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of people freed from totalitarian dictatorships
by precision use of American military force
under George W. Bush:
million in just two years
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terrorist-appeasing whining elitists:
...The problem seems to
me to be the definition of "free speech".
Liberals define it as anything they want to say
or do that opposes America. I say "speech" ends
where "action" begins. Once you pick up a gun
for the enemy, throw a rock at a cop during a
"peace" march, send money to a terrorist
organisation, or travel to Baghdad to block an
American JDAM with your ass, you have crossed the line from free speech to costly action.
Saying the War on Terror is all about al-Qaeda is like saying we should have fought the Japanese Naval Air Force after Pearl Harbor. Not the Japanese Navy, not the Japanese Army, not the Empire of Japan -- just the Naval Air Force....
Complaining about the "waste" when human embryos are destroyed instead of being used in medical experiments is a lot like going to a funeral and complaining about the waste of perfectly good meat....
Blaming CO2 for climate change is like blaming smoke for the fire. CO2 is largely a following, not a leading, indicator of a rise in temperature....
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Every time, Liberals will fight to protect the guilty and kill the innocent, while Conservatives will fight to protect the innocent and punish the guilty.
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Any strongly moral, hawkish or pro-American statement by a Liberal will inevitably be followed by a "but."
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It! - 07/24/03
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Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Exploding Liberal Myths 9: The Separation of Church and State
Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black first enshrined the phrase "separation of Church and State" into law in Everson v. the Board of Education, 1947. Black, who had been an anti-Catholic KKK member and a Democrat Senator, was worried that the Catholic Church might attempt a coup in America through Catholic school indoctrination. In Everson v. BoE, the plaintiff claimed that it was unconstitutional for New Jersey residents "to pay taxes to help support and maintain schools which are dedicated to, and which regularly teach, the Catholic Faith." In the "opinion" section of the decision, Justice Black wrote, "The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church." This was partially correct -- the First Amendment refers only to the federal government. However, he went on to claim that it meant that neither state nor federal government was allowed to have anything whatsoever to do with any religion. In this, he was wrong. Justice Black did not consider the historical framework of the Bill of Rights; he took a phrase out of context and twisted its meaning to suit his decision.
The majority of men and women who first settled this country were escaping a religious and secular tyranny in one. Europe had been racked by centuries of wars with roots in both politics and religion. Since King Henry VIII founded the Church of England, the native country of most Colonial settlers had been poisoned by religious and political infighting. The Anglican Church was England's official, State-sanctioned religion; the King was head of the Church as well as head of State. Those who didn't attend the State church were taxed, and suffered under various restrictions in business and politics (when not persecuted and executed) as the influence of various religions and factions waxed and waned. With this history firmly in mind, our Founders were determined that the central government should not be allowed to trample on the rights of individuals to worship as they pleased. In fact, many states had official religions at the time, such as Virginia and Massachusetts. The former colonists saw central government as a necessary evil, and generally restricted its power to regulating commerce between the states and dealing with foreign powers. The Bill of Rights is a list of limitations on the powers of the central government over the states and individuals, not limitations on individual rights. It assumes that all people have rights independent of the existence and sanction of the State.
Why was it so important to establish that belief? Why was it considered necessary to state in the Declaration of Independence that all men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights?" The answer is simple: to further limit the power of government. Rights granted by the State can be removed by the State, but rights that exist independently of the State cannot be taken away. More important, that was what the Founding Fathers truly believed. They weren't being humorous, and they weren't pandering to their constituencies. Their frequent references to God and a Creator in the seminal documents of our nation's birth is evidence of their honest belief in them. They avoided any references to specific religions so that no one faith could claim any legal precedence. Most of them were probably Deists, a philosophical, free-thought form of religion not bound by doctrine and dogma, but generally in line with Christian moral principles. The idea of a government that placed restrictions on the public worship of its citizens would have been equally abhorrent to them as a government that forced its citizens to worship a specific faith. Yet today's Liberals do wish to place such restrictions.
The First Amendment begins: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Liberals would like to drop the latter part of that injunction and interpret the first part as, "the government may show no respect towards any religion whatsoever." That sort of twisting is rarely seen outside of pretzel shops. In fact, our forefathers had a deep respect for and tolerance of various religions. It's no accident that they chose Philadelphia as the first Capital of the United States. William Penn conceived of the city as a place where all people of all faiths could live in peace, including Catholics, Protestants, Mennonites and Huguenots. (Penn, a Quaker, even respected the personal and religious rights of the local Indians.) Anyone with a basic knowledge of history and the English language can clearly see that the First Amendment was meant to prevent Congress from making a law to establish a State religion for America, or interfering with any citizen's right to worship -- or not -- as he pleased.
Liberals have been using this mythical "wall of separation" to attack mainstream religion -- specifically in its various Christian incarnations -- for over fifty years. In one school in California (where else?) it is now considered "unconstitutional" to teach students about the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's journal, John Adams' diary, Samuel Adams' "The Rights of the Colonists" and William Penn's "The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania." Why? Because they mention God. The Boy Scouts of America were barred from having anything to do with the US military, because their oath says, "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country." What specific religion is God, I wonder? How does the mere mention of a generic deity -- which no one is forced to worship -- establish a religion?
In recent years, Liberals have claimed it's "unconstitutional" to mention God in the Pledge of Allegiance. Art with positive religious themes has been banned from a public library, while "art" that denigrates Christianity and befouls its symbols is celebrated. They've told us it's "unconstitutional" to celebrate Christmas in public by singing carols (including playing a purely instrumental version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"), putting a Nativity set in a public square or in a public school (although menorahs are welcome), or even wishing others a "Merry Christmas" (while a hearty "Happy Kwanzaa" is appreciated). Liberals don't seem to care that 96% of Americans celebrate Christmas and 87% agree that Nativity scenes should be allowed on public property -- they'll still claim it violates the "separation of Church and State." In which of these instances, however, did Congress make a law establishing a national religion?
