Saturday, November 24, 2007

How Long, How Long? 


That's how long:

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — In a small survey boat, maritime archaeologist J. Lee Cox Jr. was checking the bottom of the Delaware River at the Sunoco Logistics pier in South Philadelphia when he got a hit on the side-scan sonar.

A pipe? A log? A hazard to the oil tankers docking nearby?

No one was sure until a diver was sent down weeks later and found a strange pointed object buried in the muck about 40 feet down.

Earlier this month, Cox identified it as the business end of a cheval-de-frise, an iron-tipped log once embedded in the river, along with many others, to gore the hulls of British warships menacing Philadelphia in the mid-1770s. It had been silently resting not far from where oil-laden Sunoco tankers have berthed since Philadelphia's industrial age. ...

The yellow pine log, with its heavy iron tip, was once bolted into a wooden-framed box anchored with rocks. Poised on the river bottom with scores of other chevaux-de-frise, it was a formidable defense against British ships.

Bruns said the newly discovered relic was probably placed in the river in 1775, at a time when the Pennsylvania Council of Safety, under the direction of Benjamin Franklin, was overseeing the colony's defense.

After the Revolution started, the chevaux-de-frise were used by Continental forces — in conjunction with Fort Mifflin and Fort Mercer, across the river in New Jersey — to oppose the British resupply of troops occupying Philadelphia in the winter of 1777-78. Not coincidentally, that was the winter that Washington and the Continental Army spent at Valley Forge.

"The delay of the resupply was vital," said Bruns. "The ships could carry huge amounts of supplies that the troops needed. The river was the highway, and we were blocking the highway."

The French term cheval-de-frise means "horse from Friesland," a part of the Netherlands ruled by a powerful tribe during the Dark Ages.

The spiked logs didn't always rip open the thick wooden hulls of British ships. But just getting hung up on one could be catastrophic — when caught in the kill zone between Fort Mifflin and Fort Mercer and faced with fire from smaller vessels.

"We had a lot of moxie as Americans to oppose the British coming up in their big ships, and holding them off for weeks," said Cox.

Americans were fighting for your freedom before you were even born.

Got Thanks Yet?

It Was the Time of the Preacher 


Now The Preachin' is Over, I want a Slurpee from Seven.


Send all poetry complaints to Willie Nelson. Thank you.

The always funny and enjoyable Country Store has this from Rev. Chuck Swindoll:

"My teacher had lost her husband on the blood-washed shores of Normandy the previous June. After we had saluted the flag, a hush fell across the room as we bowed our heads together. No one moved. As she began to pray and give thanks, her voice broke and she started to weep. I did too. So did Richard Webb, my best buddy. And Wanda Ragland. Even Charles White and Warren Cook, two tough kids who later played high school football when we were all Milby Buffaloes, wiped back their tears. No one moved as she stumbled and sobbed her way through her prayer, which was filled with some of the most moving expressions of gratitude and praise that I have ever heard emerge from a soul plunged in personal grief and pain.

In that epochal moment, time stood still. And I believe it was then--right then--that I fell in love with Thanksgiving. It became, for me, far more than just another holiday; it took on a significance that bordered the sacred.

Lost in sympathy and a 10-year-old-boy's pity for his teacher, I walked home much slower that autumn afternoon. Although only a child, I entertained deep and profound feelings of gratitude for my country, kept free by the bravery and blood of men and women only a few years older than I, most of them fresh out of high school. On that cool afternoon I felt a renewed surge of thankfulness for my mom and dad, my older brother and sister . . . my maternal grandparents . . . my friends . . . for my school . . . my neighborhood . . . my church. Though only a child, I promised God that I would fight to the end to keep this land free from enemies who would take away our liberty and erase America's distinctives and steal the joys of living in this good land."

Gary Bauer at Human Events:

"In September 2003, Major Scott Southworth was in command of the Wisconsin National Guard 32nd Military Police Company, whose difficult mission was to teach local police officers how to operate in a democracy. Southworth and his troops also volunteered at the Mother Teresa Orphanage in Baghdad, where he befriended Ala’a, a nine-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who had been abandoned in the city’s streets as an infant.
Ala’a and Southworth developed an instant rapport. ...

“Immediately, he wanted my full attention when my soldiers and I would arrive at the orphanage. We became "buddies"; I felt like a big brother. Ala’a began to tell staff and the other orphans that I was his "baba" ("daddy") when I was not there. I was honored he'd feel that way. Throughout the fall I began to feel very protective of him. At Christmas time 2003, when the sisters of the orphanage told me that they were going to have to move him to a government facility a year from then, I immediately said, ‘Then I'll adopt him.’ My response was so swift because I understood that Ala'a felt special to somebody for the first time in his life, he had nobody else to depend on, and I knew it was my responsibility to step up to the plate and give him a better life.”"

Word Around the Net looks at C.S. Lewis' 'The Weight of Glory":

"These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.

Do you think I am trying to weave a spell? Perhaps I am; but remember your fairy tales. Spells are used for breaking enchantments as well as for inducing them. And you and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness which has been laid upon us for nearly a hundred years. Almost our whole education has been directed to silencing this shy, persistent, inner voice; almost all our modem philosophies have been devised to convince us that the good of man is to be found on this earth. And yet it is a remarkable thing that such philosophies of Progress or Creative Evolution themselves bear reluctant witness to the truth that our real goal is elsewhere. When they want to convince you that earth is your home, notice how they set about it. They begin by trying to persuade you that earth can be made into heaven, thus giving a sop to your sense of exile in earth as it is. Next, they tell you that this fortunate event is still a good way off in the future, thus giving a sop to your knowledge that the fatherland is not here and now.

Finally, lest your longing for the transtemporal should awake and spoil the whole affair, they use any rhetoric that comes to hand to keep out of your mind the recollection that even if all the happiness they promised could come to man on earth, yet still each generation would lose it by death, including the last generation of all, and the whole story would be nothing, not even a story, for ever and ever. Hence all the nonsense that Mr. Shaw puts into the final speech of Lilith, and Bergson’s remark that the élan vital is capable of surmounting all obstacles, perhaps even death—as if we could believe that any social or biological development on this planet will delay the senility of the sun or reverse the second law of thermodynamics. Do what they will, then, we remain conscious of a desire which no natural happiness will satisfy."

The Gang 


Noemie Emery:

"Denying reality is seldom sound politics. President Bush is still suffering from the aftereffects of the reality gap of 2006, when he insisted, in the face of mounds of contrary evidence, that things were improving in Iraq when it was clear they were not. The Democrats are now doing the same thing in reverse, closing their minds to all news that is not catastrophic, or, on the rare occasions they admit to a small sign of progress, denying all credit to our strategy, to our leaders, or, worst of all, to our troops. Perhaps what the Democrats really want is for the surge to succeed, but to appear to be failing, at least until the 2008 elections are over. But this seems a fairly hard thing to explain to the public.

As they took control of Congress at the start of 2007, the Democrats vowed this would be a year of historic importance, and it seems they were prescient: Seldom before in the annals of governance have so many politicians fought so long and so hard to completely screw up a winning strategy being waged on their country's behalf. Some cruelly define this as treacherous conduct, but this is imprecise and unkind. They tried, it is true, to do serious damage, but were compromised in the event by their chronic incompetence, as well as by being too above-board and open to try to do things on the sly. A stab in the back as a concept was wholly beyond their capacities. This was not a stab in the back that works via guile and subterfuge. It was 41 different stabs in the front, that always fell far short of serious damage, unless you count the damage they did to their own reputations (the approval ratings for Congress are now in the twenties). It was the Stab in the Front, the Surge-against-the-Surge, the Pickett's Charge of the Great War on Terror. It was a year to remember, that will live in the annals of fecklessness. It was historical. It was hysterical. It was the Stab that Failed."

Let me give a shout-out to one of the Dull Knives of the Gang. Although he's been busy evicting Katrina victims and is no longer in Congress, John Edwards certainly deserves some of this glory.

In 1998, Bill Clinton needed some national security street cred to help avoid being impeached. Democrats swore Saddam was the biggest threat on the planet and Richard Clarke said Saddam was helping al Qaeda make nerve gas at the "aspirin factory" in Sudan. That's when Edwards voted for Regime Change in Iraq.

In '02, Edwards voted for the war. He supported that vote all through the presidential election of 2004. Only in 2006 did he finally come out against the war. It took him eight years to go from supporting regime change in Iraq to opposing regime change in Iraq.

