Jul 04

Russ Feingold, Part II

What Is Russ Feingold On?

Part II
Russ Feingold (D-Atlantis) is full of something, and it isn’t patriotic fervor.
All quotes in this post are taken from his 25 June 2006 appearance on Meet The Press with Tim Russert, whose quotes are indicated by RF and TR, respectively.

Russ Feingold on the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program:

RF: …President Karzai said that he’s very concerned. He said it just yesterday, apparently. He’s very concerned that our strategy in the fight against terrorism isn’t working. He’s concerned that we’re not dealing with the financing of terrorists.

Senator Feingold appears to be criticizing the Bush administration by agreeing with remarks from President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai. Therefore, Feingold seems to think that we are not doing enough to deal with terrorist finances. So we may safely consider Feingold an ardent supporter of TFTP, aka SWIFT. We thank you for your support, Senator, and will count on you when the time comes.

Russ Feingold on Offense:

RF: We’re on the defensive in many of the places in the world. We’re on the defensive in Afghanistan right now in some ways. […] So even in Afghanistan, which was, of course, an intervention that I supported, we don’t have our eye on the ball, and we need to win that battle. You notice I’ve never called for leaving Afghanistan. I’ve never called for a timetable to leave Afghanistan. That is a situation that we have got to prevail in, and we have lost ground in Afghanistan because our resources have been diverted to Iraq. That is well known, that our ability to succeed in Afghanistan has been hampered by the bad decision to go into Iraq.

U.S. Troops in Tora Bora, in Baghdad, and other such far-flung places are not on the defensive. Accountants and Travel Agents in the World Trade Towers were on the defensive. Note to Russ: when you’re playing on your own turf, it’s defense. We are on the offense in Afghanistan, and in Iraq. What Feingold wants to do is drop the ball at the ten-yard line (“cut”) and stroll calmly for the benches (“run”). And if the enemy should, say, pick that ball up and run it into our territory (again), then it would be okay with Senator Feingold to go back and start all over again (see Russ Feingold on Quagmires).

Russ Feingold on Motivation:

TR: You said some Democratic senators told you privately they felt intimidated to vote for the war. Why?
RF: They may not have used that exact word, but they certainly indicated that they felt that there was enormous political pressure. Because the White House has done a terrible job of running the fight against terrorism. A terrible job in Iraq, but they’ve done a brilliant job of intimidating Democrats.

First, this makes no real sense. Feingold says “The administration is terrible at war planning and execution, and THEREFORE Democrats are intimidating into voting for the war? Huh? If it were true that the administration were so bad at all of this, it would be a simple thing to say, “Your war is a disaster and we’re not following you there–bring the troops home NOW.” SO this argument makes no sense–he is arguing against his own cause. I’ll assume that the question caught him off-guard, and he simply retreated incoherently into talking points e.g., war bad, Rumsfeld incompetent, Bush lied, etc. So we’ll give him a pass of sorts on this. The next example, however, is pretty clear-cut. The very next thing he said was this:

Somehow Democrats are afraid to say, “Look, not only was this a mistake, but it continues to be a mistake and it’s being run in a mistaken way.” And I cannot understand why the structure of the Democratic Party, the consultants that are here in Washington, constantly advise Democrats not to take a strong stand. This election could turn on this Iraq issue, in fact, the 2006 election, and maybe even 2008. The party that says we have a reasonable plan to bring the troops home by, by this date and to refocus on the anti-terrorism issue is the party that will win.

Russ Feingold says that it is consultants setting the Democrats’ agenda. Fair enough, there’s a lot of that going around. Let’s admit that all politicians are motivated by a mixture of causes, noble and well, ignoble. Ignoble causes will include petty political calculations, but there’s a harsh consideration here; if you lose your office, it won’t matter what any other motivations of yours had been. So we’ll admit that this mixture of motivations is a healthy part of any government.
This means also that anybody who tells you that his motivations are completely noble is completely suspect.

RF: The president—see, he has to give up the—his goal here, which is, which is not consistent with the interests of the American people. His goal is to broaden the power of the executive beyond all reason, it’s an abuse of power. His goal should be to go after the terrorists, not to try to broaden the power of the president beyond all reason.


