Monday, October 29, 2007
While the MSM seem to find ways to show Iraq in chaos by posting bloody stories or the recent bombings(Such is getting hard since Petraeus implemented his counter-insurgency plan) they continue to fail to report good stories. One bit of good news that seems to have been ignored by the MSM is this one, in which members of the Iraqi Army, based in Besmaya, raised some $1,000 for the folks of San Diego that have lost their homes or belongings to the most recent fires. I myself salute the soldiers for taking up such money for strangers in the US. I guess that's the least thing they could do to thank America for freeing them from Saddam. It also shows the bond that has been built between members of the Iraqi Army and their fellow American soldiers.
*Hat tip to Michael J Totten's post over at contentions.
** Looks like CNN picked up story.
Friday, October 26, 2007
It seems that Hillary is real quick to condemn President Bush for pushing harsher sanctions on the military and its leadership in Iran even when she has voiced some very hawkish sentiments toward the regime. Thankfully the editorial board of the NY Sun is paying attention. Take a look:
I don't think America can afford four or Heaven forbid eight years of more Clintonian triangulation when we have dangerous enemies lurking and intending on hurting us.
One wonders exactly how long. If Mrs. Clinton was concerned about it, she kept it to herself during her February 1, 2007 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Then, she said, "U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal. We cannot, we should not, we must not, permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. And in dealing with this threat as I have said for a very long time, no option can be taken off the table." She said, "we need to use every tool at our disposal including diplomatic and economic in addition to the threatened use of military force."
She didn't mention her concern about Mr. Bush's supposed belligerence when she appeared at a pro-Israel rally in New York on July 17, 2006, and referred to the Iranian-backed terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah as "the new totalitarians of the 21st century."
In fact, while Mrs. Clinton may claim that she has been concerned "for a very long time" about Mr. Bush's supposed belligerence, she's only started talking about it recently, in an attempt to pander to hard-left Democratic caucus-goers and primary voters. As Mrs. Clinton doubtless understands, the real belligerents in the conflict between America and the terror-sponsoring, nuclear bomb-building, Holocaust-denying government of Iran are the Iranians, not President Bush.
If you're a fan of the NFL then you know that the Dolphins and the Giants are playing each other across the pond in London. Now while the head honchos in the NFL might think that there is a market on the international front, I believe they are doing a disservice for the fans of these respective teams. Why this might not be the greatest think to get worked up about, I believe that a lot of fellow football fans(including myself) believe than an wholly American sport is something that should remain American centric and avoid this namby-pamby internationalization that the folks at the NFL are doing. There's a reason why its known as the National Football League and not the IFL. One only has to look at how the folks in the front office has hurt(Amongst the fan base) NASCAR by tinkering and discontinuing races in the south and moving them to regions where folks just go to the race but aren't fans like the folks who used to go to the Labor Day weekend race at Darlington. So let's keep the NFL and their teams in the United States where the real fans are.
Here's a video that the Edwards campaign tried to have pulled from YouTube. I just find it funny the extent that people will go to make sure a report that points out these contradictions between the economic populism that John Edwards preaches and the extravagant lifestyle that he lives. It Reminds me a little of the actions Huey P. Long(Minus the violence).
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
After reading this piece over at the Christian Science Monitor, I'd say the people of Rwanda are moving beyond their horrific past and are focusing on their economic well being by becoming an information technology hub through the installation and use of fiber optics and high speed Internet. While some of the economic development gurus in the UN and Europe might argue that spending $65 million over twenty years to build up such a high-tech infrastructure is waste of the governments money, I believe that such technology will provide the much needed tide to lift all boats in Rwanda. With a highly literate population and a lack of natural resources to depend on the people of Rwanda will be using the their best assets which is their brains. From looking at the dynamic economies which have emerged in various island nations in Asia, India and other parts of the world, I have no doubt that Adam Smith's "animal spirits" will be unleashed amongst the Rwandan countryside thus making the economy the envy of Africa. Even more, this move towards high technology will also provide various corporation an incentive to open up factories or industries within Rwanda thus allowing greater economic opportunities to the population thus warding off the notion of people joining militias to harm their neighbor.(I think the mid 1990's nipped this in the bud in Rwanda). So here's hoping the folks of Rwanda great luck in their venture in the modern economy.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Here's a good piece by Mark Steyn on why nobody in the State Department or a member of the other policy shops haven't written a document similar to George Keenan's "Long Telegram" with regards to our current war against Islamic fascism. Now while the Bush administration has tried its best to formulate a clear cut policy on our enemy and their intentions they still remains an opening for someone in the vein of George Keenan to emerge. Though I don't see such an individual in the policy shop of the State Department daring enough to craft such a policy, I can suggest a good starting point for the formulation of such policy in the writings of writer/journalists/historians like Mark Steyn, Lawrence Wright, Bernard Lewis, and Norman Podhoretz. At least these fellows have the ideology of our enemies down pat.
