Monday, October 31, 2005

Right Wing Nut House on Plamegate

Right Wing Nut House's analysis on Plamemgate.

This before the Libby's indictment but the Nut sure saw what was wrong with Scooter,
Libby especially is in jeopardy thanks to his too cozy relationship with New York Times reporter Judith Miller. It appears that Libby is a typical Washingtonienne, a gossip extraordiaire who cultivates his relationship with reporters by passing along juicy personal tidbits about players in both politics and the bureaucracy.
And he sure saw what's so frightening about the whole Plamegate affair,
As Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald methodically goes about the business of deciding whether to indict one or more White House officials in L’Affaire d’Plame, it is becoming increasingly clear that no one is going to jail for telling reporters that Ambassador Joe Wilson’s wife convinced the CIA to send him on a mission to Niger to give his consulting business a boost.
and the threat Wilson, and what was going on in the CIA, represented to our Democracy,
The article glosses over the election power play made by a group of CIA partisans – probably centered in Valerie Plame’s WINPAC division at the CIA - who sought to interfere in the election of an American President by selectively leaking information about the Iraq WMD to friendly reporters. All along, we’ve gotten hints that have led to speculation that the real reason for Wilson’s trip (besides his wife’s attempt to help get his fledgling consulting business get off the ground) could have been an attempt to embarrass the President.
Wilson out and out lied. What is curious is where he would have gotten that information because indeed, the documents list as Prime Minister of Niger someone who had been out of office for years. In other words, Wilson did not “misspeak” anything; he was simply repeating what he had been told by someone with access to the secret documents. The fact that he falls asleep every night next to someone with access to that classified information should tell you all you need to know about Wilson’s role in this entire affair.

In short, Wilson has been acting like the classic CIA errand boy – a conduit to the outside world who can leak to reporters all sorts of classified information while shielding his masters at the CIA from charges that they violated their oaths not to reveal the nation’s secrets. He has perhaps proved himself a little more flamboyant than his friends at the agency would have preferred with a photo spread in Vanity Fair not to mention a book deal and appearances on every political talk show in Christendom. But he has served his purpose well.

Fitz needs to subpoena George Tenet in this coming trial and get Tenet out in the open, on record, about what was going on in his shop.


A year I remember well.

I think the next Democratic convention will be a repeat of the one in Chicago in 1968. Not violent; but just as destructive to the Party.

Leftist anti semitism was on of 1968's legacies. Here's a new book from Germany on it reviewed in signandsight,
On November 9, 1969, on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, over two hundred people were gathered in Berlin's Jewish Community Centre in commemoration of the victims of Nazi Germany. Unbeknownst to them, a member of the radical Left student movement "Tupamaros West Berlin" planted a bomb in the building. The device failed to explode because the clock meant to trigger it off was connected by a rusty wire. The Tupamaros saw themselves as Germany's first urban guerillas, inspired by the Latin American role model.
This summer, Wolfgang Kraushaar published "Die Bombe im Jüdischen Gemeindehaus" (the bomb in the Jewish Community Centre). The book reveals previously unknown information on the 1969 plot, and sparked a heated debate about anti-Semitism in the German Left in general and in the 68er movement specifically. According to historian Götz Aly, "the German 68ers were wretchedly similar to their parents." Journalist Micha Brumlik pinpoints "the radical Left rebellion against their parents' Nazi generation as a contradictory process of identification with them and their hatred of Jews."

SecDef Rumsfeld: "You've got the lead. Well, lead!"

from today's inteview with Der Spiegel :

SPIEGEL: How concerned are you about Iran?

Rumsfeld: All of us have to be concerned when a country that important, large and wealthy is disconnected from the normal interactions with the rest of the world. They obviously have certain ambitions, powers and military capabilities ...

SPIEGEL: ...and nuclear ambitions...

Rumsfeld: That's apparently what France, Germany, the UK and the International Atomic Energy Agency have concluded. Everyone wants to have the Iranians as part of the world community, but they aren't yet. Therefore there's less predictability and more danger.

SPIEGEL: The US is trying to make the case in the United Nations Security Council.

Rumsfeld: I would not say that. I thought France, Germany and the UK were working on that problem.

SPIEGEL: What kind of sanctions are we talking about?

Rumsfeld: I'm not talking about sanctions. I thought you, and the U.K. and France were.

SPIEGEL: You aren't?

Rumsfeld: I'm not talking about sanctions. You've got the lead. Well, lead!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tyranno: Smug sophistication and the next generation

A comment found on David's Mediankritik in response to this post on Where are those blood for oil banners when you need them.
Our poor Euro brethren would have us believe their more complex and sophisticated view of the world is because they are so much older, more experienced and have advanced further socially. Amusingly, when you peel that onion you discover their cynical sophisticated "idealism" is solely predicated on advantageous trade deals and they don't give a damn who they are with. Sounds like Godless, mercenary capitalists!!!! Oh wait, that term is reserved exclusively for the Americans! As Mr. Gedmin points out in the article, it is not just the status quo preferred by the murderous Arab despots and self appointed Kings the U.S.A. led coalition is working to break down.

Old Europe indulges and practices an astonishing level of denial . . . masked as smug sophistication. One day they will have to explain to their next generation of children (like they had to this generations about an "East" Germany) why they were again on the wrong side of history, and how they chose to sit on their hands for all those years. And how when an opportunity to make a difference presented itself, they went so far as to demonstrate against liberation and for the return of the murderous criminal Ba'athist regime. My God it has got to be shameful and difficult being a modern progressive liberal in such important times! Tyranno
This failure to make a difference isn't Elie Weisel's indifference either. It's a cynical lust for power or wealth for a few, and a hatred for Bush so deep for the rest of the left; that it blinds them to such gross murder they'll fight bringing the tyrant to justice.

Martin Gilbert on Milt's last night

Milt hosted historian Martin Gilbert last night talking about Gilbert's new book: Churchill and Amercia.

The audio tapes of Churchills speeches were powerful.

"You never have to take back things you don't say"

I heard Mayor Sawyer once say one think he learned from the elder Daley was, you never have to take back words you don't say.

The Belmont Club speculates that's exactly what the Senators were setting Galloway up for here.

Harry's Place has more Galloway links here.

The Tuskeegee Airmen's Last Mission

from Baseball Crank

Helem publishes Arab worlds first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexed and Queer magazine

Normsblog links the Arab worlds first Gay magazine. It's published by Helem in Lebanon who describes itself as,
Helem membership is open to any person who shares our values based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Helem is also strongly opposed to any kind of segregation, both in the services it offers or in the struggle it leads.
I don't think a magazine like this could have been published in Lebanon without the transformation going on now in the Arab world started by President Bush. I wish more Gay activists understood how Bush's Conservative Christian faith also roots his faith in Universal Human rights.

Forget pushing Gay Clergy and same-sex Marriage on conservative Churches. Leave these people alone because you insult a faith in human dignity which fuels the real struggle groups like Helem fight.

Focus instead on Universal Human Rights, where no such rights exist; and support President Bush as he builds Democracy and a Liberal society in the Arab world.

Hastert's blog

Here's Hastert's blog. Wonder if he'll allow comments? Hope not... that could be a tremendous bore to wade through.

Monday, October 24, 2005


from an interview with Howar Ziad, the Iraqi Ambassador to Canada, in the October 14, 2005 Globe and Mail,
The only opposition in Iraq to this process has come from a minority of Iraqis who have chosen to express themselves with bombs rather than ballots. These killers are largely drawn from a minority within Iraq's Sunni Arab community. They are supremacists who believe that they, and their specific ethnic-religious community, have an inherent right to rule. Unlike white South Africans, who eventually conceded the immorality of apartheid when confronted with the dignity and courage of a leader such as Nelson Mandela, the Iraqi supremacists have rejected all opportunities for dialogue and democracy. Yet in Iraq, as in South Africa, the right of the majority to rule has been confirmed through elections.

Cindy Sheehan on Hillary Clinton

As reported by Novak and found on Michael Moore's webpage:
I would love to support Hillary for President if she would come out against the travesty in Iraq. But I don't think she can speak out against the occupation, because she supports it.