TR: The Washington Post [says that] 56 percent of Americans feel that you are using [your motion to censure President Bush] for political advantage. Do you agree with that analysis?
RF: Well, of course I don’t agree that I’m doing it for political purposes. That same poll, Tim, showed that a very substantial number of Americans supported the censure resolution, regardless of what they thought my motives are.
As to my motives, Tim, I came here to Washington to stand up for the Constitution and for the Bill of Rights. I believe this is an historical affront to the Constitution. I guarantee you, that is the reason I proposed it; that is what I believe. …our children and grandchildren… where were the representatives…? Where were the congressmen, where were the senators…?
That’s my motive, believe it or not.

I don’t believe it. Chalk one up in the Tis-So-Tain’t-So column, I guess.

More to come in Part III, where we analyze the man’s amazing PSYCHIC POWERS!



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Jun 29

Geneva Conventions and Guantanamo

I have been studying the Geneva conventions (four treaties and three subsequent “protocols”), and have come to several conclusions:
1. No group of people has ever behaved so exactly antithetical to the aims of the Geneva Conventions as the Islamists. It seems that for each prohibited action, they do that thing, and for every required action, they refuse.
2. The Islamists are unquestionably NOT covered under the Geneva Conventions. Many of the SHALLs and SHALL NOTs alluded to above are what actually determine whether or not a force is entitled to protection under the accords.
3. The Islamists, far from being mistreated, are only the most recent in a long line of foes to have the INCREDIBLE GOOD FORTUNE of fighting against the United States. The Geneva Conventions (GC) clearly do not apply to the Islamists, because tha Islamists clearly do not apply the GC to any of their own actions. Nonetheless, they are housed, fed, cared for, and even litigated for by Americans. The only thing keeping these people alive is an astouding preference for mercy on the part of America and Americans.
4. There is no legal obstacle to simply executing the lot of the Guantanamo “detainees” and dumping their bodies over the fence–kill them all, and let Castro sort them out–other than America’s own laws as expressed by or passed through the Uniform Code of Military Justice which governs the actions of our servicemen. The captured Islamists have no rights, however, under the U.S. Constitution. They are not U.S. Citizens. They are not in America. Perhaps Cuba has an anti-littering provision which is germane.
5. The left is not so upset about Camp XRAY as they are that we still have not given Guantanamo back to the benevolent Agrarian Reformer and Friend of Che.
6. SCOTUS better come back with nothing other than “They have no rights, and the proper thing is for the U.S. Military to keep them right where they are until they no longer pose a threat”.

The point is that criminal law has no bearing on the detainees, captured on the battlefield.
Also, US Civil law has no bearing on the detainees, captured on the battlefield.
Also, the provisions of the Geneva Conventions have no bearing on the detainees, captured on the battlefield.

The whole purpose of the Geneva Conventions is to reduce (or perhaps, even to eliminate) wartime atrocities by setting down both protections and requirements for combatants. It is expressly a “Golden-Rule” type of accord, in which those who will not abide by will also not be protected by it.

That is not a side effect–that is the central mechanism for reducing wartime atrocities.

The detainees are indeed in a legal black hole–they have worked very hard to slip past the event horizon of human behavior, and now they cannot return to the universe where normal rules apply.

So eat shit-covered koran pages and die slow horrible deaths, al-Qaeda. Serve as an example, and help us all strengthen the Geneva Conventions. Peace Be Unto You Sooner Rather Than Later.

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Jun 28

Polarization is good. Bipartisanship is bad. -or- THE AMERICAN RENAISSANCE

The Roman Republic had a Triumvirate-a three-way split in power. This collapsed to a two-way sahre, which of course soon led to a single man in charge of the whole shebang. At that point it was no longer the Roman Republic-it was the Roman Empire, which devoured itself.

I read a wonderful book entitled The Armchair Economist, (which citation I will expand in place without comment) that had a passage concerning bipartisanship. The author said that it amounted to collusion, like price-fixing. If all of the gas stations on your street are working together, then they can only be working against you, and prices stay too high–they trust each other not to start a price war, also known as fair competition.