The standard Liberal response to anyone who dares question the existence of the Great Wall of Separation is to ask whether public worship of extreme religions should be allowed, including those which include public displays of drunkenness, nudity, sex, loud late-night ceremonies, and possibly animal or even human sacrifice. The difference is that those celebrations, as fun as they might be, break civil laws. As such, that sort of thing is strictly limited to post-game riots by sports fans.
Kicking Christ out of Christmas seems like banning American flags from the Fourth of July or green beer from St. Patrick's Day, doesn't it? There's no federal law saying you MUST celebrate it, and there should be no federal law saying you CAN'T celebrate it. That's the intent of the First Amendment.
Exploding Liberal Myths 11: Home Spying Hogwash
Exploding Liberal Myths 10: The Plame Name Game
Exploding Liberal Myths 8: The Nazi Meme
Exploding Liberal Myths 7: Fidel Castro, Demigod?
Exploding Liberal Myths 6: A Less Safe Post-Iraq
Exploding Liberal Myths 5: The Moral United Nations
Exploding Liberal Myths 4: Runaway Global Warming
Exploding Liberal Myths 3: Outsourcing Woes
Exploding Liberal Myths 2: The Eeevil PATRIOT Act
Exploding Liberal Myths 1: Nigerian Uranium
Posted at Wednesday, December 01, 2004 by CavalierX
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Sooeee! Calling the Hogs in DC
Do you ever wonder where your federal taxes go, and why small-government Conservatives believe they should be reduced? Well, how about the Center for Grape Genetics at Cornell, in Geneva, NY? I'm all in favor of better American grapes, since I don't drink French wines as much as I used to, but shouldn't that sort of research be market-driven? Instead, $3 million of our tax dollars are paying for research into better hybrids and more disease-resistant grapes in NY, and another $3 million is going to fund the same sort of research at the Grape Genomics Research Center in Davis, CA. How about B.B. King? He's a talented musician, and he's probably a nice guy. But why are $1 million of our federal taxes going to the B.B. King Museum Foundation in Indianola, MS? Do all taxpayers at least get one free ticket to a show?
There's no reason the taxes of someone from Pennsylvania should be used for "sidewalks, street furniture and facade improvements" in Bakersfield, California. Frankly, I don't care what your town looks like. If I'm paying for anyone's new furniture, it'll be my own. If you live in Bakersfield, and you think the place needs fixing up, then it should be paid for with local or state taxes, if not private donations. Why is the US government spending $280,000 to take care of a local matter? This is precisely why we need to cut federal taxes even further. There's obviously no shortage of federal (meaning taxpayer) funds, as the Left would have us believe. The problem is how they're being spent, and the fact that Congress decided to raise the federal debt ceiling in order to spend more. A non-partisan group called Citizens Against Government Waste has identified $22.9 billion in pork barrel spending crammed into the $388 billion omnibus spending package recently passed by Congress. A partial state-by-state list of pork in the bill includes:
Alabama: $4 million for the International Fertiliser Development Center in Muscle Shoals.
Alaska: $443,000 to develop salmon-fortified baby food.
Arizona: $2.5 million for Lone Pine Dam Road.
California: $150,000 for the Girl Scouts Golden Valley Council bridge project.
Florida: $1 million for the Palm Coast Trail System in Flagler County.
Kentucky: $2.3 million for an animal waste management research laboratory in Bowling Green.
Hawaii: $4 million for mitigation of congestion in Kapolei City.
Illinois: $1.4 million for an Interstate-55 sound barrier in Darien.
Massachusetts: $1.2 million for Cape Cod Seashore Eastham/Dennis Bike Trail Repair.
Mississippi: $750,000 for the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.
Montana: $1.5 million for a "fuels-in-schools" biomass project.
North Carolina: $1 million for Garden Parkway in Gaston and Mecklenburg counties.
Ohio: $750,000 for the city of Circleville's sewer construction project; $350,000 for music education programs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
Oregon: $6.28 million to Oregon State University for wood utilisation research and $688,000 for a barley gene-mapping project.
Pennsylvania: $250,000 to promote tourism in the Allegheny National Forest area.
Tennessee: $2 million for the Fiery Gizzard Trail.
Vermont: $500,000 for a wood products program.
Virginia: $500,000 for the Amherst County River Walk Trail; $200,000 for a Vermont Civil War Monument in Virginia.
Washington: $1 million for the Enumclaw welcome center; $1 million for the Norwegian American Foundation.
Wisconsin: $3.2 million for the Chequamego-Nicolet National Forest "Wisconsin Wild Waterways."
Every politician from every state has a snout in the trough. Although Senator John McCain (R-AZ) derided the $1 million Wild American Shrimp Initiative as "this 'no shrimp left behind' act," Arizona still received a share of the slop (though usually smaller than most, thanks to McCain and fellow AZ Senator John Kyl). Even Guam is getting $515,000 for brown tree snake management. Politicians try to rationalise pork-barrel waste by saying that the tax dollars taken by the federal government are returned to the states for use, but they forget one thing: no one old enough to pay taxes was born yesterday. The US government is one big money-laundering scheme for special interest groups. Taxes flow in... and then they flow back out. Everyone along the route takes a bite. No party or politician is immune... not if they want to get campaign contributions come next election cycle.