I will not make the mistake of supporting another pro-war Democrat for president again: As I won't support a pro-war Republican.
Sixty-nine of our best and brightest have been sent meaninglessly and unnecessarily to their premature deaths since I met with Mrs. Clinton on September 22nd. Sixty-nine mothers and fathers and who knows how many spouses, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, cousins, and friends have been meaninglessly and unnecessarily sent into tailspins of grief and emptiness since that meeting.

We all know that Sen. Clinton, along with many other Representatives and Senators voted to give George Bush the authority to invade a sovereign nation that was no threat to the USA. We know that they spinelessly abrogated their constitutional responsibility and duty to declare war. We (and most of them) know that voting to give an irresponsible person authority to wage war was a devastating mistake. But I know that knowing all of that will not bring my son or almost 2000 other Americans back and it won't bring back that nation's war dead, either.
Democrats will a have a heck of a time building a coherent response to war against Bin Ladenism with these folks in their midst telling them they're spineless.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Rice's Wednesday Heckler

I just saw the rerun of Wednesday's Senate hearings with SecState Rice. A woman stood up and heckled the hearings shooting "No War in Syria" and it turns out she was a disgruntled State Employee and Army LTC.

She wasn't hustled out by any means. She paused to pick up her purse. She started leaving before the police got to her. I think escorted would have been more apt description then hustle.

I hope we have plan for Syria, includig force if need be.
Syria has a huge stock of chem weapons.Syria, not a signatory to either the CWC or the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and has not ratified BWC began developing chemical weapons in 1973 prior to the Yom Kipper war when the Egyptian government reportedly gave Syria artillery shells capable of delivering chemical weapons. Since then Syria has developed a robust chemical weapons program, perhaps one of the most advanced in the Middle East, and a variety of delivery methods. The country is still very depending on outside assistance in procuring important precursor chemicals and equipment.

Bush's Cronies

Scott Johnson has a post on powerline on Secretary Rice's visit to Birmingham, Alabama and how NYT's Steven Weisman has just noticed Rice speaks of her past in context of a larger struggle for human rights and social justice.

Johnson ends with this reflection on where today's liberals find themselves.
As I noted in the Standard column, the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963 had been the handiwork of former members of the Ku Klux Klan -- brothers under the hood to former Ku Klux Klan Grand Kleagle and current Democratic United States Senator Robert Byrd. Byrd of course opposed Rice's confirmation as Secretary of State. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Byrd and 11 other Democratic senators in opposing Rice's confirmation as Secretary of State was Democratic senator Mark Dayton who is, oddly enough, the occupant of Hubert Humphrey's seat in the Senate.
All the talk of Cronyism with Meir's nomination convinces me one of Bush's greatest legacies will be his cronies were Women, Hispanic-Americans, and African-Americans, and that they really were cronies he relied upon deeply. He's truely the first President not to have lined the inner circle with white-european males.

Hans Blix then and now

Weekly Standard's foreign policy blog reviews Han's Blix's latest speeches.

Resolution 687 (1991), like the subsequent resolutions I [Hans Bix] shall refer to, required cooperation by Iraq but such was often withheld or given grudgingly. Unlike South Africa, which decided on its own to eliminate its nuclear weapons and welcomed inspection as a means of creating confidence in its disarmament, Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance—not even today—of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace. As we know, the twin operation “declare and verify,” which was prescribed in resolution 687 (1991), too often turned into a game of “hide and seek.” Rather than just verifying declarations and supporting evidence, the two inspecting organizations found themselves engaged in efforts to map the weapons programmes and to search for evidence through inspections, interviews, seminars, inquiries with suppliers and intelligence organizations.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A Photogenic Congressman DeLay

He wasn't my favorite politican until he got indicted based on another of history's missing lists of names. Now he strikes me as a hero in a good fight.

I wish the camera was as kind on me. He looks the happy warrior here.

Marvin Olasky: "Intelligence without humility is a big part of the Supreme Court's problem."

I've known many smart people (and they'll tell you so). They've taught me smarts aren't wisdom, but that a little humility will grow some.

Here's Marvin Olasky's column on Harriet Meyers.

Sunshine also breeds truth,
I've asked anyone with negative impressions of her to come forward and either speak on the record or provide evidence to substantiate concerns. The magazine I edit, World, is stricter on that accord than some other publications are. For example, we tell our reporters not to give interviewees off-the-record status merely because they ask for it and proffer gossip. So far, we have received no negatives admissible in the magazine's pages.

DePaul: with a scarlet R on their foreheads

Advance of Muir's cartoon on DePaul's hosting of Ward Churchill found on Mental Ward.

Dennis Banks on Ward Churchill: hiring a fraud betrays the search for truth and justice

Peter Tatchell wrote, We are witnessing one of the greatest betrayals by the left since so-called left-wingers backed the Hitler-Stalin pact and opposed the war against Nazi fascism.

Dennis Banks sees the betrayel in this press release on the American Indian Movement's website in response to Hamilton College's hiring of Ward Churchill to speak.

I wish DePaul understood their betrayal of the search for truth and justice.
Ward Churchill has been masquerading as an Indian for years behind his dark glasses and beaded headband. He waves around an honorary membership card that at one time was issued to anyone by the Keetoowah Tribe of Oklahoma. Former President Bill Clinton and many others received these cards, but these cards do not qualify the holder a member of any tribe. He has deceitfully and treacherously fooled innocent and naïve Indian community members in Denver, Colorado, as well as many other people worldwide. Churchill does not represent, nor does he speak on behalf of the American Indian Movement.

New York’s Hamilton College Kirklands Project should be aware that in their search for truth and justice, the idea that they have hired a fraud to speak on Indian activism is in itself a betrayal of their goals.

DePaul and Ward Churchill: Human Rights by invitation only

Mental Ward posts a letter to DePaul Republicans banning them from Ward Churchill's speech on Oct 21st even though the Cultural Center is “Open to Student Organizations which are supported by Cultural Center’s Allocation Fund.”
You had signed up for the Ward Churchill Lecture on October 21st. I was mistaken and neglected to inform you that this day is for organizations that are part of the Human Rights Group and therefore the lecture on the 21st is by invitation only. You are more than welcome to come to Mr. Churchill’s lecture on Thursday October 20th. To clarify there are no cameras or recording devices allowed at this lecture. If you have any further questions please call the Cultural Center at 773-325-7759. Again I am sorry for the confusion but do hope that you can make it on the 20th.

Thank You,
Alexandra Bancroft
Cultural Center

DePaul: "never allow you in my classroom"

Marathon Pundit posts here, here, and here on yesterdays protest of DePaul spending bucks to finance Ward Churchill's speech.

Also this post on one Prof who later told Marathon she would never allow him in her classroom because he suggested Prof Klocek had some rights to free speech too. This Prof must teach the storm trooping class now. It doesn't seem to be the same DePaul I knew in the 70s.

While attempting to enter Ward-a-palooza tonight at DePaul, one of the DePaul security staff announced, "Would Professor Kay's (Kaye?) students please form a line here." Who is this Professor? Was it part of a class assignment for the students to attend Ward Churchill's lecture? If anyone knows, please leave this information in the comments.

I asked some of the DePaul Republicans if they knew who this person was, but they didn't.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Joseph Wilson: Wives and Drugs

How do you hold a security clearance if you were a drug user? How do you hold a security clearance if your spouse was a drug user? You'd have to lie about it on your background investigation.

Some in the audience urged him to run for political office. But Wilson said he'd been a true child of the 1960s and had ``too many wives and taken too many drugs. And, yes, I did inhale.''

Queers Against Terror & Gender Apartheid (QATGA): Gay Palestinians suffer under the PLO/Palestinian "Authority"

Queers Against Terror & Gender Apartheid (QATGA): Gay Palestinians suffer under the PLO/Palestinian "Authority": "Chatting with a 21-year-old Palestinian man in a gay bar in Tel Aviv was the most interesting moment of my summer vacation. There isn't much social interaction between Arabs and Jews these days because of the ongoing terrorist war against Israel, but the gay scene is a little bit different.