If you believe in market forces as fervently as that author does, and I confess that I can follow closely where he goes, then it is no far stretch to feel that a Congress eternally at odds with itself, consantly mired in bickering and petty, mean, nasty partisan attacks is the perfect system of American government. The worst form of American government is one in which the members of Congress feel more in common with each other than with their respective constituents.

This leads me as an aside, to a comment made by a very different sort of fellow–a History Professor who feels that the ability of Representatives and Senators to raise funds within Washington, D.C. places them at odds with the people who sent them there in the first place. If they were allowed to raise funds only within their own constituencies, they would pay much more attention to their rightful masters, pajama-people like you and me, and the power of large lobbying groups would be greatly diminished. This should have the knock-on effect of breaking the death-grip of some useless geezers on their own seats. All of which would be good for Joe six-vote, uh, I mean, Joe six-pack one-vote. Sounds like a great way to return power to the people, huh? I’d like to hear what my economist has to say about it. The History Professor is Newt Gingrich.

Politics and Economics are naturally tied to each other, and it has nothing (well little) to do with money. Economic theories are just as valid when discussing dollars as they are when discussing seashells, kisses from pretty girls, or Global ecopolotics, because economic theories do not directly address money. Economics is the science of practical human decision-making.

We have heard a great deal recently about the evils of our partisan bickering, and the road to Hell along which we thunder in Hot Rods of Hatred.


We are awakening from History, as we blink ourselves upright in the Post-Cold-War dawn. The sun rises, thawing the world, and some early morning predators have shown themselves. We remind ourselves that this is how the world has always been, that before the long Soviet Night there was not peace but war, more war, and still more war. The responsible among us take up defensive positions, and in some cases scoot out to punish the predators which get too cavalier near our camp. Offense is better–it always has been.
Long before mid-day, we will organize a regular hunting party, the same as we did yesterday. The sunken-eyed guardians who watched our camp all night will sleep in the heat of the coming day. Life in our camp will go on as it always has, provided that we do what we always have.
We forget our violent nature only at our peril.

We are awakening from history, and the relative calm imposed by the Cold War is evaporating. Think radical Islamism is bad? Wait five years and it will be worse. Do nothing for five years and it will be MUCH worse. There is a reason that people call this the “Long War”, and it is honesty. The fact that Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on much, and bitterly disagree on most, is not alarming under these trying and dimly remembered circumstances. Politics is a messy business, and if the views of the people are to be honestly and forthrightly represented in Washington D.C., it must be an odious, unpleasant business as well. The truth is that in the last sixty-odd years, we haven’t needed much from Washington, and it has seemed relatively pleasant. Now we need it to function as a cutting room, and it is getting ugly.

I for one do not mind the current partisanship and “poisonous” atmosphere in Washington, and the political sphere at large. Poisons such as this are small fry, and serve to weed out the weak. In an American Democracy which is supposed to function as a “Marketplace of Ideas”, only the strong should survive. I expect the caustic atmosphere to eliminate any Representative who cannot cut the mustard. I expect the partisan attacks to topple any Senator who does not meet the standard–efficacy.

Therefore, the last thing I want to hear is that a Democrat has a proposal and a Republican has co-sponsored it. Or vice-versa.

I predict that what is now called the American Century (1900-1999) will actually be called the Totalitarian Century, after the sponsors of the great wars of the period. 2000-2099 will be the American Century. The political rumblings you hear now are just the beginning.

Welcome to the American Renaissance.

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Jun 27

Russ Feingold, Part I [updated]

What Is Russ Feingold On?

Russ Feingold (D-Atlantis) is full of something, and it isn’t patriotic fervor.
All quotes in this post are taken from his 25 June 2006 appearance on Meet The Press with Tim Russert, whose quotes are indicated by RF and TR, respectively.

Russ Feingold On Amnesty:

RF: I don’t think there should be amnesty for people who have killed or are trying to kill American troops…we, as Americans, cannot tolerate the idea that people who have murdered American soldiers should get off scot-free.

