December 2005 Archives

December 31, 2005

The Real Culprit of Canadian Gun Violence

Gun Violence in Canada has surged to record levels this year. According to Canadian officials this is not a fault of Canadian policies but of the United States for "exporting its violence."

Toronto Mayor David Miller blames the crime increase in Toronto from the "flow of weapons from the United States" when he should have cited his country's out of control immigration policies.

» Continue reading "The Real Culprit of Canadian Gun Violence"

Posted by Mike Tate at 12:00 AM

December 28, 2005

Democrats in 2006--Probably Not

Much ado has been made in the press about a Democratic version of the highly successful 1994 Contract with America. Such unified platforms are rare in off-year elections and hinge on a number of factors that are not present.

» Continue reading "Democrats in 2006--Probably Not"

Posted by Matt Johnston at 10:42 AM

December 27, 2005

Criminals, Terrorists and Everybody Else

Our intelligence gathering in the war on terror is nothing to be proud of. We overestimated Saddam's WMD and underestimated the risk that led to the 9/11 attacks. We had a lot of the pieces, but we just didn't assemble them properly. We caught the "20th hijacker", Zacarias Moussaoui. FBI agents in Minneapolis had his laptop computer but didn't search it. No warrant. You have to have probable cause for a warrant and you probably need a warrant to establish probable cause in a terrorism case. Maybe there is a problem.

» Continue reading "Criminals, Terrorists and Everybody Else"

December 25, 2005

Science Improving Nature

Big changes come on little cat feet to envelop us. Then we forget what life was like before. Polio, the scourge or childhood, disappeared like many other afflictions nobody much remembers. Most American kids don't get cavities any more - amazing to those of us old enough to recall one cavity per dental visit was a great result. Change often comes in little packages, but it is compounding* and that makes a difference.

» Continue reading "Science Improving Nature"

Posted by Jack at 8:37 PM | Comments (53)

December 24, 2005

Science, the Scientific Method, and Intelligent Design

Every year there is an unfortunate battle at some rural elementary school over the teaching of evolution. Complaining parents, more often than not fundamentalist Christians, often make fools of themselves, denying the weight of scientific evidence and, worse in my view, appealing to the same standards as multiculturalists, by demanding inclusion of their alternative curricula in the name of diversity. The recent Dover decision involving a Pennsylvania school board has permitted these archetypes to unfold in their predictable fashion.

» Continue reading "Science, the Scientific Method, and Intelligent Design"

Posted by at 9:43 PM | Comments (124)

December 23, 2005

There will be poor always

The middle class is disappearing by getting richer. Only 9% of American families had an inflation adjusted income of more than $75,000.00 back in 1967. Today 27% do. The average American family's net worth (assets minus liabilities) is more than $100,000.00, according too Census Bureau figures. The median American household income is over $54,000.00. We have come a long way.

» Continue reading "There will be poor always"

Posted by Jack at 11:33 PM

THEN AND NOW

Why now and not then?
Why then and not now?

These two questions haunt me each time I visit WatchBlog.
Just about any day, you will find someone from the left, accusing President Bush of a criminal act and in no time, comparisons to Clinton will fly in from the right. The standard excuses immediately follow. I myself am guilty of this.

» Continue reading "THEN AND NOW"

Posted by Tim H. at 11:29 AM | Comments (48)

December 22, 2005

A Theory is a Theory... is a Theory

The Theory of Evolution.
The Theory of Intelligent Design.

» Continue reading "A Theory is a Theory... is a Theory"

Domestic Surveillance, Classic Liberalism, and the Constitution

What are classic liberals to do? The dilemma posed by the domestic surveillance issue present the toughest quandry for classic liberals/libertarians. For myself, I am torn between the individual liberty side of me and the military/security side of me.

» Continue reading "Domestic Surveillance, Classic Liberalism, and the Constitution"

Posted by Matt Johnston at 12:18 PM

The Revolution will not be MSM’d, but SMS’d (or maybe blogged)

For too long the mainstream media and mainstream politicians have failed to address the nation make or break issues of multiculturalism and immigration.

From this, millions worldwide are increasingly gaining a voice by taking the media into their own hands and setting up weblogs or using Short Message Service (SMS) to reach thousands on their cell phones.

» Continue reading "The Revolution will not be MSM’d, but SMS’d (or maybe blogged)"

Posted by Mike Tate at 8:22 AM

December 21, 2005

The Holiday Greeting Wars

It's the holiday season. Time for traditions of tacky decorations, crowded stores and arguing over the proper way to greet each other during this time of goodwill. We are told we must be sensitive to others who may not share our customs or culture, and so, should rely upon generic terms like "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greeting."