Why do Arab and Jewish homosexuals mix in Tel Aviv? Because Israel is the only country in the Middle East where homosexuals can live in freedom. "

Powerline: DePaul Invites Churchill, Suppresses Republicans

via Powerline:
DePaul University in Chicago has invited Ward Churchill to its campus to speak on--of all things--human rights. The college's Republicans have tried to mobilize opposition to Churchill's visit, but have been blocked by the college's administration. Amazingly, the Republicans were denied the right to post flyers criticizing Churchill's visit on the ground that the flyers were "propaganda"!
I found this via a link at Elephants in Academics and they link a site created by DePaul students to follow the visit. You'll see a post there with a letter from the Gov of Colorado asking this,
All decent people, whether Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, should denounce the views of Ward Churchill. Not only are his writings outrageous and insupportable, they are at odds with the facts of history. Ward Churchill has besmirched the University of Colorado and the excellent teaching, writing and research of its faculty.

Why let him besmirch DePaul as well?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Maryam Namazie: Secularist of the Year 2005

Nick Cohen in The Guardian via Labour friends of Iraq on Iran's Maryam Namazie:

Namazie is on the right side of the great intellectual struggle of our time between incompatible versions of liberalism. One follows the fine and necessary principle of tolerance, but ends up having to tolerate the oppression of women, say, or gays in foreign cultures while opposing misogyny and homophobia in its own. (Or 'liberalism for the liberals and cannibalism for the cannibals!' as philosopher Martin Hollis elegantly described the hypocrisy of the manoeuvre.) The alternative is to support universal human rights and believe that if the oppression of women is wrong, it is wrong everywhere.

The gulf between the two is unbridgeable. Although the argument is rarely put as baldly as I made it above, you can see it breaking out everywhere across the liberal-left. Trade union leaders stormed out of the anti-war movement when they discovered its leadership had nothing to say about the trade unionists who were demanding workers' rights in Iraq and being tortured and murdered by the 'insurgents' for their presumption.

Former supporters of Ken Livingstone reacted first with bewilderment and then steady contempt when he betrayed Arab liberals and embraced the Islamic religious right. The government's plans to ban the incitement of religious hatred have created an opposition which spans left and right and whose members have found they have more in common with each other than with people on 'their side'.

As Namazie knows, the dispute can't stay in the background for much longer. There's an almighty smash-up coming and not before time.

Changed minds?

Eric the unread asks,

So, is anyone willing to admit they have changed their opinions on a specific issue, or changed their more general political stance on a more global scale, because of what they have come across on a blog?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

If you live long enough, or "The Shah is a fascist pig, down with the fascist Shah"

I worked at Dr. Scholl's at Shiller and Wells in the 1970s. I'd wait for the 136 bus by the Federal Building on Dearborn get up there and recall watching Iranian demonstrators chant "The Shah is a fascists pig;down with the fascists Shah". You'd tap your feet to the beat and it became a bit hypnotic.

I'd give my buddy a quick lesson on all I knew about Iran and resistance to the Shah and our sympathies were with the protestors while we tapped away waiting for the bus.

The sympathy ended once the hostages were taken.

Now comes this amazing interview by Hitchens with the Ayotollah's grandson now in Iraq,

Young Khomeini is convinced that the coming upheaval will depend principally on those who once supported his grandfather and have now become disillusioned. I asked him what he would like to see happen, and his reply this time was very terse and did not require any Quranic scriptural authority or explication. The best outcome, he thought, would be a very swift and immediate American invasion of Iran.

It hurt me somewhat to have to tell him that there was scant chance of deliverance coming by this means. He took the news pretty stoically (and I hardly think I was telling him anything he did not know). But I was thinking, wow, this is what happens if you live long enough. You'll hear the Ayatollah's grandson saying, not even "Send in the Marines" but "Bring in the 82nd Airborne." I think it was the matter-of-factness of the reply that impressed me the most: He spoke as if talking of the obvious and the uncontroversial.

Blogistan relaunch

via Harry's Place:
This is what I intend will be a Muslim group blog for mainstream, orthodox Muslims, offering commentary on both religious and social issues from a Muslim point of view. I also intend that the blog would have a British focus, although not exclusively so. I would like this blog to represent the true, moderate face of Islam in Britain, and be a counterweight not only to unfair representations in the media, but also to certain media monitoring sites run by immature people who (probably unintentionally) regularly show us in a bad light. I also intend that the site would be free of overheated rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and sectarian propaganda.

Political Sherpa: Abortion and Children with Disabilities

Why overturing Roe Vs Wade not the issue. Everything about abortion is going to get more complex and uncomfortable.

On the otherhand, maybe the answer more obvious.

Monday, October 17, 2005

those transnational elites

Barone follows upon Galston and Kamarack. I sure sense the need. It's influnced many of my choices.
"A nation's morale and strength derive from a sense of the past," argues historian Wilfred McClay. Ties to those who came before -- whether in the military, in religion, in general patriotism -- provide a sense of purpose rooted in history and tested over time. Secular transnational elites are on their own, without a useful tradition, in constructing a morality to help them perform their duties.

Most Americans sense they need such ties to the past, to judge from the millions buying books about Washington, Adams, Hamilton, Jeffersonand other Founding Fathers. We Americans are lucky to live in a country with a history full of noble ideas, great leaders and awe-inspiring accomplishments. Sadly, many of our elites want no part of it.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

My barber and the C&NW railroad in Elgin

The Chicago and North Western railroads line from West Chicago to Lake Geneva snaked through the east side of Elgin, Illinois right through the downtown with buildings right alongside the right-of-way.

Below looks like an alley but it's really the abandon right-of-way viewed to the north today. May barbershop is just to the left.
Below is the same spot but looking south from just in front of the barbershop.

The barber told me when trains chugged along here it seemed, from the vantage of the barber chair, that the train would crash right through the shop.

He said it scared the heck out of kids.
P. L. Behrens's Steam Trains to Geneva Lake gives an excellant history of this line.

And here's a picture Elgin's Tower building.

Richard John Neuhaus on Paul Tillich and Taxis

Father Neuhaus writes on a comment by Paul Tillich.
In the current issue of the Weekly Standard, Joseph Epstein has a scintillating analysis of the celebrity cult to which much of our society is in thrall. The article put me in mind of a lecture many years ago by Paul Tillich, a towering figure of the time, at the University of Chicago. In an informal conversation after the lecture, one of the students asked Tillich what it felt like to be famous. “Famous?” he responded. “I’m not famous. My idea of being
famous is that I get into a New York taxi and the driver turns around and says,
‘Aren’t you Professor Tillich?’ That has never happened to me.” Some years ago I
got into a taxi and the driver asked, “Aren’t you Father Neuhaus?” Ah, I thought, this is it. Then the driver explained that his sister-in-law is a parishioner at Immaculate Conception, the church where I regularly say Mass, and she had complained to him about my too long homilies. Sic transit gloria.
I would have asked Tillich to autograph my worn copy his sermons published as The New Being which I've had since College days at Grinnell.

Belmont Club: The End of the Beginning

Belmont Club writes:

"Just as the ouster of Saddam by OIF touched off a wave of changes in Libya, Lebanon and the entire region, the impending defeat of the insurgency will paradoxically enhance the ability of diplomacy to address many of the remaining issues. Saddam's defeat confirmed what many military analysts knew from Desert Storm, that it was impossible for any conventional army to stand up against US forces. And that modified the behavior of many rogue states. Yet there remained the hope that the terrorist model of warfare, forged in Algeria and refined against Israel in Lebanon, would bring America to a halt: that rogue regimes acting discreetly could operate within that strategic shadow. Now, for the first time since Algeria, a terrorist force of the highest quality, supported by contributions from oil-rich countries, in the heart of the Arab world, with sanctuary in a friendly regime across the border and eulogized as 'freedom fighters' by dozens of major international publications is on the verge of total and ignominious defeat. There are no more strategic shadows.

Victory is arguably the most perilous moment for any great power. In that instant it can be goaded into the destructive path to hubris, or if it is wise, go on to attain real greatness. The fruits of freedom throughout the region may not always be congenial, as the example of the voters in Fallujah showed in microcosm. But that is what the mission set out to attain all the same: Operation Iraqi Freedom."

I don't worry about hubris. That's what the Democrats are for. They're the slave riding in the back of our Republics chariot whispering in our Generals ears. Except in our implementation the slave is whispering from the opening of battle. He doesn't wait for the outcome.
The final addition to the general's appearance during the triumph was a slave who stood behind him, holding a crown above his head, whispering "look behind" or "you are only mortal." Either of the phrases, spoken by the slave, had the same meaning and purpose, which was to make sure the general remembered, that this treatment is only temporary and the next day he will return to being a mortal general.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

With the Palestinian and Iraqi Resistance - Against Capitalist Globalization and US Hegemony

Call me a Universal- Democratic Hegemonist.