Bill Keller, editor of the New York Times, is actively destroying our ability to prevent terrorist attacks not only on our soldiers, but on Americans here at home. Note that even Bill Keller does not dispute that he destroyed a valuable program which has successfully stopped terrorist attacks, and caught terrorists from earlier successful attacks. What does Russ Feingold think of Bill Keller’s attempts to murder accountants and travel agents in America? My guess is that amnesty for Bill Keller is what Russ Feingold has in mind. Congress seems to be getting up in its hind legs about this–perhaps we will get to hear what Russ Feingold has to say.

Russ Feingold On Timetables:

TR: Army General George Casey presented his plan to Pentagon leaders and President Bush in confidential briefings… the number of combat brigades could shrink to seven or eight by the middle of next year, and to five or six by the end of 2007. Make sense?
RF: …it shows that all this talk about a timetable being unreasonable or ridiculous is just wrong. …our [Kerry-Feingold] timetable that we proposed last week had to do with bringing the troops home within one year. I mean, how is this different? … The fact is it is a public timetable…

The fact is that Casey’s plan is only public because it was leaked to the New York Times! Notice where it said “confidential briefings”? So one difference is that the now-public nature of this plan is the result of a crime. By the way, the late late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s timetable also “had to do with” bringing American troops home within one year. Another difference, under-reported by our feckless media, is that General Casey’s “Win” plan is based entirely on conditions in Iraq, while Kerry and Feingold’s “Cut and Run” plan is based entirely on arbitrary calendar dates. One of these is a sound basis for planning, and the other is a recipe for defeat. There’s the difference, Russ Feingold.

Russ Feingold On Somalia:

RF: You know, Tim, today it was announced that [a known Al-Qaeda operative, on the State Department’s Terrorist List] has taken over in Mogadishu, in Somalia.

Russ Feingold goes on to say that this is because we are stuck in the Iraq Quagmire, and that it is preventing us from addressing real problems such as Somalia.
I am astounded at the sheer nerve, the chutzpah, of this Cut and Run Democrat to take the Bush Administration to task for Somalia. Of course, the right time to deal with Somalia was when we were there a decade ago. Now there was an opportunity. Of course, we cut and run from Somalia under a Democrat President, an act which was cited by no less a terrorism expert than Osama bin Laden as a major reason for attacking the United States on 11 September, 2001.
I find it revealing that Tim Russert, who is no dummy, did not see fit to point this out to Russ Feingold.

Russ Feingold On Quagmires:

TR: [If we were to cut and run] If things did get worse, would you consider going back in?
RF: Sure. Look. You don’t just lock this down permanently. I’m trying to propose what makes sense at this point. My guess is that things would not get worse.

Russ Feingold is on the record saying that if we cut and run from Iraq, he does not think that things will get worse. How then, does he explain what happened to Somalia? As far as “not locking this thing down permanently”, nobody is saying that when we meet our objectives in Iraq, the rest of its peaceful future is guaranteed. I haven’t heard anybody in the Bush administration say that we can “lock this thing down permanently”. This is Russ Feingold’s misunderstanding or worse, misrepresentation of our own reasonable, obtainable, and measurable goals in Iraq. But why is he so cavalier about putting troops back in if it gets worse after we cut and run? If Russ Feingold were truly interested in winning in Iraq, wouldn’t he want to do that now, rather than giving the enemy a respite, a la Vietnam, before committing more troops to die? Shouldn’t we press the advantages we now have in position and momentum?

Russ Feingold is advocating the same strategy that failed in Vietnam–a little bit here, a little bit there, don’t ever truly accomplish an objective, but be willing to come back and pound the same worthless targets at great risk to American lives. He is also advocating the same strategy that failed in Somalia and bought us 9/11–show the terrorists that we will leave when they tell us to.

The Democrats at large are advocating a strategy which won in Vietnam–it won for the other side. Defeat the will of the American people. Their cynical ploy amounts to cowardice at best, and treason at worst. More on this in Part II.

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Jun 23

A Prairie Home Com-SHUT THE HELL UP!

