May 2005 Archives

May 29, 2005

Know your enemy

Conservatives have an advantage. We are submerged in a sea of liberalism at university and can read the MSM when we need a refresher. Conservatives know what liberals are like and we know the weak spots. When I discuss issues with liberal friends (and I have many), I know to wait for them to play their trump card. It usually starts with something like "what about blacks, gays, poor people etc." They are surprised when this doesn't intimidate me into silence or throw me into a rage. This is what happens on TV, after all. I count to five and then explain why I don't agree. When I am done, they often say something like, "you are not a typical conservative."

» Continue reading "Know your enemy"

Posted by Jack at 10:37 PM

May 28, 2005

"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

Nobody wants war. The only thing certain about war is that people die. But some things are worth fighting for and war can be an appropriate response. We who live in prosperous democracies like the U.S. often forget that we have a lot to defend and there are those who would dispossess us of both our prosperity and our freedom.

» Continue reading ""We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.""

Posted by Jack at 11:53 PM

May 27, 2005

An American Hero

Ilario Pantano is an American hero. He left a well paying job on Wall Street after September 11 to join the Marines and defend his country. In Iraq, as 2nd Lieutenant Pantano, he was an effective and popular leader. He got caught up in the PC witch-hunt when he killed two Iraqis after they made menacing moves toward him and refused his commands (in Arabic) to stop.

» Continue reading "An American Hero"

Posted by Jack at 4:45 PM

CAN WE GET UNANIMOUS CONSENT?

This court order has not become a great public issue, at least yet. It may be one of those issues readers across the board can agree is a no-brainer for overturning, at least in America. And that's probably why it won't become a major issue. "An Indianapolis father," the story runs, "is appealing a Marion County judge's unusual order that prohibits him and his ex-wife from exposing their child to 'non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals.'" Anyone seeing a gray area? Not me. (Via Radley Balko.)

Posted by Matthew Hogan at 12:44 PM

May 26, 2005

Roadrunners & Coyotes

The coyote saws off a branch where the roadrunner is standing. But the roadrunner is left standing, defying gravity, while the tree and the coyote go down. That is what is happened with the President and his opponents. Before the U.S. elections, I heard a lot of talk about President Bush's isolation. Bush and all those supporting him would crash and burn when the people went to the polls, I heard. Well, Howard survived in Australia. Blair got nicked but remained standing and of course Bush won in the U.S. I think they call that a trifecta.

» Continue reading "Roadrunners & Coyotes"

Posted by Jack at 10:21 PM

Borders 101

It seems the Bush Administration has kept itself busy with important duties of state, but the one neglected domestic issue is, in my view, the most important--Border Security.

I am a conservative, non-Republican. So you know where I'm coming from. I admittedly got caught up in the hoopla of flying around the world and saving us all from terrorists beginning long before the first Trade Center bombing. But, as I have gotten older, I realize that some basics have been left out of the equation.

» Continue reading "Borders 101"

Posted by Chi Chi at 5:25 PM

May 25, 2005

'Wear it on your sleeve.'

People complain about President Bush and how he 'Wears his faith on his sleeve'. What does that mean?...and why complain about it? I believe that faith is not the only thing being worn like that.

» Continue reading "'Wear it on your sleeve.'"

Posted by Dawn at 5:59 PM

In Praise of Greatness

I was trying to put my finger on what annoys me about current analysis of society and history and today the answer occurred to me: respect (or the lack of it) for greatness. Reading the biographies of great individuals is both humbling and uplifting. You quickly come to understand that nobody becomes great without making scores of mistakes and dozens of questionable decisions. And all great men have serious character flaws and usually lopsided personalities. They are not great in spite of these imperfections, but BECAUSE of them.

» Continue reading "In Praise of Greatness"

Posted by Jack at 11:55 AM

May 23, 2005

The Compromise of the Fourteen

Fourteen U.S. Senators have earned their paychecks by forging a compromise and averting a collision in the game of chicken being played between Senate leaderships. The text of the deal is here, courtesy of National Review Online, and the AP story that broke less than an hour ago is here.

» Continue reading "The Compromise of the Fourteen"

Posted by Chops at 8:58 PM

Being French

The French will go to the polls next Sunday to vote on Europe. Europe will probably lose. The EU has always been an elite project. Despite support from the leading opinion on left and right, it now looks like a majority of the French people won't be buying into the proposed EU Constitution. Although the U.S. has long supported the idea of European integration and it would be good for the world (and our) economy, the referendum itself is not a direct concern of ours. The instrumental use of anti-Americanism is.

» Continue reading "Being French"

Posted by Jack at 4:31 PM

May 21, 2005

Revoke Bolton's nomination...

