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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
of people freed from totalitarian dictatorships
by anti-American Bush-bashing
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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Liberals are just Socialists who want to be loved... then again, Socialists are just Communists who lack the courage of their convictions.
Cavalier's Third Theorem:
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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Saturday, December 24, 2005
Exploding Liberal Myths 11: Home Spying Hogwash
Prior to 21st century America, had one group of officials tried to prevent their own government from discovering the plans of enemy agents hiding among the populace, they would have been tried for treason -- if they were lucky. Had some members of Congress tried to prevent the government from tapping the phones of known Nazi collaborators during WWII, or attempted to protect the "right" of Confederate spies to pass information to the South during the Civil War, they would have been arrested. Unlike anything we've seen before, the Left is turning national security and the prosecution of a war against terrorists into political talking points.
Since shortly after 9/11, the NSA has been monitoring international phone calls to and from domestic phone numbers known to be affiliated with al-Qaeda associates. Without an easy way to communicate with al-Qaeda leaders overseas, another attack would be more difficult for terrorists to plan and execute. It was a wartime decision essential to our defense, and as such came directly under the authority of the President as commander-in-chief. Those who claim that the Legislative or Judicial branches of the Federal government should have control over military decisions are clearly unfamiliar with the Constitutional separation of powers, or how "efficiently" bureaucrats can run a war. The Left likes to pretend terrorism is merely a matter of civilian law enforcement, but this is a war, not an episode of CSI: Terrorism. Treating terrorism as a law enforcement matter, like jaywalking or stealing apples, is what allowed al-Qaeda to plan 9/11 so elaborately and secretly in the first place.
The fact that phone calls with al-Qaeda have been monitored is not news, though the Left seems to think it is. In 2002, the Associated Press reported that the government had "recently uncovered numerous calls from difficult-to-track prepaid cell phones, Internet-based phone service, prepaid phone cards and public pay phones in the United States to known al-Qaeda locations overseas." The story mentioned that the phone calls were "one piece of a growing body of evidence pointing to the presence of suspected members of terrorist sleeper cells operating on U.S. soil, and a growing sophistication on their part to keep their communications secret." The Left's response, three years later, is to attack the Bush administration for not having the proper paperwork on file when they eavesdropped on conversations with terrorists.
In fact, warrantless electronic surveillance has been done before, and since the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was signed in 1978. President Carter authorised wiretapping without requiring a court order in 1979. President Reagan authorised warrantless searches against agents of a foreign power. President Clinton authorised electronic surveillance without a warrant in 1995, as well as physical searches of property. Clinton's Deputy Attorney General, Jamie Gorelick, testified before the Senate that the "Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes." Some may remember Gorelick as the person responsible for building up the wall between law enforcement agencies that kept them from sharing information they gathered during terrorism investigations.
But does electronic surveillance without a court-issued warrant violate the law? In 2002, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review examined the issue of warrantless surveillance. The Court noted that "all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information." Is the President's authority under the Constitution limited by FISA? "We take for granted," the Court stated, "that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President's constitutional power." Since that is precisely what FISA was created to do, doesn't that essentially make FISA itself unconstitutional?
And what of our Constitutional rights? There is, as yet, no evidence that American citizens were targeted for electronic surveillance, but what if they were? The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects us against "unreasonable searches and seizures." Is it unreasonable to tap phone numbers discovered in al-Qaeda databases? Is it unreasonable to listen in on phone calls to or from known al-Qaeda locations?
The Left is merely ramping up paranoia, hoping that people fearful of government intrusion will vote the Big Government party into power in 2006 and 2008. The fact is that no one actually cares about your recipe exchanges with Aunt Sally, or how you complain about your boss and to whom. Unless your Aunt Sally is a known al-Qaeda operative in Pakistan, no one's even listening.
If Osama bin Laden calls me up from his Baluchistan hideout, however, you can bet I want the Feds taking notes. Moreover, I want them tracking the call to its source and sending every JDAM and MOAB in our inventory.
