Teacher's Ramblings

A potpourri of education, politics, family matters, and current events.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

The North Pole and the Vikings

They used to be fierce, but now? Well, it seems they may be willing to challenge Canada and perhaps Russia over the North Pole:

Denmark has launched an extraordinary bid for ownership of the North Pole, one of the world's last untapped sources of oil and natural gas.
In recent decades the remote polar region has largely been left to a few explorers and tourists. Now, however, the effects of climate change have dramatically raised the stakes.

Scientists estimate that the ice in the Arctic Ocean is melting at a rate of three per cent a year - in time allowing the economic exploitation of a region that is almost totally unexplored.
In the words of one Danish scientist: "The Vikings hope to get there first."

At present, the North Pole is considered international territory. The Danish bid is based on new geological data claiming to show that the Pole and Greenland - which has been owned by Denmark since 1814 - are linked by a 1,240km underwater mountain range, the Lomonosov Ridge.

This would give Copenhagen a legitimate right to the North Pole's abundant natural resources. According to the United Nations Convention of the Sea, countries can claim economic rights to waters up to 370km from their shores. "There is a chance that the North Pole could become Danish," confirmed Helge Sander, Denmark's science and technology minister, "it could give us access to oil and gas."

Yet the Danish claim, which will be formally made once a survey of the Lomonosov Ridge is complete, has prompted an unseemly scramble among Canadian and Russian scientists who are busily preparing rival arguments over sovereignty...

Looks Like The Oil For Food Probe May Be Going Somewhere

Seems like there isn't much coverage on this in the US MSM lately. While the Euros were ignoring for awhile, seems there is more and more to be found there lately. As the Telegraph requires registration, I will excerpt more than I normally would:

American prosecutors are preparing charges against Benon Sevan, the former head of the United Nations oil for food programme, who has been accused of accepting millions of dollars in kickbacks from Saddam Hussein's regime.

Congressional investigators examining alleged corruption in the programme disclosed that Mr Sevan's diplomatic immunity would not prevent an indictment being issued. Mr Sevan has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Benon Sevan: denial
"We have tried to find out what part he had and we've been working to lift the lid on what he did," said one official on the US Congress International Relations committee. "My understanding is that we can indict him without lifting diplomatic immunity. That's what we did with Noriega."


"The basic understanding of these officials is that Saddam felt short-changed by this guy who took the money but did not deliver," said one committee staffer.

Mr Sevan had been due to retire this year until a committee was appointed to investigate allegations that he had taken kickbacks from Saddam's regime. In his native Cyprus last week, he denied that he was running away from his accusers.

"These people are digging, digging. That's nothing to do with me," he said from his five-star hotel. "Cyprus is my home. I'm here because I want to be here. I've made my statement and stand by it. It's not for me to comment on anything else."

A spokesman for the Southern district of Manhattan's federal prosecutor's office said it was "too early" to comment on its indictment efforts over Mr Sevan. Officials are, however, examining the diplomat's extensive property portfolio in the United States.

According to records, properties registered in his name include a flat in Manhattan, a house in the Hamptons on Long Island, a house in the nearby district of Rye, and a house on New Jersey's "Gold Coast". The Congressional official said: "It's an issue that he has property in the Hamptons and Manhattan."
A second Congressional official said that the US hoped to recover some of the funds allegedly siphoned off from the now-defunct oil sales programme, which was designed to alleviate shortages of basic goods in Iraq as a result of sanctions.

He said: "Our priority is to recover as much money as we can for Iraq, for various reasons, because they need the money and every dollar they have is a dollar we don't have to put in there."

A CIA report published earlier this month claimed that Mr Sevan was allocated vouchers by Saddam to sell 7.3 million barrels of Iraqi oil through a Panamanian-registered company. Quoting "high-level sources", the report said: "Sevan never received his oil allocation in person. Sevan's vouchers were always picked up by Fakhir Abdul Noor, an Egyptian now residing in Switzerland and connected to the African Middle East Petroleum Co, who would sign documents on Sevan's behalf and pick up his allocation."

Maybe I'm Just Hopeful

Seems to me that this article may be providing the rationale why GW may 'trounce' JFK:

Taken together, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania account for 68 of the 99 votes from these tossup states. They form a triangle of influence unmatched on the political map.
"Whoever wins two of those three wins the White House — and I hope to God it's my guy," said Democratic consultant Greg Haas of Columbus, Ohio.

With 270 electoral votes required to win the presidency, 26 states are solidly behind Bush or lean his way for 222 electoral votes, according to an Associated Press analysis. Sixteen states plus the District of Columbia are with Kerry or leaning his way for 217 electoral votes.
Sixteen days before Election Day, the president needs to scrape together at least 48 of the remaining 99 votes from tossup states to win re-election. Kerry needs 53 to stop him.
The AP analyzed poll data, both public and private, and interviewed analysts in key states in the days since the final debate Wednesday. While public and private polls suggested Bush may be gaining ground on Kerry, the consensus was that the race was remarkably close going into the last two full weeks of campaigning.

A surge by either candidate — 3 or 4 percentage points in national polls — could shift the eight states and the 99 electoral votes to one candidate, putting him on course for a 300-plus electoral romp...

Medienkritik vs. George Soros

Ray D. at the Davids Medienkritik blog, always well written and relevant, wrote a letter to George Soros, disagreeing with his stand on Iraq. Surprisingly Mr. Soros published and responded to Ray's letter, http://www.georgesoros.com/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Home
which of course led to another. I wonder if Mr. Soro's will now respond?

More On Poll Results

I was surfing around, reading some of my favorite bloggers. On Daily Pundit, I came across this post on the 15%'ers, http://www.dailypundit.com/archives/015582.php#015582 . Reading the comments, all of which were quite good, I came across one by Steven Den Beste, who's site I miss greatly, but would NEVER consider writing to! (to anyone who is reading this, DO NOT WRITE to him. Anyways, Dr. Den Beste, link is found in the title, came up with a very interesting graph of Real Cool Politics of Presidential Polls, over the past month.

If you haven't read Steven Den Beste, here is one of my favorites, http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2002/08/Jacksonianforeignpolicy.shtml . Just don't write him, thanks.

UBL Dead

In a convincing blog entry, Matthew Heidt reasons just that, on his site, Froggy Ruminations:

You hadn't heard? Well, I'm not breaking news, President Bush knows damn well that UBL has been dead for quite some time. But why would Bush keep it to himself? If he were to disclose his knowledge that UBL is dead he would blow John Kerry's doors off in the election, and yet he remains silent. Why?Maybe you're wondering how I know he's dead. Perhaps one of my SEAL buddies let me in on the secret? NO. I know because a publicity whore and grandstanding scumbag like UBL could not possibly resist the multitude of opportunites to inspire his cult members. His number 1, Zwahiri, has appeared on video or audio broadcasts every few months since 9/11. UBL has not been heard from since Tora Bora despite developments in the GWOT in Afghanistan and Iraq that make it unthinkable for him to have remained silent. Not to mention successful attacks in Bali, Madrid, Turkey, and Jakarta to name a few that remain unremarked upon by UBL. The invasion and occupation of an Islamic state by the US and not a word. Elections held for the first time in Afghan history, and he had nothing to say about it in the lead up. AQ tried once early on to air a tape that never mentioned key developments in the Afghan campaign and was quickly discredited as an attempt to put one over on his followers by airing a previous recording. Zwahiri decided that it was better to just pretend that UBL was alive because there was no plausible martyr story to tell. UBL went out running for his life like a coward. He is dead. His remains are turds shat by scavenging animals in the mountains of Afghanistan blown by the wind and stomped on by US troops.

Bud Day, Why He Is Speaking Out

Betsy's Page, http://betsyspage.blogspot.com/2004/10/if-this-hero-were-supporting-john.html has the link to this very important interview on Human Events Online. I must concur, if he was coming out in favor of Kerry, the MSM would be all over this.

