MoonDawg's Den: March 2006

MoonDawg's Den

Thursday, March 30, 2006

That's the way the GOP crumbles...

In a recent memo to the GOP, Ken Mehlman warned Republicans not to split with President Bush. He says that a divide in the party could lead to low voter turnout in November.

Mr. Mehlmen, could it be that Republicans want to distance themselves from the President because of his disastrous policies? Could what really concerns voters be that Republicans rubber stamp everything that Bush does?

I don't believe that the problem in November for Republicans will be turnout. I believe it will be that right-leaning moderates have had enough and will vote for Democrats instead.

Just a thought. I've been really busy, so blogging has taken a back seat. I will try to be more active.

Cheers,
Jeff

PS- Bush is now blaming Saddam for the increased sectarian violence in Iraq. Wasn't he a secular leader, and, more importantly, isn't he in jail? I don't think I see the connection...hmmm.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

National identity


From the Whittier Daily News comes this photo showing the U.S. flag hung upside-down and below the Mexican flag, courtesy of a group of local high school students protesting proposed immigration legislation.

The sorry brats that perpetrated this offensive display seem to identify more closely with the Rep├║blica Mexicana than with the United States. Fine and dandy - they are free to go live in the land where the red, white and green flies all the time. In the meantime, vete a la chingada, you worthless little bastards.

(Via Michelle Malkin)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Facing down fanatical cultures

Mark Steyn writes on how the West should respond to the case of Abdul Rahman, who faced execution in Afghanistan for daring to convert from Islam to Christianity. As usual, he hits it on the head:

In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of "suttee" -- the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:

''You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows.You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."

India today is better off without suttee. If we shrink from the logic of that, then in Afghanistan and many places far closer to home the implications are, as the Prince of Wales would say, "ghastly."

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Rescue, not "release"

Well I'm back from my European vacation for less than 12 hours and already I'm seeing something on Drudge that has raised my ire. Three "peace activists" that had been kidnapped by Iraqi terrorists were freed by coalition troops in Iraq during a military operation that came together when US forces captured two of the suspected kidnappers on Wednesday, allowing the troops to learn the location of the house where the three (a Briton and two Canadians) were being held.

An American member of the same group, Christian Peacemaker Teams, that had also been kidnapped with the other three was murdered by the scumbags a couple of weeks ago.

Even though CPT is a moonbat anti-war group, you would think that a small word of thanks to the coalition troops that rescued their comrades would not be too much to ask. But apparently, that is too much to ask - go read their
statement that was issued after the rescue:

Our hearts are filled with joy today as we heard that Harmeet Singh Sooden, Jim Loney and Norman Kember have been safely released in Baghdad.
"Safley released"? This implies that the good-hearted captors simply let the three go. No you idiots, they were RESCUED - a big difference.

They knew that their only protection was in the power of the love of God and of their Iraqi and international co-workers.
Yes, this was their "only protection". American intelligence and coalition troops had nothing to do with it.

Today, in the face of this joyful news, our faith compels us to love our enemies even when they have committed acts which caused great hardship to our friends and sorrow to their families.

Sure, plenty of love for the terrorist bastards, but not a single kind word at all for our military.
We have been especially moved by the gracious outpouring of support from Muslim brothers and sisters in the Middle East, Europe, and North America.

Indeed, the Muslim "brothers and sisters" were recently marching in the street by the tens of thousands all over the world, demanding the release of the peace workers - whoops, my bad, that was all about stupid newspaper cartoons.
During these past months, we have tasted of the pain that has been the daily bread of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
And who has been causing this pain? Oh certainly not the criminal thugs, rather it's the "illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces".
We renew our commitment to work for an end to the war and the occupation of Iraq as a way to continue the witness of Tom Fox.
Here's a thought on how the war should end, you ungrateful asshats: with the defeat of the terrorists.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Barcelona bound

Well I'm headed to Atlanta airport later this afternoon to catch a plane to Barcelona, and will be visiting London for a couple of days as well. Blogging will be light till I return on the 23rd, although I will try to do some photoblogging of my trip.