In other words, if we elected and re-elected him to eight years as president, he would finally make up his mind--just as he was leaving office!

A shabbier, more incompetent and self-serving group of Blame-America-Firsters you'll not find.

An African Proverb, 


"It takes a village to raise a ...Say; can you get me a visa to America? Oh, please, Oh, please, Oh, please, Oh, puh-leese?"

P.J. O'Rourke:

"It takes a village to raise a child. The village is Washington. You are the child. There, I've spared you from the reading the worst book to come out of the Clinton administration since -- let's be fair -- whatever the last one was.

Nearly everything about "It Takes a Village" is objectionable, from the title -- an ancient African proverb that seems to have its origins in the ancient African kingdom of Hallmarkcardia -- to the acknowledgements page, where Mrs. Clinton fails to acknowledge that some poor journalism professor named Barbara Feinman did a lot of the work. Mrs. Clinton thereby unwisely violates the first rule of literary collaboration: Blame the coauthor. And let us avert our eyes from the Kim Il-Sung-type dust-jacket photograph showing Mrs. Clinton surrounded by joyous-youth-of-many-nations."

Elsewhere, however, It Takes A European Commission to Compel Women to Report to the Hague After Having Sex.

And if you think that wouldn't be in a HillaryCare Program, you're not paying ach tung, villager!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pilgrim's Progress 


Patriot Post:

"Upon landing, the Pilgrims conducted a prayer service and quickly turned to building shelters. Malnutrition and illness during the ensuing New England winter killed nearly half their number. Through prayer and hard work, with the assistance of their Wampanoag Indian friends, the Pilgrims reaped a rich harvest in the summer of 1621, the bounty of which they shared with the Wampanoag. The celebration incorporated feasting and games, which remain holiday traditions.

Such ready abundance soon waned, however. Under demands from investors funding their endeavor, the Pilgrims had acquiesced to a disastrous arrangement holding all crops and property in common, in order to return an agreed-to half of their produce to their overseas backers. (These financiers insisted they could not trust faraway freeholders to split the colony’s profits honestly.) Within two years, Plymouth was in danger of foundering under famine, blight and drought. Colonist Edward Winslow wrote, “The most courageous were now discouraged, because God, which hitherto had been our only shield and supporter, now seemed in his anger to arm himself against us.”

Governor Bradford’s record of the history of the colony describes 1623 as a period of arduous work coupled with “a great drought... without any rain and with great heat for the most part,” lasting from spring until midsummer. The Plymouth settlers followed the Wampanoag’s recommended cultivation practices carefully, but their crops withered.

The Pilgrims soon thereafter thought better of relying solely on the physical realm, setting “a solemn day of humiliation, to seek the Lord by humble and fervent prayer, in this great distress.” In affirmation of their faith and providing a great witness to the Indians, by evening of that day the skies became overcast and gentle rains fell, restoring the yield of the fields. Governor Bradford noted, “And afterwards the Lord sent to them such seasonable showers, with interchange of fair warm weather as, through His blessing caused a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. For which mercy, in time convenient, they also set apart a day of thanksgiving.”

Winslow noted the Pilgrims’ reaction as believing “it would be great ingratitude, if secretly we should smother up the same, or content ourselves with private thanksgiving for that, which by private prayer could not be obtained. And therefore another solemn day was set apart and appointed for that end; wherein we returned glory, honor, and praise, with all thankfulness, to our good God, which dealt so graciously with us...” This was the original American Thanksgiving Day, centered not on harvest feasting (as in 1621) but on gathering together to publicly recognize the favor and provision of Almighty God."
I reprinted this because it captures the spiritual principle so well.

But also because of this: did you notice how it only took the Pilgrims two years to establish Global Warming in America?

And they went from the Global Cooling of the first cold winter to the Global Warming drought of '23 in just two and a half years--it took us two-and-a-half decades to do that.

The Prophet Algore says the debate is over--but, hey; it's been over since 1623!

His Church of Global Warming combines the scientific rigor of Phrenology with the theological sophistication of a South Pacific cargo cult. "You make Sun God angry with Humvee chariot! Bad chariot!"

And Bad Mayflower!

Postmodern Turkey 


If Sontag holds, then the prepostcapitalist semiotic narrative is determinative.

But if Sontag holds Cornell West, you may want to shield the eyes of children and horses.

(Damn--I never get tired of this toy.)

Here, Prof. Lileks reads from his doctoral thesis, "Mr. Whipple; A Solstice Appreciation in 12 Genders, a Partridge and a Pear Tree":

"He appeared in over 400 commercials as the fellow who tried to impose rules he himself could not follow, and thereby revealed not only the essential hypocrisy of the puritan impulse, but the uselessness of imposing any sort of “standards” on human behavior. That he himself was rebuked for failing to stay his own desire to squeeze, some say, was proof of a Natural Law above Whipple and the society he represented, but this was seen quite correctly by critics as a reflexive sop tossed to the reactionaries, a way of undercutting the existential truths Whipple’s failings represented."

Don't miss the punch line.

And here's some leftover turkey sammitches from Lileks.


UPDATE: Simply too tasty not to pilfer:

"You know how kids today seem jaded by all the special effects in movies, the kinetic lure of the internet, the manic mannered jerky pace of indistinguishable cartoons, and all the other things that tweezer out some ancient human sense of wonder and replace it with studied indifference and an appetite for something else to fill the void? Yeah, that. Well, while cleaning the kitchen table a few hours before The Meal I heard a great squabble outside {...}

And then the geese appeared over the trees in numbers I’d never beheld before. A great ragged V ran a mile one way and a mile in the other, intersected in a dozen points by smaller groups, more wedges tucked in behind and between and beyond, and I’ll be damned if every one of them wasn’t singing. It was the most astonishing sound. Add enough geese, and you finally hear the melody.

I called the children – the media-saturated Nintendo-generation – and bade them to rush out and look up. Their jaws dropped and their eyes shone and they stood as still as stone until the last bird passed over our house, and the sound of their song was lost to our ears. I will remember that all the days of my life.

(Thank God I didn’t have the video camera. I would have seen it through the viewfinder screen, edited it later and probably set it to music.)"



David Freddoso:

"On what other issue — this side of big tobacco — can you find so many scientists who will just flatly lie about science? Here's a nice sample of the rubbish they have been spreading in states all over the country:

University of Nebraska Medical Center professors James Turpen and David Crouse, however, do not consider the product of somatic cell nuclear transfer to be an embryo - because it does not involve fertilization of an egg by a sperm to create a unique new being.

"What they (proponents of a cloning ban) are trying to do is redefine an embryo," said Turpen, a professor of genetics, cell biology and anatomy who teaches embryology at UNMC.

These are scientists? It follows from their claim that Dolly isn't a sheep. Simply disgraceful. Speaking of disgrace, remember Hwang Woo-Suk, the famous embryonic research scientist? His lies about progress in embryonic research gave hope to millions expecting cures, and he was even honored by Time. He was then exposed as a fraud and all of his research was discredited. And then there were the scientists who shamefully lent their good names to Proposition 71 — more on that below.

Front and center among the "advocates" I mean to impugn are the numerous politicians who claim that cloning isn't cloning, embryos aren't embryos, non-existent cures already exist, and cures perhaps 10 or 20 years away will arrive soon. These are not debatable points, such as whether or not an embryo deserves a certain kind of treatment — these are outright lies about science and about reality, intended to mislead people. At the very least they represent a culpable level of ignorance in public officials who should have studied the issue instead of just listening to their contributors. Or maybe just some Democrats looking for a good campaign issue — embryonic research was supposed to be their silver bullet, after all.

Gov. Jon Corzine recently asserted that by borrowing $450 million for embryonic research, he would save New Jersey's economy $73 billion dollars! If that claim does not demonstrate a lack of integrity, what does? (More to the point, how many contractors were hoping to get their piece of that $450 million before voters ruined their plans?)

Then there's California's Proposition 71 of 2004, to borrow $3 billion (with a b) for cloning research and to enshrine a right to do it in the state constitution. The proposition's boosters — many of them scientists — lied about the royalties the state could expect from the anticipated cures. Assuming that they can read, they knowingly lied about what dieases embryonic stem-cells showed promise in curing — for example, Alzheimers and juvenile diabetes. They lied about whether they were doing human cloning. They lied about whether they were banning human cloning.

All these lies plus a $35 million "investment" got them a $3 billion return from the taxpayers of a deeply indebted state whose bond rating had recently been teetering on junk status. Ten percent of the money — $300 million — was earmarked in the proposition for real estate purchases and the hiring of "real estate experts." (By the way, Robert Klein, who headed the campaign, is a developer, as were several of its contributors.)