Here’s a comment I left at Slate’s site about a column of theirs, written by Sam Anderson, trying to figure out why suddenly some people might not actually love listening to Garrison Keillor. I said:

You folks on the left just don’t know how truly tone-deaf you can be, because you are not, in fact, dosed with unceasing rightist sentiment sanctified as “the center”. You live in a bubble of uninterrupted leftist thought, assumptions unchallenged and therefore never noticed. The leftist assumptions made along the way to your opinions about Garrison Keillor are striking.
Some of your quotes:

“He began his career in the early ’70s writing short humorous essays for The New Yorker (he later became a staff writer then left, on a very high horse, when Tina Brown took over as editor in 1992). He is probably the purest living specimen of the magazine’s Golden Age aesthetic…”

The New Yorker is about as leftist-elite as you can get, and he was too leftist-elite for that magazine.

“How has someone so relentlessly inoffensive managed to become so divisive?”

He’s only inoffensive if you snuggle comfortably in the bosom of the leftist elite.

“Keillor delivers the news in a kind of whispery trance. When he speaks, blood pressures drop across the country, wild horses accept the saddle, family dogs that have been hanging on at the end of chronic illnesses close their eyes and drift away.”

Your mistake is in never having noticed that the blood pressure of many people actually rises when his dripping-water monotone delivery of leftist humor begins, and this has always been so. The problem is that you seem never to have met any of these people. His cloying adagio may appeal to people who already agree with him, but to those who find his unavoidable politics suspect, the extra time between drawn-out syllables is precious life itself down the tube, wasted, never to be regained. The fact that he takes an hour to deliver twenty minutes of bilgewater does not increase the value of the bilgewater.
There is nothing new in popular irritation with Garrison Keillor. His movie has not uncovered a new phenomenon, and has certainly not caused any American to change opinion of him. I have always loathed exposure to his leaking-faucet radio program. As with any annoying, repetitive, purposeless noise, I move quickly to stem it at the source. I hasten to add that if I were unable to, I might also wish to “close my eyes and drift away”, much like a dog with a terminal illness.
I am reminded of an often-repeated story about a newspaper employee, snuggled comfortably in the bosom of the New York Times, who burst into tears upon the election of Richard M. Nixon to the office of President. She could not believe that he had been elected, and refused to accept it at any rate. “It simply can’t be true,” she wailed, “I don’t know ANYBODY who voted for him!” How far is it from the New York Times to The New Yorker?
I am fairly sure, Sam Anderson of New York, that you don’t know ANYBODY who doesn’t like Garrison Keillor. Pity that. Such a friend could have saved you from writing this article, better entitled “In Which I Demonstrate My Utter Ignorance that Half of the Country Exists.”
Garrison Keillor is relentlessly many things, but inoffensive is not one of them. Boring. Pompous. Tedious. Sanctimonious.
He’s Michael Moore without the flying spittle.

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Jun 08

Execute 1LT Ehren Watada

Here’s one for the lawyers: please find the justification to execute commissioned wartime traitor Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada. Surely this cannot be difficult.

If a Commissioned Officer is refusing orders to go to war, is he still accepting paychecks? He has accepted a promotion from Second Lt. to First Lt. since the invasion in March 2003.

Patriots are not the only ones whose blood refreshes the tree of Liberty–this coward is now worth more dead than alive.

DISCLAIMER: Obviously, this is predicated upon the accuracy of his reported and planned actions. An execution will only be appropriate after a Court Martial, and the attendant fact-finding. I am not in favor of lawlessness–hence the plea to the LAWYERS.

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Jun 05

Bang Bang Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iran had our hostages, Ayatollah proteges
noone seemed to mind
Four-hundred and forty-four days, a
Mahmoud Ahma’nejad said he did it for his God
Carter walked behind
Democrats in Washington have this
But when they want to threaten the world,
They do it from Tehran
Bang, bang, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
We were not misled
Bang, bang, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Did just what he said!