That's right; Bush should revoke Bolton's nomination to the UN. Bush doesn't need to send, whatever his name is- John, Joe... or Michael Bolton to the UN. The UN needs to be sent to Abu Ghraib to pay for their institutional crimes.

» Continue reading "Revoke Bolton's nomination..."

Posted by Eric Simonson at 8:31 PM

May 20, 2005

Holy Terror

The U.S. military goes to extraordinary lengths to respect the Koran and Muslim practices. Would that such was the case generally with religion and other institutions. We all remember the "piss Christ", that featured a crucifix submerged in urine, or the portrait of the Virgin Mary covered in manure. These things were funded by public sources or foundations, since like many such works of art no sane individual would spend his own money to support them. Ridicule of Christianity is so common in the media that only someone living under a rock on the moon could fail to detect it. The reason we rarely comment is precisely because of its ubiquity. If Christians were as sensitive to these slights, riots would be continuous.

» Continue reading "Holy Terror"

Posted by Jack at 9:13 AM

May 19, 2005

Dr. Frist

Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Filibuster

Tensions are high in the District today as the Senate hurtles toward a collision over the future of an arcane piece of parliamentary procedure: cloture. Unlike most Americans, I've encountered this rule before. In college, I taught parliamentary procedure to underclassmen. My first task was convincing them that procedure actually matters. They were skeptical. Needless to say, my explanation has now been vividly illustrated by the U.S. Senate.

» Continue reading "Dr. Frist"

Posted by Chops at 12:27 PM

Lazy Americans

It is always interesting to listen to the excuses for why people do not go out to vote.

» Continue reading "Lazy Americans"

Posted by Nathan Melton at 1:17 AM

May 18, 2005

P.E.T.A. Hampering Democrat Visions

Sometimes when you do your part to conserve the environment, P.E.T.A. will have a campaign to negate your efforts.

» Continue reading "P.E.T.A. Hampering Democrat Visions"

Posted by Lisa Zeimetz at 11:27 AM

May 17, 2005

Joining the orange, rose and tulip club


Uzbekistan is an anomaly: a Muslim country where the vast majority of the people support the U.S. It is because the U.S. was identified with opposition to the communists in the past and today supports democracy movements in that country and throughout Central Asia. But funding NGOs and bringing people to the U.S. for seminars is insufficient. The Uzbek dictator, Islam Karimov is a man who learned his business in the old Soviet school. He is unenthusiastic about democracy and doesn't shy away from using deadly force. We can talk at him, but he understands only sterner measures.

» Continue reading "Joining the orange, rose and tulip club"

Posted by Jack at 9:08 PM

Judicial Filibusters

The Democrats need to wake up and realize that they are on the losing side of this issue.

» Continue reading "Judicial Filibusters"

Posted by Nathan Melton at 6:54 PM

Still the (number) One

Each year IMD, one of Europe's premier schools for executive education and development, publish a competitiveness rating for the world's countries . The rankings are based on economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. Go beyond the ranking and you find that the world is as it is usually, providing lots of opportunities for the quick and clever and lots of areas of concern for those who take the pessimistic road. And the U.S. is still number one, also as usual.

Posted by Jack at 6:53 AM

May 16, 2005

How we can lose the war on terror

--through a total lack of moral clarity. Just take a look at this latest debacle of journalistic dis-integrity...

» Continue reading "How we can lose the war on terror"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 3:38 AM

May 15, 2005

Soldiers, statesmen and Scholars

"The nation that will insist upon drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking by cowards."

Sir William Francis Butler

» Continue reading "Soldiers, statesmen and Scholars"

Posted by Jack at 10:26 PM

May 14, 2005

Overvalued?

Much has been made at Watchblog, in Washington, and even in the Mainstream Media about the influence of social conservatives - "values voters" - in the recent presidential election. Certainly the values voters were a newly identifiable group, which is what made them news, but were they in fact new, and can they really be credited with Bush's second victory?

» Continue reading "Overvalued?"

Posted by Chops at 2:00 AM

May 12, 2005

Voinovich Does It Again

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent John Bolton's nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to the full Senate without an endorsement after Ohio's RINO Senator Voinovich again sandbagged Bolton and President Bush and announced he would not support the nomination:

» Continue reading "Voinovich Does It Again"

Posted by Dan Spencer at 4:27 PM

Tax Cuts For the Rich

It's true, the rich get all the tax breaks! My question is why does Ted Kennedy want Americans to stay in poverty, ensure that seniors won't have medicine, that school children go hungry, the sick not to be healed, workers to lose their jobs ...and their homes by taking tax breaks he doesn't deserve?