Exploding Liberal Myths 10: The Plame Name Game
Exploding Liberal Myths 9: The Separation of Church and State
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 Saturday, December 24, 2005 by CavalierX
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Score One For Democracy... Three For Terrorism
It's sad, even tragic, that for every advance abroad, we seem to take several steps backward at home. Our enemies no longer have any need to attack America directly -- they have the services of the "mainstream" media and the political Left.
Despite the Left's continued attempts to portray Iraq as a failure or disaster, that country is well on its way to becoming the focal point of a spreading Middle Eastern democracy -- the only realistic answer to terrorism's root cause. Two critical tests remain for the Iraqi government: whether they can form a stable government out of the 275 members of Parliament that have recently been elected, and whether its members can effect a smooth transition of power when their term of office ends in four years.
Events are taking place in the Middle East that have never happened there before, and never quickly and smoothly anywhere. It was seven years between the end of the American Revolution and the time our own Constitution took effect in 1789. If ratification had been thrown open to a popular vote as it was in Iraq, the process would certainly have taken well over a decade. How can three years be termed a "failure" by any but the childishly impatient standards of Liberals? No reasonable person expected this process to take less than three to five years, even without the meddling of Iran and Syria -- not to mention the terrorists and their "war on this evil principle known as democracy."
The Coalition government appointed a representative group of Iraqis to write a temporary constitution; Iraqis voted under that constitution in January 2005 to elect an interim government of their own. The interim government wrote a permanent constitution that was ratified by 79% of the voters in October 2005. Iraqis recently turned out in overwhelming numbers, coming from all factions and ethnic groups, to vote for their first democratically-elected government -- the first such government in the entire Arab world. Now the members of the Iraqi Parliament will have the chance to participate in a give-and-take representative governing system such as we have... well, no one said a democratic government was perfect, but it's certainly better than a fascist dictatorship. Iraqis have bootstrapped themselves from a collapsed totalitarian government to free elections under their own constitution in less than three years, with our help.
On the other hand, home politics have forced what can only be seen as victories for our enemies in the War on Terror, offsetting our amazing successes abroad. Democratic Senators are filibustering the renewal of the PATRIOT Act -- a piece of legislation hated by the Left for no good reason. Not one single instance of abuse of any citizen's civil liberties under the Act has ever been verified. All the PATRIOT Act really does is allow the same methods used for investigating organised crime, serial killings and drug rings to be used when investigating terrorism. Yet some Senators are working to undermine the PATRIOT Act, on the shaky grounds that they think can see a way someone might possibly figure out how to abuse it somehow, though it may take a concerted effort of the entire Federal government to do so. If the PATRIOT Act is not renewed, key provisions expire at the end of 2005 -- and those who block it will be partially responsible for any future acts of terror that could have been prevented by it.
Aiding the Democrats in their effort to undermine the President are, of course, the members of the "mainstream" media. Just as the Senate went into heated debate over renewing the PATRIOT Act, the New York Times decided to attack the President for allowing wiretaps of phone conversations in America several years ago. Ramping up unfounded fears of unconstitutional government activities is a sure way to pressure Senators to let the PATRIOT Act lapse. The story (coincidentally printed just in time to aid sales of the author's upcoming book on the subject) claims that the President unlawfully allowed the NSA to listen in on foreign conversations involving American citizens without getting an advance court order. The only part of the claim that's untrue is the word "unlawfully."
It turns out that not only was the action authorised under FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978), but that some of the members of Congress pretending to be shocked by this revelation were kept apprised of the NSA's actions all along. Though FISA contains a clause preventing secret surveillance of a "United States person," the character of someone who might be an "agent of a foreign power" -- which includes anyone working with a terrorist group -- should logically pre-empt that designation. Naturally, if America's security agencies are prevented from tapping American phones even when used by terrorists, all the terrorists need to do is pick up some disposable cellphones with American numbers and throw them away after one use, before a court order to tap them can be obtained. Thanks to the New York Times and whoever leaked information about a secret, legal tactic to gather information on terrorist activities, this will probably become standard operating procedure for terrorists in the future.