And although there was no research money directly involved in the subsequent Missouri and Iowa actions, state funding was anticipated, and the pattern of lies was similar. In Missouri, they even misled a judge, asserting that what everyone has always called "cloning" — the same process that produced Dolly — is not, in fact, cloning. They were thus allowed to keep their misleading ballot language.

Again, I am not impugning the integrity of people with a certain opinion on this issue, but rather the official, public advocates of this stuff."

Peter Lawler thinks the recent news on adult cells has provided a technological solution to the moral problem.

It is indeed good news, but the moral problem hasn't quite been solved. It simply no longer applies in this case. The moral problem is the commodification of human life. Some scientists will continue down this path, and even those who have abandoned it reserve the right to resume embryo destruction.

And if we discover that embryos make, say, sturdy shoes, there is no bar to using this "raw material". Only recently have we even been able to protect babies as they are being born, let alone an embryo in a dish.

But I'll take both developments as steps in the right direction.

UPDATE: He's not done yet.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The World 



"On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible," and this is what's not taught. This is what's left out. "The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford's detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims -- including Bradford's own wife -- died of either starvation, sickness, or exposure.

"When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well." They were collectivists! Now, "Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives.

"He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. ... Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn't work! Surprise, surprise, huh? What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years -- trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it -- the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson," every kid gets. "If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future." Here's what he wrote: "'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing -- as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote.

"'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense...that was thought injustice.'" That was thought injustice. "Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?" 'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, "for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been." Bradford doesn't sound like much of a Clintonite, does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? ... In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. ... So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians.
"The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.'" Now, aside from this program, have you heard this before? Is this "being taught to children -- and if not, why not? I mean, is there a more important lesson one could derive from the Pilgrim experience than this?" What if Bill and Hillary Clinton had been exposed to these lessons in school? Do you realize what we face in next year's election is the equivalent of people who want to set up these original collectivists communes that didn't work, with nobody having incentive to do anything except get on the government dole somehow because the people running the government want that kind of power. So the Pilgrims decided to thank God for all of their good fortune. And that's Thanksgiving. And read George Washington's first Thanksgiving address and count the number of times God is mentioned and how many times he's thanked. None of this is taught today. It should be. Have a happy Thanksgiving, folks. You deserve it. Do what you can to be happy, and especially do what you can to be thankful, because in this country you have more reasons than you've ever stopped to consider."

We’ve all got plenty to be thankful for, both great and small, on this, the most American of all holidays–more American than even the 4th of July, I’d argue.

I’m grateful for the people I love. I’m grateful to live in the greatest country on earth. I’m grateful that kids half my age are willing to fight for our freedoms half-way around the world.

Thanks, guys–and a Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Loving, and old Friend, 

Although I received no letter from you by this ship, yet forasmuch as I know you expect the performance of my promise, which was, to write unto you truly and faithfully of all things, I have therefore at this time sent unto you accordingly. Referring you for further satisfaction to our more large relations.

You shall understand, that in this little time, that a few of us have been here, we have built seven dwelling-houses, and four for the use of the plantation, and have made preparation for divers others. We set the last spring some twenty acres of Indian corn, and sowed some six acres of barley and peas, and according to the manner of the Indians, we manured our ground with herrings or rather shads, which we have in great abundance, and take with great ease at our doors. Our corn did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown, they came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom.

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after have a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the company almost a week, at which time amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

We have found the Indians very faithful in their covenant of peace with us; very loving and ready to pleasure us; we often go to them, and they come to us; some of us have been fifty miles by land in the country with them, the occasions and relations whereof you shall understand by our general and more full declaration of such things as are worth the noting, yea, it has pleased God so to possess the Indians with a fear of us, and love unto us, that not only the greatest king amongst them, called Massasoit, but also all the princes and peoples round about us, have either made suit unto us, or been glad of any occasion to make peace with us, so that seven of them at once have sent their messengers to us to that end. Yea, an Isle at sea, which we never saw, hath also, together with the former, yielded willingly to be under the protection, and subjects to our sovereign lord King James, so that there is now great peace amongst the Indians themselves, which was not formerly, neither would have been but for us; and we for our parts walk as peaceably and safely in the wood as in the highways in England. We entertain them familiarly in our houses, and they as friendly bestowing their venison on us. They are a people without any religion or knowledge of God, yet very trusty, quick of apprehension, ripe-witted, just. The men and women go naked, only a skin about their middles.

For the temper of the air, here it agreeth well with that in England, and if there be any difference at all, this is somewhat hotter in summer, some think it to be colder in winter, but I cannot out of experience so say; the air is very clear and not foggy, as hath been reported. I never in my life remember a more seasonable year than we have here enjoyed; and if we have once but kine, horses, and sheep, I make no question but men might live as contented here as in any part of the world. For fish and fowl, we have great abundance; fresh cod in the summer is but coarse meat with us; our bay is full of lobsters all the summer and affordeth variety of other fish; in September we can take a hogshead of eels in a night, with small labor, and can dig them out of their beds all the winter; we have mussels and othus at our doors: oysters we have none near, but we can have them brought by the Indians when we will; all the spring-time the earth sendeth forth naturally very good sallet herbs: here are grapes, white and red, and very sweet and strong also. Strawberries, gooseberries, raspas, etc. Plums of three sorts, with black and red, being almost as good as a damson: abundance of roses, white, red, and damask; single, but very sweet indeed. The country wanteth only industrious men to employ, for it would grieve your hearts (if as I) you had seen so many miles together by goodly rivers uninhabited, and withal, to consider those parts of the world wherein you live to be even greatly burdened with abundance of people. These things I thought good to let you understand, being the truth of things as near as I could experimentally take knowledge of, and that you might on our behalf give God thanks who hath dealt so favorably with us.

Our supply of men from you came the ninth of November 1621, putting in at Cape Cod, some eight or ten leagues from us. The Indians that dwell thereabout were they who were owners of the corn which we found in caves, for which we have given them full content, and are in great league with them. They sent us word that there was a ship near unto them, but thought it to be a Frenchman, and indeed for ourselves, we expected not a friend so soon. But when we perceived that she made for our bay, the governor commanded a great piece to be shot off, to call home such as were abroad at work; whereupon every man, yea, boy that could handle a gun, were ready, with full resolution that if she were an enemy, we would stand in our just defense, not fearing them, but God provided better for us than we supposed; these came all in health, not any being sick by the way (otherwise than sea sickness) and so continue at this time, by the blessing of God; the good-wife Ford was delivered of a son the first night she landed, and both of them are very well.

When it pleaseth God, we are settled and fitted for the fishing business, and other trading; I doubt not but by the blessing of God the gain will give content to all; in the mean time, that we have gotten we have sent by this ship, and though it be not much, yet it will witness for us that we have not been idle, considering the smallness of our number all this summer. We hope the merchants will accept of it, and be encouraged to furnish us with things needful for further employment, which will also encourage us to put forth ourselves to the uttermost.

Now because I expect your coming unto us with other of our friends, whose company we much desire, I thought good to advertise you of a few things needful; be careful to have a very good bread-room to put your biscuits in, let your cask for beer and water be iron-bound for the first tire if not more; let not your meat be dry-salted, none can better do it than the sailors; let your meal be so hard trod in your cask that you shall need an adz or hatchet to work it out with: trust not too much on us for corn at this time, for by reason of this last company that came, depending wholly upon us, we shall have little enough till harvest; be careful to come by some of your meal to spend by the way, it will much refresh you. Build your cabins as open as you can, and bring good store of clothes and bedding with you; bring every man a musket or fowling-piece, let your piece be long in the barrel, and fear not the weight of it, for most of our shooting is from stands; bring juice of lemons, and take it fasting; it is of good use; for hot waters, aniseed water is the best, but use it sparingly; if you bring any thing for comfort in the country, butter or sallet oil, or both is very good; our Indian corn, even the coarsest, maketh pleasant meat as rice, therefore spare that unless to spend by the way; bring paper and linseed oil for your windows, with cotton yarn for your lamps; let your shot be most for big fowls, and bring store of powder and shot: I forbear further to write for the present, hoping to see you by the next return, so I take my leave, commending you to the Lord for a safe conduct unto us. Resting in Him,

Your loving friend,

Edward Winslow

Plymouth in New England this 11th of December, 1621.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A ManufacturedMoment(tm) 

From the ManufacturedNews(tm) Network

"The Truthy, the Whole Truthy, And Nothing But the Truthy, So Help Us Gore"

In the fast-paced and competitive world of the fact fabrication industry, we sometimes need to stop and acknowledge moments of greatness--even by one of our competitors.