*Here's a list of their informative works:
America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It
by Mark Steyn
The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
by Lawrence Wright
What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East
by Bernard Lewis
The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror
by Bernard Lewis
World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism
by Norman Podhoretz
With the exception of various blogs, talk radio, a smattering of newspapers or Fox News, there hasn't been many stories in the MSM on the posthumous awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor for Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy's heroic actions on the behalf of his SEAL team in a firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Thankfully with the power of the blogosphere and the success of the book Lone Survivor(penned by Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell who lived via Lt. Murphy's heroics), it looks like the folks over at NBC Nightly News took notice with the production of a wonderful news piece. See below:
Newest Medal of Honor recipient
*For more on Lt. Murphy, see here and here.
**Also, check out Marcus Luttrell's great book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I have to say that the Democrats in Congress are placing this nation into a crash course for disaster with our allies in Turkey with the House International Relations Committee approving a piece of legislation condemning them for the "genocide" of some 1.5 million Armenians in 1915. Aside from this legislation creating a diplomatic dispute between two trusted allies it could hinder us in our fight against Islamic terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the Turks allowing to use their many seaports, railways, roads to ship tons of supplies to our troops in Iraq, the use of Incirlik airbase for our C-17's, C-130's, KC-135's, and fighter aircraft to help us in our mission in Iraq, the use of Turkish airspace, much needed intelligence, as well as a trusted Muslim partnership in the region, we cannot afford a rift in our diplomatic and military relationships.(It looks like there's some rumblings within the Turkish military.) Now while my heart goes out to the Armenian people killed in modern day Turkey at the dawn of WWI, I've got to say that Congress's actions could ruin a fifty plus year relationship or make our life much harder in a dangerous neighborhood by passing legislation on the Turkish government for something the occurred ninety plus years ago under the leadership of the Ottoman Empire. Here's hoping Congress thinks twice on this legislation.
*Here's Max Boot's thoughts on this legislation.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Of all the various proposals that I've seen going around D.C. with regards to the elimination of the dreaded AMT, I've got to say that Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has the best plan so far. Here's a look at what Robert Novak noted about this bold solution:
Those taxpayers presumably would accept this offer: give up all your current deductions, and your annual earnings up to $100,000 would be taxed at 10 percent, with a 25 percent rate on everything above that. But that is not all. The bill would repeal the hated Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), giving up $840 billion in revenue over the next 10 years. Government would have to get leaner.Though Ryan's proposal will probably be killed in the committee room floor due to the Democrats, it gives me great confidence that they're members in Congress who still hold dear to the heart's conservative ideas like economic freedom and the reduction in the size of government that President Reagan and Jack Kemp pushed throughout the 1980's. Now while I would prefer to have a single rate flat tax, I'm more than satisfied to see someone like Congressman Ryan trying to get the ball rolling towards such a system with his tax proposal. I just hope that one of the Republicans running for president would pick up the ideas of Congressman Ryan and take it before the American people. It would be far better than the ever encroaching socialism that we've been hearing from Hillary and others.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I have to say that Alvaro Vargas Llosa has a good piece over at TCS Daily in which he rightly notes how the various politicians, executives, scientists, public policy "experts", media celebrities and others who gather at various confabs like the World Economic Forum(better known by the town of Davos, Switzerland) and the Clinton Global Initiative are more prone to fall into the trap known as group-think when they focus on issues like global warming. So instead of these great minds coming together and offering up innovative and economic solutions to pressing problems of the world, these individuals decide to continue pushing forward staid and expensive policies that are more feel good solutions rather than something useful. If the individuals would stop running with the heard and read pieces by individuals like Alvaro Vargas Llosa (a liberal - in the classical sense) and others, they would discover that folks in the private sector have more innovative ideas than the government solutions being hawked to the media and amongst the jet-set. The best advice for these individuals is for them to seek out solutions that offer people a choice rather that producing a mere echo.
