the memo from, did they Steve?

Now where did I mention CREW in the original post? Is the real Rob starting to come through in recognizing that Murtha is corrupt, even though I didn't mention that at all? But this is typical of a Wulfgar argument. I am sure that there can be no room to move about in Rob's apartment, what with all of the straw that he has amassed for his strawmen arguments.

In his final paragraph:
Of course Steve didn't notice it. That would have meant he would be honor bound to acknowledge the 18 Republican congressmen on that list of 22. Or perhaps, Steve would have had to acknowledge that the overwhelming majority of people who grant mythological power to military service are Republicants, such as himself. Murtha isn't immune to attack from the left because of his military service. He's only immune to cheap shots from lying chicken-hawks because of his military service. And Steve, that's a problem for your side ... not mine. Whine all you want for the cookie. The only kids who will whine with you are those who want one to. It shouldn't be at all surprising that we adults just don't want to give you one anymore.

This is amusing on so many levels. Where do I defend anyone in the original post? No, again, in his own mendacious way, Wulfgar creates arguments that don't exist. And this is not the only example. If you read any of his posts, he almost invariably will fall into the same pattern. But the best line, is the one where he refers to himself as an adult. The adults that I know don't write, think or speak like Wulfgar. Maybe he should get some new adults to hang around with.

In short, Wulfgar is an imaginary creation of Rob's in order to vent his spleen. As Wulfgar has said himself in the past, "Sometimes I just write to piss people off." I suspect that is true of all of his writing. Why on earth anyone needs a cartoon caricature from a video game to piss people off is a mystery to me.

Rob, put the silly costume away and come out as yourself. I am sure that you are far more interesting than Wulfgar.

It's HillaryFest

Hillary is running from news show to news show today, which is probably indicative of her feeling that she has the nomination sewn up.

On all of the shows, she is questioned about her vote against the MoveOn Petraeus Betray Us ad, and she delivers the same stock answer: I voted for the motion to condemn that ad, and the ones that attacked Sen. Cleveland in Georgia and Sen. Kerry with the Swiftboat ads.

There is just one difference - What political office is Gen. Petraeus running for? To equate a political campaign victim where they made their military service a prime issue versus a serving military officer who was directed by the Congress to report to them is itself shameful.

But, in her own inimitable way, she carefully fails to answer any question, and instead makes it seem as if Kerry and Cleveland are the equivalent of an officer who is supposed to be apolitical.

You gotta giver her points for chutzpa.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

MoveOn as a Racist Organization?

I'm sure that he didn't mean to do this, but Matt has a posting of groups that he thinks need to be censured before MoveOn. They include: Ku Klux Klan, National Vanguard, Prussian Blue, Aryan Nations, the American Nazi Party, NAMBLA, Westboro Baptist Church, pretty much anyone on this list, some of the various fundamentalist Mormon sects.

Okay, I don't know what he means by the Mormon sects, but I agree that the KKK and the rest of that list certainly merit approbation ahead of MoveOn. But did he really mean to include MoveOn with these racist groups? I am sure that it was an oversight.

However, Matt does have to admit that MoveOn has far more political impact than any of the other groups. Since their impact is so large, they need to be considered more seriously than the fringe groups that he listed.

Or accidentally included.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Blog Added

I just found Western Word and he seems to be an interesting blogger from Billings.

Give him a look.

Interesting take on the Anti-War Movement

Dan Gerstein, a Democratic strategist, has some analysis of the way MoveOn et al has messed things up for the Democrats. His analysis is interesting. A few choice quotes:

To most war opponents, the blame increasingly lies with the Democratic leadership in Congress, for not taking a hard enough line with President Bush and not fighting to cut off war funding. And their frustration is visibly bubbling over — the provocative group Code Pink, for example, has actually taken to protesting outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home in San Francisco in recent days

But there is a growing feeling among many Democrats, particularly within the D.C. establishment, that just the opposite is true. They may not say it publicly, for fear of arousing the grass roots’ wrath, but the realist wing of the party seems to think the Democrats’ biggest problem on Iraq these days is not that there’s too much Bush Lite but that there’s too much Bush Left.

Under this view, too many anti-war activists, not satisfied with berating the president, have too often wound up behaving like him. They have gone beyond fighting back and holding the Decider accountable to adopting the same divisive, dogmatic and ultimately destructive style of politics that Democrats have been decrying for the past seven years, with the same counterproductive results.