Last, but certainly not least, is the protection for terrorists recently advanced by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and agreed to by President Bush. This is a blow to US efforts to glean information from captured terrorists. McCain wants to prevent the US from using torture or "degrading treatment" to coerce terror detainees to surrender information. McCain's answer to critics is that the President could simply authorise breaking the law under extreme circumstances. Well, then, what's the point of writing such a law in the first place? Laws should not be written just because they sound nice and get a US Senator media approval. That's a poor use of my tax dollars.
The torture part is not a problem -- the US does not condone the torture of anyone, not even terrorists. The question is what constitutes torture. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defined torture in 2002 as inflicting severe pain, organ failure or permanent damage that was "specifically intended." The Left has used that definition (since broadened to exclude some highly aggressive methods) arrived at by Gonzales' legal team to slander him as "condoning torture" ever since. Gonzales expressed no personal opinion on the use of aggressive interrogation techniques, however. Mere discomfort or fright is simply not torture, despite the Left's hypersensitive caterwauling, and can lead to cooperation by breaking the subject's morale. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a high-ranking al-Qaeda leader (and 9/11 planner) captured in 2003, lasted all of two-and-a-half minutes before breaking down under the "waterboarding" technique, which simulates drowning but has no lasting physical effect.
The word "degrading," however, is far too ambiguous and subjective to be used without definition. Many on the Left feel that the terrorists themselves should get to decide what's "degrading." If a terror suspect objects to wearing handcuffs, not being able to choose his own clothing or having a woman anywhere in sight range, he could term his treatment "degrading" -- and many on the Left would accept that as a proper description. Personally, I feel it's degrading to Americans to be forced to treat terrorists as honorable opponents who follow any sort of honor code. There can be no reasonable objection to aggressive interrogation techniques that force subjects to reveal information that saves American lives, as long as real torture is not involved. Name-calling, orange jumpsuits and rap "music" should certainly not be defined as "degrading" (although the rap could be classified as "torture.")
If we're going to get anywhere in this war, we have got to stop treating terrorists with kid gloves, cease granting them rights and privileges they don't have and don't deserve. Why would any captured terrorist give up information, knowing that there's nothing we can do to him to make him talk -- not even keep him up past his bedtime? The fact that terrorists think we're too soft and spineless to fight back was the reason they kept attacking us with increasing ferocity and confidence through the decade culminating in 9/11.
Were they right, after all?
14 Jan 06 UPDATE: I'm not surprised by the sudden surge in sales of disposable cellphones, as reported by ABC News:
Federal agents have launched an investigation into a surge in the purchase of large quantities of disposable cell phones by individuals from the Middle East and Pakistan, ABC News has learned.
The phones — which do not require purchasers to sign a contract or have a credit card — have many legitimate uses, and are popular with people who have bad credit or for use as emergency phones tucked away in glove compartments or tackle boxes. But since they can be difficult or impossible to track, law enforcement officials say the phones are widely used by criminal gangs and terrorists.
Posted at Sunday, December 18, 2005 by CavalierX
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Now THAT'S What Democracy Looks Like
Posted at Thursday, December 15, 2005 by CavalierX
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Stanley Williams... Meet Justice
It is nearly impossible to understand the Left's penchant for celebrating killers. From common thugs like Wesley Cook (also known as Mumia Abu-Jamal) and Stanley "Tookie" Williams to serious mass murderers like Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein, the Left often seems to sanctify criminals while vilifying those who stop them. Now one more murderer is finally dead, after forcing the families and friends of his victims to wait an excruciating 24 years for closure.
Like every other reasonably competent human being, Stanley Williams knew that murder was against the law, and that his own life was forfeit for commiting such an act. Yet he made the decision -- over and over -- to take lives anyway. Not only did he murder a convenience store clerk, a couple at a motel and their adult daughter, but founded the vicious Crips gang. The infamous LA gang has been responsible for perhaps thousands of murders and other crimes since its creation in 1971. When the butcher's bill finally came due, the Left -- as usual -- attempted to insulate Williams from the consequences of his actions.
If only they cared this much when innocent human beings are sentenced to death by the courts... or killed without any trial at all. As I have often said, "Liberals will fight to protect the guilty and kill the innocent, while Conservatives will fight to protect the innocent and punish the guilty."