There are a few ways to reduce both the wasteful spending and the influence of special interest groups. The simplest is to reduce the amount of money politicians can hand them... which means reducing the amount of spare money Congress has to waste in the first place. The loopholes and all that "wiggle room" politicians and special interests use to their advantage have to be removed from the Byzantine tax code. The sort of simplification President Bush is proposing would rob the lobbyists and special interests of their free ride, and would keep politicians from getting in bed with them to the extent they do now. Also, simpler tax codes would encourage economic growth and increase tax revenues, which would reduce that debt -- but only if spending is kept down. A lot of power is wielded by Congress, which can grant tax exemptions to certain groups as well as direct where our tax money is spent. Politicians use those powers to gain favorable press and publicity, which translate to votes. A way to curb the misuse of those powers would be to institute term limits for Representatives and Senators. Politicians who aren't constantly working on their next campaign might be able to spare some time to do the work they were put in office to do. Lobbyists can't make deals with politicians who won't be in office next year. The best way of all, of course, would be to keep an eye on how your Representative and Senators vote to spend your money, and vote them out when they waste it. Politicians count on our not paying attention, though... and they're usually right.
In any case, you should be the best person to decide how your money is spent. What benefits do the average taxpayers derive from all this pork? There's $150,000 going for Fishing Rationalisation Research in Alaska. Does every taxpayer in America get a coupon for salmon at their local supermarket for funding that? (Besides, isn't "the need to eat" rationalisation enough for fishing?) Do we each at least get one free pony ride at the Horse Springs Ranch in NM, which got $2.5 million? $3.5 million of our money went for "bus acquisition" in Atlanta, GA. Every American taxpayer gets to ride for free in Atlanta, right? I'd like to know more about how my money is spent -- perhaps there are good reasons for some of it, but we never get the benefit of an explanation. I'm very curious, for instance, about the $1.5 million that we're paying to "transport naturally chilled water from Lake Ontario to Lake Onondaga." I'd also like to know more about the $150,000 apiece the federal government is giving to the Grammy Foundation, the "Check 'Em Out Program," the Coca-Cola Space Science Center in Columbus, GA and the "Obscenity Crimes Project." All this pork barrel spending is causing obscenity crimes right at this moment, as I discovered by taking a poll of People Writing This Article.
Now, give ME that $150,000 for the research I've done. And don't forget my new furniture.
Posted at Saturday, November 27, 2004 by CavalierX
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Last year, I wrote about The Real Thanksgiving Story. I just can't come up with an improvement on that, so I hope you don't mind the repeat. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Image courtesy of Sara.
Everyone who's been to school in America knows the story of the First Thanksgiving, right? The Pilgrims fled religious persecution, settled in Plymouth, had a bad winter, made friends with the locals, learned to farm and fish from them, had a great harvest the next year, threw a big feast to celebrate and invited their new friends. They all lived happily ever after, having a yearly feast of thanksgiving to commemorate their friendship.
Well, not entirely.
The harvest of 1621 wasn't all that great; the colonists were barely surviving, although compared to their first miserable winter (during which half of them died) it seemed rich. To them -- deeply religious men and women -- a "thanksgiving" meant spending the day in church... you know, giving thanks. After another sparse harvest in 1622, the Governor, William Bradford, tried to think of a way "how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery". And what he did was abolish Socialism.
When the colony was founded, they did so under an agreement that all goods, crops and property would be held in common, from which everyone would take only what he needed and no more. Since everyone knew they would be fed and clothed and sheltered whether they worked hard or not, no one did, as is only human nature. According to Governor Bradford himself:
For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labor and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labors and victuals, clothes etc., with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And for men's wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it. Upon the point all being to have alike, and all to do alike, they thought themselves in the like condition, and one as good as another; and so, if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least much diminish and take off the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them.
The most important lesson learned in America to date: Socialism doesn't work in practice as well as it works in theory. Plan B was to give each family a plot of land all their own, so they could keep what they raised or sell it as they wished... and Capitalism took root... and flourished.
And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.
Posted at Thursday, November 25, 2004 by CavalierX
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Cleaning House: Bush vs. the CIA
A lot of people are opposed to the way Porter Goss is handling his job as head the CIA. Most of those are the entrenched bureaucrats he was sent to clean out. The failures of the CIA require a through housecleaning, however... and if Goss can't do it, then few others can. The CIA was essentially emasculated by Stansfield Turner after the 1975 Church committee, which recommended that covert action "should be resorted to only to counter severe threats to the national security of the United States." Since then, the CIA has frequently failed to protect this country from terrorist attacks, especially from the Middle East.
Though they were able to function quite well against other technologically reliant foes (like the USSR), we had no warning before the 1979 takeover of Iran by Shi'a fundamentalists. The CIA didn't have the means to prevent bomb attacks by Islamic terrorists in Beirut in 1983, Bogota in '84, Madrid, Frankfurt, San Salvador, Rome and Vienna in '85. They missed the hijacking of planes and the cruise ship Achille Lauro in '85. By that time it should have been obvious that the CIA needed an overhaul, but the USSR was still the primary focus of our foreign intelligence services. The CIA was focused on countering Communist takeovers of small countries, by which means the Soviets had been expanding their influence since the end of WWII. Unfortunately, the CIA was still operating under Turner's directives, which promoted the use of "ethical" intelligence-gathering -- meaning less reliance on turncoats, infiltrators and spies, and more on wiretaps and satellite photos. The CIA was unprepared to deal with a low-tech foe like anti-Western Muslim fanatics, who pass information by hand in face-to-face meetings. The entrenched bureaucracy of the CIA fought every attempt at reform, though Muslim fanatics bombed a disco in West Berlin and Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988.