A. Q. Khan again, working out of Pakistan,
Has something to share
Knowing all too well that where there’s a will, there’s a way
Baradei sounded pissed–Kofi said comply with this
Strongly-worded note
Or he’ll have no choice but to send ano-other one
And while the Jews are saying their prayers
We’ll stuff it down their throats!
Bang, bang, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
We were not misled
Bang, bang, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Did just what he said!

Hillary Clinton won, Worser than the other one,
Israel stands alone
Never been more certain of being ki-hi-hi-illed
Kofi Annan and Mohammed el-Baradei
High-five in the hall(BACKGROUND SPOKEN CHEERS)
Saying after all, it was Allah’s wi-hi-hi-ill
But the plot’s been foiled for on their own soil
Americans lance the boil!
Bang, bang, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
We were not misled
Bang, bang, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Did just what he said!

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May 22

Why Smart People Become Liberal Idiots — Second Draft

Let’s face it–there’s a lot of brainpower going to waste behind the Neuron Curtain of accepted Liberal discourse in this country. Not all of those University professors are idiots–neither are all of their students. The starlets and leading men of Hollywood had to work hard to get where they are, and more to the point, they had to navigate levels and mazes of treacherous studio politics. I can’t make any sense of Hollywood–can you? They did.

So while Heaven knows there is no shortage of stunningly stupid people on the left, mental retardation is not actually synonymous with liberalism in American politics (and for those of you from or in someplace not America, we use the terms liberal and conservative somewhat differently here–beware). What is synonymous with liberalism is condescension–that smug superiority which oozes from the very pores of liberals. They manage somehow to ignore you and lecture to you at the same time*, which is an amazing feat. They manage to focus their attention on a spot about three feet behind you, as if you are an ignorant bystander in a conversation between two People Who Matter.

American liberals are people who think that we should be forced to do as our betters in Washington D.C. command, for they are wise and just, and would not have risen to that position without being so. Unless they are Republicans, the nasty cockroaches. You may say that this liberal willingness to accept the dictates of authority (“We’re going to take money away from you for your own good”–Hillary Clinton) is a result of liberal thinking, but I say that it is the source. Liberalism is not based upon stupidity–that is the result of liberal thinking. Liberalism is, however, based on feelings of superiority.

If you start with the assumption that you are a superior being, everything in Liberalism starts to make sense. You are a Person Who Matters, and that brings many privileges. You get to tell people what to do. You get to keep talking long after your turn has ended. You don’t have to make sense when you argue–your word is sufficient that a thing is true. If anybody tries to dispute your facts, simply repeat what you said a moment ago–your opponent clearly did not hear you, or worse, does not realize who you are–mention your credentials again.
Here’s one of the neatest tricks of all–Liberalism lets you feel superior to the the rest of the world, while denying that you would possibly harbor any feelings of superiority, as that is an inferior mode of thought.

You get to reject common sense and the hard-won wisdom of bitter experience not in spite of its eminent sensibility, but precisely because of it. You can hardly feel superior to the masses if you agree with them–therefore perversity and cynicism must necessarily dominate your decision-making, your bullshit-filtering process. If you are forced to agree with the masses, at least argue a minor point: the sky isn’t actually blue, it just looks that way. No doubt because your puny conservative eyes see it that way.

I recall my recurring unease at the venom directed toward anything resembling “Social Darwinism” in my University work. Social Darwinism is the point of view that some cultures are superior to others and either will or should displace, assimilate, or eliminate the lesser cultures. This is a discredited way of thinking, because in the Liberal Cosmogeny, all cultures are created equal, with the exception of Protestantism, which is clearly a holdover from Neanderthal times. It is therefore not just wrong, but Wrong to say that there are features of culture and society which make a given one more or less suited to long-term survival, or that some cultures and societies have features which confer benefits upon a people, and others which confer burdens. We shall not say that Western Civilization displaces everything else because of a unique combination of work ethic, individualism, and scientific inquisitiveness. No, we must admit, screeching, that our corrupt Coca-Cola culture is spread at bayonet point, and (rend garment now) with financing by a global Zionist Conspiracy. Never mind the implications of alternating-current infrastructure.