Williams' supporters claimed that he deserved clemency because he wrote books about the bad side of gang membership during the 24 years he spent in prison. Although some of the books had a message intended to steer kids away from gang life, there was no admission of or remorse for the crimes he committed. I'm sure he was awfully sorry he got caught and sentenced to death. However, that did nothing to bring back the people he killed, nor did it atone in any way for their deaths. He denied them a chance to write their own books. What right did he have to ask for consideration after two dozen more years of life than he allowed any of his victims?
Williams was sentenced to death based on overwhelming evidence of guilt, in accordance with the law. Governor Schwarzenegger's statement upon his refusal to interfere said, in part, "Based on the cumulative weight of the evidence, there is no reason to second guess the jury's decision of guilt or raise significant doubts or serious reservations about Williams' convictions and death sentence." Even the ultra-Liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was unable to find legal grounds upon which to grant a reprieve. Still, Hollywood half-wits, race pimps and the rest of the "usual suspects" turned up to demand that justice not be done. Funny how the same people who scream that following the law is "racist" seem to forget that Williams himself committed what would now be termed a "hate crime." After all, Williams told accomplice Tony Sims that he killed Albert Owens "because he was white and he was killing all white people."
I wouldn't be surprised if Schwarzenegger's refusal to overturn the decision of the courts was based, at least in part, on the arrogant presumption of his Hollywood pals that they just "know better" than all the judges who have reviewed the case over the years. Side note to the high-profile Hollywood Liberal crowd: No reasonable person wants to hear simplistic solutions to complex problems dreamed up by poseurs and phonies who are overpaid to mouth lines written by others. We can get the same ideas from children for free, and in crayon.
Few on the Left seemed to consider the rights of Williams' victims. Not only did they not lose their right to justice when he murdered them, but their relatives, at least, are owed some sort of closure. Was their 24-year wait for reckoning made any better by Williams' books and the celebrities who fawned on him? Has Williams -- or his groupies -- ever even bothered to apologise to them for the destruction of their lives for no good reason? Where was the anti-death-penalty Left with their high-sounding idealistic speeches when the Owens family asked why Albert was killed? And what about Yen-I Yang, Tsai-Shai Yang and Yee-Chen Lin? When Robert Yang asked why his parents and sister were shot, where was the Left? Nominating their murderer for the Nobel peace prize, that's where.
In part, society depends upon a pact. We don't seek personal justice or retribution for wrongs, but agree to turn that over to the criminal justice system. If you are the victim of an illegal act, the justice system is supposed to pursue your aggressor, even if you are already dead. It doesn't always work perfectly, but -- on the whole -- it does work. Punishing criminals helps to protect us from repeat offenders and other potential criminals. When the law is carried out and justice served upon lawbreakers, others who would choose to violate the law may be stopped by fear of punishment.
Sure, perhaps Stanley "Tookie" Williams did some good for society by writing books and speaking out against gang life. That in no way precluded society's need for him to pay for his crimes. His final -- in fact, only -- act of redemption, therefore, was to attest to the integrity of the social pact by his death. By visiting justice upon Williams in accordance with the law, the legal system proves to other violence-prone criminals as well as law-abiding citizens that, even if they turn slowly and squeak too much, the wheels of justice do turn.
Posted at Tuesday, December 13, 2005 by CavalierX
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Treason is defined, in part, as "giving aid and comfort" to the enemies of the United States, according to the Constitution (Article III, Section 3) and the United States Code (Title 18, Part I, Chapter 115, Section 2381). Yet the Constitution also states, in the First Amendment, that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech." How do we distinguish between free speech and treason? Where do we draw the line? The answer may be found using that least-used resource: common sense.
I would submit that the elected leaders of this country have more responsibility than the rest of us to ensure that they give no aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war. With American troops risking their lives in daily battle on behalf of the nation, critical words from those in leadership positions carry greater weight than in peacetime, both with the enemy and with our own troops.
Yet the leaders of the Democratic party consistently attack the war in Iraq with lies, from distorting the history of our confrontation with Saddam Hussein, to prevaricating about their own statements which led us to war, to defaming the character of every member of the Bush administration in turn. Worst of all, however, is the slander they spread about our troops.