Col. George E. "Bud" Day is America's most highly decorated living veteran officer. He served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, receiving more than 50 combat awards and the Congressional Medal of Honor.What he wants now is to stop John Kerry from being elected President. Day traveled from his home in Florida to Washington, D.C., last week to participate in the filming of two new ads by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. In one of the spots, he directly addresses Kerry: "How can you expect our sons and daughters to follow you, when you condemned their fathers and grandfathers?"

CNN Distorts Poll Results?

One of the big poll results the past couple days in the blogosphere has been the Annenberg Survey which showed the military supports GW by a 2:1 margin. James at Outside the Beltway Blog, link in title, guesses that they focused on one question:

Members of the military and their families say the Bush administration underestimated the number of troops needed in Iraq and put too much pressure on inadequately trained National Guard and reserve forces, according to a poll released Saturday. The National Annenberg Election Survey found that 62 percent in the military sample said the administration didn't send an adequate number of troops to Iraq. And 59 percent said too much of a burden has been put on the National Guard and the reserves when regular forces should have been expanded instead. Family members were more critical of the administration's Iraq policy than those on active duty. This critical view comes from a military group that has a more favorable view of President Bush (news - web sites), Iraq, the economy and the nation's direction than Americans in general.

At his site is a direct link to all poll questions.

The World Should Vote In US Elections?

Call me naive, but I do not believe that the US press or people would consider themselves qualified, much less entitled to weigh in to another countries' citizenry in an attempt to sway their election.

Unfortunately others in the 'world' believe they are more enlightened than we, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1328813,00.html

The Guardian's campaign to target undecided voters in a key swing state in the US presidential elections has attracted more than 10,000 responses, as well earning the ire of the conservative media.

By 6pm yesterday, 11,658 people had contacted the newspaper from around the world, after it encouraged readers in Britain to write with their thoughts on the election to voters in Clark county, Ohio. In the 2000 election, George Bush lost the county by 1% - equivalent to 324 votes.

The Guardian promised to give emailers the names and addresses of unaffiliated voters, from a list purchased from electoral officials. In its launch article on Thursday, it urged: "Remember that it's unusual to receive a lobbying letter from someone in another country."

The above is substantially different than reporting what is going on in the US, it is a declared attempt to target voters in the US. Now the BBC, which does have a slant, is substantially different in allowing comments, but not making any attempt to actually influence the elections,

The international press believes that US Senator John Kerry has established himself as a serious contender in the presidential race, following what many see as his narrow victory in the last of three debates with incumbent George W Bush.

But commentators are less certain that Mr Kerry will triumph in the race itself...


Maybe it's just me, unlike Polipundit I do not have Mr. D to do analysis of polls, but my instincts are beginning to tell me the Dems know something that is causing them to really ratchet up the 'fear and loathing' factors.

At the last Presidential debate they attempted to appeal to the 'homophobes', now they are back to the 'draft'.

A CD Worth Buying

Those who know me, know that I'm functionally deaf. Sometime I may write a bit about that, but after the election, not now. In the meantime, I think I'll run to the store and see if I can't pick up this CD. If I'm lucky, the lyrics will be included, if not, I'll hear what I can through the earphones. I definately think we need to support those that are supporting the troops.

Update: Laurie Byrd also has linked to the CD

Terrorism Takes Practice

Wretchard writes on what many of us 'know', but are unable to articulate. It's why I believe GW is going to win!

Long before September 11, the Madrid train attack and the massacre of school children in Beslan they were forshadowed by Operation Bojinka, the LRT train attack and the mass abduction of schoolchildren in Basilan. Never heard of them? That's understandable.
Operation Bojinka was a series of planning exercises and dry runs in the Philippines in preparation for the September 11 attacks. Here's how
Wikipedia describes it.

The term can refer to the "airline bombing plot" alone, or that combined with the "Pope assassination plot" and the "CIA plane crash plot". The first refers to a plot to destroy 11 airliners on January 21 and 22, 1995, the second refers to a plan to kill John Paul II on January 15, 1995, and the third refers a plan to crash a plane into the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia and other buildings. Operation Bojinka was prevented on January 6 and 7, 1995, but some lessons learned were apparently used by the planners of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

I can still see the Dona Josefa apartments, where these outrages were planned, in my mind's eye. It's along FB Harrison near a dusty children's playground not far from the city zoo.

Here is a related article on how many of us know in our 'guts', as JFK has taken to saying, that we have to put security first, http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20041016/ap_on_re_us/top_issues&cid=519&ncid=716

WASHINGTON - National security issues such as the war in Iraq (news - web sites) and terrorism are dominating voters' attention in the final weeks before Election Day, Associated Press polling found.

Along with security issues like war and terrorism, the economy and health care were near the top of the list of the nation's most important problems in an AP-Ipsos poll.
National security issues were picked by 55 percent of Americans as the most important problems facing the nation, according to the poll taken in early October — up from 43 percent who named national security issues in an April poll.

Friday, October 15, 2004

About That 'Walk Again' Comment

A guy in a wheelchair objects. Not that I ever intended to vote for Kerry-Edwards, but what are they thinking?

After the second presidential debate, in which John Kerry used the word "plan" 24 times, I said on television that Kerry has a plan for everything except curing psoriasis. I should have known there is no parodying Kerry's pandering. It turned out days later that the Kerry campaign has a plan -- nay, a promise -- to cure paralysis. What is the plan? Vote for Kerry.

This is John Edwards on Monday at a rally in Newton, Iowa: "If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again."

If You're Not a Teacher, Move Along


1. You believe the playground should be equipped with a Ritalin saltlick.

2. You want to slug the next person who says, "Must be nice to work 8 to 3:20
and have summers free."

3. You can tell if it's a full moon without ever looking outside.

4. You believe "shallow gene pool" should have its own box in the report card.

5. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, "Boy, the kids sure are mellow today."

6. When out in public you feel the urge to snap your fingers at children
you do not know and correct their behavior.

7. You have no social life between August and June.

8. Marking all A's on report cards would make your life SO much easier.

9. You think people should be required to get a government permit before being allowed to reproduce.

10. You wonder how some parents ever MANAGED to reproduce.

11. You laugh uncontrollably when people refer to the staff room as the "lounge".

12. You encourage an obnoxious parent to check into charter schools or homeschooling.

13. You can't have children because there's no name you could give a child that
wouldn't bring on high blood pressure the moment you heard it uttered.

14. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.

15. You know you are in for a major project when a parent says, "I have a great idea
I'd like to discuss. I think it would be such fun."

Bush Won Last Debate and A Half

I volunteered for GW in the 2000 election and have done so again. With that as a given, let me say up front, I was not impressed with the administration from January through the beginning of September, 2001. I should not have been surprised, he ran as a domestic president, 'no nation building' and such from him. It's also true that the bizarre election of 2000, cut into the preparation time for the new team. Whatever the reasons, 9/11 was the catalast for an abrupt change in how the executive branch conducted itself from that point forward.

It appears the MSM forgot that GW ran as a domestic, if not isolationist candidate in 2000, it should not come as a surprise that in the last debate and a half he broke through on the domestic issues. Conventional wisdom had the domestic points going to Kerry, but it was GW that had the issues/concerns of the middle class, most fully developed.

I believe that GW will win the election in a few weeks, what is surprising is that it may well be as much for the domestic portions of the debate, as it will be for the national security issues.

More Incivility

I wrote on the 'dirty tricks' being played by some Bush haters across the country a few days ago, http://teachersramblings.blogspot.com/2004/10/on-very-uncivil-election.html . At the above link, Aaron has done a roundup of some more of the reported incidents.

His recitation of one man's revenge made me remember not to drink a sticky beverage while reading on the behavior of left wing loonies.