Never been to Barcelona before, can't wait! Maybe I'll get one of those Muhammad cartoon t-shirts to wear around while I'm there...naw, maybe not such a good idea....

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Black Death

While it's fun to debate politics and policy issues (fun for me, anyway - yes, I know I'm a sick person), it's begun to feel a bit like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic recently, given the increasing spread of avian influenza A(H5N1) - and as the virus spreads, the chances of it mutating to a form easily transmitted between humans also increases.

To understand the potential for calamity, it is useful to review the events surrounding the 1918-1919 Spanish flu pandemic, which killed tens of millions worldwide (the exact number is unknown; estimates range from 20 million to 100 million). Stanford has a well-researched
website devoted to the history of that pandemic, describing how the disaster affected the U.S.:

Bodies pilled up as the massive deaths of the epidemic ensued. Besides the lack of health care workers and medical supplies, there was a shortage of coffins, morticians and gravediggers. The conditions in 1918 were not so far removed from the Black Death in the era of the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages.
The Spanish flu spread round the planet like wildfire - and this was before the age of jet travel. Perhaps the world will dodge this bullet, perhaps not. As I've said before, individuals can hope for the best, but should start preparing for the worst. People can expect a loss of basic services due to high absenteeism during a pandemic - and since schools will likely be closed as an emergency measure, many people would be unable to go to work even if they wanted to due to their having to stay home with the kids.

Only fools would believe that the government will come to their rescue during such a crisis. Disaster preparation starts at home.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Right's Assault on Education

For the past two weeks, conservatives have taken two classroom incidents that they deem inappropriate and used them to vilify every teacher in America as a liberal hack who just wants to indoctrinate our kids. This is wrong.

I have talked extensively about this issue on my blog; therefore, I won't regurgitate my thoughts here. I'll just post links:

Confessions of a Mormon Liberal: Why is it wrong to make kids think?

Confessions of a Mormon Liberal: Education: The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy??

Confessions of a Mormon Liberal: Orwell and the Junior Spies

I believe that this issue is of the utmost importance. Of course, I am a teacher, and I see these things through that lens, but I'm also a parent and citizen in a country that has a serious education problem. Blasting teachers with false accusations and threats, however, is far from the way to fix it.

Cheers,
Jeff

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Wow


Drudge is passing along a story from an Orlando TV station saying that NASA is preparing to make a "huge" announcement at 2pm today about possible life in the solar system. There aren't any further details, and the station's web server has crashed from all the traffic it's getting.

But if this story is true - WOW. And if it's alien microbes, I hope they're friendly!

Counting down the minutes till 2 o'clock...

UPDATE: Blah, Drudge is now reporting that the announcement concerns observations from the Cassini space probe that indicate the presence of liquid water on a moon of Saturn, Enceladus. Which is an important discovery to be sure, since it means the conditions for life could exist there. But I was hoping for a bit more...so bring on a Mission to Enceladus!

UPDATE II: The Orlando station that Drudge originally linked to on this story apparently misread a NASA press release, causing all the online furor earlier today:

There were erroneous reports online and elsewhere Thursday that NASA was going to report finding life on another planet or somewhere else in the solar system, according to Florida Today reporter John Kelly.

"That's not the case," Kelly said in an Internet posting. "It appears some who obtained NASA's news release did not fully understand what they were reading."

It makes one wonder just how many other news stories are distorted because reporters don't fully understand the subject matter involved...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Is being pro-Bush a good strategy for Republicans?



I had a long drive this morning, and I listened to The Rachel Maddow Show on XM Radio. One of her guests was Bruce Bartlett, a former member of the Reagan White House, who was promoting his new book Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy. Written from a conservative point of view, Bartlett's book is a scathing attack of the Bush administration's economic and foreign policies (mostly economic). On Maddow's show he said that he wrote the book to warn conservatives that they need to seperate themselves from Bush or face dire political reprecussions. He also committed conservative blasphemy by saying that if Bill Clinton ran against George W. Bush in 2008, he would vote for Clinton.