It is simply not Correct to say that America is strong because Americans made it strong, and that Americans had that oportunity because of many identifiable factors. No, only negative things can be identified in America, so while the good, honest, hard-working people of Sweatshopistan (who remain that way because of their strong family values, their religious predilection to work hard, and the righteous fear of neighbors and God avenging wrongdoing) are clamoring to come to sinful America, the fat, lazy Americans (who got that way through the concerted efforts of Madison Street, Wall Street, Pensylvania Avenue and the overlords in Tel Aviv) should simply accept death with a smile and make room for the Sweatshopistanis.

*I have peeled this description from Martin Cruz Smith’s Gorky Park. It is a wonderful book, and contains a line something like “Arkady felt as though he was being simultaneously lectured to and ignored.” No doubt, I am butchering the quote, but the sense has remained with me for over twenty years–truly a fantastic book.

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May 16

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) lays down the LAW!

This is how a Leader handles business. A short statement fromm Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee:

“This is Senator Pat Roberts. In all of the furor in Washington, and the criticism about the intelligence community’s capability of detecting and stopping terrorist attacks–I have a warning. This business of continued leaks, making it possible for terrorists to understand classified information about how we are preventing their attacks on America is endangering our country, and it is endangering intelligence sources, methods, and lives.

Now I think the great majority of American people get it. Al-Qaeda is at war with the United States. Terrorists are planning attacks even as I speak. But, through a very effective and highly classified program, we have stopped these attacks. The fact that we have had another tragedy like 9/11 is no accident. But today in the Congress and throughout Washington, leaks and misinformation, and quite frankly just plain politics are endangering this program. Bin Laden, and Zarqawi, and the terrorists must be rejoicing. We are going to get to a point where we are unilaterally disarming ourselves of the technology advantage that we have in the war against terrorism. Game, set, match: Al-Qaeda.

And mark my words: the same people who are attacking the Commander-in-Chief for legal efforts to track terrorism here will be the first people to attack the government for not doing enough if there is another attack. Now I am a strong supporter of the Fourth Amendment, and protecting our civil liberties. But you don’t have any civil liberties if you are dead. Remember Khobar Towers, and Beirut, and USS COLE, and the Embassy attacks, and the two attacks on the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon, and more to come if this surveillance program is compromised.

Now about these phone records. It should not come as a surprise to anyone that phone records are useful in law enforcement and intelligence investigations. Now I’m not talking about the contents of a telephone call–what you say to someone over the telephone. I am talking about a businees record that contins the number dialed, the time of the call, and the length of the call. Not any conversations. Law enforcement officers and intelligence analysts have been using phone records to track the criminals and the threats to national security for years.

And Congress is doing its oversight! On the Senate Intelligence Committe, we have a Terrorist Surveillance Program Sub-Committee: seven Senators. We have had three hearings, more to come, numerous briefings, I have been to the NSA, I have seen how the program works; I have never seen a program more tightly run or closely scrutinized.

When people asked on September 12th whether we were doing everything in power power to prevent another attack, the answer, unfortunately, was no. Well now we are. And we need to keep doing it. And if there is another attack, as promised by Al-Qaeda, the leakers, and the uninformed, and the mis-informed critics will bear part of that responsibility.”

Any Questions?

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May 11

President Bush’s ‘Fourth Way’

As President, Bill Clinton popularized the ‘Third Way’, which was one of the incarnations of triangulating against one’s own base and the opposition. The Third Way, when successfully executed, yields a healthy percentage of the moderate middle, while alienating only a small percentage of the hard-core base, which will still likely vote along party lines.
Long story short; in failing to deal effectively with the Mexico problem, President Bush is pioneering the Fourth Way, in which an attempted appeasement of the middle will fail to yield any of the moderate vote, while radicalizing the base to the extent that they do not vote, or even protest in disgust by voting for another candidate.
Even President Reagan could not leap this chasm in two short hops–the 1986 amnesty was one of his few unmitigated failures. Bush is a fool to try.
This Fourth Way is the mirror reflection of the Third Way; halfway between the two ends of the political spectrum, but rather than elevated in success, sunken in failure.

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