Grant Writing For the Social Studies

No way around it, something universities should teach more directly. This seems a very good place to start.

Iran Taking Over For Saddam?

It seems that Iran may have stepped up its arms supplies to the Palestinians. It is perhaps also fueling the violence in paying for suicide bombings.

Iran has taken control of many Palestinian terrorist cells from Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, giving them funds and orders to attack Israeli targets, and even rewarding successful missions with "bonuses", according to a senior Israeli security source.
For many years, Iran has given money and ideological support to radical Palestinian groups, especially Hamas and Islamic Jihad, responsible for most of the Israeli deaths in the past four years of the Palestinian uprising.

Lebanon's Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah
But Israel believes that much of the Fatah-affiliated armed faction, calling itself the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, has now come under Iran's sway, especially in the West Bank.
Scores of Palestinian attacks, accounting for roughly a third of the 98 Israelis killed so far this year, are believed to have been orchestrated by the Lebanese Hizbollah movement.
The Shia group pioneered the use of suicide bombings in the 1980s, kidnapped westerners and successfully drove the Israeli army out of south Lebanon in 2000. Hizbollah is now a political party in Lebanon.
"Hizbollah is a finger of Iran's hand," the senior Israeli security source said. "In the past year we can see increasing Iranian influence in Palestinian attacks on Israel.
"The same people sometimes receive money both from Arafat's headquarters and from Hizbollah. If the attack succeeds in causing fatalities, they get a bonus from Hizbollah."
Another security source said Hizbollah rewards Palestinian cells to the tune of $5,000 (£2,900) for each Israeli killed.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

I Don't Know Why Bush Persists

You did know that 10 leading countries don't want him as US President? I mean, that proves Kerry is right, right?

George Bush has squandered a wealth of sympathy around the world towards America since September 11 with public opinion in 10 leading countries - including some of its closest allies - growing more hostile to the United States while he has been in office.
According to a survey, voters in eight out of the 10 countries, including Britain, want to see the Democrat challenger, John Kerry, defeat President Bush in next month's US presidential election.
The poll, conducted by 10 of the world's leading newspapers, including France's Le Monde, Japan's Asahi Shimbun, Canada's La Presse, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Guardian, also shows that on balance world opinion does not believe that the war in Iraq has made a positive contribution to the fight against terror.
The results show that in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Japan, Spain and South Korea a majority of voters share a rejection of the Iraq invasion, contempt for the Bush administration, a growing hostility to the US and a not-too-strong endorsement of Mr Kerry. But they all make a clear distinction between this kind of anti-Americanism and expressing a dislike of American people. On average 68% of those polled say they have a favourable opinion of Americans.

Doubt this will surprise anyone, only one evil country supports Bush:

The only exceptions to this trend are the Israelis - who back Bush 2-1 over Kerry and see the US as their security umbrella - and the Russians who, despite their traditional anti-Americanism, recorded unexpectedly favourable attitudes towards the US in the survey conducted in the immediate aftermath of the Beslan tragedy.


My sister had Down's Syndrome, she participated in the Special Olympics for many years. Can't believe the party of the Kennedy family, which for all of its flaws, truly has supported this great organization. Michelle Malkin has the photo, http://michellemalkin.com/archives/000659.htm

This does not strike me as tasteful, much less acceptable in today's world. I guess if the Democrats embrace the likes of Ted Rall and Michael Moore, there really is no bottom...

News From Iraq

via Instapundit, http://instapundit.com/archives/018444.php

Terrific pics, notes, and listing of Iraqi bloggers.

Something New?

Hamas considers US an enemy, no news here...

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Incivililty Or Worse

Michelle has written on something that has had me very concerned, violence in any form in US politics. Granted we are a 'rough and tumble' country. Many of us take our politics very seriously, (I just spent more than an hour writing on that very topic). At the beginning of August I put some Bush signs on my front yard, within two days I had my mailbox blown up with firecrackers, my car vandalized, and the signs stolen. I replaced the mailbox, fixed the car, and replaced the signs.

My next door neighbor has Democratic signs on her lawn, we still talk, we are friends. We have very different ideas of what is best for the country. We will both express our wills on November 2, not by vandalizing each other's property. I do think the left, perhaps with their greater youth numbers, are more guilty of this than the right.

Considering some of the organizations that have Democratic ties, http://teachersramblings.blogspot.com/2004/10/democrats-have-awful-lot-of-nerve.html and this, http://teachersramblings.blogspot.com/2004/10/on-very-uncivil-election.html I guess no less should be expected.

This has been a problem across the country: http://www.publicopiniononline.com/news/stories/20041012/localnews/1401132.html

Even the NY Times ombudsman agrees the left has been a bit too strident:

Consider what was passing for advice prior to the RNC convention:
http://www.rncnotwelcome.org/fighttheman.html which had connections to some of the groups mentioned with ties to DNC...

The MSM, They Wonder Why We Don't Trust Them?

More than half a dozen newspaper companies have received letters from the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking information about their circulation practices as part of an inquiry prompted by disclosures of inflated sales at other chains, people involved in the inquiry said yesterday...

...For the newspaper industry, which has struggled for years with stagnant readership levels, the S.E.C.'s scrutiny has the potential to undermine further the confidence of advertisers and investors, who have driven down the stock prices of several newspaper companies in recent months. But should the commission's inquiry find that the practices of Newsday, Hoy, The Sun-Times and The Morning News were anomalies, the industry might be able to put the circulation scandal behind it.

It's unlikely from anything I've seen that the Sun-Times and The Morning News were anaomalies.

Blix Flip Flopping Again

So very reminiscent of the period leading up to the Iraq war. First it was 'Saddam is cooperating, sort of' then, 'he is obstructing the inspections' then, 'there should be no rush, we need more time...'

Captain Ed has the whole take from this article:


The Evolution of A Daughter

The political landscape has been an odd scene most of my life, the price I guess, of being on the peak of the babyboom. Being Irish Catholic, I was influenced early on by my parents excitement of a Kennedy presidency. The first time I remember having a babysitter, it was because my parents were going to stand in the rain to see Kennedy at the high school, http://www.jfklink.com/speeches/jfk/oct60/jfk251060_elmhurst.html . I do know that my mom bet a breakfast with my best friend's mom, a confirmed conservative, that Kennedy would win, she never was able to collect. My friend's mother was too upset, she was sure the Pope was going to take over US policies, (she is now a precinct worker for the Democratic Party, go figure).

I can't remember political dinner conversations before that time, after all I was only four, but from that point on I do know that politics dominated family conversations. My aunt was employed by the Cook County election board. My mom's cousin was private secretary to Richard J. Daley. I had an uncle that was a priest in Chicago, another that was a lieutenant on the Chicago PD, another a Captain on Chicago FD. The family was well connected in Chicago's democratic scene. My parents decided to go Republican. Perhaps being much younger than their siblings made them ornery, I don't know.

Maybe I was too young to realize that it was the times, more than Kennedy that changed their thinking? My mom, with my father following, became more and more conservative from JFK on. She thought Vietnam might not be a great idea, but still thought that what was happening in public, was sending the wrong message, to both the American people and the 'Russians.' At the same time, she led the family towards awareness of problems in the larger society, including racism. My mom believed that the ills of society could not be cured by government, though infractions could be punished by the government. I went into the university intending to major in journalism, (ala Woodward and Bernstein) and political science, (ala thanks Mom!). By the second year I had dropped journalism and picked up sociology, (thanks again, Mom).

She, (I thought at the time), droned on and on, that real change could only come from educating people that differences between groups were more influenced by professions, values, and attitudes, than by race or religion. She was constantly reading aloud from newspaper and news magazine columns that she thought proved her position on things. I know that I never went into a friend's house and had to listen to their mother read to us during a meal, this happened often at our house. Our friends thought she was cool, my brother and I thought she was obsessed. I guess it is no surprise that my brother became a policeman or I a teacher, or that we both still are active in community activities or that we have tortured our children with dinner table readings too.