But now it's going a step further. The chorus is growing louder, as evidenced by an editorial in the Cincinnati Enquirer, that we end the holiday greetings war by taking the time to inquire about the cultural preferences of those to whom we plan to offer seasonal wishes. But don't such suggestions made in the name of tolerance actually pander to perhaps the most harmful form of verbal intolerance?

» Continue reading "The Holiday Greeting Wars"

December 20, 2005

Laws & Sausages

Don't watch either being made, said Otto von Bismarck who had experience with both. He was talking about politics of interest and compromise. Actually there is no other kind. When reasonable people agree we have established law, tradition or practice. Politics is precisely for those situations when the way is unclear and more controversial. Despite its unpleasant feel and odor, the negotiation inherent in politics is the best way to satisfy diverse and competing interests.

» Continue reading "Laws & Sausages"

December 19, 2005

Domestic Surveillance: Illegal?

Many critics are saying that the President's side-stepping of the FISA Court to conduct surveillance of international emails and phone calls is a violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act statute requiring FISA court approval for such communications. This may be true. But the critics appear to be speaking in a vacum and do not sufficiently address the interaction of the FISA law with later developments, specifically the congressionally authorized military actions against Al Qaeda.

» Continue reading "Domestic Surveillance: Illegal?"

Posted by at 6:01 PM | Comments (277)

Iraq Creates Strange Bedfellows

The idea that the enemy of my enemy is my friend has made for strange bedfellows over the years, but perhaps never more so than in Iraq, where the failure of U.S. intervention would make winners of Islamist insurgents in the Middle East and the Democratic Party here at home.

» Continue reading "Iraq Creates Strange Bedfellows"

"Everything I thought I knew was wrong."

Reporting from Iraq suffers from a standard malady, incompleteness. This is partly inherent to news reporting itself and partly due to political bias. Suffice it to say that you do not get the real story if you are a liberal 'realist' who already knows what the story should be.

» Continue reading ""Everything I thought I knew was wrong.""

December 18, 2005

Our Golden Freedom

Americans are blessed. We have never faced a strong state in the Americas and have not been seriously challenged by a foreign power on our home turf since 1814. Our history does not provide world-class examples of oppression or disaster. Others know more about these things. We don't study Polish history in school. Maybe we should. I know some of you are rolling you eyes. Please bear with me.

» Continue reading "Our Golden Freedom"

Posted by Jack at 5:12 PM | Comments (56)

December 17, 2005

Don't Rebuild New Orleans

On the radio today I heard some people accusing the U.S. of forgetting its promise to rebuild New Orleans. They framed it as a moral issue to rebuild New Orleans on its present location for a similar number of people. This is wrong. The French Quarter and the Garden District are intact and can be restored. Good. New Orleans can be a pleasant historical small city. Most of the rest of the city should revert to wetland - a monument to the arrogance of picking a fight with the Mississippi river and the Gulf of Mexico.

» Continue reading "Don't Rebuild New Orleans"

Impeach Bush!

The NYTimes has revealed that, "Months after the Sept. 11 attacks," Bush forced the NSA to tap the phones of suspected terrorists.

Bush should be impeached! Months?!? Months after the attacks? For pete's sake, Bush should have called the NSA on September 11th and told them to start tap, tap, tapping those phones -- ASAP!

» Continue reading "Impeach Bush!"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 5:27 AM

December 15, 2005

Iraqi Elections are Getting to be Routine

Iraq voter turnout is estimated at 67%. Violence was minimal. Terrorists stayed home. Voters came out. Voting was heavy in all regions. This was the freest and most successful election in Iraq or any other Arab country. The tables are turning on the despots, potentates and terrorists. Zarqawi weeps and trembles with rage as hell gapes for him. How to spin this as a Bush disaster?

» Continue reading "Iraqi Elections are Getting to be Routine"

December 14, 2005

Why We Are in Iraq

These smiling faces are reason number one. The reason Theater Iraq is a part of the war on terror is that we could not allow these children to be the property of Saddam Hussein or his sons to rape and torture as they please.

» Continue reading "Why We Are in Iraq"

Taking Responsibility

I'm responsible for the decision to go into Iraq - and I'm also responsible for fixing what went wrong by reforming our intelligence capabilities.