Even after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, the CIA made no move to rebuild or reorient itself to deal with Middle Eastern terrorists. The rise of al-Qaeda sparked no reformation, even after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the first Islamic terror attack on US soil. By 1995, al-Qaeda was on track to become the most powerful terrorist organisation on Earth, with the prestige of having driven the Great Satan out of Somalia -- as bin Laden saw it -- and even attacked us on our own home soil and gotten away without reprisal. The '95 car-bomb in Riyadh, the '96 Khobar Towers bombing, and the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam double attack went unprevented and unanswered. Even the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen met with no visible response. The CIA seemed unable to find these people, or find any information about their activities in advance. The January 2000 terrorist summit at Kuala Lumpur (attended, oddly enough, by a member of the Fedayeen Saddam) was probably our last chance to stop the 9/11 plot before it was set in motion, and nothing was done.
Through the '90's, the CIA also missed the fact that North Korea had reneged on its '94 deal with the US, and was working on nuclear weapons. The CIA gave us no warning that a nuclear scientist in Pakistan was running a nuclear proliferation ring, supplying nuclear know-how to rogue dictatorships. We also had no idea how advanced Libya's nuclear program was until Ghaddafi decided to give it up after watching Saddam's world crumble around him. They also failed to discover that Saddam Hussein was bribing half the world's governments and influential people, especially in France, China and Russia. He did this with money he bled from the Oil-for-Food program the UN instituted to reduce the effect of the sanctions on the Iraqi people. The program only reduced the effect of the sanctions on Saddam Hussein, as it turns out.
By 9/11, the CIA had managed to insert some operatives into al-Qaeda, but only at low levels in the organisation. We had no solid warnings whatsoever that such an event was coming, although the overall reduction in CIA personnel during Clinton's presidency can be blamed for part of that. Jamie Gorelick's "wall," erected to prevent the sharing of information between the CIA and the FBI, also had a detrimental effect on the CIA's ability to gather information about foreign terrorists operating inside the US. The main culprit, however, was still the entrenched bureaucracy at the CIA itself, and their adherence to technological intelligence-gathering over the old-fashioned human variety.
Liberals like to make a fuss over the title of a 6 August 2001 memo, "Bin Laden Determined To Attack Inside US," but its title was the most interesting thing about it. The memo contained nothing more than a list of old information, and a vague warning. "We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a . . . service in 1998 saying that bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of 'Blind Sheik' Omar Abdel Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists," the memo read. Just over a month later, three planes slammed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, while a fourth crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. The CIA had failed yet again. A vague, inaccurate, three-year-old uncorroborated warning was the best they had been able to offer.
It was after this, perhaps sensing the coming change, that the CIA began turning against the President openly -- almost defiantly. Czech intelligence insists to this day that Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers, met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague before the attacks. No one can definitively place Atta anywhere else during that time, yet the CIA never fully investigated the matter. The CIA sent an anti-Bush partisan to investigate the British reports that Saddam was trying to buy uranium from Niger. Though he actually uncovered the name of the man Saddam had sent to negotiate (Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, also known as "Baghdad Bob"), Wilson reported -- not to the CIA or the President, but in a New York Times editorial -- that it was a lie. Before President Bush committed troops to the liberation of Iraq, he asked CIA Director (DCI) George Tenet to confirm the existence of the WMD stockpiles the CIA had been reporting on for so long. "Don't worry, it's a slam-dunk," Tenet assured him.
The amount of so-called "classified" information leaked to the press since 9/11 is staggering. Pessimistic "top-secret" reports on Iraq's future somehow surfaced in the press right before the 2004 election. The CIA even leaked a report that some agents had doubted Saddam's ties to terrorism. All of this was an effort to fight back against Bush's plan to clean house at the CIA. An analyst named Michael Scheuer penned a book called "Imperial Hubris," which was cleared by the CIA as long as he wrote anonymously -- and used his knowledge to attack Bush. "As long as the book was being used to bash the President, they gave me carte blanche to talk to the media," he said. However, he believes that when he began to criticise the CIA's mishandling of terrorism, he was silenced. Before Tenet left his position as DCI, he forbade Scheuer to speak publicly, Scheuer told the Washington Post.
Now that Porter Goss is in place and Bush is re-elected, the reorganisation is just beginning. High-level bureaucrats and officers, including Stephen Kappes (the Deputy Director of Operations), have already left. The CIA is fighting back with a new series of leaks, including the details of Kappes' resignation in protest over Goss' policies, leaks of prewar intelligence estimates, leaks of internal memos -- whatever the CIA can use to discredit the President. How can we trust any of those "anonymous sources" the media has been dependent upon for years? The New York Times, the LA Times and the Washington Post frequently report "news" from anonymous CIA officials and officers, but that news can no longer be taken at face value.
It seems that whatever credibility the "mainstream" media had left is just "collateral damage" in the Beltway War.
Posted at Wednesday, November 24, 2004 by CavalierX
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Exploding Liberal Myths 8: The Nazi Meme
Once again, we're being "treated" to the same tired old cries of Liberal outrage. How dare the stupid people of America not whole-heartedly embrace Liberal ideas and policies? Why, they must all be mind-controlled. They must all be... Nazis! The latest in a long string of Hollywood half-wits to invoke the Nazi meme is Linda Ronstadt, who said of the election, "Now we've got a new bunch of Hitlers." Such diverse personalities as David Hoffman (the Legal Editor of Pravda), Senator (and former Kleagle in the KKK) Bobby "Sheets" Byrd (D-WVa), novelist/priest Andrew Greeley, former Vice-President Al Gore, and multi-billionaire anti-American George Soros (funder of MoveOn.org and other left-wing groups) have all torpedoed their own arguments by invoking Nazi comparisons, as have thousands of other politicians, artists, pundits and garden-variety Liberals.