Harry's Place on the Peace Conference and the Cairo Declaration.

Participants in the 2nd Cairo conference stress that the occupation of also part of the Zionist plan, which targets the establishment of the greater State of Israel from to [sic] Nile to Euphrates...

Now we know what the resistance is all about. Not hard to imagine what kind of peace these resistors will dictate if they win.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Right Wing Nut House on the Left's Word Deficit

No more bad guys:

The word “enemy” has been removed from their lexicon – except as it relates to the President and their political foes on the right. Our enemies are called “insurgents.” They’re called “rebels.” They’re referred to as “the opposition.” Some on the far left have gone so far as to call them “freedom fighters.” Even al Qaeda fighters in our custody are called “detainees.” But to call them “the enemy” opens an intellectual chasm beneath their feet that the left simply cannot look into without blanching in horror.

If the left were to acknowledge that we’re actually fighting an enemy, their entire rationale for opposing the war would disappear. As long as they don’t acknowledge there’s an enemy, the war is “unnecessary.” But if they were to concede that there are people who want to kill our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, they would have to allow that there’s a possibility that a military presence in those countries is essential. After all, the whole point of having a military in the first place is to protect us from, and wherever possible kill our enemies.

in custody of the Iranians

Dan Darling quotes from Zawahiri's letter in the Weekly Standard,
And do the brothers forget that we have more than one hundred prisoners--many of whom are from the leadership who are wanted in their countries--in the custody of the Iranians? And even if we attack the Shia out of necessity, then why do you announce this matter and make it public, which compels the Iranians to take counter measures? And do the brothers forget that both we and the Iranians need to refrain from harming each other at this time in which the Americans are targeting us?
I hope the question of what Iran is doing with these 100 plus bin Ladinist leaders under house arrest (?) when the Europeans talk to the Iranians about their nuke program

Barone on Galston and Kamarack

I found the link to powerline below from Michael Barones review on The latest from Galston and Kamarck.

Glad to see I'm not alone switching, There has been a Great Sorting Out, with many people changing party identification, and the winners from this process have been the Republicans: Galston and Kamarck show that 38 percent of Republicans say they used to think of themselves as Democrats, while 22 percent–a substantially smaller number—of Democrats say they used to think of themselves as Republicans.

Zero from Democrats

A Major back from Iraq writes powerline:

What has struck me the most is how starved people are to know what is really going on over there. So many are quite grateful to hear a different perspective than the one that bombards them daily. Having watched the biased reporting since the beginning of the conflict, I was not surprised to discover that people want a more balanced perspective, even if the intensity is stronger than I expected. What has been surprising, though, and a bit disappointing, is that there has been a distinct split between the interest level of partisan political groups. I contacted county leadership for both Democrats and Republicans, along with non-partisan church and civic groups, and have received numerous requests from churches, non-partisan groups, and Republican organizations -- but zero from Democrats, despite following up with them several times.

I hope it is an anomaly, but I wonder if the fact that Democratic leaders in my county would rather accuse the troops at Gitmo of running a "gulag" than hear about the experiences of a service member who just returned from Iraq might be driving some folks away from their tent of "tolerance," not just here in Northern California but around the country.

Tell me it ain't so

From yesterday's Daily Southtown via Illinois Policy Institute:
About 253,000 Illinois children have no insurance, according to estimates based on Census data, including about 56,500 in the Southland. State officials guess that half of those children qualify for the existing Medicaid-backed Kid Care program, which insures about 1.1 million children in low-income families.
Are they writing 253k (or maybe 56k) of kids in Illinois already qualify but the State has failed in outreach to let them know what they qualify for in coverage?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sen Santorium's Little Platoons (virtual maybe?)

This blog is often a filing system for me. This is one I'm filing away without comment. It's late and I'm watching the Sox game so no comments on this article found via Mirror of Justice other than note Social Justice has been on my mind much as of late. I feel just like John Brown.
In many conservative circles, "social justice" is synonymous with socialism or radical individualism. No wonder: For decades, the political left has used it as a Trojan horse for its big-state agenda. Yet the wreckage of their policies is obvious. Compared to the U.S., most European economies are struggling with inflation, unemployment, low growth and a declining tax base; nearly all European societies are burdened with increased crime and family breakdown; and there is a draining away of hope and opportunity.

Conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond are charting a new vision of social justice. It recognizes that the problems caused or aggravated by the growth in government cannot be corrected by a crude reduction in its size. Policy must also deliberately foster the growth of what Edmund Burke called "the little platoons" of civil society: families, neighborhood associations, private enterprises, charities and churches. These are the real source of economic growth and social vitality.

Starr King: "Conscientiously opposed to the hose pipe"

Quotes from sermons by Thomas Starr King in an age when Liberal Religion invoked God's name in war,
"The Rebellion - it is the cause of Wrong against Right. It is not only an unjustifiable revolution, but a geographical wrong, a moral wrong, a religious wrong, a war against the Constitution, against the New Testament, against God."
"There are those who say that they are Union men, and in favor of the Government, and yet they are bitterly opposed to the administration, and cannot support its policy. But in a war for self existence, this divorce is impossible. One might as well say at a fire, while his house is beginning to crackle in the flames, 'I am in favor of this engine, I go for this water; the hose meets my endorsement. Certainly, I am for putting out the fire, but don't ask me to help man the brakes, for I am conscientiously opposed to the hose pipe. Its nozzle isn't handsome. It wasn't made by a Democrat.'"
"O that the President would soon speak that electric sentence, - inspiration to the loyal North, doom to the traitorous aristocracy whose cup of guilt is full! Let him say that it is a war of mass against class, of America against feudalism, of the schoolmaster against the slave-master, of workmen against the barons, of the ballot-box against the barracoon. This is what the struggle means. Proclaim it so, and what a light breaks through our leaden sky! The war-wave rolls then with the impetus and weight of an idea."

Islamic Fundamentalists or Islamic Unitarians?

I bristle when people say "Islamic Fundamentalists" because the next step in their logic is usually to connect Bin Laden or whomever to Jerry Falwell and the moral majority because, well after all, they're all Fundamentalists aren't they?

Stephen Shwartz wrote Murderous Monotheists last year to explain what Zarqawi believes and he noted academics had often translated Zarqawi's flavor of Islam as "Unitarian",
There is a grotesque footnote to this nightmare. As the historian J.B. Kelly has pointed out, Western academic and political apologists for the Saudi state and Wahhabism have often translated the Arabic term "muwahid'dun"--or "believers in tawhid," the Wahhabis' preferred term for themselves--as "Unitarians." If certain powerful figures in the Middle East Studies departments at universities in the United States and elsewhere had their way, current headlines would read "Unitarians Behead Another American."
So next time someone labels bin Laden a fundamentalist and lumps him with President Bush as just another theocrat (I've really heard that), I'm going to point out no, Bin Laden is a Unitarian but you know he's really not quite like the kind I worship with Saturday evenings.

PS Harry over at Harry's Place calls the Islamic radicals Bin Ladinists and I think that's the label I'll use from now on.

Zawahiri’s letter

Norm Geras posts a link to Zawahiri’s letter of 9th July and Harry's blog gives some quick thoughts.

A synopsis from DNI,
Among the letter's highlights are discussions indicating:

The centrality of the war in Iraq for the global jihad.

From al Qa'ida's point of view, the war does not end with an American departure.

An acknowledgment of the appeal of democracy to the Iraqis.

The strategic vision of inevitable conflict, with a tacit recognition of current political dynamics in Iraq; with a call by al-Zawahiri for political action equal to military action.

The need to maintain popular support at least until jihadist rule has been established.

Admission that more than half the struggle is taking place "in the battlefield of the media."

DoD Announces Recruiting and Retention Numbers for September

Wonder if this made the news last night.

"Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short

Extreme Wisdom gets A letter from Don Rumsfeld,

You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like you, we are creating the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short. In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care. Your detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation to your residence next Monday. Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of admonishment. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.

read the rest here....

Guide to Unitarian Universalist blogs

Pliocrates added me to the list of UU blogs.