The Chairman of the Democratic party, Howard Dean, said during a radio interview on 6 December that the "idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong." Does this statement not give "aid and comfort" to the enemy? The leader of a major political party, to which nearly half of all Americans belong, is telling the terrorists and insurgents in Iraq that they will win; that they will beat the United States.
Dean also said that, "this is the same situation we had in Vietnam," and in a certain sense, he's right. The beaten, demoralised North Vietnamese leadership was given new hope by certain American politicians and the press, to the point where they struggled on until America's Liberals turned public opinion against the war. America was forced to withdraw from Vietnam in disgrace, having never lost a battle, by people just like Howard Dean. With his defeatist statements, Dean is giving our enemies the aid and comfort they need to keep fighting. How many Americans will die because of Dean's irresponsible remarks, made only to seek political advantage? Tell me why that's not treason.
Senator John Kerry (D-MA), the Democratic party's most recent Presidential candidate, appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" on 4 December to deface the American military. Speaking to interviewer Bob Schieffer, Kerry said that "there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the -- of -- the historical customs, religious customs." (And some people accuse GW Bush of being incoherent?) .
Does a United States Senator and former Presidential candidate accusing American soldiers of terrorising women and children in the dead of night not give aid and comfort to the enemy? Just as he did during Vietnam, John Kerry is falsely accusing American troops of committing atrocities as a matter of normal course in an attempt to undermine support for the war among Americans. As a consequence -- intended or not -- he is yet again handing America's enemies an immense propaganda victory. How many potential terrorists will have their hatred of Americans fueled by Kerry's matter-of-fact statement that American soldiers are terrorising women and children in their homes at night, breaking cultural and religious taboos? Tell me why that's not treason.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) fully supports and endorses the recent statements of Representative John Murtha (D-PA), the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. Murtha has made a big splash among the anti-war faction by calling for an immediate -- within six months -- pullout from Iraq. On 1 December, Murtha told a group of leading Pennsylvania citizens that America would be forced to abandon Iraq within a year because the troops are "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth." Murtha is hailed as a hero in the media for suddenly changing his mind about the war in Iraq, but called it "unwinnable" and stated that "we cannot prevail... with the policy we have today," while urging President Bush to send even more troops in May 2004.
What a burst of enthusiasm Murtha's words must have engendered among our enemies! How much hope will they take from his proclamation that they are, in fact, winning the war? Despite fantastic losses, and despite earning the enmity of the Iraqi people, the terrorists and Saddam supporters in Iraq can now believe that if they just find the strength to hold on a little longer, they can push the hated United States out of Iraq. How many of the enemy will fight rather than surrender, because Pelosi and Murtha have told them they're winning? How does that not give the enemy aid and comfort? Is that not treason?
Not all Democrats follow the defeatist, destructive path of their leaders. But those ARE their leaders -- the Chairman of their party, their most recent Presidential candidate, their party leader in the House of Representatives. Some Democrat politicians have repudiated the statements of Dean, Kerry, Pelosi, Murtha and the rest... not because those remarks were vile, untrue and treasonous, but because the Democrats are afraid such openly anti-American statements might "harm efforts to win control of Congress next year," according to the Washington Post. The only way they can regain power is to hide their true feelings, and they know it. Treason, it seems, is still considered malapropos by some Democrats.
But not all.
Posted at Wednesday, December 07, 2005 by CavalierX
Sunday, December 04, 2005
What the Hell is a 'Holiday Tree?'
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the world's biggest Christmas fanatic, aside from giving gifts. I don't put up a tree, I don't decorate, I don't bake cookies and I don't sing Christmas carols (well, not while sober). I don't send out Christmas cards. I don't wear red and green clothing. I don't run down the street shouting, "Merry Christmas!" to everyone I see, like Jimmy Stewart in It's A Wonderful Life.
How outrageously self-centered would I have to be, though, to consider myself "offended" when others do those things?