Ramesh Ponnuru's has a good piece over a NRO which raps President Bush on the knuckles for his efforts to ride roughshod over the state government in an effort to enforce the ruling of the World Court with regards to the future execution of Jose Ernesto Medellin(see A Matter of Sovereignty). As I've noted earlier, President Bush is going too far to enforce our treaties and to please his "good friends" in Mexico and the world community. I just hope that the members of the Supreme Court remains true to the Constitution and the concept of federalism and reject all judgements of a supranational body that has no jurisdiction over our actions.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Kevin Hassett has a good column out today over at Bloomberg.com which notes that Senator Hillary Clinton is the "queen of pork" when it comes to federal earmarks. I'd say that the GOP could have a field day in painting the former First Lady as a "tax and spend" liberal in the general election by pointing out her love for pork-barrel spending. Here's a look at her hearty appetite:
Yet Clinton, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, placed $2.2 billion worth of earmarks in spending bills from 2002-2006. One would have to concede that she is good at it. In the fiscal 2008 defense-spending bill alone, Clinton successfully attached 26 earmarks worth $148 million, which was the most of any Democrat except Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, who is now chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
The earmark game is a treacherous one because it is so easy to find specific instances, like the bridge to nowhere in Alaska, that are repulsive to voters. With such a successful track record, this will be a genuine liability for Clinton.
Bury the Record
That probably explains why she's trying to bury her record. But even digging through the limited list of earmarks I could acquire suggested that Clinton has deftly spread federal taxpayers' money around to parochial projects of questionable public value, sending, for example, $250,000 to the Seneca Knitting Mill, and $200,000 to the Buffalo Urban Arts Center.
Such spending projects might be great local politics, but they produce national outrage as our federal dollars are bled away from health care and national security. Each one may seem small, but collectively they are not.
Clinton might want to join Robert Rubin on the high horse of fiscal discipline and rail against Republican deficits. But if she is the queen of pork, she loses her moral authority.
Such massive records are the main reason why US Senators(At least since JFK) have not faired well when it comes to running for POTUS.
Monday, October 08, 2007
I heard about this story on The Laura Ingraham Show and have to say that I'm disappointed that the White House would even think about abiding with rulings by the Intern Court of Justice and let a murder/rapist be prevented from being executed in Texas. Now while it's good that the White House pulled the nation out of such an agreement to prevent this international court from having a final say over our nation in the future when such disputes break out, the Bush administration will still set a precedent of ceding our sovereignty(As well as creating some serious problems with regards to federalism) if they abide by the edicts of the ICJ. I just hope that the Supreme Court sets President Bush, Mexico and members of the ICJ straight by pointing out that we are a sovereign nation and abide by our laws and our constitution. If we don't return to such thinking and stop the further erosion of our sovereignty, we could be in a serious mess in the near future under a more "international thinking" president takes the helm of state.
*I'd suggest that the administration should go out and buy some copies of Judge Robert Bork's book Coercing Virtue: The Worlwide Rule of Judges before they make anymore decisions.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Cal Thomas has a good column out today on Calvin Coolidge and how the Republican party would be best served today and in 2008 if the return to "silent Cal's" political philosophy of limited government, fiscal conservatism, small taxes and free-market, along with a mix of personal responsibility. I have to say that Mitt Romney seems to be listening to the conversations going on in America heartland and is aware of a yearning amongst his conservative base that the time is upon the Republican party to return to such core principals. After reading his recent speech before the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, I'd say that Romney has been channeling Coolidge and Reagan as of late. Let's hope he keeps on such a path.
*Coolidge's modest home at Plymouth Notch would be a perfect place to present a anti-tax policy speech but he might have a rounding up enough Republicans to make a crowd.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I'd say that George Will's most recent column in Newsweek is probably one of the best arguments that I've read so far on why President Bush is vetoing the massive expansion of the SCHIP program. While Will pays special attention to the cost and how the expansion of this program goes far beyond helping poor families, I'd say that the best argument behind this veto is that it provides a roadblock to individuals who are hell bent on pushing forward "universal health care" on the US citizenry via the guise of "the children". Thankfully for columnists like Will, this nation is provided with the much need ammo to fight the many battles against the ever encroaching "welfare" and "nanny state" that is coming out of D.C. as of late. I just hope folks pay attention to this and choose wisely come 2008.