Crystal Clear: a Conservative UU blogger

Another conservative Unitarian-Universalist blogger is Crystal Clear .

Congrats to her on her new job with the US Army at the MTF in Hawaii which must certainly beat Great Lakes Naval Hospital in winter.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

No WMDs found...

...just corpses of infants in more mass graves.
The body of one woman was found still clutching a baby. The infant had been shot in the back of the head and the woman in the face.

"The youngest foetus we have was 18 to 20 foetal weeks," said US investigating anthropologist P Willey.

"Tiny bones, femurs - thighbones the size of a matchstick."

Conservative Cat paws Illinois bloggers

See it here.

Steyn on Bush

Mark Steyn via Extreme Wisdom:
Bush, it seems ever more obvious, is the Third Wayer Clinton only pretended to be.

The Slicker reckoned that, to be electable, a Democrat had to genuflect rhetorically to some kind of sensible soccer-mom-ish center, and he was right, at least insofar as without him the Dems have been el stinko floppo three elections in a row. But Bush, for good or ill, believes in himself as the real Third Way deal: It's a remarkable achievement to get damned day in and day out as the new Hitler when 90 percent of the time you're Tony Blair with a ranch.

Orwell's cruel pacifist

From Understanding Christopher Hitchens : a quote from Orwell found in Hitchens's Why Orwell Matters.
PACIFISM The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to the taking of life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists whose real though unadmitted motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration of totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writings of younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States.


Pacifist literature abounds with equivocal remarks which, if they mean anything, appear to mean that statesmen of the type of Hitler are preferable to those of the type of Churchill, and that violence is perhaps excusable if it is violent enough. After the fall of France, the French pacifists, faced by a real choice which their English colleagues have not had to make, mostly went over to the Nazis, and in England there appears to have been some small overlap of membership between the Peace Pledge Union and the Blackshirts. Pacifist writers have written in praise of Carlyle, one of the intellectual fathers of Fascism. All in all it is difficult not to feel that pacifism, as it appears among a section of the intelligentsia, is secretly inspired by an admiration for power and successful cruelty.
Also a link to Hitchens's writings and a review found there of Hitchens's Trotskyism and hatred of religion. (Can't be a 100% right, but Hitchen's is right on what counts now.)


Ivan's an anti-war protestor.

You can always tell a Dutchman but you can't tell him much.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Harry Hopkins, Harold Ickes, and Federal Procurement

Stan Soloway writes in the Oct 1, 2005 issue of Government Executive in a essay titled Baghdad's Lessons for New Orleans (I only have this hardcopy and can't link an online source other than the contents) on how,
Iraq offers a stark example of how crticism of procurement practices can become surrogates for political disagreement. Let's be hones. While there certainly were significant procurement errors in Iraq, there is no evidence of widespread intentional malfaeasance or fraud. in fact, there is not question that good portio of the controversy surrounding Iraq contracting was driven by opposition to the Bush administration's policies and further energized by the 2004 presidential campaing. As a result, we hear repeatedly that the federal acquisition corps supporting operations in Iraq feels unsupported and highly vulnerable, and thus officials are increasingly afraid to make decisions let alone mistakes.
Soloway warns the lesson for New Orleans is "During this recover, there will be times when soem traditional procurement and oversight expectations simply cannot be met.

Democrats need to look back at the great fights between FDRs Harry Hopkins (picture above), Grinnell College class of 1910, and Harold Ickes over the pace of spending to overcome the depression. Hopkins was the Spender. Ickes was the green-eye shade stickler for procurement regulations.

I believe one of the failures in Iraq will be we had too many Ickes running reconstruction and not enough Harrry Hopkins. It's largely the fault of the Democrats that that happened. It ought not be repeated in reconstruction of New Orleans.

Harold Ickes on God and Lincoln

Harold Ickes Introduces Singer Marion Anderson on Steps of The Lincoln Memorial April 9, 1939.

Note Ickes says God sent Abraham Lincoln to the United States. I don't think it makes one a theocrat to believe God's hand at work like that.

Marion Anderson sings My Country at the end of this clip.

Harold Ickes: What is an American?

A speech given by Ickes in New York City, May 1941, before the United States joined Britian in the Second World War. Read it all, but here is the flavor...
I say that it is time for the great American people to raise its voice and cry out in mighty triumph what it is to be an American. And why it is that only Americans, with the aid of our brave allies--yes, let's call them "allies"--the British, can and will build the only future worth having. I mean a future, not of concentration camps, not of physical torture and mental straitjackets, not of sawdust bread or of sawdust Caesars--I mean a future when free men will live free lives in dignity and in security.

This tide of the future, the democratic future, is ours. It is ours if we show ourselves worthy of our culture and of our heritage.

But make no mistake about it; the tide of the democratic future is not like the ocean tide--regular, relentless, and inevitable. Nothing in human affairs is mechanical or inevitable. Nor are Americans mechanical. They are very human indeed.

What constitutes an American? Not color nor race nor religion. Not the pedigree of his family nor the place of his birth. Not the coincidence of his citizenship. Not his social status nor his bank account. Not his trade nor his profession. An American is one who loves justice and believes in the dignity of man. An American is one who will fight for his freedom and that of his neighbor. An American is one who will sacrifice property, ease and security in order that he and his children may retain the rights of free men. An American is one in whose heart is engraved the immortal second sentence of the Declaration of Independence.

Americans have always known how to fight for their rights and their way of life. Americans are not afraid to fight. They fight joyously in a just cause.

Stability of the mass grave

Quote from Jalal Talabani, the President of Iraq, in the Times Online via Melanie Phhillips's Diary:
'The lesson of the ghastly drumbeat of terrorism, the rioting in Basra and the vile murder of the leadership of the Iraqi Anglican Church is that the battle of Iraq cannot be won by retreat or compromise, but by the vision and determination for which Britain is renowned. Above all, Britain owes no apology for delivering the enslaved people of Iraq from the hands of a callous tyranny.

‘The challenge is to show fortitude in the face of horror so that we can finish the job that began in 2003 of uprooting dictatorship and implanting a democratic government. Reforming Iraq, restoring a society distorted by fascism, was never going to be easy. The alternative — to pretend that sanctions were working and that Saddam Hussein was contained — was an illusion. As has now been established, the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme was corrupt in root and branch. Saddam manipulated Oil-for-Food to become his personal chequebook for a campaign of international bribery and a trough from which his psychopathic progeny supped. Saddam’s regime openly declared in August 2001 that the sanctions had collapsed. Indeed, in 2003, as Saddam proclaimed his innocence to the world, his envoys were in Syria to negotiate the purchase of North Korean long-range missiles.

'The Baathist regime, guilty of aggression and genocide, was overturned because Britain and the United States had courageously enforced the UN Security Council resolutions that others would barely support with words. Today the painstaking effort to enable Iraqis to express their views freely is also grounded in international legality. Foreign troops are in Iraq on the basis of a Security Council resolution, just as Iraq was liberated through the enforcement of 17 such resolutions that Saddam chose to flout.

‘Those who preferred the stability of the mass grave to liberation, and who raised their voices to save Saddam, but not his victims, have spuriously claimed that the war was fought to discover stocks of weapons of mass destruction. But Rolf Ekeus, the first head of the UN weapons inspectors, has argued that stocks were not the issue. Saddam could always re-create his stocks and until the end he could restart mustard gas production within months and nerve gas production within a couple of years. Moreover, Saddam used chemical weapons casually, gassing 5,000 Kurdish civilians at Halabja in 1988 and then using chemical bombs against Shia Arab civilians in 1991 — after the Gulf War ceasefire.'