"Nazi" is a sort of pet insult many Liberals use to taunt Conservatives without understanding what it really means, the same way a three-year-old will endlessly repeat any four-letter words you might happen to drop in front of him or her. The more you say, "don't say that; it's a bad word" the more likely you are to hear it. The Nazi epithet is so over-abused there's even a rule concerning it on the internet, called Godwin's Law: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. Sooner or later, someone's going to resurrect the Nazis... and whoever does so is generally understood to have lost the argument. Comparing someone to a Nazi involves far more of an emotional appeal than a factual argument, unless the person is, in fact, a card-carrying Nazi. If you're not actually discussing genocide and brutal world domination, the Nazi comparison is just plain offensive. What confuses most people is its frequent application to pretty much anybody to the ideological right of Lenin. In fact, the Nazis were actually Socialists by nature, not capitalists. In a 1927 speech, Hitler said, "We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions."
The word "Nazi" is short for Nationalsozialistische deutsche Arbeiter-Partei, or National Socialist German Workers' Party. Hitler came to power by turning the unemployed, the working class, and the academic elitists against the rather conservative German republic. In fact, once he achieved power, anyone who questioned his policies was branded a "conservative reactionary" by the State press. In a widely-distributed 1932 pamphlet, Joseph Goebbels addressed the question of Socialism. "We are socialists," he wrote, "because we see the social question as a matter of necessity and justice for the very existence of a state for our people, not a question of cheap pity or insulting sentimentality. The worker has a claim to a living standard that corresponds to what he produces."
The Nazi Party platform contained 25 demands, adopted in 1920 and essentially unaltered at the time Hitler took power. Many of those Socialist demands resonate far better with modern-day American Liberals than Conservatives. Consider the following examples:
7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens.
Does this sound more akin to the Liberal belief that the government is responsible for job losses or gains, or the Conservative position that jobs are created by private enterprise (though helped or hindered by current economic policies)? Does it sound like a demand for welfare?
11. Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of rent-slavery.
This is aimed directly at landlords and large business owners. It hardly seems likely that capitalists and Conservatives would insist that no one receive any money unless they personally earn it by doing the actual work themselves.
12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
If that doesn't sound like today's standard Liberal hate speech against Halliburton, nothing ever will.
13. We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
Nationalisation of industries is hardly in line with the Conservative aim of privatisation of industries. It's Liberals, in general, who want to nationalise industries (starting with healthcare).
14. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
Wealth redistribution? Does that sound like a particularly right-wing ideal?
15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
Republicans and Conservatives are accused of wanting to halt Medicare and steal Social Security in every election cycle, so this demand for expansion could hardly be a part of any Conservative agenda.
25. For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power in the Reich. Unlimited authority of the central parliament over the whole Reich and its organizations in general.
Conservatives, who favor more limited government with lower taxes (in order to restrict its growth), would directly oppose a strong central government with unlimited authority (possibly resisting with guns, which German citizens first had to register, then surrender).
Despite the historical facts, Liberals frequently insist on equating Conservatives and Republicans to Nazis. This is only done to stir up feelings of hate, of course. If Democrats want to know why they keep losing elections, it's because they allow the left-wing politics of hatred to be their public face. Until the Democrats relegate Liberals to the minority fringe where they belong, we will continue to see the country slide towards a one-party system, which would be detrimental to us all.
UPDATE: The Belmont Club also rips the Nazi meme apart.
Exploding Liberal Myths 11: Home Spying Hogwash
Exploding Liberal Myths 10: The Plame Name Game
Exploding Liberal Myths 9: The Separation of Church and State
Exploding Liberal Myths 7: Fidel Castro, Demigod?
Exploding Liberal Myths 6: A Less Safe Post-Iraq
Exploding Liberal Myths 5: The Moral United Nations
Exploding Liberal Myths 4: Runaway Global Warming
Exploding Liberal Myths 3: Outsourcing Woes
Exploding Liberal Myths 2: The Eeevil PATRIOT Act
Exploding Liberal Myths 1: Nigerian Uranium
Posted at Sunday, November 21, 2004 by CavalierX
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Media vs. the Military: There They Go Again!
Once again (or perhaps "still" would be more accurate), the so-called "mainstream" media is trying to turn public opinion against the US military and the liberation of Iraq. In October 2003, the media tried to use the case of Lt. Colonel West to undermine support for the war in America. The Colonel scared a captured terrorist into giving up information about an ambush that saved the lives of his men. He caused the prisoner no harm, but put his twenty-year career on the line by firing a gun to intimidate the man. In May 2004, CBS and the rest of the Liberal media blew the events at Abu Ghraib prison out of all proportion in order to discredit the Bush administration. Ignoring the facts -- that the military had halted the abuses as soon as they were reported, and was already investigating the soldiers who went beyond their orders and abused prisoners -- CBS (of later forged document infamy) led the charge to smear the President and anyone else they could reach. Though the media enabled our enemies to claim a major propaganda victory in both cases, most Americans were able to look beyond the Liberal mudslinging for the truth before making their own judgments. However, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, "there they go again!" As they've done before, the American media is rushing to hand our enemies a propaganda coup they could never hope to attain for themselves.
The latest story in the media spin cycle is the case of a Marine who shot a wounded enemy in Fallujah. According to a videotape and news story by an NBC reporter, the incident took place in a mosque that had been used as a firing position by the enemy. A different group of Marines had killed and wounded the insurgents occupying the mosque the day before. They didn't secure the location at that time, since they were involved in a firefight. Marines of the 3rd battalion, 1st regiment, receiving a report that the enemy had re-occupied the mosque, entered the building. One man among the dead and wounded in the mosque was apparently feigning unconsciousness, and one of the Marines shot him. The fact that the Marine first warned his fellows by saying, "He's faking he's dead!" twice before firing shows that he considered the man to be a danger.