My high school years were weird. The country was in a turmoil, but the war was winding down. I started exploring alternatives to my mother's take on the world. I read Marx and Nietze, Henry David Thoreau and Samuelson. I loved the idea of finding something more 'enlightened' than my mother's practical view of the world. What is a girl to do when the college kids are rioting, but she is stuck in a very uptight midwestern suburban high school? Did it occur to me that my mom had done her own 'rebellion' by going Republican in a family of Democrats? (I am consoled thinking of this, as my youngest son sent me 'George Bush's resume' last week via email).

My mom loved Richard Nixon, luckily for both of us I left home for the university in the summer of '73. I think we may have killed each other. I remember the morning I picked up the Chicago Daily News and saw the front page, looking like a 'most wanted' poster, covered with 'Indicted/Unindicted' Co-conspirators of the administration. I called her, she was crying, (I mean we really took politics seriously), she said, "Ok, you were right, he has to go." We were both relieved when Nixon resigned, though part of me wanted him in jail.

By my junior year of college, I was the university representative for James Thompson for Governor, yes the same that served on the 9/11 Commision. I had begun to evolve as my own person, not just a mouthpiece or the antithesis of my mother. I had transferred from a cornfield university to one in the city. There were many demonstrations against the Shah of Iran. The students were not only passionate they were scary, everyone gave them wide berth, when they set fire to effigies of the Shah and the president.

We both liked Ford, though I voted for Carter, (sorry). Then came Reagan. Again, my mother was ecstatic. In spite of the hostages in Iran, I could not bring myself to vote for Ronald. I got married, had my first child, then a second. Time for another election. I had no intention of voting for RR. I hadn't really been paying much attention to politics, I was a bit busy with a four year old, an almost two year old, and was pregnant again, not to mention a disintegrating marriage. As I was dragging the two kids into the polling place, my daughter started singing, "Ronald Reagan is our man..." I must have looked at her with a very strange face, she said, "Mommy, I love President Reagan, grandma loves President Reagan, what's wrong with him?" I didn't have an answer. I was about to vote for Walter Mondale, who I knew to be an idiot, only because I didn't like Richard Nixon. I voted for Reagan.

Looking back, I can see why I flirted with alternative philosophies of government, I mean my mom was really way passionate. I also had many professors at the opposite end of the spectrum, many of whom were very good looking, not to mention credentialed! I mean my mom had just graduated from high school! Geez, what could she know?

I am confused however, maybe because I'm old, how so many can fail to see 9/11 for what it was? How can anyone put that together with all the attacks since the Iranian hostage crisis and consider it an anomoly? How can we even, as a country, consider for one moment that what we are facing is analogous to the 'war on drugs' or any other police action? Maybe there is a Kerry supporter, especially a young one, that can explain this to me?

A Film I Want to See

I didn't vote for Ronald Reagan, he was too different for me at that point in my life. I did comprehend that he really wanted to change the system. While I had begun to leave behind the liberalism of youth, he scared me. I saw him as a jovial Richard Nixon. In retrospect, maybe that wasn't a bad analogy. In many ways he, like Nixon had a vision of what he wanted the world to look like. I do not think that RR was bothered by RMN's deep thinking on issues or individuals, (Nancy may have been on individuals, though I don't think she made policy decisions). But he did have a very clear idea of where the US should go.

Ronald Reagan did change the world, nowhere as much as in the US. People no longer saw or see Vietnam, welfare, government, conservativism, or liberalism in the same way. I think many of us awoke to the realism that the government wasn't the answer or problem. Lack of clarity and perhaps an overabundance of nuance were at least, part of the problem. Reagan had clarity of vision and a seemingly undauntable amount of confidence. Some of us saw this as evidence of his lack of depth, in actuality I now believe it came from his certainty in his belief in the correctness of his vision.

Ronald Reagan and my mother and my daughter changed my political outlook, I think I may write more on my mother and daughter later, but for now I just want to say I am going to see the film, "In the Face of Evil," reviewed in the above link.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

On Bigley and the Failure Of the West?

Wretchard wrote the above post, which brings clarity to both the Steyn article I posted on earlier, http://teachersramblings.blogspot.com/2004/10/telegraph-pulls-steyn-column.html and the item Roger Simon blogged today, http://www.rogerlsimon.com/mt-archives/2004/10/lonely_are_the.php .

It's not really 'failure' to assume the best of man, but it may be an assumption that the West needs to reevaluate. There seems no doubt that Bill Clinton is not the only man to do wrong, simply 'because he could.'

This Is A Bit Depressing Or Not

Followed a Vodkapundit post, http://vodkapundit.com/archives/006875.php to the above discussion. There is a little something for everyone, but what stood out for me, newbie that I am is the following, towards the end...

Frank J.: Real emotions connect. That's why Whittle is so successful with posting so little.
Michele Catalano: I get slammed for emotional blogging all the time.
Frank J.: Women and their emotions! It drives me crazy!
Michele Catalano: Shut up, Frank.
Frank J.: I haven't cried or smiled in twenty years, like a good man.
Ace: Women do get that. But here's something, Andrew Sullivan is objectively emotional. And yet, if you say so, he implies you're (attacking him for being gay). So what the hell? I can't note that fact, just because it is a stereotype to say a gay man is emotional? He *is* emotional, though.
Bill: I'm not touching that one.
Michele Catalano: I think women who write emotionally get treated different than men who write emotionally. But that's another story.
John Hawkins: Andrew Sullivan is a brilliant, articulate man, but his ideology and core beliefs -- beyond gay marriage -- are shifting sand.
Bill: He is brilliant, perhaps my favorite architect of prose.
Frank J.: Andrew Sullivan drew me in with his smart writing. Now he's wacky and he doesn't realize it.
Ace: He's a smart man. He's also frequently a hysterically strident and emotionally hyperbolic man.
Michele Catalano: Let me ask you all a question. What female bloggers do you read?
Ace: I read
Alarming News. I read Michele.
Bill: A Small Victory.
Frank J.: I don't read other blogs.
Ilkya, Malkin...
Ace: I read... Ilyka, assuming she's a she...
Michele Catalano: @ss kissers.
John Hawkins: You,
Betsy's page, I Love Jet Noise, Right Thinking Girl, Transcended, PoliPundit, Trying To Grok, Wonkette, Michelle Malkin...
Michele Catalano: Betsy's Page is a great blog
Frank J.: There are some good women bloggers like Michele here...
Ace: I think Michele commented that Insty tends to link women only with a sexual subtext...
Bill: Insty and many other popular bloggers are notorious suckers for pixelated poon.
Frank J.: I like women who ad sexy pictures of themselves to their blogs. I think it helps them get out their point.
Bill: All a gal blogger has to do is post a pretty picture and put up a post per week and they'll shoot up the
TLB. I noticed that before I ever started a blog
John Hawkins: I like women who write with a sexual subtext.
Michele Catalano: When I write with a sexual subtext, I get accused of being hypocritical.
Ace: Michele, why? Who says that?
Michele Catalano: I'm going to blog naked tomorrow. And post pictures. And write about sex.
John Hawkins: Then I promise you will be linked by RWN tomorrow =D
Michele Catalano: They say because I slammed Wonkette I shouldn't talk about sex because it makes me a hypocrite. I never use sex for attention except in the case of charity blogging.
John Hawkins: Heheh -- actually I said that, but I'm not going to get back into that whole can of worms because it'll get you mad at me again =D And I'm enjoying you not being mad at me for 5 minutes =D
Michele Catalano: You guys are making me mad...
John Hawkins: See? See! See?
Frank J.: All the ladies like the Frankster!
Ace: Well, I don't know how posting about sex would be hypocritical, then. I assumed someone was annoyed that you were using sex as a weapon as Pat Benatar advised against.
Frank J.: We need more sex weapons...
Michele Catalano: I got your heat seeking missiles right here...
Bill: I use sex to seduce my interview subjects....
John Hawkins: You people are filthy freaks. And on that note, it has been fun!
Michele Catalano: I think he's kicking us out.
Bill: Are you editing this, I hope?
Michele Catalano: Yea, he'll edit and the only thing I'll end up saying is 'sex'.
John Hawkins: Michele: Sex...with...you...guys....fun...fun!
Michele Catalano: HAH
Frank J.: Lol
Michele Catalano: I was naked this whole time!
John Hawkins: That's going in! Thanks everybody!