Another good graph:

The very same activists who angrily denounced the Rove machine for broadly questioning the patriotism of war critics, and in particular for smearing disabled war hero Max Cleland in the 2002 Georgia Senate race, turned around and attacked a decorated general commanding troops in a shooting war as a liar and a traitor in one of the most visible ways possible.

Read the whole thing.

I think it would be very helpful for our friends from MoveOn. I just don't have a lot of confidence that they will be able to look at the problem dispassionately, and a s a result, will continue their path towards the final destruction of the Democratic Party.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Murtha Still Adamant

Wow, so much for innocent until proven guilty, or for that matter, "Boy I may have really screwed this one up." No, instead, the good Rep. Murtha, chanllenges the questioner by asking if he served in the military.

Why is it that if you served in the military and are a Democrat, you are immune from criticism (Murtha, Kerry to name but two)?

Monday, September 17, 2007

On Game Theory

If I was any good at higher level math, I would have gone to medical school instead of law school. However, in the sense that law is a competition, game theory has some very interesting applications. Although I don't always rely on it, Wikipedia has a pretty good summation of how it came to be and some of the subsequent off shoots of the theory and how they apply.

In politics, especially lately, we seem to be operating under a Nash equilibrium in that neither side has any incentive to change their strategy. However, the probability of things remaining static forever is unlikely, due in part to the trembling hand perfect equilibrium where a player may make a "slip of the hand" and choose an unintended strategy.

The curious thing about this concept is if one of the players is clever enough to induce an opponent to make that step. While this is getting too deep for this blog, it is still nonetheless interesting.

Hmm, I wonder how I should play this?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Defeat at any Price?

The author of the above link raises a very interesting question. Do the Democrats want us to lose in Iraq, no matter what?

To leading Democrats such as Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Al Gore and John Edwards, America would be better off if she lost. And this has been true from the start.

To rephrase the question: Why did Harry Reid announce months ago that the war was lost when it wasn't, and everyone knew it wasn't? The wish is father to the deed. He was envisioning the world of his dreams.

That is a scary proposition. But as is so often said, the Democrats support the troops by wanting to bring them home. A noble sentiment, but is it enough? Again, from the article:

"Bring our troops home," says Harry Reid, and adds the incantation "responsibly"--which magically protects him from all charges of irresponsibility. ("Abolish the Constitution and sink the Navy--responsibly!") When MoveOn held a candlelight vigil over the summer to support Senate Democrats, the symbolism was plain. We light candles to remember the dead.

But if we only remember the dead and not the cause for which they died, we dishonor and make nonsense of the noblest of all sacrifices. And we mock a president who asked that "from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain." That is the issue when Americans die in combat. Do we finish the mission and invest their deaths with meaning? Or do we shrug them off, inscribe their names on some sepulchral black wall in a ditch, and walk away?

I realize that it is hard for most people to understand, that soldiers do not want to die, but if they do, they want their death to have a meaning. In today's world, so few people alive live lives with meaning. These soldiers recognize that there is a greater good: Their fellow soldiers and their nation.

So, let's conduct a thought experiment, shall we? Just suppose that the war could be won. (I know, most are saying that this is an impossibility, but work with me here). Okay, if the war could be won, would the Democrats want to win it?

If the answer is no, that is very telling, and there is no further need to discuss it.

On the other hand, if the Democrats did want to win the war, now we have to ask the question - what would it take to win? And if it's resources, time, money or more troops, why don't we want to do whatever it takes to win?

Friday, September 14, 2007

And So It Begins

Intelligent Dissent (curious name, but I will leave it to the reader of the site to determine the validity) is attacking Max and by extension, the AFL-CIO's support for him.

I have long thought that the greatest threat to Max's re-election was the election of Tester. It seems like it is only going to get worse for Max, because MoveOn (We bought it, it's ours)is playing such a big role in the Democratic party right now. Traditionally, Max has always quietly become a Republican right in time for re-election. But the current climate took away a lot of his wiggle room.

If you are a MoveOn supporter (or employee) you want to keep Max on the straight and narrow. But is that what Montanans really want?

Just another vote for Chuck Schumer?

Maybe it's time to give Max a break and let him go home after all those years of sacrifice in our nation's capital.

Err, which home, McLean, VA or Montana, I'm not sure. But then, neither is he.

Emos and Hand Wringers

Will to Exist is linked at the right. I first found him when he was blogging from Iraq. Now he is safe and sound back in North Georgia, but he kept his keen sense of the ridiculous when he returned. One of his more recent posts deals with Emos.