CNN just had such a moment. Their coverage of the recent Democrat debate was a masterpiece of News Manufacturing. The exquisite choreography of the planted questions, the foisting off of hardcore activists and Democrat staffers as average man-on-the-street citizens, the lighter-than-air puffball questions by Democrats we laughingly call "reporters"...and that special magic that happens when you watch an entire show--and come out knowing less than you did when you first began!

No, that was no mere debate; it was a Democrat info-mercial, of the Democrats, by the Democrats and for the Democrats. To call this debate incestuous would be an insult to the eleven-toed kids of Half-Sister Holler.

Frankly, this is just the kind of news manufacturing that inspired us to go into the business in the first place. And this isn't CNN's first Gay Company Picnic, either.

When Saddam was in danger of being revealed as a torturer, CNN was there to cover for him, trading their silence for "access".

When the winds of freedom were blowing in Eastern Europe, CNN was there to keep those pesky breezes of liberty from ever reaching the West Indies, co-founding CNN Internationale with Fidel Castro.

When enemy snipers were shooting our troops, CNN was there to broadcast enemy propaganda free of charge to the terrorists, yet at a profit to themselves.

When the stakes are high, the big dogs step up their game and lift their leg on the American news consumer. Congratulations, CNN!

Watch out, George Foreman--Wolf is back, and he's got something to sell!

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Dear Law Student, 

You just received a message from Renee Ritucci in Career Services seeking to gauge student interest in employers that would like to recruit on campus this fall. One of these employers is the U.S. Navy JAG Corps, which officially discriminates against applicants who say they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual or whose sexual conduct becomes known. This hiring restriction flatly violates the law school's nondiscrimination policy, which states: "Stanford Law School makes its facilities and services open only to employers who do not discriminate on the basis of age, religion, disability, ethnic background, national origin, gender, race, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law."

A federal law known as the Solomon Amendment requires the law school to suspend its nondiscrimination policy for military recruiting. Under the law, exclusion of military recruiters from campus could trigger the loss to the University of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds. In March 2006 the Supreme Court upheld the Solomon Amendment against a First Amendment challenge brought by a group of law schools and law school faculties, including the United Faculty of Stanford Law School.

As a result of the Solomon Amendment and the Supreme Court's ruling, the law school will invite JAG Corps recruiters to campus, despite the military's violation of SLS's nondiscrimination policy, if enough students express genuine interest in interviewing with them.

Under the law school's Student Interest Policy, when a new employer or one that does not have an established recruiting history here seeks to take part in the law school's on-campus interview program, the Office of Career Services determines if there is sufficient student interest before scheduling the employer for interviews. The policy is OCS's way of fairly allocating scarce interview room space. It also saves employers the time and money wasted by coming here when few, if any, students want to meet with them.

We, the undersigned individual faculty members, encourage those students who have a genuine interest in working for the military to contact JAG Corps recruiters directly and to arrange off-campus interviews, rather than express interest in the military's participation in Spring OCI. By meeting with military recruiters off campus, you would permit the law school to keep in force its nondiscrimination policy. More importantly, you would show respect for those of your colleagues whose expression of sexual orientation disqualifies them for military service.

JAG Corps service is noble work. We are enormously proud of those graduates who go on to serve in the military. But we regard nondiscrimination as a fundamental educational principle. SLS has pledged to make no distinctions among you in the benefits or services it provides except according to merit or need. Because we believe the military's policy of overt discrimination undermines this educational principle, we hope those of you who seek military service will arrange to meet military recruiters off campus.


A Bunch Of Pointy-Headed Law Perfessers Who Wouldn't Know an M-16 From an MC Hammer.

Dear Perfs,

"Sincerely"? There's not a damn sincere thing about you.

Because if you were sincere, you would have the courage of your convictions.

I said "if".

Number 1: By throwing these roadblocks in the way of our recruiters, you are in violation of the Solomon Amendment. Does the phrase "disparate impact" ring any bells?

Number 2: You are politically harassing and intimidating students with these threatening letters. The clear implication is that students who do not tow your ideological line will be made to pay. Just as in sexual harassment, there is a power imbalance inherent in this political harassment.

Number 3: You are in violation of your own stated non-discrimination policy, as you are discriminating against service personnel and veterans.

Number 4: Your lack of patriotism is disgusting. Believe it or not, there are more important things than your burning, if over-educated, crotches.

Number 5: You keep calling this "the Navy's policy". It's not. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is the policy enacted by the United States Congress, elected by the People. It was signed by the duly-elected president and passed muster in the Supreme Court. The Solomon Amendment itself was ruled lawful by a UNANIMOUS Supreme Court. You're the experts; how rare is that?

Here's the thing; if you had the courage of your convictions, you wouldn't pick on those soldiers, sailors and airmen. No; you would bravely refuse to take one dirty dime from that filthy, stinking Congress who passed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", and who could repeal it today if they so desired.

But instead you choose to discriminate against service-members who are, after all, merely following the lawful commands of civilian authority, just as we would hope they would.

But standing on principle by refusing Congress' money would cost you personally. No more plush sinecures. No more cushy retirement plans. No more Tuscany vacations. It's much easier--and cheaper!--to look heroic by bashing these servicemen, isn't it?

Whose shoes, incidentally, you are unfit to shine.

Every manner of freak, killer and radical is invited on to our campuses these days to organize and recruit--but only the military is unfit? We didn't build these educational institutions as your personal political playgrounds, for you to preen and posture. Here's my proposal: instead of banning military recruiters, I say we give them your offices and ban you from campus. Let's see how you like it.

Because when you get down to it, we don't have a shortage of lawyers. What we need more of are principled and selfless patriots. Have your desks cleaned out by noon.

p.s.: By the way, those Co-Presidents who triangulated their way into signing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ? They were named 'Bill and Hillary Clinton'. I'm sure we can count on you to remain true to your much-vaunted principles and strongly oppose Hillary Clinton.

Unless, of course, she pays you.

With All The Sincerity I Can Muster For Such As Yourselves,

A Student of the Law

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Top Ten Things I Learned Watching the Democrat Debate 


My Top Ten--What I lurnt at the Democrat debate:

#10.) The 2 hrs. I spent watching Democrats were the longest 4 hrs. of my life and I'll never see those 8 hrs. again.

#9.) Everything--and I mean everything from hairballs to hydrogen bombs--is George W. Bush's fault. Even those tasty, partially-hydrogenated hairballs banned by Nurse Bloomberg in New York City.

#8.) Everything should be free. Such as health care, fer instance. When we see hungry people, we give them food stamps. But we don't have the government take over every farm, restaurant, fruit stand and grocery store in the country, do we? Yet that's what they want to do with health care. There are so many things wrong with DMV-Care, I can't list them all--but if you can't see the danger of putting a castrating b*tch in charge of health care, then I guess I can't really explain it to you.

#7.) There are no hard choices. For example, do we want cars that get a thousand miles per gallon? No problem! Congress merely has to pass a law...and it will be so! Nevermind that you will be shoe-horned into a glorified aluminum beer can on wheels, with body panels the consistency of origami paper. At least you'll die happy, knowing that the diesel truck which squished you like a bug was carrying massive, power-sucking amplifiers for Al Gore's next big Global Warming concert.

I kid--because if you actually were a bug, Al Gore would care.

#6.) You can tell where the debate is being held by how the Democrats pander. If they say ethanol is the greatest thing since sliced bread, even though it takes more energy to make a gallon than you get from that gallon, then the debate is in Iowa. If they say we need years of studies to find a safe place to store nuclear waste, even though Yucca Mountain was studied for years and determined to be the safest possible place, then the debate is in Las Vegas. If they lambaste and turkeybaste the Coast Guard for not quickly reporting a 58,000-gallon oil spill from the tanker USS Astro-Glide, then the debate was in San Francisco, etc.

#5.) Everything you want is a "Right". Take education. You have the right to be thrown into day-care from the afternoon you're born. A right to Head Start, K-12, school breakfasts, school lunches, school dinners and after-school programs. You have a right to college, to college loans and to have those loans forgiven. You have a right to post-graduate and doctoral studies. Heck; if you want, you can stay in school for 40, 50 years--we don't care. That's OUR right. And when you get out, you're entitled to a tenured professorship with all the perks. For example, if you're a Redneck-American, you're entitled to a cooler of beer and a bass boat for research. If you're a 1/64th faux-Indian, then you're entitled to 1/64th ownership in a faux-casino, etc.