Are women taken less seriously? I pondered using a gender neutral name, then decided that since I want to write about my kids, my own and my students, it wouldn't be such a great idea. Emotion is not confined to women in the blogosphere either, I've been reading blogs for over three years and have seen Allah come and rant via both text and photos; Bill INDCjournal also gets 'hot' on some issues; Stephen Green can get worked up over Colorado politics, not to mention martinis; the list goes on and on...

Telegraph Pulls Steyn Column

It's on the Bigley beheading and I guess it would be difficult to read, given the coverage in Britain, but his point is well-made. Here's his introduction, on his own site. Go read the column...

Today, for the first time in all my years with the Telegraph Group, I had a column pulled. The editor expressed concerns about certain passages and we were unable to reach agreement, so on this Tuesday something else will be in my space.
I’d written about Kenneth Bigley, seized with two American colleagues but unlike them not beheaded immediately. Instead, sensing that they could exploit potential differences within “the coalition of the willing”, for three weeks the Islamists played a cat-and-mouse game with Mr Bigley’s life, in which Fleet Street, the British public, governments in London and Dublin and Islamic lobby groups in the United Kingdom were far too willing to participate. As I always say, in this war the point is not whether you’re sad about the dead people, but what you’re prepared to do about it. What “Britain” – from Ken Bigley’s brother to the Foreign Secretary – did was make it more likely that other infidels will meet his fate.
I suppose the Telegraph felt the column was a little heartless. Well, this is a war, and misplaced mawkishness will only lead to more deaths. In
The Face Of The Tiger, I wrote as follows about the first anniversary of 9/11, when coverage was threatening to go the way of Princess Di and mounds of teddy bears:
3,000 people died on September 11th, leaving a gaping hole in the lives of their children, parents, siblings and friends. Those of us who don't fall into those categories are not bereaved and, by pretending to be, we diminish the real pain of those who really feel it. That's not to say that, like many, I wasn't struck by this or that name that drifted up out of the great roll-call of the dead. Newsweek's Anna Quindlen "fastened on", as she put it, one family on the flight manifest:
Peter Hanson, MassachusettsSusan Hanson, MassachusettsChristine Hanson, 2, Massachusetts
As Miss Quindlen described them, "the father, the mother, the two-year old girl off on an adventure, sitting safe between them, taking flight." Christine Hanson will never be three, and I feel sad about that. But I did not know her, love her, cherish her; I do not feel her loss, her absence in my life. I have no reason to hold hands in a "healing circle" for her. All I can do for Christine Hanson is insist that the terrorist movement which killed her is hunted down and prevented from targeting any more two-year olds. We honour Christine Hanson's memory by righting the great wrong done to her, not by ersatz grief-mongering.
That’s the way I feel about Kenneth Bigley. Here’s the column the Telegraph declined to publish:

On The Press and War

Zell Miller may not be a professional writer, but he gets his point across.

What if today's reporters had covered the Marines landing on Iwo Jima, a small island in the far away Pacific Ocean, in the same way they're covering the war in Iraq? Here's how it might have looked: [...]

DAY 4 Cutie (holds up front page of the New York Times): "This morning, the New York Times had this photo on the front page. As you can see, the Marines have finally raised a flag on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima. The fighting is still going on but it looks like this battle is over. We tried to find Pfc. Doe, the young Marine I interviewed that terrible first day, but he was unavailable. Here is Corporal Smith though. (With girlish enthusiasm). "Well, we see that flag flying. It's pretty much over isn't it?"

Cpl. Smith: "Oh, no ma'am, it's not over by any means. We've got weeks of fighting and dying to go yet. This place is a long ways from being secured. But we did get that flag up there and it sure makes us all proud."

Cutie: "I can't tell much from the photo. Their faces are not even visible, making it impossible for us to descend upon any of their families. Corporal Smith, do you know any of the flag raisers? And do you know who ordered it put up there? Did the order come directly from the president for political reasons?"

Cpl. Smith: "All I know is that I heard some colonel put the word out that he wanted 'a flag put up there where every son of a bitch on this island could see it.' Excuse me, ma'am."

Cutie: "We know you've been in the heat of battle so,..."

Cpl. Smith: "Still am, ma'am."

Cutie: "Yes, of course, but it's all over. (Nervous giggle). Except here on Capitol Hill, of course. Corporal Smith, I wonder if you know the gender, race and ethnicity of the group that put the flag up. In other words, did that group 'look like America?' "

Corporal Smith: "Look like America? They are Americans, ma'am. United States Marines."

Cutie: "Any females?"

Cpl. Smith: "No, ma'am."

Cutie: "Any African Americans?"

Cpl. Smith: "I don't know, ma'am. But there is an Indian in Easy Company."

Cutie: "You mean Native American?"

Cpl. Smith: "Whatever, ma'am, I've got to cut out. My outfit is moving on and we've got a lot to do."

Cutie: "And we've got a lot to do here too. Spring training has started and the sun is shining brightly in Florida. But first this word from our sponsors."

Historical note: In one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, when it was said "uncommon courage was a common virtue," 6,000 Marines were killed and 18,000 wounded. Some 21,000 Japanese were killed. The island itself is still barren and only a handful of people live on it. But after it was secured by the Marines, B-29s made over 2,200 emergency landings on it, saving the lives of more than 24,000 crewmen. AP photographer Joe Rosenthal won a Pulitzer Prize for the flag-raising photo. Of the six men in the photo, three were buried in that black volcanic ash, one came out on a stretcher. Only two walked off the island.

Kerry Will Be Happy

Bad news is good news in Kerry's World. I wonder though, shouldn't we be glad to know who our friends are, and aren't? (hat tip: Captain Ed) http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/002743.php

Perhaps, Finally Letting Military Do What It Needs To

I wish that the Iraqis were trained to deal with the 'bad guys' already, lord knows they are trying. Perhaps the Iraqi government finally realizes the Marines have to put down the terrorists, at least long enough to get the police recruits signed up and trained.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi forces backed by U.S. soldiers and Marines raided mosques Tuesday in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi and detained a prominent cleric following fierce clashes that hospital officials said killed at least four people.

U.S. aircraft also rocketed a mosque northwest of Ramadi on Monday after insurgents opened fire from there on U.S. Marines, the command said.

The seven mosques targeted in Ramadi are suspected of supporting insurgents through a range of activities, including harboring terrorists, storing illegal weapons caches, promoting violence and encouraging insurgent recruitment, the U.S. command said.

Sheikh Abdul-Aleim Saadi, the provincial leader of the influential Association of Muslim Scholars, was detained at Mohammed Aref Mosque, his relatives and followers said.
Angry residents accused Americans of disrespecting the sanctity of city mosques.
"This cowboy behavior cannot be accepted," said cleric Abdullah Abu Omar of the Ramadi Mosque. "The Americans seem to have lost their senses and have gone out of control."

The 1st Marine Division said the raids followed a pattern of insurgent activity in and around Ramadi mosques in recent weeks.