Rev. Roger Fritts sermon on "Finding My Place in a Country at War"

Fritz concluded his sermon of March 23, 2003 with this quote,
What is my place in a country at war? I was against this war starting. Now that it has started, my role is to continue to encourage non violent alternatives to war. I pray that we will win quickly. I pray that the loss of life will be small. I pray that when the war is over we will not be blind to the terrible destruction of this war. Seeing this appalling destruction, I pray that we will be motivated to find ways to live together in peace.
During my anti-Vietnam war protester days, my Dad liked to tell me the story of Charles Lindbergh who's sounds eerily similar to many of today's protestors. (You can download the audio clips).
He did not see the conflict as basically a war for democracy or morality. He was skeptical of the ideology and moral righteousness of the British and French. He conceived of morality in international affairs as relative to time, place, circumstances, and power. His approach was, in effect, more understanding of the Germans (without approving of what they did) and more skeptical of the Allies than the conventional view in the United States. Lindbergh saw a divided responsibility for the origins of the European war, rather than an assignment of the total blame to Hitler, Nazi Germany, and the Axis states. He did not view Germany, Britain, and France as implacable foes with irreconcilable differences that could be resolved only by war; he saw them all as parts of Western civilization. And he conceived of the European war as a fratricdal struggle (like the wars between Athens and Sparta in ancient Greece) that could destroy Western civilization. Conceptions of race were conspicuous in his analyses, as were his concerns about the challenge of Asiatic hordes to the survival of Western civilization. Like later American "realists," Colonel Lindbergh attached great weight to the role of power in international relations and in prevailing definitions of morality.
FDR attacked Lindburgh's patriotism but once the War started, Lindburgh --as my Dad fond of telling me-- did everything he could to serve.

Paul Shields writes every so often about Paul Douglas Brigades, --another my Dad told me about-- but what we really need are some Charles Lindbergh brigades.

Duty and Service do count for something and some times its good to put your faith in the American electorate and hope that their elected President Bush; just like FDR, has it right even if you share Linbergh's skepticism, and think the President is taking the world to hell-in-a-hand-basket. You can even do your bit to make sure its a professional service that the job gets done right.

In other words your place has at a time of war has been secured by the sacrifices of others who served before you. You can dissent all you care, but the real question one should ask, is the one JFK asked years ago,

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility -- I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

Lindy showed how to answer.

Speaking of Catholics

I read Ratzinger's Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium: An Interview With Peter Seewald a few weeks ago and found it a striking book to read. Here's what a reviewer had to say about it in Amazon and it is the lack of polemic that stands out.
There is also a notable serenity here and lack of polemic. Whereas Ratzinger has been called an inquisitor by figures such as Küng, note what Ratzinger says of Küng, I think most sincerely: `I respect his path, which he takes in accord with his conscience, but he should not then demand the Church's seal of approval, but should admit that in essential questions he has come to different, very personal decisions of his own.'

The man who emerges here is very striking and very human. One senses, if one is open, a man who has dedicated his adult life to sincere prayer, to careful, painstaking thought, to profound - and often thankless - commitment to humanity and to God. One senses this total dedication of a man, now 78 years old when many a man aspires only to peaceful retirement, a man who has taken on a crown of thorns and is scourged by the world.
This was the only book Ratzinger's available at our library. The held many and all were checked out. So everyone in St Charles seems to have been devling into the Catholic fringe that week.

I'll be back for more. I found him just as comforting as Oriana Fallaci does here,
"I feel less alone when I read the books of Ratzinger." I had asked Ms. Fallaci whether there was any contemporary leader she admired, and Pope Benedict XVI was evidently a man in whom she reposed some trust. "I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true. It's that simple! There must be some human truth here that is beyond religion."

Fringe Catholics running the world

I thought it was Jewish Neo Conservatives but reviews the latest from Gary Wills:
The piece in the October 6, 2005 New York Review of Books titled, Fringe Government contains a host of typical, liberal biases and particularly misuses survey data to suggest orthodox Catholics are somehow out of step with the majority in their Church.

He also argues that these four Catholic leaders, along with Karl Rove and Pope Benedict, control American politics and world Catholicism respectively, by playing the radical fringe like puppets.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The results are in, and they are not what I sought....

Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner said this in a Service at the Unitarian Universalist Church Silver Spring, MD on November 7, 2004:

The results are in, and they are not what I sought, but also possibly what some of us did seek. President Sinkfords message gently reminds us that both Republicans and Democrats are Unitarian Universalists. I have already heard a number of stories this week about UU Republicans in this area outing themselves to their ministers, but also not, generally, to their congregations and that's understandable; we often act in UU churches as though we were all Democrats. I cannot preach, and we cannot speak, as though we are all of one mind here; we already know in many ways we are not. We are perhaps more cognizant of, and perhaps even more comfortable with, our theological range than our political range. To the republicans among us I'm glad you're here. We're glad you're here. I hope you'll talk with me about what works for you about this president for thoughtful, religious liberal folk like us, perhaps hearing the message from those among us will help us be better able to speak across and about our differences with those with whom we disagree. We all belong here, humanists and theists, gays and straights, elephants and donkeys. That is part of our strength and part of our message of hope for mutual respect and communication and acceptance that we always hold up as our promise for the world.
I'll email her if I can figure out the link on their webpage and link her to my faith post,

I believe in Universal Salvation after life, and I believe in Democratic Univseralism while alive. That's why, after voting for Democrats since George McGovern in 1976 through Al Gore in 2000, I changed and voted--enthusiastically-- for George Bush in 2004.

Bush's second Inaugural Speech sums it up for me. I don't think I've ever been so for a politician as I've been for President Bush.

Lerner's observation that my Liberal co-religionists find Liberal politics so intertwined that they assume everyone else in church agrees is slightly sad.

Just slightly because I value being a square peg in a round hole and believer enough in dialectics to value the conflict and synthesis. A thought I keep in my own mind though because I keep Politics and Church separate and just smile when fellow congregants slip so easily between the two.

Think of life as a series of Venn Diagrams. Those circles that can overlap one another and show commonality and differences in sets of things.

Then draw different circles representing all of what we believe. One for politics, one for religion, one for family, all of our values (or lack of them: we can have empty sets).

For many political-liberals the circles must all coincide. They must perfectly overlay and reflect harmony. There is nothing in politics, or faith, or family, or anything in life; that is not enveloped by the other.

Conservatives separate the circles so they only partially intersect. There are parts of each that have no business or relevance for the other.

This notion came home to me at Sen Paul Wellstone's funeral when the mourners heckled Sen Lott. For those mourners, Wellstone's wake was a political event. A sacred celebration of a life passed and secular politics were one-in-the-same. The circles perfectly overlapped.

Conservatives keep these events separate. It's a truly different way of looking at life.

Lerner is trying to pry them apart a bit at the Silver Spring Church when she notes she cannot preach and the congregation cannot speak as though they were all of one mind. I think it's good for the souls of her congreation that they do so.

First Universalist Church Elgin, Illinois

Took some pictures last weekend of the old First Universalist Church in Elgin. It no longer houses a Congregation and my understanding was the Congregation lost the building in the 1970s when they could no longer afford insurance for it. The Church had become deeply involved in anti-Vietnam war protests and had had some fires started on the property in response to thier actions.

Right now the city of Elgin posts the property as condemed and I have no idea what th plan is. I'd like to get inside and see it because the interior is shaped like a watch. The old Elgin Watch company factory was just a few blocks way from the Church.

Restored row houses just next to the Church which are for sale pictured below. The streets must have been raised at some point because the yards are below street level.

A few from in front of the Church down towards the Fox River showing new row houses being constructed. The casino is just to the left in this picture and the Elgin Watch factory stood just a bit further to the left. I believe this site used to be auto dealers row in Elgin.

Finally here is the Elgin Turners Hall. At one time long ago a Catholic School for Girls. B39 Olds and I go here for the Friday Fish Fry.

Tom Roeser: Bush's Legacy

Roeser writes on Bush's Legacy today. I can't get the comment below to post, but I agree with him a 100%. Bush will be one of our greatest Presidents.

Tom, I agree 100%

My first vote was for George McGovern. I voted for Democrats right through Al Gore.

Bush troubled me because he made jokes about his intellect and I feared how that would translate to people like Bin Laden and Saddam because I did follow foregin policy and took Clinton seriously in speeches like his 1998 address to the Joint Chiefs on Iraq.

Now I find myself blogging this back in Feb,
Bush's second Inaugural Speech sums it up for me. I don't think I've ever been so for a politician as I've been for President Bush.

"America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home --the unfinished work of American freedom. In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty."