And, of course, No Child Left Behind should be repealed, except for the funding part, which should be doubled--no, tripled--no; quadrupled--aw, hell; let's just give the teachers' unions the keys to the Mint and let them print their own money. If you oppose this, you want our children to count on their toes. And America's children is already 89th in the world in toe-counting. Even though the rankings only go up to 20.

#4.) "Larry King's pet gerbil show[ed] up in a Wolf Blitzer suit."

#3.) Democrats have discovered something completely new in the world called "diplomacy" and want to establish something called a "State Department". Evidently, this "diplomacy" consists of hiring "diplomats" who talk to other countries' "diplomats"--unless our diplomats don't approve of the policy or it's too dangerous and they'd simply rather spend their days sipping espressos in the sidewalk cafes of European capitals with sympathetic locals, tsk-tsking and tut-tutting those gauche Americans.

Anyway, it works like this: if we say nice things, then all the terrorists and dictators in the world will be nice and do what we want. Then we can disband our military and use the savings to provide taxpayer-funded amputations for the Stump-Fetish Community. (see also, "Rights", "Health Care")

#2.) Hillary's ankles aren't as fat as we'd been led to believe--that was just both of Bill Richardson's chins as he clung to her legs, sobbing and begging to be her running mate.

And the Number One Thing I Learned Watching the Democrat Debate:

The Democrat Party long ago sold its soul and spent the money on crack hos and hair plugs. If you are a Democrat today, you are in all probability a fully- and wholly-owned subsidiary of Clinton, Inc..

Even if any of the other candidates really wanted to be president, which they clearly and demonstrably DO NOT, Billy Bob Billy and Madame Leni are filming "The Grifters, Part 2: Return of the Furniture", and will brook no real opposition. None.

But in a nice way.

"Isn't this what the whole thing was all about?" 


From the NY Sun's editorial, "George W. Haig":

[Secretary of State Al] Haig suggested the [Law of the Sea] treaty was, as Mr. Adelman has written, "something we didn't like but had to accept, since it had emerged over the previous decade through a 150-nation negotiation."

Sec. Haig then lunged into details about the options and sub-options for revising the document.

The president looked puzzled, then finally interrupted.

"Uh, Al, isn't this what the whole thing was all about?" ...

Sec. Haig asked him what he meant. ...

"Well," Mr. Reagan shrugged, "wasn't not going along with something that is 'really stupid' just because 150 nations had done so what the whole thing was all about — our running, our winning, our governing?"

A stunned Sec. Haig folded up his briefing book and promised to find out how to stop the treaty altogether.

When it comes to this treaty, George W. Bush thinks he's smarter than Ronald W. Reagan.

He's not.

Moon-battiness is Easy 


"Ron Paul is a pencil head, leading a jacquerie of wicked idiots.”--Richard Brookhiser.

In the course of reviewing Greek fugitive Arianna Huffety-Tuffet's alleged comedy site "236" (aka; "The place where humor goes to die of suicide, be cremated and shot from a cannon like Hunter S. Thompson, only without any of his talent."), Hog On Ice gets in his own gratuitous Ron Paul shot:

Ron Paul is a complete assface. I thought I'd just throw that in to piss off his flying monkeys. Ron Paul will never be a nominee, but his ridiculous fans have made him what I like to call "The President of the Internet," so I like to make fun of him and get on their nerves. Ron Paul is a clown. Ron Paul blames America for terrorism. Ron Paul isn't fit to lick Rudy Giuliani's toes clean. Ron Paul will probably die in a padded room.

Hope you're all really mad now. Find me on Technorati and post some hilarious outraged comments for me. I know you're out there, monitoring the Internet closely for all mention of your odd little hero.

Here's a crazy idea: back someone who could conceivably win.

No, that's insane. Pretend I never said it.


Heh heh.

I don't understand why Steve writes things like "Ron Paul ate Jimmy Hoffa" or "Ron Paul wets the bed" or "Ron Paul farts in church."

Dr. Paul is a great American and you can take that to the bank. Just not a federal reserve bank. And you should contribute to his campaign. Just use arcade tokens, not that nasty "fiat money".

Thank God For America 


Mark Steyn (One of the few--okay, the only--right-wing columnist who can work a show-tune reference into a column on geo-politics):

"But on this Thanksgiving the rest of the world ought to give thanks to American national sovereignty, too. When something terrible and destructive happens – a tsunami hits Indonesia, an earthquake devastates Pakistan – the United States can project itself anywhere on the planet within hours and start saving lives, setting up hospitals and restoring the water supply.

Aside from Britain and France, the Europeans cannot project power in any meaningful way anywhere. When they sign on to an enterprise they claim to believe in – shoring up Afghanistan's fledgling post-Taliban democracy – most of them send token forces under constrained rules of engagement that prevent them doing anything more than manning the photocopier back at the base.

If America were to follow the Europeans and maintain only shriveled attenuated residual military capacity, the world would very quickly be nastier and bloodier, and far more unstable. It's not just Americans and Iraqis and Afghans who owe a debt of thanks to the U.S. soldier but all the Europeans grown plump and prosperous in a globalized economy guaranteed by the most benign hegemon in history. [...]

Americans should, as always, be thankful this Thanksgiving, but they should also understand just how rare in human history their blessings are."

And to help us understand that rare blessing (and because, as evidenced at the Democrat debates, Bill Richardson and other Democrats want to resurrect Jimmy Carter's failed policies), we bring you:

America's Purpose in the World by Ronald Reagan, March 17, 1978:

..."Few Americans accept the belief...that America's purpose in the world is to appease the mighty out of a sense of fear or to appease the weak out of a sense of guilt. [...]

In reviewing the foreign policy of this [Carter] administration, one can only come to the conclusion that the mistaken assumptions that led to its course on the Panama Canal treaties are being duplicated around the world.

Its policy is rooted in well-meaning intentions, but it shows a woeful uncertainty as to America's purpose in the world.

The administration means to do good by espousing a human rights doctrine it cannot define, much less implement. In the process, this policy has met with scorn from our enemies and alarm from our friends. That self-graded, 21-page White House report card said, with regard to human rights, "The president has strengthened our human rights policy and we are letting it be known clearly that the United States stands with the victims of repression." Is that why our representatives at the Belgrade Conference remained silent in the face of a final report that contained not one word about Russian violations of the human rights provisions in the Helsinki Agreement?

If the Carter administration "stands with the victims of repression," the people of Cuba, Panama, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the mainland of China have yet to hear about it.
The fact is, the Carter human rights policy is whatever his appointees who guide it want it to be. In practice, they have ceaselessly scolded authoritarian governments of countries that are friendly and ignored authoritarian and totalitarian countries that are not.

Mr. Carter might find a reading of the historian Charles Beard informative. Nearly 40 years ago, Beard concluded that the defect of a foreign policy based on what he called "the selfish sacrifice required by an absolute morality" was the inability to understand "the limited nature of American powers to relieve, restore and maintain life beyond its own sphere of interest and control - a recognition of the hard fact that the United States ... did not possess the power ... to assure the establishment of democratic and pacific government."

But, by using a combination of heavy-handed moves against allied countries, on the one hand, and making "pre-emptive concessions" toward unfriendly or potentially unfriendly countries on the other, the Carter administration has managed to convey the view that it desperately wants the whole world to have democratic institutions that would be the envy of the most ardent ACLU lawyer, and that wishing will make it so.

That view of the world ranks along with belief in the Tooth Fairy. But confusion of purpose and a false sense of guilt are not the only elements in this administration's foreign policy.

Too often, the president is advised by men and women who are forever trapped in the tragic but still fresh memory of a lost war. And from Vietnam they have drawn all the wrong lessons. When they say "never again," they mean the United States should never again resist Communist aggression. [...]

The lesson we should have learned from Vietnam is that never again will Americans be asked to fight and die unless they are permitted to win.
We need a foreign policy stripped of platitudes, cant and mere moral earnestness -- an earnestness fatally compromised by the massive crimes of some of the Communist world's newer members. [...]

The problem with much of the Carter team is that they know too little, not too much, of history. And, they have lost faith in their own country's past and traditions.
Too often, that team has operated under the assumption that the United States must prove and reprove and prove again its goodness to the world. Proving that we are civilized in a world that is often uncivilized -- and unapologetically so -- is hardly necessary.