"The 1st Marine Division respects the religious and cultural significance represented by mosques," it said in a statement. "However, when insurgents violate the sanctity of the mosque by using the structure for military purposes, the site loses its protective status."

Monday, October 11, 2004

The Democrats Have An Awful Lot of Nerve

The chutzpah of the Democrats never fails to astound me! Considering the earlier post regarding the Horowitz piece on Soros, that the Dems are reacting so strongly to this, http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20041011/ap_en_tv/kerry_film is just the height of hypocrisy. Here's a bit of an excerpt from the Yahoo! article:

WASHINGTON - The Democratic Party and 18 senators are objecting to a broadcasting company's plan to air on 62 TV stations a critical documentary about John Kerry
's anti-war activities after he returned home from Vietnam three decades ago.

Sinclair Broadcast Group has asked its television stations — many of them in competitive states in the presidential election — to pre-empt regular programming to run the documentary as part of an hourlong program two weeks before the Nov. 2 election.

Based near Baltimore, the company owns or manages affiliates of major broadcast networks in several states, including Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.

Mark Hyman, a vice president of corporate relations for Sinclair who also is a conservative commentator for the company, said Monday the show would contain some or all of the 42-minute film as well as a panel discussion of some sort. He said final details had not been worked out.

The documentary, "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," chronicles Kerry's 1971 testimony before Congress and links him to activist and actress Jane Fonda
. It includes interviews with Vietnam prisoners of war and their wives who claim Kerry's testimony — filled with "lurid fantasies of butchery in Vietnam" on the part of U.S. troops — demeaned them and led their captors to hold them longer.

The Democratic National Committee
planned to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday contending that Sinclair's airing of the film should be considered an illegal in-kind contribution to President Bush's campaign. Also, 18 Democratic senators sent a letter to the Federal Communication Commission asking that it investigate whether Sinclair's plan was an improper use of public airwaves.

However, Sinclair's Hyman said, "The documentary is just a part of a special news event that we're putting together. We've invited one person to be a guest. That's Senator John Kerry." The company posted a note on its Web site Monday afternoon urging people to call Kerry's headquarters to urge his participation.

Chad Clanton, a Kerry campaign spokesman, said, "Everything is on the table but it's hard to take an offer seriously from a group with such a fierce partisan agenda, a group that's clearly not interested in the truth."
Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said the company was acting as a mouthpiece for the Republican Party rather than a legitimate news outlet.

"In this election cycle, they have put their money where their right-wing mouths are," he said. "Sinclair's owners aren't interested in news. They're interested in pro-Bush propaganda..."

Now, consider the groups that the Democrats have had working for them, taken from the first of Horowitz's series:

The Plan

No one has published a full list of the attendees at Soros’ July 17 meeting in Southampton, at which Soros laid out his plan to defeat President Bush.
[17] However, a partial list is available in accounts that appeared in the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. These include an impressive array of former Clinton administration officials, among them Halperin. Prior to working for Soros, Halperin had served eight years under Clinton, first as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and finally as Director of Policy Planning for the Clinton State Department.

The guests at Soros’ beach house also included Clinton’s former chief of staff John Podesta; Jeremy Rosner, former special advisor to Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeline Albright; Robert Boorstin, a former advisor to Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin; and Steven Rosenthal, a leftwing union leader who served the Clinton White House as an advisor on union affairs to Labor Secretary Robert Reich. Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, and Ellen Malcolm, founder and president of the pro-abortion lobby Emily’s List, also attended the meeting, as did such prominent Democrat donors as auto insurance mogul Peter B. Lewis; founder and CEO of RealNetworks Rob Glaser; Taco Bell heir Rob McKay; and Benson & Hedges tobacco heirs Lewis and Dorothy Cullman.

Months earlier, Soros had hired two political analysts to probe Bush’s defenses. They were Tom Novick, a lobbyist for the Western States Center – a group of radical environmentalists in Oregon – and Democrat media strategist Mark Steitz, president of TSD Communications in Washington DC, whose clients have included the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaigns of 1992 and 1996. Jeanne Cummings of The Wall Street Journal reports that both Novick and Steitz were present at the Southampton meeting, to brief the team in person...

There's more, from the second of the series, I know I posted the $ chart earlier, but I think it bears repeating:

By early 2004, the Shadow Party’s infrastructure had assumed a coherent shape, under Soros’ guidance. At its heart lay seven ostensibly “independent” non-profit groups which constitute the network’s administrative core. Let us call them the Seven Sisters. In chronological order, based upon their launch dates, they are:

Launched September 22, 1998

Center for American Progress (CAP)
Launched July 7, 2003

America Votes
Launched July 15, 2003

America Coming Together (ACT)
Launched July 17, 2003

The Media Fund
Launched November 5, 2003

Joint Victory Campaign 2004
Launched November 5, 2003

The Thunder Road Group LLC
Launched early 2004

With the exception of MoveOn.org – based in Berkeley, California – all Seven Sisters maintain headquarters in Washington DC. Testifying to the close links between these groups are their interlocking finances, Boards of Directors and corporate officers. In some cases, they even share office space.

For example, two of the Seven Sisters – The Media Fund and Joint Victory Campaign 2004 – share an office in Suite #1100 at 1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Three other groups – America Coming Together (ACT), America Votes and The Thunder Road Group – lease offices in the Motion Picture Association Building at 888 16th Street, NW. It is tempting to consider that the clustering of these three groups in a building owned by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) may not be coincidental. The MPAA has long enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Democratic Party; many high-ranking Democrats have slipped comfortably from government jobs into glamorous posts in the MPAA’s upper management.

In March 2004, for instance, Dan Glickman succeeded Jack Valenti as MPAA president. Valenti was a Democrat lobbyist and former aide to President Lyndon Johnson. Glickman was formerly a Democratic Congressman from Kansas, who later served as Secretary of Agriculture in the Clinton White House. Now, as MPAA president, Glickman holds what is arguably the most powerful position in Hollywood.

The Shadow Party draws much of its funding from the entertainment world. According to the Center for Public Integrity, Jane Fonda is the third largest donor to Democrat 527 groups and Hollywood producer Stephen L. Bing takes fourth place. The top four Shadow Party donors are as follows:

Top Four Shadow Party
Contributions to Democrat 527s
Contributors (August 2000 – August 2004)

Peter B. Lewis $14,375,000.00

George and Susan W. Soros $13,120,000.00

Jane Fonda $13,085,750.00

Stephen L. Bing $9,869,014.00

Courtesy The Center for Public Integrity

Guilliani On the 'Nuisance Factor'

Monday, October 11, 2004Remarks by Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in Conference Call Today
ARLINGTON, VA - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani delivered the following remarks in a Bush-Cheney '04 conference call today:

"For some time, and including when I spoke at the Republican Convention, I’ve wondered exactly what John Kerry’s approach would be to terrorism and I’ve wondered whether he had the conviction, the determination, and the focus, and the correct worldview to conduct a successful war against terrorism. And his quotations in the New York Times yesterday make it clear that he lacks that kind of committed view of the world. In fact, his comments are kind of extraordinary, particularly since he thinks we used to before September 11 live in a relatively safe world. He says we have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance.

"I’m wondering exactly when Senator Kerry thought they were just a nuisance. Maybe when they attacked the USS Cole? Or when they attacked the World Trade Center in 1993? Or when they slaughtered the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972? Or killed Leon Klinghoffer by throwing him overboard? Or the innumerable number of terrorist acts that they committed in the 70s, the 80s and the 90s, leading up to September 11?