What's an Emo you ask? Well, as he put it so well:
Emo is short for emotional, and emos are a fairly new type of subculture in the society of American youth.

These are the kids who replaced goths in the pyramid of hopeless self-pity and absolute despondence and helpnessness that we are creating for our future generations of leaders. Emos are completely unable to deal with reality, because they live in a fantasy world that is emotionally unhealthy and, not surprisingly, devoid of real logic. The world of an emo is a dark one filled with tears and no real direction unless you count the downward spiral into death as a direction.

This kind of ties in with Dave's Neo-Socialist Hand Wringing Pussies. It explains a lot about where the youth who populate the Left take their cues from.

Very enlightening, if terribly sad.

More Shennanigans

In addition to the Hsu flap, now we see that prominent Bush critic and sanctions buster Oliver Wyatt is tied to Mark Rich. You might remember Rich as the multi-millionaire who fled the jurisdiction for tax evasion until he was pardoned by Bill Clinton. Of course, it helped that Rich's wife donated quite a bit of cash to the Democratic party before the pardon.

But I'm sure that it's all innocent.

1st Monthly MisCon Blogger Meetup

Okay, so I'm the last to post, but I really did have a good time with the other MisCon Bloggers, Dave, Carol and Some Other Dude Scoop.

Like they have already said, it was a truly magical moment, more for the humor at the expense of the Left (Yes, Wulfgar, we laughed at you too), but also for meeting the personalities behind the writings.

I would encourage others who are like minded and have a sense of humor to contact the Blogfather Dave for the next meeting.

As an aside, after we were done, I was talking with Dave, and renewed my request for him to run for national office (Senate). Dave seems hesitant at the moment, but I think that we could count on him if enough of us push for it.

Dave (Not Just Another Pretty Face) for Senator '08!

(And no, he doesn't need the exclamation mark to define him)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What Liberal Media?

Two years ago, I proposed a test to determine if there is a liberal bias in the media. Since then Instapundit has added it as his "Name that Party" entry.
But that doesn't mean that the media are actually liberal does it? (Disclaimer: I am using the term liberal to mean Leftist. This is different than the liberalism that refers to a broad array of related ideas and theories of government that consider individual liberty to be the most important political goal.) After all, Johthan Adler says there is bias the other way because news organizations are corporations, and corporations will always act to protect their interests.
Except corporations like any organized hierarchical structure are often taken over from the bottom up. So that logic fails in the face of evidence. For proof of that fact, I give you the New York Times. If they were a purely commercial venture, why would they give MoveOn a break of approximately $100,000 for their ad that slandered the commanding general in Iraq?

No, deniers of media bias are I suppose either clueless, immersed in self righteousness, or just plain daft.

But Don't Question Their Patriotism!

Above, a writer has compared and contrasted the statements of some of the leading Democrats with the taped statement released by bin Laden. At the end, he points out that the none of the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination have addressed nor refuted these statements.
Now, when two parties agree on an issue, there are several possibilities: 1. Both are right; 2. Both are wrong; and 3. One is right and the other wrong. But how can that be you ask? How can both be in agreement, but one be right, and one wrong? Maybe there is a fourth category. Both are pursuing agendas that require cooperation with what would otherwise be an opponent.
It's not that I think that Democrats want to cooperate with bin Laden. Rather, I think that the Democrats seek to maximize their political holdings by going after Bush. And OBL recognizes that having this division is beneficial to him as well.

Too bad the Democrats seem more interested in protecting their Party's interests and not that of the nation.

But hey, I'm not questioning their patriotism.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Right again

The fact that MoveOn owns the Congress is shown in the above link. Failure of the Democrats to even have a vote, shows the fear that they have.
Obama saying that the ad doesn't criticize Petraeus' patriotism is especially amusing.
Calling someone a traitor is not challenging their patriotism?

I've gotta try those drugs.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Who are Democrats?