The themes of a sound foreign policy should be no mystery, nor the result of endless agonizing reappraisals. They are rooted in our past -- in our very beginning as a nation.

The Founding Fathers established a system which meant a radical break from that which preceded it. A written constitution would provide a permanent form of government, limited in scope, but effective in providing both liberty and order. Government was not to be a matter of self-appointed rulers, governing by whim or harsh ideology. It was not to be government by the strongest or for the few. Our principles were revolutionary. We began as a small, weak republic. But we survived. Our example inspired others, imperfectly at times, but it inspired them nevertheless. This constitutional republic, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, prospered and grew strong. To this day, America is still the abiding alternative to tyranny. That is our purpose in the world -- nothing more and nothing less.

To carry out that purpose, our fundamental aim in foreign policy must be to ensure our own survival and to protect those others who share our values. Under no circumstances should we have any illusions about the intentions of those who are enemies of freedom. Our Communist adversaries have little regard for human rights because they have little interest in human freedom. The ruling elites of those countries wish only one thing: to preserve their privileges and to eliminate the nagging reminder that others have done and are doing better under freedom.

[...] we cannot continue to reward our self-declared enemies and then turn around and punish our friends.

That leads me again to Panama. The treaties that have occupied so much of our attention in recent months represent both the good instincts and the bad impulses of American diplomacy.

The bad, for reasons I have repeated on many occasions: the feeling that we are guilty of some sin for which we must now atone and our inability to say "no," not out of truculence, but because it was the proper thing to say to secure our interests and to reaffirm our greater responsibility, which is leadership of all that remains of the free world.

Yes, the treaties represent the good instincts of American diplomacy, too -- a spirit of generosity and willingness to change with times. A good foreign policy must have both elements: the need to say "no" and the willingness to change, in just the right proportions. Unfortunately, accepting change because it seems fashionable to do so, with little real regard for the consequences, seems to dominate our foreign policy today.

Too many in positions of importance believe that through generosity and self-effacement we can avoid trouble, whether it's with Panama and the canal or the Soviet Union and SALT.

But, like it or not, trouble will not be avoided. The American people and their elected leaders will continue to be faced with hard choices and difficult moments, for resolve is continually being tested by those who envy us our prosperity and begrudge us our freedom.

America will remain great and act responsibly so long as it exercises power -- wisely, and not in the bullying sense -- but exercises it, nonetheless.

Leadership is a great burden. We grow weary of it at times. And the Carter administration, despite its own cheerful propaganda about accomplishments, reflects that weariness.

But if we are not to shoulder the burdens of leadership in the free world, then who will?

The alternatives are neither pleasant nor acceptable. Great nations which fail to meet their responsibilities are consigned to the dust bin of history. We grew from that small, weak republic which had as its assets spirit, optimism, faith in God and an unshakeable belief that free men and women could govern themselves wisely. We became the leader of the free world, an example for all those who cherish freedom.

If we are to continue to be that example -- if we are to preserve our own freedom -- we must understand those who would dominate us and deal with them with determination.

We must shoulder our burden with our eyes fixed on the future, but recognizing the realities of today, not counting on mere hope or wishes. We must be willing to carry out our responsibility as the custodian of individual freedom. Then we will achieve our destiny to be as a shining city on a hill for all mankind to see."

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Newsweek May Heal All Wounds 


In this Cold Fury post, Randy asks:

I know I’m getting old and all, but does anyone else recall the Swift Boat claims being disproved by anyone, anywhere, at any time?

Let me try to answer Randy this way:

Not only did John Kerry disprove the Swift Boaters' claims, he personally raped, cut off the ears and cut off the heads of those claims. He taped wires from portable telephones to the Swift Boaters' facts and turned up the power. He cut limbs off their claims, blew up their facts, randomly shooting at their charges. Kerry razed their claims in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan. He shot their charges and counter-charges for fun, poisoned their fact stocks, and generally ravaged the claims of the Swift Boaters in addition to the normal ravages of an election.

Yes, John Kerry terrorized those Swift Boaters just like young American soldiers go into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, and, you know, women.

Because, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck hiding behind your Form 180 because George W. Bush got better grades than you.

But more than that, you get stuck trying to explain the One Inexplicable Duality:

How is it Possible for One Man to Be a War Hero in Both North Vietnam and the United States Simultaneously?

Massachusetts was willing to gloss over the question. But the rest of the country was unwilling to entertain--what was it Hillary called it?--ah, yes; "The Willing Suspension of Disbelief."

Which, come to think of it, would make a good name for a rock band.

A Sixties rock band.

A pampered Sixties rock band fixated on itself, that had cut one hit record over three-and-a-half decades ago, stubbornly building a shabby career on that one hit while narcissistically clinging to the idealized past, refusing to move on and forbidding the rest of us from moving forward until their very-public temper tantrum was appeased.

Rock on, John.

Vacuous Housewives 


And The Bridge Team To Nowhere

Gateway Pundit has the story:

“What we were trying to say, not to Americans but to our friends from other countries, was that we understand that they are questioning and critical of what our country is doing these days, and we want you to know that we, too, are critical.”

...Ms. Greenberg said she decided to put up the sign in response to questions from players from other countries about American interrogation techniques, the war in Iraq and other foreign policy issues.

“There was a lot of anti-Bush feeling, questioning of our Iraq policy and about torture,” Ms. Greenberg said. “I can’t tell you it was an overwhelming amount, but there were several specific comments, and there wasn’t the same warmth you usually feel at these events.”

...Did they not notice they were playing cards in Communist China?

1.) Absent their stunt of holding up an anti-Bush sign at the closing ceremonies, these ditzy hausfraus would have never gotten their picture or story in the paper. The NY Times is essentially using them as stand-ins for their own anti-Bush editorial position, disguising it as "News".

2.) The Times also means to convey the message "Oh, look; Bush Has Ruined Everything! Even a simple card game!"

3.) Greenberg is worried the Kewl Kids on the Kommie Kampus won't like her unless she bashes her own country. I've taught my own kids never to grovel for approval.

4.) We caught the commander of the 9-11 attack. We dunked him--not to extract a confession or to punish him, but to save lives--and it worked. Innocent lives were saved. In the bad old days, we caramelized entire cities. But dunking this terrorist is now The Greatest Crime in the History of History, Requiring Us To Twist Our Moral Panties Into Knots?

Doubt it.

5.) There is nothing wrong with being anti-Bush--I've done it myself. But there is something odious about going to a foreign country and denouncing your own country's human rights record--especially when that foreign country suppresses religion, conducts forced abortions, criminalizes free speech, runs gulags--real gulags, not Gitmos--, and executes political prisoners--real political prisoners, not liquor store robbers--to sell their organs to the highest bidder.

But all that's not important now.

Get Bush! Now!! And Foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Around Here, 


is Veteran's Day.

And that's the way we like it.

From the French and Indian War to Fallujah, from Gettysburg to Grenada, America's citizen-soldiers have answered the call. Always.

Preach it, sister:

I have lived in America all my life, for 56 years now, and every single night when I have laid my head upon my pillow, you were somewhere watching over my safety. For every single one of those nights of peaceful rest, I simply say, "Thank you!"

Amen. And Amen.

ManufacturedNews(tm) Campaign'08 Update 


*(Half-Price Lunch Buffet, Bamboo Garden, AR) The People's Republic of Lead-Based Paint issued a recall of "any and all monies given to any and all female front-running Democratic candidates through any and all fugitive Chinese businessmen".

"We're issuing this recall today because we don't want anyone to get hurt," said spokesman Chu Da Phat. "We just want the few nuke secrets we didn't get last time."

*(Offset Acres, TN) Al Gore invited reporters to his vast, energy-sucking mansion to say he would not be a presidential candidate this year. Gore went on to claim that he invented the Nobel Prize. Also dynamite.

When challenged by reporters , Gore called them "Nobel nay-sayers" and "Dynamite-deniers". Gore kept yelling "The debate is over!, the debate is over!" Yet, oddly, he kept talking.

*(National Space and Mental Health Observatory, Washington, D.C.-12) Dennis Kucinich took time off from his grueling campaign schedule of speaking at New Age bookshops, Health Food stores and Colonic Irrigation clinics to introduce a bill in Congress.

Under the terms of the "I, For One, Welcome Our New Overlords!" Act of 2007, Dick Cheney would be impeached if he waterboarded a space alien. And if he didn't waterboard a space alien, he would also be impeached.