"This is so different from the President’s view and my own, which is in those days, when we were fooling ourselves about the danger of terrorism, we were actually in the greatest danger. When you don’t confront correctly and view realistically the danger that you face, that’s when you’re at the greatest risk. When you at least realize the danger and you begin to confront it, then you begin to become safer. And for him to say that in the good old days – I’m assuming he means the 90s and the 80s and the 70s -- they were just a nuisance, this really begins to explain a lot of his inconsistent positions on how to deal with it because he’s not defining it correctly. "

As a former law enforcement person, he says ‘I know we’re never going to end prostitution. We’re never going to end illegal gambling. But we’re going to reduce it.’ This is not illegal gambling; this isn’t prostitution. Having been a former law enforcement person for a lot longer than John Kerry ever was, I don’t understand his confusion. Even when he says ‘organized crime to a level where it isn’t not on the rise,’ it was not the goal of the Justice Department to just reduce organized crime. It was the goal of the Justice Department to eliminate organized crime. Was there some acceptable level of organized crime: two families, instead of five, or they can control one union but not the other?

The idea that you can have an acceptable level of terrorism is frightening. How do you explain that to the people who are beheaded or the innocent people that are killed, that we’re going to tolerate a certain acceptable [level] of terrorism, and that acceptable level will exist and then we’ll stop thinking about it? This is an extraordinary statement. I think it is not a statement that in any way is ancillary. I think this is the core of John Kerry’s thinking. This does create some consistency in his thinking.

"It is consistent with his views on Vietnam: that we should have left and abandoned Vietnam. It is consistent with his view of Nicaragua and the Sandinistas. It is consistent with his view of opposing Ronald Reagan at every step of the way in the arms buildup that was necessary to destroy communism. It is consistent with his view of not supporting the Persian Gulf War, which was another extraordinary step. Whatever John Kerry’s global test is, the Persian Gulf War certainly would pass anyone’s global test. If it were up to John Kerry, Saddam Hussein would not only still be in power, but he’d still be controlling Kuwait.

"Finally, what he did after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, where I guess at that point terrorism was still just a nuisance. He must have thought that because that’s why he proposed seriously reducing our intelligence budget, when you would think someone who was really sensitive to the problem of terrorism would have done just the opposite. I think that rather than being some aberrational comment, it is the core of the John Kerry philosophy: that terrorism is no different than domestic law enforcement problems, and that the best we’re ever going to be able to do is reduce it, so why not follow the more European approach of compromising with it the way Europeans did in the 70s and the 80s and the 90s?

"This is so totally different than what I think was the major advance that President Bush made – significant advance that he made in the Bush Doctrine on September 20, 2001, when he said we’re going to face up to terrorism and we’re going to do everything we can to defeat it, completely. There’s no reason why we have to tolerate global terrorism, just like there’s no reason to tolerate organized crime.

"So I think this is a seminal issue, this is one that explains or ties together a lot of things that we’ve talked about. Even this notion that the Kerry campaign was so upset that the Vice President and others were saying that he doesn’t understand the threat of terrorism; that he thinks it’s just a law enforcement action. It turns out the Vice President was right. He does and maybe this is a difference, maybe this is an honest difference that we really should debate straight out. He thinks that the threat is not as great as at least the President does, and I do, and the Vice President does."

Horowitz On The Shadow Party

On the changes going on in the Democratic Party, from part 1:

The Soros Factor

According to conventional wisdom the Shadow Party began taking form shortly after March 27, 2002 – the date President Bush signed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, popularly known as McCain-Feingold. However, the Shadow Party’s earliest origins predate the Reform Act by many years. The principal mover behind the Shadow Party is Wall Street billionaire and leftwinger George Soros. A New York hedge fund manager, global investment banker and currency trader, Soros has a personal net worth in the $7 billion range. Under his aegis, the Shadow Party has created a new power base for the left, independent of the mainstream party apparatus – a leverage point from which to tilt the party in an ever-more-radical direction.

Only Soros knows when he first conceived the idea of forming this network. However, clear hints of his intentions began to appear as early as the 2000 election. By that time, Soros had already baffled friend and foe alike with his increasingly strident attacks on capitalism – the very system which had elevated him from a penniless Hungarian refugee to one of the world’s wealthiest men. In his 1998 book The Crisis of Global Capitalism, Soros predicted an imminent collapse of the global financial system. Financiers like himself were largely to blame, he wrote, for they had allowed greed to overwhelm their humanity. “The (global capitalist) system is deeply flawed,” wrote Soros. “As long as capitalism remains triumphant, the pursuit of money overrides all other social considerations.”

Soros offered no coherent solution to the problem. He simply continued his long-established pattern of pouring money into a hodge-podge of fashionable leftwing causes, such as promoting mass immigration into the United States; financing anti-gun lawsuits and lobbyists; demanding voting rights for felons; seeking the abolition of capital punishment; exacerbating Palestinian unrest; promoting abortion; feminism; population control; gay liberation; euthanasia; radical theories of education; marijuana legalization and global government.

In 2000, Soros stepped up his attack on the status quo – dramatically raising his profile in U.S. electoral politics in the process – by sponsoring the so-called “Shadow Conventions.” Organized by author, columnist, social climber and political gadfly Arianna Huffington, the Shadow Conventions were counter-cultural events that gave a spotlight to critics of the electoral mainstream, most from the far left. In an effort to lure news crews away from the national party conventions, Huffington held her “Shadow Conventions” at the same time and in the same cities as the Republican and Democratic conventions in Philadelphia and Los Angeles respectively.

The largest single donor to the Shadow Conventions was George Soros, who put up about one third of the cost, according to Time magazine.
[7] Media commentators at the time played the Shadow Conventions for laughs. Yet these events conveyed a serious message; a comprehensive radical agenda which Soros evidently endorsed.

Third Force

The Shadow Conventions promoted the view that neither Democrats nor Republicans served the interests of the American people. Like the New Left of the 1960s and today’s Green Party, both of which dismiss the major parties as instruments of the “corporate ruling class,” Huffington declared that US politics needed a third force to break the deadlock. Among the issues highlighted at the Shadow Conventions were racism, special interest lobbies, marijuana legalization and the allegedly growing concentration of wealth – a radical hobgoblin since Karl Marx first raised its specter 150 years ago. Most speakers and delegates at the Shadow Convention hewed to a hard-left line, their views resonating with the “Free Mumia” chants that erupted periodically from the crowd and with Jesse Jackson’s incendiary charges that Republicans were racists. Huffington herself was a sometime conservative whose cult-like worship of Newt Gingrich had formerly evoked titters of amusement from media gossips. At the Shadow Conventions, she told reporters: “I have become radicalized.”

Not all the speakers were hucksters in the Jackson mold, however. Senator John McCain whose campaign finance crusade had put him at odds with both parties was one of the few mainstream politicians to accept Huffington’s invitation to speak. He made an impassioned plea for campaign finance reform, a crusade which – perhaps not coincidentally – George Soros had been a major force in pushing since 1995.

The Shadow Conventions were symbolic affairs. They represented no party and nominated no candidates for office. However, many of Soros’ activities during the 2000 campaign went beyond symbolism. It was during the 2000 election cycle that Soros first began experimenting with raising money through 527 committees. He assembled a team of wealthy Democrat donors to help him push two of his favorite issues – gun control and marijuana legalization. Soros collected contributions greatly exceeding the $5,000 limit allowed to federal PACs, but he evaded those limits by using 527 committees.

This is just frightening-check out the money, found in part 2 of the 3 part series:

The Shadow Party draws much of its funding from the entertainment world. According to the Center for Public Integrity, Jane Fonda is the third largest donor to Democrat 527 groups and Hollywood producer Stephen L. Bing takes fourth place. The top four Shadow Party donors are as follows:

Top Four Shadow Party
Contributions to Democrat 527s
Contributors (August 2000 – August 2004)

Peter B. Lewis $14,375,000.00

George and Susan W. Soros $13,120,000.00

Jane Fonda $13,085,750.00

Stephen L. Bing $9,869,014.00

Courtesy The Center for Public Integrity

Part 2 http://www.frontpagemag.com/articles/readarticle.asp?ID=15408&p=1

Part 3

Chirac Continues to Prove France A US Enemy

It seems our existence bothers him,

PRESIDENT CHIRAC was under fire in France yesterday for likening American culture to an “ecological disaster” and for alleged sycophancy towards China’s rulers while on an official visit to Beijing.
After his diatribe, delivered in Hanoi, media and opposition politicians wondered if M Chirac had been suffering from jet lag on his Asian tour...