So, is Bartlett right? Can conservatives win in 2006 and 2008 on pro-Bush platforms? Or, do they need to distance themselves from the President in order to win?

I say he's right. With waning popularity, the President has now become a political liability. But, don't believe me; believe Bartlett--he's a conservative.

Cheers,
Jeff


GARRY REPLIES: I too heard Bartlett on the radio this week, on the Laura Ingraham show. I agreed with many of his criticisms on the administration's fiscal policy (during the interview he said his book does not address foreign policy at all), which he'd already laid out in an article based on his book that appeared earlier this year in the Cato Policy Report - especially the new Medicare drug entitlement, which he calls a "debacle".

The political questions are separate, however. How can Repubs in Congress distance themselves from Bush's budget excesses when many are themselves addicted to pork spending? Which Dems in Congress are going to stand up and demand that the new Medicare entitlement (or any other pork programs, for that matter), be cut back? Voters may grumble about out-of-control spending, but the grumbling turns to shrieks if you dare suggest cutting programs near & dear to their hearts. What Dem is going to suggest slashing entitlement programs? As disgraceful as the Repubs' spending record has been since 2002, they won't have much to fear on the issue if their opponents aren't going to call for meaningful spending restraint.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Check out "The Unit"

A friend and colleague in my state reserve unit just sent me an email saying there is some must-see TV on Tuesday night that I have to check out: a new series called "The Unit", about a covert Special Forces team. He tells me the series is being produced by a close family friend of his, Eric Haney, who was one of the founding members of Delta Force (my colleague was himself an SF operator back in the 70s). A review in Variety says "'The Unit' plays like 'Mission: Impossible' for the war-on-terror age, with the humanizing twist of simultaneously focusing on military wives who sweat out each mission at home, relying on each other for emotional support."

Another good reason to watch the show is that the lead character is being played by Dennis Haysbert, who did a great job playing President David Palmer on the series "24". So be sure and fire up the tube for "The Unit" on Tuesday night (Mar. 7) at 9:00pm.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Silent Hill




The trailer for this new flick (due out April 21st) is enjoyably creepy. Hollywood usually botches horror, but so far Silent Hill looks very promising...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Una Pregunta

I'm still catching up with life after my time away, so I'll just post a short debate question.

Is the Republican Party of today truly conservative? Are they for small government, fiscal responsibility, state's rights, etc.?

On the flip-side, are the Democrats truly liberal? Are they for government assistance programs, social justice and fairness, and more federal control of issues?

The reason I post this is that I feel politics are pretty messed up right now. Things are defined as pro-Bush or anti-Bush, not conservative or liberal. Is this type of bickering over one president healthy for the country? What can be done to stop it?

I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

Jeff


MI RESPUESTA: Is the Republican party truly conservative? I believe the GOP's core platform espouses traditional conservative ideas. Whether leading Republican politicians truly adhere to these ideas is a separate question, however.

Is the Democratic Party truly liberal? Their agenda outlines lofty social progress goals associated with liberalism, but is murky on the details. What specifically would they do differently than the Repubs (besides raise my taxes and bolt from Iraq)? Some clarity here might help.

The focus on Bush is to be expected, I think. A President, for better or worse, is the leader of his party, and the primary face of his party. However I don't agree that it is as simple as "pro-Bush/anti-Bush", at least on the "pro" side. Many conservative bloggers I read are lukewarm on Bush at best (myself included). But the vitriolic hatred of Bush by the "anti" side is remarkable (some would say his detractors have become unhinged).

What can be done to stop it? It'll stop in January, 2009 - when President Bush leaves office. Until then, it's probably good for Repubs that Dems are so focused on Bush. Otherwise, they might direct their energies towards coming up with viable plans for defense, the economy, etc - then they would actually win some elections.

G.