» Continue reading "Taking Responsibility"

Posted by Jack at 1:16 PM

Crosses on the Highways

Exactly what does it hurt to have crosses dotting the land reminding us that people have died?

» Continue reading "Crosses on the Highways"

December 13, 2005

Sorting Out the Middle East

Bernard Lewis was born before the fall of the Caliphate in Constantinople and has been studying Islam since before most of us were born. Of the region, he says we should "Enable them to achieve or recover their freedom, to which they are entitled no less than anyone in the world. . . . Our job is not to create democracy. Our job is to remove obstacles and let them create their own."

» Continue reading "Sorting Out the Middle East"

Posted by Jack at 9:33 PM | Comments (26)

9/11 Movie from Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone has been selected by Paramount Pictures to direct Nicholas Cage in a movie based on the story of two Port Authority officers who were rescued during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. In a press story, Stone said

» Continue reading "9/11 Movie from Oliver Stone"

Posted by Matt Johnston at 2:25 PM

'Tookie' to be Terminated

Hollywood Liberal activists tell us that this man is a man of peace deserving of clemency for the acts of redemption he's performed. He's been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize five times? (*That sound is me scratching my head in quiet perplexity.*) Does anyone else find the left-wing's fixation and hero-worship of murderous thugs troublesome? Which reminds me, when does Mumia meet his final state-induced consummation?

» Continue reading "'Tookie' to be Terminated"

December 12, 2005

Wise Up Dems. It is too Important to be Goofy

"It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander in Chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation's peril."

» Continue reading "Wise Up Dems. It is too Important to be Goofy"

December 11, 2005

Right to Choose: Men Need Not Apply.

One of the central arguments in favor of abortion is that it relieves women from being forced to raise unwanted children--a burden that men would not face in the absence of legal abortion. We're told that legally permitted abortion tilts the scales back in favor of true equality.

But is the new regime really equal?

» Continue reading "Right to Choose: Men Need Not Apply."

Posted by at 7:17 PM | Comments (247)

Doubt and Redoubt

The chairman of the DNC says, "We can't win," and "I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for..." (Please, please God don't let Dean be forced to resign!)

You'd expect yesteryear's (patriotic and pro-American) Democratic party to be saying things like, "He's doing damage to the ability of Democrats to wage a national campaign." But they're not. They are saying this about Lieberman who dared to speak in support of the troops AND the mission.

» Continue reading "Doubt and Redoubt"

Making Money Loving the Earth

Renewable energy used to be the domain of kooks and visionaries and it was hard to tell the difference. The only thing for sure was that nobody was making any real money. That is no longer true. ("The Economist" has a good report on it.) Alternative technologies are closing in on being economically viable. Wind is very promising for bigger applications and if you buy a new home five years from now it will almost certainly be solar equipped. Big firms such as GE and BP are making investments and venture capitalists are looking for start ups. The question is: if you make piles of money doing it, is it still virtuous to love the earth?

Posted by Jack at 12:35 AM

December 10, 2005

A Howard Dean Comment and a Little bit More.

Something has been tickling at the back of mind all week about the Howard Dean this is a war we can not win comment, and I just put my finger on it.

» Continue reading "A Howard Dean Comment and a Little bit More."

December 9, 2005

Americans Hating America

They make sure the U.S. never gets the benefit of the doubt. They always try to show their country in the worst light. I post that U.S. supplied 0.46% of Saddam's arsenal. People write to explain why 0.46% is a huge number. I post that U.S. supplies more than half of all the food aid distributed worldwide. People explain why 54% is a small number. I write about CO2 emissions as a percentage of GDP and I am told the comparison is invalid. I write that the U.S. is the world's largest aid donor and I am told it only makes sense in comparison to GDP.

» Continue reading "Americans Hating America"

December 8, 2005

Sticking it to the Man

Lefty doesn't do well with big numbers when it comes to taxes. Or maybe he understands but lets ideology color the analysis. Figures from the U.S. and other industrial countries, including recently released IRS
data, show that if you really want the rich to pay a higher share of total taxes, LOWER marginal tax rates.

» Continue reading "Sticking it to the Man"

Posted by Jack at 10:10 PM | Comments (86)

National Energy Needed to Revamp Public Education System

For the most part of our history, the United States has constantly had its guard up. During the Cold War, our rival, the USSR, kept us on our feet. It forced the realization upon us that if we did not perform at our maximum potential then we may succumb to a foreign power.