Bush has given voice to Joseph Bottum's New Fusionism,
The angry isolationist paleoconservatives are probably right—this isn’t conservatism, in several older senses of the word. But so what? Call it the new moralism, if you like. Call it a masked liberalism or a kind of radicalism that has bizarrely seized the American scene. Mutter darkly, if you want, about the shotgun marriage of ex-socialists and modern puritans, the cynical political joining of imperial adventurers with reactionary Catholics and backwoods Evangelicals. These facts still remain: The sense of national purpose regained by forceful response to the attacks of September 11 could help summon the will to halt the slaughter of a million unborn children a year. And the energy of the pro-life fight—the fundamental moral cause of our time—may revitalize belief in the great American experiment.
I don't think I'm alone in feeling this transformation. If the Republicans don't bungle things, it will continue and grow. The great, gnawing fear is what's to become of the Democratic party. We need two party's and the Democrats are falling apart. One need only look at the Liberal bloggers and their profanity and oddness. (See Dean Barnett, Why the rise of the left-wing blogosphere has been bad for the Democratic party. ) It's a sad future for the party and not good for America.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Capital Fax: "We'll insure all children"

A lot of comments on Blagojevich's plan to insure kids over at Capital Fax.

It's early AM. I sure haven't read the details on this one. If the state is going to manage it with a contract with an Insurance Carrier, we're sure going to want to watch the contracting action.

My off-the-cuff thought is I hate to see solutions that deal with insurance by breaking the pool of those covered into small chunks.

Why not tell Illinois employers to stop offering health insurance. Turn the employers payment into a Tax (and reduce the cost to them). Pool the money. Offer everyone in the State Health Insurance modeled after the plan currently in place for Congressman and Federal Employees.

Everyone would have an option for health coverage. Maybe Illinois would look competitive to industry.

Just a thought... after half a cup of coffee.

"the great sorting-out"

The collating's begun.

I found it here via Drudge with this review in the Washington Post.

It's a study released yesterday William A. Galston and Elaine C. Kamarck
...the new study exposes several pervasive myths that are allowing Democrats to evade difficult truths about the electorate. The Politics of Polarization also reveals how Democrats have lost ground among key groups of voters, including married women and Catholics. And it uncovers a new phenomenon the authors
call "the great sorting-out," which explains how the extraordinary new levels of
partisanship have polarized the electorate to the detriment of Democrats.
And here are the four myths crippling the Democratic party (among other devasting habits they've fallen prey too).
The myth of mobilization is the belief that the key to Democratic victory is to energize the base and bring them to the polls in record numbers.

The myth of demography is the view that long-term, ongoing changes in the U.S. population - such as an increase in the number of Hispanic voters and female professionals - will secure a Democratic majority for decades to come.

The myth of language holds that the problem with the Democratic Party is not what it advocates, but rather how it speaks.

The myth of prescription drugs is shorthand for the theory that the Party can win national elections by avoiding cultural issues, downplaying national security, and changing the subject to domestic issues such as health care, education, and job security in the post-9/11 world.
Their conclusion:
The Politics of Polarization concludes by urging Democrats to confront the current myths of the party, stop hiding behind domestic policy and honestly confront national security, show tolerance and common sense on hot-button social issues, develop new economic policies that embrace global competition while establishing a modernized social safety net, and pay more attention to the very personal qualities of integrity and character that often win or lose elections.

It will be tough to recommendation to implement if the party doesn't deal with what I fear will be the ongoing revelation of gross behavior by a man I sadly voted for twice.
In another revelation, Freeh says the former president let down the American people and the families of victims of the Khobar Towers terror attack in Saudi Arabia. After promising to bring to justice those responsible for the bombing that killed 19 and injured hundreds, Freeh says Clinton refused to personally ask Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah to allow the FBI to question bombing suspects the kingdom had in custody – the only way the bureau could secure the interviews, according to Freeh. Freeh writes in the book, “Bill Clinton raised the subject only to tell the crown prince that he understood the Saudis’ reluctance to cooperate and then he hit Abdullah up for a contribution to the Clinton Presidential Library.” Says Freeh, “That’s a fact that I am reporting.”
Tragically sad because Clinton understands the sorting going on but he just didn't have the character to lead.

Good luck Hillary.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Gore's lost it

The main-stream-media goes hysterical claiming African-Americans raping and looting in New Orleans --and it sets off Democrat Blanco to yacking about her troops being MORE than willing to shoot to kill: "These troops know how to shoot and kill and they are more than willing to do so if necessary and I expect they will." -- and then Gore can utter this nonsense,

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there was - at least for a short time - a quality of vividness and clarity of focus in our public discourse that reminded some Americans - including some journalists - that vividness and clarity used to be more common in the way we talk with one another about the problems and choices that we face. But then, like a passing summer storm, the moment faded.
in a speech he opens with these frightfull words,

I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse . I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.
and then mid-speech starts quoting Habermas!

The German philosopher, Jurgen Habermas, describes what has happened as "the refeudalization of the public sphere." That may sound like gobbledygook, but it's a phrase that packs a lot of meaning. The feudal system which thrived before the printing press democratized knowledge and made the idea of America thinkable, was a system in which wealth and power were intimately intertwined, and where knowledge played no mediating role whatsoever. The great mass of the people were ignorant. And their powerlessness was born of their ignorance.
Skip the Teuton Weltanshauung Mr. Vice President.

It is gobbledygook and you're sounding strange.

Have faith in your fellow Americans and remember Lincoln's "You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time."

Now the Democratic party may be in sore need of some clarity and new ideas but Americans will build the future with or without you.

Right now you just seemly tragically stuck in your own lost election.

That's not an effective way to be an opposition.

Jonathan Gewirtz's Quote of the Day

Chicago Boyz's Quote of the Day:
The collapse of Bolshevism deprived the panoply of fellow-travelers of the paradaisal vision they needed to function. To make it from one day to the next. The Worker's Paradise functioned as the Opiate of the Moonbats, vacuuming the truly insane from society and placing them in the custody of relatively functional cult leaders like Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot. Now that these worthies are gone, their former wards have all crawled out of the snakepit.
-Wretchard (in the comment section of this post)

Fouad Ajami and the luck of the Imperial Draw

Found this link to a piece by Fouad Ajami in the Wall Street Journal on Melanie Phillips's Diary. It's an excellant essay on what we're doing in Iraq and why. Few in the mainstream press or Congress get it. Or if they do, they're damn unwilling to say so. Unlike Vietnam, the US got the politics of this conflict right. We many have fumbled the occupation and the fight agains Zarqawi, but the politics are working in our direction and you realize it when you read Fouad Ajami below.

Bush, Cheney, Ricd, Rumsfeld: they're right when they say our basic ideals --and they're liberal and progessive ideals-- now accord with our security.

A liberal should have faith in the future.

It was the luck of the imperial draw that the American project in Iraq came to the rescue of the Shiites--and of the Kurds. We may not fully appreciate the historical change we unleashed on the Arab world, but we have given liberty to the stepchildren of the Arab world. We have overturned an edifice of material and moral power that dates back centuries. The Arabs railing against U.S. imperialism and arrogance in Iraq will never let us in on the real sources of their resentments. In the way of "modern" men and women with some familiarity with the doctrines of political correctness, they can't tell us that they are aggrieved that we have given a measure of self-worth to the seminarians of Najaf and the highlanders of Kurdistan. But that is precisely what gnaws at them.
We have not always been brilliant in the war we have waged, for these are lands we did not fully know. But our work has been noble and necessary, and we can't call a halt to it in midstream. We bought time for reform to take root in several Arab and Muslim realms. Leave aside the rescue of Afghanistan, Kuwait and Qatar have done well by our protection, and Lebanon has retrieved much of its freedom. The three larger realms of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria are more difficult settings, but there, too, the established orders of power will have to accommodate the yearnings for change. A Kuwaiti businessman with an unerring feel for the ways of the Arab world put it thus to me: "Iraq, the Internet, and American power are undermining the old order in the Arab world. There are gains by the day." The rage against our work in Iraq, all the way from the "chat rooms" of Arabia to the bigots of Finsbury Park in London, is located within this broader struggle.
Over the horizon looms a referendum to ratify the country's constitution. Sunni Arabs are registering in droves, keen not to repeat the error they committed when they boycotted the national elections earlier this year. In their pride, and out of fear of the insurgents and their terror, the Sunni Arabs say that they are registering to vote in order to thwart this "illegitimate constitution." This kind of saving ambiguity ought to be welcomed, for there are indications that the Sunni Arabs may have begun to understand terror's blindness and terror's ruin. Zarqawi holds out but one fate for them; other doors beckon, and there have stepped forth from their ranks leaders eager to partake of the new order. It is up to them, and to the Arab street and the Arab chancelleries that wink at them, to bring an end to the terror. It has not been easy, this expedition to Iraq, and for America in Iraq there has been heartbreak aplenty. But we ought to remember the furies that took us there, and we ought to be consoled by the thought that the fight for Iraq is a fight to ward off Arab dangers and troubles that came our way on a clear September morning, four years ago.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Timeless Present

Madeleine Bunting on Muscular Liberalism. I don't share her doubts, but she got the problem right below. I think we're better at resolving it than accross the Atlantic. More on this later... I just don't have the time.
But the malaise crippling political life is compounded by political disorientation, as the maverick thinker Frank Furedi points out in a book published this week, Politics of Fear: Beyond Left and Right. Once the dividing line was the left's faith in the future, the right's respect for the past. Neither is any longer true: the left has no transformative project to deliver and the right gave up on the past long ago; as one of the most revolutionary political parties of late-20th-century Europe, what can the Tories claim to be conserving? We are stuck in a timeless present, with no account of political change - how it happens, what it does and what we can do with it. Change is something done to us; passivity sets in.