Liberals are quick to pronounce judgment before all the facts are known, falsely labeling the men in the mosque "prisoners," and calling the incident an "atrocity" and an "execution." They won't even wait for the investigation that is already underway to conclude. They accuse the United States of violating the Geneva Convention, although the insurgents were not prisoners and the Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists. According to the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, article 4, part 2, prisoners eligible for protection must have been commanded by a responsible person, worn a distinctive badge or uniform, carried their weapons openly, and fought by the rules of the Geneva conventions themselves. Terrorists must choose e) none of the above. When the reporter informed the Marine that the wounded and dead terrorists were the same men who had been shot the day before and left behind, the Marine said, "I didn't know, sir. I didn't know." The Left doesn't ask whether the wounded man might have made a sudden motion, or looked as though he might be concealing a weapon or explosive. They refuse to take into account how many terrorists have feigned unconsciousness or surrender in order to lure soldiers close enough to kill. The day before, a booby-trapped dead body had killed another Marine from the very same unit, and the Marine who shot the wounded terrorist in the mosque had himself been shot in the face.
If any members of the US military (especially those in Iraq or Afghanistan) were reading this, I'd say: don't take chances. Your lives are far more important than those of the terrorists you're fighting. If an enemy gives you even the slightest cause for doubt, then shoot first and ask questions later. You are on the scene; I am not. You have been trained under the harshest conditions to recognise and respond to danger as if by instinct; I have not. You only have a split-second in which to react to a possible threat to your life and the lives of your fellow soldiers while under combat conditions; I have all the time in the world, safe at home while you protect me. Without serious cause to doubt it, I trust your judgment. If this man appeared to be a threat in any way whatsoever, then action was justified. We won't win any battles by giving the enemy extra chances to kill our troops. We won't win any wars by letting them send you home, sleeping under a flag.
Monday-morning quarterbacking media pundits and hysterical anti-military Liberals want to convict, condemn, draw and quarter any soldier who doesn't play by some bizarre, fantasy world, white-bread version of the rules, guaranteed to kill more Americans than enemies. I guess they've dropped the veneer of "supporting the troops" they adopted while trying to get John Kerry elected... a man who made his bones in the Democratic party by accusing every soldier in Vietnam of committing atrocities "on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command." Isn't that exactly what the Left is doing to the troops in Iraq today -- accusing them of committing war crimes in order to indict the administration by association?
Come to think of it, didn't Kerry get a Silver Star for shooting a wounded, fleeing enemy in the back, as per his own after-action report... and didn't the Democrats hail him as the greatest war hero since Sergeant York and Audie Murphy only a few short months ago? Things certainly have changed quickly, it seems, now that the election's over.
UPDATE: Please sign the petition to support this Marine, who may have saved the lives of his fellows by his quick action.
UPDATE 2: Buried on the Web and back pages of newspapers, never getting a spot on the nightly newscasts, is the story of a "dead" terrorist who miraculously came to life and shot at the Marines who were clearing a Fallujah street.
Posted at Tuesday, November 16, 2004 by CavalierX
Saturday, November 13, 2004
The Scott Peterson Effect
The verdict is in. Scott Peterson, a fertiliser salesman and part-time philanderer from California, killed his wife, who was eight months pregnant. He tied her body to an anchor made of concrete and dumped it in San Francisco Bay, covering his actions with a story about a fishing trip for which he didn't even have the proper equipment. Despite the twistings and turnings of attorney Mark Geragos (who first gained media attention with his defense of Susan McDougal during the Clinton Whitewater scandal), the jury convicted Peterson of murder.
Why is this significant? Murders happen every day. Peterson was convicted not of one crime, but two. He was convicted of murder in the first degree (premeditated) of his wife, Laci. He was also convicted of murder in the second degree (intentional) of his son, Conner. It turns out that this may be very significant, after all.
- Conner was not yet born.
- You can only murder a human being.
- Conner was murdered, therefore he was a human being.
- A human being has rights.
- Therefore, an unborn child is a human being with rights that should be protected.
I don't look at abortion from a religious standpoint. I've never seen a soul, and -- chances are -- neither have you. I have, however, seen the faces of the unborn as they smile, cry and play, thanks to the "miracle" of modern technology. The main Liberal argument seems to be that it's just a lump of "fetal tissue" right up until that magical moment when it breathes air and is transformed into a child. Not even the most fanatical Liberal will claim that it's not alive before that, just that it's not human life. Well, I was once a lump of tissue just like that. So were you. The DNA of an unborn child is fully human DNA. No one has yet documented any important changes that take place exactly at birth, except that suddenly the child's lungs are filled with air. And that's a pretty poor definition of humanity.
What defines us as human, if not our genetic code? At the moment of conception, a totally unique human genetic identity is created, one that has never existed before and will never exist again. There is no sudden, magical change detectable in the DNA between the moment of conception and the moment of birth. Therefore, a baby is a human life from the moment it's conceived until the moment it dies. And if it's human, it has to have some rights. One of those rights ought to be "not dying for someone else's convenience."
According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, "49% of the 6.3 million pregnancies that occur each year are unplanned; 47% of these occur among the 7% of women at risk of unintended pregnancy who do not practice contraception." The three main reasons for choosing abortion are that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities (75%), the women cannot afford a child (66%) and they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner (50%). Overlapping reasons aside, three quarters of abortions are performed for reasons of convenience? The introduction of post-coital drugs like Preven (no longer manufactured) and Plan B caused a 43% drop in abortion rates between 1994 and 2000. I'd say that's a good start, and a lot more convenient. Plan B, which prevents fertilisation altogether, is unlike the French "morning after" pill RU-486, which prevents a fertilised egg -- a life -- from implantation. Besides, RU-486 seems to come with its own side effects, some of which involve death.