"I think I speak for all the voices in my head when I say not only should we extend Constitutional Rights to our friends the terrorists, but also to our Arcturian visitors from the planet Rem-Zulak-12," said Kucinich.

Rep. Ron Paul said that while he supported the idea, he couldn't vote for it, as the words "inter-stellar travel" do not appear in the Constitution.

(Poker Bluffs, IA) Only a day after promising it wouldn't happen again, the Clinton campaign has been caught trying to plant questions with audience members. In the first incident, Hillary attempted to get a student reporter to ask her about FEMA's recent staged press conference.

Yesterday, the Clinton campaign tried to get reporter Waldo Greenglen of the Cedar Rapids Sock-Puppet Sentinel to ask a question about Hillary's new book "It Takes a Village to Tip a Waitress".

Clinton was reportedly furious when her staffers claimed to have left a $100 tip, sending them back to the restaurant to retrieve the money. "It was her lucky 100-dollar bill--the one James Carville used to drag through trailer parks," said one staffer, on the condition that he later commit ritual seppuku.

Claiming that the billing records couldn't be located, the restaurant refused to return the money, even though the Clinton campaign offered to replace the old bill with shiny new ones from China containing lead-based paint.

Mrs. Clinton's rivals were quick to take advantage of the gaffe. John Edwards noted "I always tip my hairdresser $100--you know, the standard 15%."

Barack Obama claimed he never tips. "How are we ever going to get a Living Wage if I tip?" he asked.

"You should hear the howls of joy when I've explained this to wait-staff in the past. I guess they understand that I'm stiffing them for their own good, so that maybe one day, just maybe, Americans might become worthy of having me as their president."

The Clinton campaign asked that someone please ask the candidate about driver's licenses for illegals, as she has changed her mind and no longer supports it. But as a way of softening the blow, Hillary would support giving each undocumented worker their own medical, pilot's and liquor licenses. If asked.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

One of the President's 23-Percenters 


The Inconvenient Truth About Truman
His heirs are Republicans now.
by Noemie Emery:

"What, one wonders, would today's liberal hawks have made of him and Korea, given their penchant for neat, well-planned wars that end quickly, and their standard of zero mistakes? Would they have screamed for the scalp of Acheson? Ripped Truman to shreds for having gone in too rashly? Flayed him alive for undoubted misjudgments? Said (as did John Kerry and some "pro-war" Democrats) that while they supported the invasion in theory, they had never expected Harry Truman "to f-- it up as badly as he did"? If they quail at the expense of Iraq, what would they have said to the expense of Korea? If they quail at casualties of under 3,000, what would they have said to the more than 37,000 dead? Would they have been among the 23 percent who stayed loyal to Harry? Or would there have been second thoughts, mea culpas, and abject, not to say groveling, apologies to the antiwar left? ...

Democrats are right to look back to their mid-century heroes, larger than themselves in every dimension, trying to find their appeal and their secrets. But when they try to be like them, something odd happens: Instead of making themselves tougher to be more like their models, they rewrite history to make their idols seem softer, cutting their antecedents down to their own small size. The process resembles the fiasco of the FDR memorial on the Washington Mall, dedicated by President Bill Clinton in 1997. The liberal lion of the 1940s was strained through the modern sensibility of Clinton's party, and came out worse for wear.

FDR, a flamboyant figure who could swagger while sitting, was downsized. The exhibit centers disproportionately on his domestic achievements, though it is unquestionably his role as a war leader that earns him his standing among the Big Three. His cigarette holder is taken away; his wife is made to forgo her fur tippet; and the disability he overcame (and concealed from the public) is now emphasized. The stress throughout is on being a victim: Americans as victims of the Depression and poverty, Roosevelt as a victim of polio; everyone as a victim of circumstance. The sculptures themselves reveal most of the story: forlorn looking figures slouch in a line, waiting for help from a government agency; World War II is pushed out of the picture. No one is shown storming a beach, wading ashore, or raising a flag on a reconquered island. And no one, certainly, is toiling at Los Alamos, hard at work on the atomic bomb. ...

What Truman showed here is the relentlessness he shared with Lincoln and Roosevelt; the will to do what one must to save one's people, in the knowledge that sometimes men who do not like to kill are forced and obliged to kill in great numbers, to make sure that cruel and evil regimes do not flourish and that those who like killing do not rule the earth. It is the Democrats' problem--and therefore the country's--that their last president to understand this on a visceral level left the White House in 1963 in a coffin, and that none of their leaders have quite known this since. Their evocations of these people feel and sound hollow--they may like the idea of FDR, JFK, and Harry, but one feels the real men would unnerve them. They are right to look to Truman for a way out of their malaise and their quandary, but the Truman they create is part of the problem: soft-power Harry, Humility Harry, with none of the iron that he had in real life. They don't like the real Harry--the one of Japan and Korea--and they don't like his real traits, when they see them in others, like George W. Bush. This is their flaw, and their evasions won't help them. When they own and admit the genuine Harry, people will trust them with power again."

In other words, never. Because Democrats are now the Anti-Truman:

James Taranto:

"Sen. Chris Dodd gave a speech in Iowa the other day, and one statement he made is worth pondering. After praising the conviction of Zacarias Moussaoui, Dodd said:

"Compare that case to the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who organized the attacks of 9/11. He was held in a secret prison, where he claims he was tortured severely. Whether he is lying or not, by our actions we have allowed Khalid Mohammed to claim the moral high ground. Khalid Mohammed plays martyr to a world that is inclined to believe it.""

"World"? What's this "world"-crap, Dodd? Don't blame the so-called "world". It's you. You're the one who believes Khalid Sheik Mohammed is a martyr. You believe he has the moral high ground. You believe our actions are criminal. You believe he's telling the truth. You believe he was tortured severely. You believe he should not be held in a secret prison. What's your idea--giant billboards saying "Terrorist Petting Zoo--This Exit!"?

And even if this so-called "world" thought all that, that would merely make it incumbent on you as a patriot to stand up and tell them they're full of sh*t. Instead, you stand there nodding your head, wringing your hands and wetting your pants, trying to shift the blame to the "world" for your own "Blame America First, Last and Always"-ideology.

As a freshman legislator, Chris Dodd helped us lose the only war this country has ever lost. And now he wants to help us lose another one. No, thanks, you damned old Bridgeport Bolshie dinosaur--you've "helped" quite enough already.

Can you imagine Harry S. Truman on his whistle-stop campaign tour, standing up and making the case for the bombers of Pearl Harbor the way Chris Dodd does for the bombers of the World Trade Center? Would he casually mouth Hermann Goering's critique of America, silently nodding his head in sad assent?

What a sad collection of twisted freaks these Democrat candidates are; the feckless led by the reckless, and the gutless leading the nut-less. The only one who's shown even the slightest hint of having a pair doesn't. Their best candidate is an amoral, power-mad, Stepford-Wellesley ex-Communist who sold pardons and stole the furniture the last time we let her near the White House.

And we're not really sure about the "ex-"-part, either. Great.

Harry S. Truman wouldn't walk across the street to piss on these Cardboard Democrats if their crotches were on fire--which they usually are.

Fire melts cardboard. And Truman melts Truthi-crats. And if you can't take the heat, get the hell out of Harry's party.

You are so not worthy.

p.s.: And in case you don't want to notice--and you don't--we're winning the war.

Thanks for "helping".

When Auntie Federalist Met Uncle Sam 


Betsy's Page:

As we were listing the objections of the Anti-federalists to the proposed constitution, it struck all of us how relevant their criticisms are still today. They feared the powers of the presidency would lead to a monarchical power grab - imperial presidency fears, anyone. They said that the "necessary and proper" clause and the "general welfare" clause were too vague and would allow the federal government to do almost anything it wanted. Who could deny that that hasn't happened? They feared that the legislators in Congress would grow away from the people and soon govern without concern for the popular will and worried that there were no term limits on the congressmen. And they worried over giving Congress the power to tax and were concerned over how far the federal government would interfere in the economy. Does any of that sound familiar to anyone? And they worried that unelected judges would have too much power without the people having any control over the courts.

Too often we downplay the concerns of the Anti-federalists because they were the losers of the debate and we now have such reverence for the Constitution. But their legacy lives on. First of all, we owe their strong objections for the Bill of Rights. And when you hear critics today of Congress, fears of executive power, complaints about the judiciary, the desire for term limits on Congressmen and the devolution of power back to the states, remember the Anti-federalists and how they foresaw all of this.

For example, A FARMER predicted that a Washington, D.C. would be an "overgrown, luxurious and effeminate capital to become a lure to the enterprizing ambitious."