The era we're currently in could be considered placid, even with the constant threat of Islamic terrorism. But it has not created the type of national energy needed to produce better students. Education complacency continues.

» Continue reading "National Energy Needed to Revamp Public Education System"

December 7, 2005

U.S. Popular Culture Sucks

Think of a good Muslim seeing the gratuitous sex in rap videos. Think of the European watching an American political thriller. Can anyone think of a recent popular movie were an American official or authority was not the villain? If videos like those we peddle were sent to us by some foreign power, wouldn't we suspect it was meant to corrupt us? Just look at all the violence, greed and plain stupidity in so much of our cultural fare.

» Continue reading "U.S. Popular Culture Sucks"

Posted by Jack at 10:44 PM | Comments (116)

What's the 'Vietnam Exit Strategy'?

Does the left support victory in Iraq? Apparently not because usually, supporting victory means believing in it. "Dean: U.S. can't win Iraq war" Of course, I'd hate to be labelling people according to what they actually say (on a continual basis), but the Left has had the same exit strategy for Iraq since we've been there. It's the 'Vietnam Exit Strategy', and Dean explains it as well as anyone...

» Continue reading "What's the 'Vietnam Exit Strategy'?"

December 6, 2005

Wishful Thinking on Iraq

President Bush revealed his Iraqi "victory strategy" recently, the details of which are online.

I realize this type of thing is very difficult; really, the most difficult type of war to win. And I commend Bush for taking the time to rally public support for the war, which has been flagging in part due to his absence from the bully pulpit. That said, the victory strategy appears to contain many of the same mistaken assumptions that have allowed the insurgency to continue: imprecise goals, unrealism about Iraqi security forces, naive optimism about the effects of democracy, and prioritization of political goals over security.

» Continue reading "Wishful Thinking on Iraq"

Posted by at 2:08 PM | Comments (100)

Send Saddam to Hell

Saddam Hussein is a very bad man and he has not repented. At his trial he laughed as witnesses recounted watching their families being killed. He deserves the death penalty and will probably get it. No decent person will defend Saddam, but some good people will cloud the issue and spread the blame. To them I say -0.46%.

» Continue reading "Send Saddam to Hell"

Posted by Jack at 1:29 PM | Comments (37)

December 5, 2005

Of Corruption, Influence and "Special Interests"

In the wake of the Duke Cunningham resignation and guilty plea, the ethics problems surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the multitude of ethics investigations of Senators and Congressmen, there has come growing call for more restrictions on the corrosive effects of special interests on the political process. But in all the scandal mongering by the press, the issues of curruption, influence and special interests have become so intermingled that one cannot separate the legal from the illegal. However, there exists a massive functional and legal difference between corruption and influence. Similarly, the term "special interest" is a nullity, having no meaning due to its subjective nature.

» Continue reading "Of Corruption, Influence and "Special Interests""

Defeat, the Liberal Exit Strategy

Militarily there is no way we can lose in Iraq. Our soldiers know what they are doing and they are doing it well. Which makes the liberal view of Iraq not only wrong but inexplicable. The left is not only not eager for victory, but are instead desperately assuring themselves we will be defeated.

» Continue reading "Defeat, the Liberal Exit Strategy"

December 3, 2005

A Great Year

2005 was a very good year, but not perceived as such. There were many reasons. Most important was the pessimism of the media and the chattering classes in general. High gas prices were another drag. That is something people think about every day. But it was also just a simple lag time between the change in reality and its perception.

» Continue reading "A Great Year"

Posted by Jack at 6:02 PM

December 2, 2005

The War on the War on Terror

So yesterday Rep Murtha was flapping his gums again. This time he is saying our military is battered and broken. How ridiculous.

» Continue reading "The War on the War on Terror"

Posted by RealDebate at 4:40 PM

Nancy Pelosi Revives Republican Optimism

President Bush famously doesn't much care what other people think of him. He figures future historians will judge his presidency better than the current crop of pundits and he is right. But we live in the present, not in the future, so I am glad that Democratic overreach seems finally to have prodded him to work on the image today.

» Continue reading "Nancy Pelosi Revives Republican Optimism"

Posted by Jack at 3:14 PM

December 1, 2005

Unwinnable

I'm confused, why did Democrats vote for an unwinnable war? The job the troops have now is exactly the same whether or not WMD was ever found. In fact, wouldn't it be much worse with WMD? So why did Democrats vote for a war that they say has never had a plan for victory?

» Continue reading "Unwinnable"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 7:14 PM