Of course, there is only one absolutely certain contraception method, but few words cause Liberals to roll their eyes and groan as much as "abstinence." God forbid -- to make a weak joke -- that people should have self-control. The idea that people should consider the implications before voluntarily having sex is generally met with scorn by Liberals and characterised as "medieval" by the media. It's easier to pretend that there are no consequences to one's actions.
Sometimes those consequences have faces and names, however. And sometimes they never get the chance to have them. We can hope that the conviction of Scott Peterson, along with the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (Laci and Conner's Law, signed in April 2004), will go a long way towards ensuring some real protection for the youngest and most vulnerable members of the human race.
Posted at Saturday, November 13, 2004 by CavalierX
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Posted at Thursday, November 11, 2004 by CavalierX
The Democrats: Evolution in Action
Evolution is the term for the ongoing process by which a species slowly alters to compete better in its environment. In a cold area, for instance, creatures that happen to have a little more fur than others will survive better and live longer. This natural selection allows them to live longer and leave more descendants, some of which will just happen to have a little more fur, and so on. Over millions of years, a species will slowly change, as the original line is bred out of existence, beaten at the survival game by those better suited for it. That hypothetical land may have been warmer in the past, or perhaps population pressure or predators may have driven the animals there from other lands. Competition (for food and other necessities) is what drives evolution. Sometimes evolution of entirely different species has progressed in tandem, as predators became more efficient hunters and prey became more efficient hiders or runners in response... which caused the predators to become still better hunters.
We humans have often purposely induced evolutionary changes, by breeding animals and plants to meet our needs. Cows, sheep, dogs and corn are examples of artificial selection, where our requirements replaced the natural environment as the criteria for success. We've specifically bred dogs for hunting, herding sheep, pulling sleds, killing rats or looking pretty, depending on our needs. We've selected cows for giving far more milk than normal and sheep for producing thick, fluffy wool, until the original versions of both animals are nearly vanished. Corn cannot even reproduce anymore without human intervention. If we can artificially effect such changes in less than ten thousand years, imagine what can occur naturally over the course of tens or hundreds of millions of years, as land masses have moved about the Earth and ice ages have come and gone.
But all members of a species are not identical. Natural variations exist despite the most rigorous breeding programs. Ears of corn are not all alike, nor are all German Shorthair Pointers. More variations exist within a naturally-evolved organism. Fewer variations, of course, would exist in the code of a cloned or genetically modified organism. Should the environment change radically in some way, making it more difficult for most members of a certain species to survive, it's possible that at least some members of that species might have a trait or combination of traits that enables them to live on. Their descendants, of course, would also carry those traits... and eventually, an altered version of that species might even prosper in the changed environment. That's evolution.
Evolution takes place in other areas as well. The business world is a prime example. Businesses, like organisms, compete for the available market. Sometimes they're "eaten" by other businesses. Sometimes they become too specialised and die off when conditions change too quickly. (Buggy whips, anyone?) Political parties also compete with each other to succeed in the current environment, whatever it is. Sometimes they prosper... and sometimes they die out. Do you know any current members of the Whig or Tory parties? Would anyone admit to being a member of the Know-Nothing party today?
The Democrats are finally beginning to realise that they're under evolutionary pressure. For instance, 83% of Americans are Christians of one variety or another, yet the loudest voices in the Democratic party are virulently anti-Christian. While Bill Clinton exhorts Democrats to speak more openly about their faith, Michael Moore – who sat in a box seat with former President Jimmy Carter at the Democratic National Convention – mocks the states that voted for Bush in 2004 as "Jesusland" along with most of the far Left. Some complained that Americans had "democratically voted for an extremist Christian regime." Some, like columnist Mark Morford, have lost all pretense of sanity or moderation. "This just in," Morford writes, "millions of moderate Republicans and gay-terrified evangelical Christians and intellectually numbed conservative parents who thought they were doing some sort of good by blindly voting for Dubya and hence protecting their wee ones from swarthy Islamic evildoers who want to steal their kids' Kraft Lunchables and nuke Disneyland all should be emerging from a deep fog of savage denial any minute now." I'm not sure the Left understands who's really in denial here.
9/11 was a catastrophic event that accelerated the changes already taking place in America over the last several decades. The Republicans seem pretty well suited to the political environment, but the Democrats -- a party more or less controlled by the Liberal wing -- are finding it difficult to adapt. Their biggest problem is that instead of being a party with a solid stance and message, standing for what the majority of Americans believe in, the Democrats are a loose alliance of fringe groups and special interests. So many people vote Democratic on single issues -- abortion, for instance, or gay "marriage" -- that if the Democratic party altered its stance on any of these or many other issues, they would lose many of their members. They've backed themselves into a corner by pandering to the far-Left fringe. Though they like to crow that they only lost the 2004 election by a few percent of the popular vote, the fact is that 70% of those who voted for John Kerry were really just voting against President Bush. John Kerry's campaign tried to use camouflage -- sometimes literally, as in the Great Ohio Duck Hunt of 2004 -- to disguise Kerry's Liberalism, to no avail. Without the Bush-hatred, Liberals will have no way to win a majority vote. The Democrats need to recognise that, and stop letting them control the party.
I have been predicting a split among the Democrats after losing this election since the beginning of 2004, but only time will tell whether they will split, evolve, and survive... or join the Whigs as historical footnotes. Is there enough "genetic" variation within the Democratic party to allow it to survive? Will moderate Democrats like Joe Lieberman, Evan Bayh, Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor and maybe even the just-retired John Breaux and Zell Miller form a new, survivable core for the Democrats? Or will the Hillary Clintons, Ted Kennedys and Nancy Pelosis, along with Hollywood halfwits and other elitist Liberals, continue to drag them towards the Left and extinction?