I added MT Pundit on the right, and there is an interesting post with the comments that got me to thinking about something that I have been pondering for quite awhile. Who are the Democrats?
If you go back about 150 years, they were the heart and soul of the soon to be Confederacy. They were primarily interested in state's rights especially when it came to owning property (read slaves). After Secession, there were a few Democrats in the North, although they seemed to be concentrated in the slave states that stayed in the union (Maryland, Kentucky e.g.) After the Civil War, they were pretty well kept out of power by the victorious North, but remained a great part of the soul of the South, even if they were only demonstrating their solidarity in activities that were related to the Ku Klux Klan. (Please don't start beating me for saying that Democrats are for the KKK or lynching today, okay, except for Robert Byrd, this is just an historical review in gross generalities, but I'm not writing a book, just a post).
From the end of the Civil War until the rise in Irish and German immigration, Democrats were almost a purely regional party. With the increase of immigrants, especially those living in tenements, who were useful for the political bosses of New York, Boston and Chicago, the Democratic party expanded from being a purely regional party. From that time until the Great Depression, there was a certain social stratification that dictated if you were rich enough, you were supposed to be a Republican, and otherwise if you were a working man, especially one who was lucky enough to belong to a union, you were probably a Democrat.
The fiasco of the Great Depression, and especially the ineffective methods of Hoover dealing with the world wide economic collapse opened the door for FDR, and started a legacy that would last for more than 35 years.
These were the leaders who could inspire us with the words "This generation, has a rendezvous with destiny." This was when my father was born. He grew up in poverty in Malta, with an outhouse and no inside plumbing. This was a man who as a grown adult, had size 8 feet, because his parents bought him some really good shoes when he was in third grade, and they were the only shoes he had until high school. But my father, like his truck driving father before him, idolized FDR.
I had pointed out to him that none of FDR's economic programs ended the Depression, but it was WWII and the aftermath (none of our infrastructure was seriously damaged, but that of all of our competitors had been pretty well destroyed. He didn't care about facts, he just knew that FDR had ended the Depression, and that was all that he needed to know.
After FDR, Truman came along, and was the definition of having "greatness thrust upon him." But Harry saw to the end of the Second World War, and the aftermath which included the demobilization of 18 million men. He also saw that the Soviets did not demobilize, and instead cut off access to Berlin, which could easily have been considered an act of war. Instead HST ordered the Berlin Airlift, which succeeded more from the Russians getting bored than anything else. Harry also had to confront the problems of the Korean peninsula. Luckily for him, the senior political leadership at the time recognized that there was a threat to our interests, and both sides supported him, even though the end result was a stalemate.
After Truman, there came what I consider to have been the best Democratic president of this century, John F. Kennedy. Now when I say that he was the best, it doesn't mean that he was perfect. He ran on the "missile gap" issue, even though he knew that was a false issue. But his inaugural speech had a line that we seem to have totally lost: Bear any burden, pay any price in the defense of liberty. Today we seem to be saying that everything is too hard and costs too much.
I am not sure how we came from JFK to Harry Ried insisting that "The war is lost." Except, (and now I finally get around to the point I started) I think that the Democrats are in the midst of a titanic struggle for the soul of the party. During the Clinton years, the Democratic Leadership Council was in its ascendancy. They favored a business friendly environment, and compromised with the Republicans. Apparently, they were also sowing the seeds of their own destruction. Because now, we have the Daily Kos crowd, who in concert with MoveOn directs the Netroots in a slash and burn strategy.
The fact that all of the Democratic presidential candidates appeared at YearlyKos, and maybe one showed at the DLC convention shows who has the power in the Democratic Party at the moment. And Kos and Co. are not above flexing their muscles. They took on Joe Lieberman, who was as good a Democrat as any, except for one thing: Iraq. The fact that Kos failed doesn't seem to matter to today's Democrats, who are looking over their shoulder to see if the Kossacks are after them next. Doestn't seem to be a good time to be a Trotskyite Democrat at the moment.
But this is really the point of the post (I know finally). Who are the Democrats of today? They don't seem to be the FDRs or the Harry Trumans. JFK would have been run out of the party as a neo-con. There are no Scoop Jacksons, Sam Nunns, or my personal favorite Patrick Moynihan.
I sense that the Kossacks are riding a tiger, and either they are going to conquer the party, or they will destroy it. I also see the moderate Democrats cowering, as in their failure to address the MoveOn ad about Gen. "Betray Us."

It's possible we are watching the beginning of the end for a major political party, or the radicalization of whatever remains. I will be interested to see how it all comes out.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Good for John Kerry

Boy, I never thought that I would ever say that. But at the above link, he is the only Democrat (other than Lieberman) to actually denounce the MoveOn ad in the New York Times. He went so far as to say that the ad was "over the top."
Well better than nothing I guess.
But what about the other Democratic Senators, including our own Tester and Baucus?
It could be that their silence condones this despicable ad. Or that they hope that we will forget.

I will always remember.