82% of Americans belong to one Christian denomination or another, according to a 2002 Pew research poll, while only 1% consider themselves athiests. An ABCNEWS/Beliefnet poll conducted the year before showed the number of Christians to be 83%. Only a tiny percentage of non-Christians take offense when the vast majority of Americans don't hide their religion. And why should they? Don't they have a right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution, to the "free exercise" of their religion? Yet the loudly-complaining far Left demands that no one be allowed to "offend" them. I have yet to see a Constitutional right to "freedom FROM religion."
In recent years, the attack on public recognition of the major religion in this country has become offensive in itself. More stores are advertising "holiday sales," more organisations are holding "holiday parties" and more people are putting up "holiday trees" every year. Even the Capitol Christmas Tree had come to be called a "holiday tree" since the late 1990s, until House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) forced its offical name to return to normal this year. Fear of giving offense to 1% of the population is causing a great deal of offense among the rest of us. If I lived in a country where the population was more than 80% Muslim, I don't think I'd complain about public celebrations of Ramadan. If I lived in Israel, I wouldn't demand they refer to the menorah as a "holiday candlestick" just for me.
What the hell is a "holiday tree," anyway? What's it for?
I was recently invited to a "holiday party" by a local Republican group. I will not attend, on the grounds that they didn't specify precisely what holiday they're celebrating. Is it Christmas? Hannukah? St. Lucia's Day? The Feast of St. Nicholas? Portugese Independence Day? Winter Solstice? A Week Before The End Of The Year Day? Baby-Eating Day? (I'm sure the Liberals would believe that.) I could get into a good old-fashioned Saturnalia, but I need time to get my tunic dry-cleaned. I don't celebrate generic holidays. If they aren't important enough for you to name them, they aren't important enough for me to celebrate them with you.
When they're done savaging Christmas, perhaps the militant secularists will go after Easter. How much fun will it be when the Holiday Bunny leaves Holiday baskets full of Holiday candy for the kiddies to find? After the children dye and decorate Holiday eggs, you can hide them and have a Holiday Egg Hunt. Maybe the whole family can watch the Holiday Parade on tv.
How does that sound any more ridiculous than secularising Christmas -- changing a tradition of centuries, celebrated by millions of families, just to appease a tiny, hate-driven minority? Do you think they wouldn't force Bing Crosby to re-record his biggest hit song as "I'm Dreaming of a White Holiday," if they could? Or would the Political Correctness Police have a problem with that, too? After all, there isn't much snow in the South, and children there might feel left out.
No one will make you celebrate Christmas at gunpoint. No one will kidnap you and drag you to a Christmas party, force you to sing Christmas carols off-key or demand that you wish anyone a "Merry Christmas." No one will make you enjoy yourself. You are free to not celebrate, as I am free to celebrate, a holiday that was a part of American society before there was a United States. If I wish you a "Merry Christmas," try not to launch into a diatribe about how I'm forcing religion down your throat.
Maybe I'll put up a Christmas tree, after all... just in case any militant secularists happen by.
Posted at Sunday, December 04, 2005 by CavalierX
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory
As American and Iraqi hopes for Iraq's future continue to bear fruit, the Left has become ever more determined to claim each victory as a defeat, for purely political reasons. The only way for them to regain power, they believe, is to convince America to throw a war we're winning. Again.
Hey, it worked thirty years ago. Why not now?
The "mainstream" media generally reports the only the most negative or spectacular stories, seeming almost gleeful at times in their self-imposed death watch. Why else do you probably know without thinking the approximate number of American military deaths in Iraq, but would need to look up how many have died in Afghanistan? The terrorists, knowing this, try to do something flashy as often as possible -- roadside bombs, kidnappings or beheadings. Nearly every soldier who returns from or writes from Iraq seems shocked at how little of what's really happening there is ever mentioned in the newspapers or TV news. After a constant barrage of negative reporting, media outlets run their biased, weighted, oversampled opinion polls... and report the inevitable results as though they were news.
Think about it, though. Leading a coalition of nations, America toppled a brutal dictator whose regime destabilised the entire Middle East, after twelve years of his violating a cease-fire agreement with us. Government officials and influential people in the only major countries that declined to help were, as it turns out, in bed with the dictator all along. His mass graves are no longer being filled, his rape rooms and other violations of human rights are now shut down, his secret illegal weapons research stopped, and his sponsorship and training of terrorists are ended. Our military has performed above and beyond expectations, and the enemy only survives by hiding in and striking from the shadows. As time goes on, they are losing the ability to do even that. Yet to hear the Left tell the tale, the war has somehow failed.