Posted at Thursday, November 11, 2004 by CavalierX
Sunday, November 07, 2004
Ivory Coast: No Blood for Cocoa?
A unilateral invasion without the permission of the United Nations. Thousands of civilian deaths. Mass graves uncovered. A foreign power imposing its will on a xenophobic, restless, resentful populace. Massive protests in the streets against the meddling foreigners, calling their leader a "terrorist" and "enslaver." More troops pouring in, desperately trying to keep order and failing. Widespread fear of a quagmire. Whole segments of the population begging President Bush to help them expel the hated French invaders...
Hang on... what was that last part again?
On 19 September 2002, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) erupted into civil war. Two separate rebel factions fought each other and the government for control of the African nation, which produces about 43% of the world's cocoa. Both the Popular Ivorian Movement for the Far West (MPIGO) and the Ivory Coast Patriotic Movement (MPCI) attempted to overthrow President Laurent Gbagbo, taking control of the largely Muslim northern part of the country. At least one of the rebel groups (MCPI) may have ties to the neighboring country of Burkina Faso. The rebels claim to be loyal to the country's former leader, General Robert Guei, who seized power in a military coup in 1999 but lost it after the election of 2001, when protest against the rigged election brought the runner-up (Gbagbo) to power. He died on the first day of fighting, but the various insurrections continued. A few hundred French paratroopers entered the country to protect the 19,000 French nationals living there, but soon found themselves battling the rebels. American Special Forces landed as well, but only to evacuate trapped students from an American school. Over 1,000 French troops set up a "buffer zone" to divide the country in half in October 2002, but it had little effect. French troops put down protesters with tear-gas as they chanted "Down with France" and "Chirac the enslaver."
A third major rebel group emerged by January 2003 -- the Movement for Peace and Justice (MJP). They absorbed MPIGO, but continued the fighting. The other main group, the MCPI, signed a cease-fire with the Ivorian government. With the emergence of new rebel groups and political parties, the fractured nation had over ten sides to the war by that time. The French government drew up a peace plan that divided the Ivorian President's power. The Linas-Marcoussis Peace Accord created a new cabinet, which would draw members from various opposition parties and rebel groups, and declared that Gbagbo may not run for office again. When Gbagbo and the leaders of several groups signed the plan, the populace erupted in protest against the French. Carrying signs declaring "Chirac is a terrorist" and declaring that "he is killing democracy in Ivory Coast" while begging the US to help expel the French troops, over 100,000 Ivorians marched for four days in the nation's economic capitol, Abidjan, even bombing the French Embassy. President Gbagbo declared the plan he signed to be "null and void."
Finally, in February 2003, the United Nations quietly passed a resolution agreeing to the deployment of the French troops that had been there for five months already. Remember the huge outcry by American Liberals against the unilateral French invasion of Côte d'Iviore? Don't feel badly -- neither do I. Keep in mind that this was the same time period during which the French (and Liberals) were condemning the 46-nation Coalition of the Willing for the "unilateral" invasion of Iraq. By March 2003, there were over 3,000 French troops attempting to put down the rebellion and protect the peace treaty, to no avail. France continued to send troops, and by July 2003, a shaky peace was declared, protected by the 4,000 French troops in the country by then. But the protests, if not the fighting, continued.
After Ivorian security forces fired on protesters in March 2004, the rebel groups and the main opposition party withdrew from the government in protest themselves, but rejoined the government after two days of talks. 6,000 UN peacekeeping troops were deployed. The country has been relatively quiet since, except for the discovery of mass graves as fighting between rebel factions continues. Now the virulently anti-French protests continue amid escalating violence in Côte d'Ivoire. French troops fought Ivorian soldiers and angry mobs alike, after Ivorian planes killed 9 French soldiers and one American. The French retaliated by destroying the Ivorian planes and helicopters. On 6 November 2004, Reuters reported:
Mob violence erupted in Ivory Coast's national commercial capital, Abidjan, upon France's retaliation, sending thousands of angry loyalists armed with machetes, axes and clubs out into the streets in fiery rampages in search of French targets.
"French go home!" loyalist mobs shouted, as thousands set fire to at least two French schools and tried to storm a French military base, seeking out French civilians as French and Ivory Coast forces briefly traded gunfire.
"Everybody get your Frenchman!" young men screamed to each other, swinging machetes.
How long will it be, I wonder, before the French ask for our help? What should we tell them? Should we say that our own troops are busy fighting in Iraq -- you remember, the place you refused to send troops when we asked for help? Should we remind them that the last time they got in over their heads and asked for American aid was in a place called Dien Bien Phu in 1954, and we'd rather not repeat history? The French loss at Dien Bien Phu led to Vietnam being split in two, and America, having already become invested in the outcome, was almost inexorably drawn into the conflict between North and South. Will we turn our backs on the French in Côte d'Iviore as they continue to do in Iraq, even after the emergence of a democratic government? Jacques Chirac is still trying to cause trouble by snubbing Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Chirac skipped out on greeting him in Brussels to visit dying terrorist Yasser Arafat.
The question is, can we turn our backs on the Ivorians if they need our help? On the other hand, can we deal with more anti-war protesters in the streets of New York, this time chanting "No Blood For Cocoa?"
UPDATE: Buy yourself or your favorite Français a No Blood for Chocolate! T-shirt. Thanks to DowneastBlog for the link.
UPDATE 2: Little Green Footballs has links to videos of French soldiers firing into a crowd of unarmed civilians protesting their presence. This won't be seen on the mainstream news anytime soon.
Posted at Sunday, November 07, 2004 by CavalierX