And you thought Al Gore was a prophet.

I Thought it Was Fire in the Belly 


Alas, the dream has died for Steven Colbert:

He may not have met the criteria of being considered a legitimate candidate by the national media, but AP reports that Colbert did appear on Sunday at the University of South Carolina in Columbia to stump for his candidacy--or maybe it was for his recently released, best-selling book, "I Am America [And so Can You!]"?-- telling several hundred fans that he would, if elected, "crush the state of Georgia."

A recent national poll by a Republican polling firm of likely 2008 voters showed that in his short time in the running, Colbert was coming in at 2.3 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, which put him in fifth place above Governor Bill Richardson (2.1 percent), Congressman Dennis Kucinich (2.1 percent) and former Senator Mike Gravel (less than 1 percent).

On Thursday night's show, while munching on Doritos chips, Colbert joked that he'd had disagreements with Democrats in the past, calling them, "pansies, twits, losers, dumbocrats, democrazies and Nazis ... but hey, that's all water under their Nazi bridge. If I make it on the ballot I can play ball; as they say, 'When in Sodom, vote Pelosi." Colbert then ran down the list of requirements for getting on the ballot in South Carolina, including, he joked, getting rid of Ronald Reagan tattoos and "being generally acknowledged or recognized in news media throughout the United States as viable candidates."

C'mon, Colbert; not even Bill "the Human Unmade Bed" Richardson let a little thing like "viability" stop him from running. Or a little thing like a third chin stop him from ordering a second dessert at the International House of Pancakes. Which, come to think of it, is as close as he'll ever be again to International Diplomacy.

Umm...I think some Cuban refugees just came ashore on your Key Lime Pie, Bill.

But while the dream is dying for Colbert, it is painfully flaring up again for Dave Barry, fresh off his stunning electoral shellackings of 2000 and 2004.

I think I speak for all Americans when I say: "'Dave Barry'--isn't he the guy who wrote 'Johnny B. Good'?" Nope; you're thinking of Chuck Barris, former mayor of Washington, D.C..

No, I mean this Dave Barry.

Like me, Dave is a moderate centrist who supports abolishing the UN, starting World War III...and outlawing forever the scourge on humanity we call 'Geraldo Rivera'.

In fact, Dave is such a vanilla centrist that he recently joined Code: Beige.

Here's Dave answering questions on the issues of the day, such as Citizenship:

Q: Dave, you often say that you agree with the American People. Well, I would like to point out that the American People think "Stairway to Heaven" is a great rock song that is not overlong in any manner. The American People also think the line "If There's a Bustle in Your Hedgerow" is a great piece of lyrics-writing.

A: Those are not real Americans.

On Crime:

Q: Dave, What is your presidential opinion of the new Miller "beer" product that combines "lite" beer with "a touch of lime and salt"? Is this what our Founding Father/Mothers froze their patooties off at Valley Forge for? Or what.

A: The death penalty is too good for these people.

On Fiscal Responsibility:

Q: Dear Dave, Supermodel Gisele Bundchen wants to be paid in Euros and not U.S. Dollars. The U.S Dollar is almost obsolete. Will the U.S.A resort to Barter exchange now?

A: When I'm president, I want to be paid in supermodels.

On Monetary Policy:

Q: Dear Dave, I recently was a participant in a 170 mile relay race across the mountains in Colorado. Another team called themselves "Tighty Whities" and wore underpants on their heads. What will you do to stop this moral outrage?

A: That was just the Federal Reserve Board, blowing off steam.
And finally, Dave reports on Colbert:

Q: Dave, Have you checked out this article? Looks like Stephen Colbert won't be running against you anymore.

A: He has asked that if you were planning to send him money, you send it to me instead. Although of course this is not being reported by the so-called "mainstream" media.
I hear you, brother.

And that's why I'll be sticking by my candidate: the late, great Pat Paulsen.

The Paulsen Platform:

"I've upped my standards. Now, up yours."

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Now Boarding 


"All A-boarrrrd!"

As the price for getting the Attorney General-job, Democrats want Mike Mukasey to pre-emptively rule that George Bush is a war-criminal.

Senate Democrats want Mukasey to declare the ever-more popular extreme sport called 'water-boarding' to be "torture", even though they can't even muster a simple majority vote to criminalize it themselves.

In other words, they want a lawyer to single-handedly impose yet another dangerous and unpopular law on America without having the guts, the votes or the accountability to do it themselves. But, hey; that's just how our Democrats roll.

Deroy Murdock illustrates exactly what we have gained from water-boarding; Americans have been saved from drownings, stabbings, shootings, beheadings, bombings, bridge collapses, poisonings, gassings, infections, plane crashes and painful maimings and murders of all stripes--but that's not really important to Democrats.

Their concern is a.) winning the next election, and b.) that no terrorist be made uncomfortable in any way. That would be morally-wrong, you see.

In "Waterboarding and Hiroshima: Did the Allies in World War II "lower themselves to the level of their enemies"?", Bret Stephens writes:

"...the question here isn't about the intrinsic morality of the bombing. It's about whether the good that flowed from the bombing outweighed the unmistakable evil of the act itself. ...

Whatever side one takes here, the important point is that the debate fundamentally is about results. Note the difference with the current debate over waterboarding, where opponents argue that the technique is unconscionable and inadmissible under any circumstances, even in hypothetical cases where the alternative to waterboarding is terrorist attacks resulting in mass casualties among innocent civilians. According to this view, it is possible to wage war yet avoid the classic "choice of evils" dilemmas that confronted past statesmen such as Churchill and Roosevelt. Or, to put the argument more precisely, it is possible to avoid this choice if one is also prepared to pay for it in blood--if not in one's own, than in that of kith and kin and whoever else's life must be sacrificed to keep our consciences clear."

In the South Pacific in 1944, the Japanese refused to be taken prisoner and for the most part we obliged them. Could Democrats today even contemplate FDR's policy of "Few If Any Prisoners"?

Some of our guys did some really awful things back then. They were simply fed-up to here with Japanese sneak attacks, kamikaze bombers, slave labor camps and strafings of survivors. I don't judge them, for they purchased my freedom with their youth. But maybe some of you Democrats could drag them out of their nursing homes and put them on trial; that would prove to the world just how pure you really are!

Without their heads exploding, could today's Democrats even comprehend Churchill's decision to let Coventry be bombed rather than give up vital access to the Nazi's secret codes?

Moral Preening for Self-Esteem (copyright), a Vague Sense of Liberal Guilt(tm), End-Stage Bush Dementia Syndrome(Pats. Pend.) and Naked Partisan Political Posturing (Proprietary Info.) have all replaced common sense, common purpose, common patriotism and common decency.

I hope the Democrats will someday snap out of their Self-Induced National Security Narcolepsy.

But it's really the Moral Gangrene that comes with it;

Once you've smelled that stink, you never forget it.

While Freedom-Fried Congress-Critters Frittered 


Denis Boyles:

"On Tuesday, we’ll all be treated to the interesting spectacle of a French politician urging an American Congress packed with nervous pacifists to somehow discover enough courage to defend the interests of the civilized West in a fight against Islamic terrorism. ...

Sarkozy’s view...is refreshingly clear: A nuclear Iran is a threat to the world. In the past Sarkozy’s (and Kouchner’s) language on this topic has been even more blunt than Bush’s and is a long way from the sort of wet cringing we used to get from Paris.

In fact...the French now make more sense to us than the sanctimonious post-Blair Brits. Max Hastings for example explains to the Guardian’s anguished readers something they must have always suspected: “The rival governments in Tehran and Washington deserve each other,” just as The Guardian’s readers certainly deserve Hastings, as the comments show. As I understand it, his view is that we should avoid provoking the Iranians and opt instead for a defense built on a robust and vigorous wringing of hands. These long, solution-free, complaint-rich “analyses” — usually involving a little name-calling and a shotgunned insult or two — have been a staple of the Guardian’s opinion columns for a very long time. They seem lately to have diminished, but only by a little, in the French press."

Monday, November 05, 2007

Life...or Death? 


Peter Hitchens:

"If we don't want to become a neglected outstation of the European Superstate, stripped of our nationhood, powerless to decide who lives here, controlled by laws we don't make and can't change, ruled by a government we cannot throw out, we have rather a short time in which to do something about it.

You may think none of this matters to you, but the trouble is that it does, whether you think so or not.

The European Union is interested in you, your liberty and your money, even if you don't care about it."

Choose Life, old friends.

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