A council representing all Iraqis was appointed to write an interim constitution; under that constitution Iraqis held their first free elections to select an interim government to draft their permanent constitution. The constitution was ratified by the overwhelming majority of Iraqi voters, and under that constitution they are about to elect their own government. Iraqis are free to debate the issues in public and vote for their own leaders for the first time in history. The world's oldest civilisation is the world's youngest democracy. Yet if you listen to the Left's spin, Iraq's future is somehow bleak.
Terrorists flocked to Iraq to prevent democracy from taking root there. That should give any reasonable person a hint that democracy in the Middle East is bad for terrorists... and what's bad for terrorists is good for the rest of us. They joined forces with the few thousand Sunnis who preferred a tyrant's rule to democracy. Beaten and demoralised, the "legitimate" resistance -- though no one who fights to enslave an entire nation can be called legitimate -- is now suing for peace. That will leave only the terrorists, backed by Syria, Iran and other al-Qaeda supporters, fighting the joint US and Iraqi forces. Until they, too, are beaten, we cannot and should not withdraw. Yet the Left insists that the US ought to abandon the Iraqis, even as their would-be conquerors are faltering.
Already hints of democratic reform -- baby steps, in some cases, but all in the right direction -- have swept through Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority. The cesspool of tyranny, in which terrorism freely breeds, is finally being drained. None of this would have taken place without the fall of Saddam and the birth of democracy in Iraq. Yet the Left insists that the anti-democratic forces are somehow winning somehow.
Libya has surrendered its entire WMD program, which was far closer to building a nuclear weapon than we had previously supposed. The nuclear weapons proliferation ring headed by Abdul Qadeer Khan has been exposed. The festering corruption within the United Nations, which leads right up to the family of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, has been uncovered. The leaders of Iran and North Korea understand that we mean it when we say they will not be allowed to posess nuclear weapons. Countries around the globe that supported terrorism now understand that we are serious about halting that support. All of this sprang directly from the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Yet the Left complains that we aren't "playing fair" with those sworn to destroy us and our way of life at all costs.
This isn't a game. We're not playing. This is a battle for the future of our entire civilisation. Do we want to give in to the demands of terrorists and their sponsor nations by running away from Iraq before the job is done, or will we push back against the Islamofascist tide that even now threatens to engulf Europe?
The question finally came to a head when Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) called for the US to withdraw from Iraq. The Republicans called his bluff, and that of most Democrats, by forcing a vote on immediate withdrawal. The measure was defeated 403-3. Keep this in mind: everything Democrats have said about bringing the troops home from Iraq right away is just political rhetoric. (Well, except for those three idiots who voted to run away. They really mean it.) Even those calling for a specific timetable are only trying to claim credit in advance for the staged withdrawal that the President has long endorsed.
"Iraq's military, police, and border forces have begun to take on broader responsibilities. Eventually, they must be the primary defenders of Iraqi security, as American and coalition forces are withdrawn," Bush said in May 2004. Such a transfer of responsibility can only happen as the Iraqi forces train up to the task, and not on an artificial schedule imposed by politicians maneuvering for power half a world away. Common sense should tell anyone that informing the terrorists still fighting us in Iraq that we will leave on a certain date will only give them hope, and a great propaganda victory. I can just see the al-Jazeera headlines. "Great Satan Defeated! America Runs Away! Bin Laden Was Right -- They Can't Take It!"
Democrats know as well as anyone that we need to finish the fight in Iraq. They know we're winning. However, they also know that publicly acknowledging the truth about Iraq means defeat for them in 2006. They need America to lose Iraq, and suffer setbacks in the War on Terror, in order to win an election.
And, sadly, that's more important to some of them than any other consideration.
Posted at Wednesday, November 30, 2005 by CavalierX
Friday, November 25, 2005
Some may notice a post missing from this spot. The person whose remarks originally inspired the entry, though her statements were generalised to include similar statements from other conversations I have had along the same lines, felt upset and hurt, and under personal attack. It was never my intention to hurt her, nor to make a personal attack upon her, but merely to illustrate and instruct. Nevertheless, she felt hurt by my words, and so I have removed the post.