More Rauschenberger stuff

Capital Fax runs a post with lots of comments on the Poll and R's comments on the Katrina aftermath and how Illinois Cities would behave.

Rauschenberger's right to ask how Illinois Cities would react. Problem was R bought the media's false (and I think racist) depiction of how the people of New Orleans reacted. The real looters in Lousiana were in the State and Local leadership, and most of them were Democrats.

Rauschenberger ahead in the Polls

A Press Release from the Rauschenberger for GOVERNOR. First time I've read of a Republican with a chance. Read the blogs and you'd think Blagojevich would trounce all comers.
Elgin, Illlinois. On the heels of the decision by former Governor Jim Edgar not to run for Governor in 2006, State Senator Steve Rauschenberger (R-Elgin), a 13-year lawmaker, has gone from a leading candidate to the leading candidate for Governor of Illinois, according to a poll by Zogby International conducted for the Wall Street Journal.The poll, conducted from September 16-21, shows Rauschenberger with a slim 1-point margin over incumbent Governor Rod Blagojevich, 41.3-40.4%. The poll also seemingly indicates that Rauschenberger provides the best head-to-head match-up with Blagojevich for the Republican party. "The poll is very encouraging," said Rauschenberger. "It provides validation that our campaign's effort to reconnect with middle class families in Illinois by providing honest, forthright, and thoughtful leadership is resonating. "Rauschenberger also noted that the poll was conducted prior to his
endorsement last week by former U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald which he expects
will give him an added boost among GOP primary voters. The poll can be found at online at by clicking on this link to "Battleground
States Poll"

Democratic Leadership Council: What To Do Now In Iraq

From the DCL Website via
While the Bush Administration has committed a long series of mistakes in the aftermath of the removal of Saddam Hussein, America must remain committed to success in Iraq. A failed state in Iraq would destabilize the entire region, hand our jihadist enemies a major victory and result in a devastating blow to our national security credibility and interests. But the right course now is neither to give the terrorists a victory by withdrawing, nor to continue Bush's failed policies. We urge progressives to place maximum pressure on the administration to reverse its mistakes and pursue a new strategy linked to clear benchmarks for success in Iraq and in the broader war on terror.
And further down the page among their suggestions it's nice to note they realize we're fighting "ethinic cleansing" i.e. Genocide. How can they tolerate Democratics who don't understand this?
We should formally push for indictment of chief terrorist Zarquawi for crimes against humanity in Iraq, drawing worldwide attention to the vicious anti-Shi'a ethnic cleansing campaign that characterizes the insurgency. All these steps are politically feasible, but there's no evidence the administration is taking them.
Finally they have the good sense to close with Blair's recent speech at the opening of the Labor Part Conference,
"This is a global struggle. Today it is at its fiercest in Iraq. It has allied itself there with every reactionary element in the Middle East. Strip away their fake claims of grievance and see them for what they are: terrorists who use 21st century technology to fight a pre-medieval religious war that is utterly alien to the future of humankind."
Wish Obama would pay attention to the DLC. A global struggle with a foe utterly alien to the future of humankind deserves a kind of seriousness we don't hear from the Democratic leadership. Even the ones flashing accross the top of the DLC's website. They ought to start quoting their webpage.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Belmont Club: Go Tell It on the Mountain

A sad post found on the Belmont Club:

The entire lay leadership team of the main Anglican church in Iraq is presumed to have been killed after they were attacked while returning from a conference in Jordan. The team of five Iraqi-born Anglicans including the lay pastor and his deputy, should have returned two weeks ago from the conference. ...

The loss brings to 12 the number of Iraqis that Canon White has lost in his reconciliation work in Iraq, although these are the first connected to the church. He did not think they were targeted because they were Anglicans. "The fact is that attacks on people on that road happen all the time, particularly on people who appear to be richer or middle class." Secretary Rice Challenges Democracy's Doubters

Weekly Standard has a blog now devoted to Foreign Policy and posted this speech by Secretary Rice. It's excellant and I'll post it over on my list of speeches. She ended with this:
In 1989, I was lucky enough to be the White House Soviet specialist at the end of the Cold War. It doesn't get any better than that. I was there for the liberation of Eastern Europe; the unification of Germany; and for the beginnings of the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union itself. I saw things that I never thought possible. And one day, they seemed impossible; and several days later, they seemed inevitable. That is the nature of extraordinary times.

But as I look back now on those times, I realized that I was only harvesting the good decisions that had been taken in 1947, in 1948, and in 1949. And sometimes, I wonder how in the course of events, the course of the moment, people like Acheson and Truman and Marshall and Vandenberg saw a path ahead. After all, in 1946, the Germany Reconstruction was still failing and Germans were still starving. Japan lay prostrate. In 1947, there was a civil war in Greece. In 1948, Germany was permanently divided by the Berlin Crisis; Czechoslovakia was lost to a communist coup. And in 1949, the Soviet Union exploded a nuclear weapon five years ahead of schedule; and the Chinese communists won their war. In 1950, a brutal war broke on the Korean Peninsula.

These were not just tactical setbacks for the forward march of democracy. Indeed, it must have seemed quite impossible, that we would one day, stand at a juncture where Eastern Europe would be liberated, Russia would emerge, and Europe would be whole and free and at peace. If we think back on those days, we recognize that extraordinary times are turbulent and they are hard. And it is very often hard to see a clear path. But if you are -- as those great architects of the post-Cold War victory were -- if you are true to your values, if you are certain of your values, and if you act upon them with confidence and with strength, it is possible to have an outcome where democracy spreads and peace and liberty reign.

Because of the work that they did, it is hard to imagine war in Europe again. So it shall be also for the Middle East.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Afghanistan succeeds despite Western doubt

Rumsfeld's editorial in yesterdays New Hampshire Union Leader.

Critics doubt US motives. They say Bush's talk of Democracy is just a shame. They should look at what we and the people of Afghanistan have done.

That's the plan. That's the "exit strategy".
The result, today, is a country where annual economic growth has been above 20 percent since January of 2002, with a stable currency and rising foreign direct investment; over 4.8 million children are enrolled in school, the largest number in Afghan history; about 95 percent of known heavy weapons have been collected by proper authorities; Some 60,000 militia forces are disarmed and demobilized; the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police are growing by the thousands; and President Karzai’s “Strengthening Peace” program is reducing the power of warlords and convincing once hostile elements to disarm and join in Afghanistan’s political and economic progress.

The most demonstrable sign of progress, perhaps, is that Afghans are voting with their feet. Some 3.6 million refugees have returned to Afghanistan — possibly the largest repatriation operation in history. Yesterday’s refugees are today’s citizens — and voters.
Most importantly, we're fufilling our plan with Muslim Allies. We've attacked radical Islam allied with moderate Muslims seeking a Democratic future. We can't let these people down.
Those voters are demonstrating again today that there exists no conflict between Western values and Muslim values. What exists is a conflict within the Muslim faith — between majorities in every country who desire freedom, and a lethal minority intent on denying freedom to others and reestablishing a caliphate.
Bush needs more members of his administration hammering these points home every day. Afghanistan is the example of what were fighting for in the world.