Washington Post Snapshot Poll

Check out the graph on 'important issue'. 50% pick either Iraq or terrorism.

Smaller High Schools

For many students, especially those with problems, this can be a very good idea. At the same time, for a student that is being 'bullied' or is put into a group that none of their friends are in, it could be hell.

I worry for those that want to branch out and break with their old cohort. Either the larger schools are 'tracking' to create pods of students or they are repeating their entire curriculum four times? This by its nature would curtail class offerings/AP/Honors courses. If they are 'tracking' what of a student that chooses high school as a time to 'tune in' or 'tune out?'

Sing It Frank!

It's Monday!

It Seems Lileks Also Thinks Annoying Doesn't Quite Cover It

What was Kerry thinking?

A nuisance?A nuisance? I don’t want the definition of success of terrorism to be “it isn’t on the rise.” I want the definition of success to be “free democratic states in the Middle East and the cessation of support of those governments and fascist states we haven’t gotten around to kicking in the ass yet.” I want the definition of success to mean a free Lebanon and free Iran and a Saudi Arabia that realizes there’s no point in funding the fundies. An Egypt that stops pouring out the Jew-hatred as a form of political novacaine to keep the citizens from turning their ire on their own government. I want the definition of success to mean that Europe takes a stand against the Islamicist radicals in their midst before the Wahabbi poison is the only acceptable strain on the continent. Mosquito bites are a nuisance. Cable outages are a nuisance. Someone shooting up a school in Montana or California or Maine on behalf of the brave martyrs of Fallujah isn't a nuisance. It's war. But that's not the key phrase. This matters: We have to get back to the place we were.But when we were there we were blind. When we were there we losing. When we were there we died. We have to get back to the place we were. We have to get back to 9/10? We have to get back to the place we were. So we can go through it all again? We have to get back to the place we were. And forget all we’ve learned and done? We have to get back to the place we were. No. I don’t want to go back there. Planes into towers. That changed the terms. I am remarkably disinterested in returning to a place where such things are unimaginable. Where our nighmares are their dreams.We have to get back to the place we were.No. We have to go the place where they are.

Best Book For Grads Or For Others Looking For Hope

Blackfive has posted one of my favorite tomes at his site! Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss!

Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Congratulations!Today is your day.You're off to Great Places!You're off and away!
You have brains in your head.You have feet in your shoesYou can steer yourselfany direction you choose.You're on your own. And you know what you know.And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

Whenever you are feeling down...

On A Very Uncivil Election

John Fund has written this piece, which sites some of the incidents of violence that have been occuring recently. I thought that the 2000 election was uncivil, especially in its aftermath. Seems that was only a foreshadow of what has arisen and perhaps what is to come.

It is the possibility of this type of probing that makes it easy enough for me to give Bush a second term, hoping that funding and reform will come to NCLB.

This earlier post has related information regarding the extreme left and the observations of one of their own,

More Annoyance?

Possibly, seems that there has been other incidents like this throughout the country.

Good News From Iraq

We all get enough of the bad news, I so look forward to this every other week posting! I admire how Chrenkoff keeps coming up with these stories, though reading the Iraqi bloggers helps.

Swiftboat Vets New Ad

At the beginning I thought this group had missed their chance to blast Kerry, by about 25 years. Then came the Democratic Convention and Kerry choosing to make his Vietnam service the center of his campaign. Now it looks like there is going to be a very devastating ad, featuring Bud Day, a Congressional Medal of Honor designee, who fought in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He was a POW while JFK testified on the Winter Soldiers. Michele's post includes several sites that have posted on this today, and goes back to some other pertinent information.

Update: Bill at INDC Journal, http://www.indcjournal.com/archives/001127.php has a letter from Colonel Bud Day to Joe Scarborough:

Dear Joe:

The major issue in the Swiftboat stories is, and always has been, what John Kerry did in 1971 after he returned from Vietnam. Kerry cast a long dark shadow over all Vietnam Veterans with his outright perjury before the Senate concerning atrocities in Vietnam. His stories to the Senate committee were absolute lies..fabrications..perjury..fantasies, with NO substance. That dark shadow has defamed the entire Vietnam War veteran population, and gave "Aid and Comfort" to our enemies..the Vietnamese Communists. Kerry's stories were outright fabrications, and were intended for political gain with the radical left - McGovern, Teddy and Bobby Kennedy followers, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, and the radical left who fantasized that George McGovern was going to be elected in 1972.

Little wonder that returning soldiers from Vietnam were spit upon and castigated as "baby killers." A returned war hero said so. Kerry cut a dashing figure as a war hero, lots of medals, and returned home because of multiple war wounds, even a silver star. His Senate testimony confirmed what every hippie had been chanting on the streets - "Hey hey LBJ..How many kids did you kill today?" He obviously was running for political office in 1971. Until Lt. John O' Neil, himself a Swifboat commander, spoke out before the 1972 elections against Kerry's outright deceptions, there was no one from the Swiftboat scene that could contradict Kerry's self serving lies.

I was a POW of the Vietnamese in Hanoi in 1971, and I am aware that the testimony of John Kerry, the actions of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, and the radical left; all caused the commies to conclude that if they hung on, they would win. North Vietnamese General Bui Tin commented that every day the Communist leadership listened to world news over the radio to follow the growth of the anti-war movement. Visits to Hanoi by Jane Fonda and Ramsey Clark gave them confidence to hold in the face of battlefield reverses. The guts of it was that propaganda from the anti-war group was part of their combat strategy.

While the Commies were hanging on, innumerable U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Air Force members were being killed in combat. Every battle wound to Americans after Kerry's misdirected testimony is related to Kerry's untruthfulness. John Kerry contributed to every one of these deaths with his lies about U.S. atrocities in Vietnam. He likewise defamed the U.S. with our allies and supporters. His conduct also extended the imprisonment of the Vietnam Prisoners of War, of which I was one. I am certain of at least one POW death after his testimony, which might have been prevented with an earlier release of the POWs.
My friend and room mate Senator John S. McCain denounced the Swiftboat video by John O'Neil. I have a different take on the Swiftboat tape and disagree with my good friend John. John Kerry opened up his character as a war hero reporting for duty to the country with a hand salute...and his band of brothers..of which he was the chief hero. Most of his convention speech was about John Kerry, Vietnam hero, and his band of brothers. John Kerry's character is not only fair game, it is the primary issue. He wants to use Bill Clinton's "is", as an answer to his lack of character. The issue is trust. Can anyone trust John Kerry?? "Never lie, cheat or steal" is the West Point motto. When a witness perjures himself at trial, the judge notes that his testimony lacks credibility. Should we elect a known proven liar to lead us in wartime??

I draw a direct comparison of General Benedict Arnold of the Revolutionary War, to Lieutenant John Kerry. Both went off to war, fought, and then turned against their country. General Arnold crossed over to the British for money and position. John Kerry crossed over to the Vietnamese with his assistance to the anti-war movement, and his direct liaison with the Vietnamese diplomats in Paris. His reward: political gain. Senator, United States. His record as a Senator for twenty years has been pitiful. Conjure up, if you will, one major bill that he has sponsored. John Kerry for President? Ridiculous. Unthinkable. Unbelievable. Outrageous.

Col. Geo. "Bud" Day, Medal of Honor, Vietnam POW 1967- 1973, USMC- USA-USAF- Attorney 1949-2004

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