They just can't help themselves

Let's see, "Everybody knows . . ." Isn't that the weakest form of argument?

What if someone doesn't "know?"

What if they know something else?

Then MoveOn and their minions are flipping traitorous idiots.

But I repeat myself.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Why the Democrats are Wrong

One of the best lines: "Iraq is too important versus who wins the White House in 2008"

Another view

Michael Yon has done a great series about what is actually going on in Iraq. A former Special Forces soldier, he now works as an independent reporter, and has some fantastic stuff to read. He is nor blind supporter of the war, but instead looks at it from the perspective of a professional soldier. No BS either way, and is well worth a read.
This reminds me of the word Weltanschauung. It's German, and we usually translate it as "World view." But this is inadequate as a definition. the word is really better understood as the way you look at the world around you, based on your experiences, and what you hold to be important.
Right now, the Democrats are continuing their assertion that the war in Iraq is lost, and any further continuance is a mistake, and may be possibly criminal. The leading Democrats all repeat the same mantra that the war cannot be won militarily, but instead has to be won politically. Well, Duh! They forget the axiom of Clausewitz that war is just politics by other means. They are inseparable.
But another problem with the Democrat's Weltanschauung is that they look to a strong and centralized government to solve their problems. Local governments serve only to carry out the mandates from on high. But Iraq is not the same as America (Another Duh!)
Tribalism carries more weight than what we are used to. But the Sheiks of Anbar may just be the start of making a change that the elected government in Baghdad cannot make. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
Our troops on the ground under Gen. Petraeus are having an effect on the direction that the tribes are making. If we can continue in this way, it is entirely possible that the local situation will improve without the assistance of the Maliki government.
That is not necessarily a bad thing.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Further evidence

that the gulf between the military and the citizens they defend is at the link above. The Democrat's peremptory dismissal as basically being a lie is already taking off through MoveOn's minions. I saw a letter to the editor in the Missoulian which was along the same lines.

What these people fail to understand is that since Viet Nam, an officer's integrity is sacrosanct. To imply that Gen. Petraeus is anything less than honorable is disgusting, especially when the report hasn't been presented yet, and there is no evidence that Petraeus is Bush's stooge.

They forget that one of the main lessons of Viet Nam was based on a guy named General Maxwell Taylor. When Johnson wanted certain actions that Taylor deemed unsound, Taylor later wrote in his book that he wished he would have resigned. Instead he carried out his orders.

This is the example that is now taught on how not to do it. If Petraeus honestly believes that further sacrifice is pointless, he owes his loyalty to his soldiers and will say so. If Bush rejects that assessment, Gen. Petraeus is expected to resign.

No one wants to be this war's Maxwell Taylor.

Republican Debate

For the most part, the Presidential debates are nothing more than joint press conferences. A candidate is asked a question, and then gives an answer on what he/she really wanted to talk about, which usually has nothing to do with the question.

But because there was nothing on the History or Discovery channels worth watching, I did end up observing last night's display with a certain amount of amusement. But what I really enjoyed was Ron Paul, with his classical Libertarianism. I wish someone would ask him if his version of being libertarian is still applicable since 9-11.

But what really tickled me, was when he was talking about ending the use of torture. This echoed John Edward's speech, but Paul did it in front of John McCain. I keep waiting for McCain to ask Paul, or any of the Democratic candidates "What do you understand torture to be?"

Seems to me that he knows very well. And it is not this.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Edwards hates your privacy

At the above link, John Edwards has decided that we need a further leap in the erosion of what it means to be an adult. He wants mandatory preventative checkups for everyone.
In a way, it makes sense. If you are going to provide universal health care, you need to control costs. So, when you go to the doctor, you will be told to eat less, drink less, give up smoking, quit skydiving, motorcycle riding, etc. Otherwise, your choices will probably bankrupt the system.
So, what happens if you don't comply? Does the doctor violate doctor patient privacy in order to rein in costs? Will you be cut off from health care services until you comply?
What happens if the doctor fails to report your unhealthy activities? Will he be cut off from providing for you or anyone else?
No, let's all just go out and get identical uniforms, and line up like the cogs in the machine that we are supposed to be. No deviation from right thinking will be allowed.
So, this is what has become of the Revolution.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Petition Not to Lose

At the above link is a petition to not lose the war just yet. With all of the one sided publicity against the war, there are a few of us who still believe that not living under a murderous tyrant is a good thing.
Not to deny the problems in Iraq. But not to deny the possibility that there can still be success.

Click and sign it.