» Continue reading "Tax Cuts For the Rich"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 3:33 PM

May 10, 2005

The lesson from a children's movie

I LOVE the movie "The Incredibles". It's great for the kids, it has enough adult humor so I can stand to watch it a million times consecutively, and it also has some important ADULT lessons. If you haven't seen the movie yet, please do!

» Continue reading "The lesson from a children's movie"

Posted by Lisa Zeimetz at 10:58 AM

May 9, 2005

SOVIET CHIC AT TARGET ?

Radley Balko is angry at Target stores because they stock "...the 'Men's Roma Atletica Black CCCP Crew Tee' and the 'Men's Roma Atletica Hot Red Mockba Crew Tee,' which feature the Soviet hammer and sickle." So he wrote the CEO a letter asking them not to sell it. "It's important that we remember the ruthlessness, brutality, and threat to our own liberty wrought by Soviet-style communism," he argues. "It's difficult to find anything trendy or fashionable about ... the suppression of human potential forced upon billions of people." Amen? Or overreaction? I'm inclined to Amen.

Posted by Matthew Hogan at 11:54 PM

Market Solutions to environmental challenges

During my lifetime, most aspects of the American environment have improved. Water and air are significantly cleaner in most parts of the U.S., forests have grown stronger and wildlife has returned. The big exception to this hallelujah chorus is urban sprawl and those things associated with it. Let me count some of the subtle (and not so subtle) sprawl hurts our society and then propose a solution.

» Continue reading "Market Solutions to environmental challenges"

Posted by Jack at 12:46 PM

May 8, 2005

John Bolton and the U.N.

The latest drama to hit Washington, D.C. deals with the nomination of John Bolton to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

» Continue reading "John Bolton and the U.N."

Posted by Nathan Melton at 3:54 PM

May 6, 2005

Good News

Good news is underreported, so allow me a moment to highlight a newly released report that the U.S. added 274,000 jobs in April, greatly exceeding expectations, and estimates of job growth in the previous two months have been revised upward by an additional 97,000 jobs. Labor force participation rose as well, by a whopping 0.2%, keeping the unemployment rate steady as more Americans are looking for work in a strong job market. More details in the Financial Times.

Posted by Chops at 3:32 PM

May 5, 2005

Environmentalists Have Their Cake, Want To Eat It Too

Environmentalists agree with the rest of America that we need alternative sources of fuel. But not in their backyards.

Environmental advocates and other assorted NIMBY* and BANANA** people are doing their darnedest to prevent the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from installing new terminals, which is the first step towards getting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) - a clean and efficient alternative to gasoline and heating oil - onto the market.

» Continue reading "Environmentalists Have Their Cake, Want To Eat It Too"

Posted by Chops at 4:49 PM

America the land of opportunity - for Arabs

Arab Americans are doing better than average Americans. According to an article in Foreign Policy 41% of Arab Americans are college graduates. The median income for Arab families in the U.S. is $52,300 - 4.6% higher than other American families and more than half of all Arab Americans own their homes. Forty-two percent of Arab Americans work as managers or professionals, versus only 34% of the general U.S. population. This success is not true for Arab immigrants in Europe and it sure isn't true in their homelands.

» Continue reading "America the land of opportunity - for Arabs"

Posted by Jack at 1:32 PM

A Useful Thought Experiment on Torture

Tyler Cowen has an interesting thought experiment that is very useful in explaining why legalized torture is so bad.  He analyzes what you would do if you had information and were being tortured for it.  He posits that you want to give the information and you want to minimize the torture, so he tries to analyze how you could convince that you gave up all the information so you could stop being tortured: » Continue reading "A Useful Thought Experiment on Torture"

May 4, 2005

Nobel Prize for Bush and Blair

I saw this article today in CSM advocating a Nobel Prize for Bush and Blair. Given the make up of the Nobel Prize Committee, I don't think that is in the cards, and considering that Arafat got one I am not sure the prize is what it used to be. Nevertheless, I figure this article will provoke a discussion. I will let you read it for yourselves. I will only add that I find nothing that I particularly disagree with and I could have written the last line myself.

Posted by Jack at 1:30 PM

May 3, 2005

Protect our Border - Protect our Kids

Some people believe that the only 'problem' we have on the border is people who cross illegally.
There is much more to the issue.

» Continue reading "Protect our Border - Protect our Kids"

Posted by Dawn at 9:40 AM

May 2, 2005

Allied Victory

This is not a current topic except as an anniversary. Early May is the anniversary of the allied victory in Europe 60 years ago. I say early May because different countries have slightly different VE days. There is a good compilation of recollectionsof people who lived through that day available now. I found the stories very moving. Some are intensely personal. It is interesting to me at least. It helps me put our own problems in perspective. This may be the last time we hear from many of these people.

Posted by Jack at 4:16 PM