Posted at Friday, November 25, 2005 by CavalierX
Monday, November 21, 2005
It is often said that travel broadens the mind, but I'm not entirely convinced that's true. Instead, I believe that travel actually clears the mind, allowing us to return home with a fresh perspective on old problems and a readiness to embrace new challenges. It allows us to discover, if we're inclined to self-examination, a new love of home and what it means to us.
It is all too easy, I suppose, to be overwhelmed by the lure of the new. It's in our nature to want to explore different places, view strange horizons, and taste all that other cultures have to offer. For Americans more than most other people, I think, a visit to other parts of the world has all of that, in addition to the lure of the old.
On a recent trip to Spain, I was as drawn as anyone to the older sections of Madrid and the small towns of the countryside. The twisting streets only fit for walking, the weathered, time-etched churches, the trendy new shops and bars housed in buildings raised when America was still a young nation all seemed to cast a sort of spell. I was moved by the almost untouched wilderness of the Gredos Mountains, through which Celts, Romans, kings and Conquistadors alike marched without the land even seeming to notice their passage. I was impressed by the generosity and friendliness of all the Spaniards (and Portugese) I met.
However... as much as I loved traveling to Spain, and as much fun as I had, no moment gave me quite the rush of emotion as the feel of the plane's wheels leaving the ground when I began my journey home.
It's not because I had difficulty speaking the language that I looked forward to going home, nor was it due to simple unfamiliarity with the country. It wasn't due to the different food, either. On the contrary, the challenges of getting along in a foreign land were exciting and entertaining, to myself as well as many of the Spaniards with whom I conversed. My mime repertoire has expanded to the point where moving to New York City, painting my face white, and doing the "Stuck In A Box" and "Walking Against The Wind" routines for donations is now a fallback career choice.
I once had to mime getting a blister to a clerk at a pharmacy while looking for bandages. Walking all over a city is hard work. When I needed to wash clothes, I stunned several life-long Madrid residents by finding (traveling via bus and sore feet) a self-serve landromat -- a thing which few Madrilenos had supposed even existed in their city. As for the food, I nearly bought a whole pig's leg to bring home, so I wouldn't miss the jamon serrano too soon. I'm sure my fellow passengers wouldn't have minded my boarding the plane with a pig's leg slung over my shoulder like Errol Flynn carrying a deer in Robin Hood.
As exciting and different as other places in the world might be -- and they are -- I will always only have one home, and that's the USA. Here is the place generations of my fellow-countrymen struggled to reach, to seize the opportunities offered -- then and now -- by life in America. I loved traveling to Spain, and look forward to seeing other parts of Europe and the rest of the world, but I know that I'll always be eager to return home, where I belong by choice.
With the world to choose from, I choose this place. I wouldn't condemn my descendants to retrace the journey my ancestors were forced to take by high taxes, struggling economies and oppressive governments -- all of which still exist in the places they fled, though the names have changed.
I met some Americans eager to apply for dual citizenship and move to Europe, drawn by the older, different culture and atmosphere. That's their decision, but could not be mine. I met even more Spaniards, however, who seemed eager to learn about and even come to America... especially after my setting the record straight on all too many issues upon which they've been misled.
When our Liberals tell us that all Europeans hate us, I have to wonder whether they simply hate watching Americans bashing their own country in order to curry favor with foreigners. For too long their only sources of information about this country have been Liberal movies, Liberal newspapers and Liberal visitors, all of which frequently disparage and deride the American culture and people.
As the internet culture continues to gain ground overseas, we will be able to exchange more information without the filters that have been in place for so long. The days of Liberal information control will finally come to an end, as long as we keep the United Nations from taking control of the internet. And I couldn't be happier to throw a few spadefuls of earth on the grave of Leftist disinformation from time to time, simply by not hesitating to speak my mind.
Posted at Monday, November 21, 2005 by CavalierX
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Posted at Sunday, November 20, 2005 by CavalierX