December 05, 2003


I'll try not to jump the gun on Hillary!'s latest rant, because it's coming from Drudge, and as much as I like Drudge he often gets things wrong. But he's got a bit of a shocker up that demands some kind of comment. Here's the gist:

She said that Bush, who campaigned as a "compassionate conservative" in 2000, had taken a "hard-right turn to pursue an extremist agenda" after moving into the White House.

"I don't know where it came from, but the fact is that this President Bush has not only been radical and extreme in terms of Democratic presidents but in terms of Republican presidents, including his own father," she says.

She believes Bush is beatable next year because his administration is "making America less free, fair, strong, smart than it deserves to be in a dangerous world."

"We have to change direction before irreparable harm is done," she adds.

"This administration is in danger of being the first in American history to leave our nation worse off than when they found it."

If Drudge has his facts right, that's the former First Lady and current junior senator from New York talking, in an interview for the Houston Chronicle. And what she says is worth unpacking.

She said that Bush, who campaigned as a "compassionate conservative" in 2000, had taken a "hard-right turn to pursue an extremist agenda" after moving into the White House.

Such as? The education bill, which he let Ted Kennedy write? The partial birth abortion ban, which is supported by something like 80% of the country? What in the world is she talking about? Tax cuts--again, majority support? The war--a necessity, and again, majority support? I wish one reporter somewhere would have the nads to ask for a clarification when a Democrat spouts this kind of nonsense. Just a simple follow-up will do, like "What specific hard right turn are you referring to?" But no, our press is too busy making a scandal out of a %$#$%% turkey in Baghdad. If I could gather all the "mainstream" press in a single room, I'd spit on them, curse them and tell them they're all a bunch of irrelevant idiots.

Anyway. Point #2:

"I don't know where it came from, but the fact is that this President Bush has not only been radical and extreme in terms of Democratic presidents but in terms of Republican presidents, including his own father," she says.

Let's see--FDR, whose wife Hillary! once channeled, tried to pack the Supreme Court to keep his own unconstitutional programs alive--but that's not as radical as Bush. During a war, FDR locked up a bunch of innocent American citizens who happened to be of the wrong skin color and stole their property. But Bush is the radical. For what? What makes him such a radical in Hillary!'s eyes? Again, press minions, a follow up would be illuminating. Is it just me, or is the press filled entirely with the most useless people on the planet? They can't do their jobs at all. A simple follow up, to clarify the point, is all I ask.

Anyway. Point 3.

She believes Bush is beatable next year because his administration is "making America less free, fair, strong, smart than it deserves to be in a dangerous world."

Again, a reporter who is awake would ask for some exposition of this sentence. How are we less free--the Patriot Act? Your own party drew up much of that thing, and voted for it. How did you vote, Mrs. C? How are we less fair? How are we less strong--from where I sit, the whole world is on notice that if they so much as look at us crosswise, we'll send in the Marines, and it's now obvious to all would-be enemies that taking us on is a bad idea. How are we less smart--is that another of those tired digs at Bush's brainpower? Give it a rest, lady. You've told us all already that you're the smartest freaking woman in the world--we get it. You need to get a new line. And lose a few pounds. A better haircut wouldn't hurt, either.

Point 4.

"We have to change direction before irreparable harm is done," she adds.

"This administration is in danger of being the first in American history to leave our nation worse off than when they found it."

My God, did this reporter just turn on the tape and leave the room? Follow-up, please. I get the "change direction" bit--it's just boilerplate politicking, nothing remarkable. But the rest. What sort of irreparable harm--an economy growing at rates that even your philandering hubby couldn't match? Is that "harm" to you? And how will we be worse off? We've wiped out the Taliban, a hostile regime your hubby didn't have the backbone to touch. We've put terror-states on notice that if they keep sending killers our way, we'll send our arsenal their way. How are we worse off? Is it because our tax rates got a little lower? Is it some reference to not giving the French everything they wanted at the UN? What the bloody $%$$#%$$ are you talking about, Hill? The reporter who filed this story, and his or her editor, should be sacked for this slapdash hack job (supposing Drudge got his facts right).

If reporters had brains, or were fair, or weren't just toadies for the most extreme leftwing ideologies in US politics today, they would try and pin Hill and her like down when they shovel this kind of crap. But we never get the justification or clarification, because the reporters are either incompetent or are too starstruck when Queen HillBilly enters the room, or they just take her rants as read. Or maybe red. Whatever.

As for Hillary!, I think her little blast is just more desperate talk from the left. They want to win so bad they're willing to say and do anything--lie, whatever--to get the brass ring. The Dems are in the grip of a small clique of ideologues who will toss up any canard that they think will damage their opponents and enhance their own political power. Those aren't my words, they're a paraphrase from life-long Democrat pollster Pat Cadell, talking about the Clintonites. The problem Hill et al have yet to understand is that they are lurching so far from the mainstream that all this bilge they spew just makes themselves dirty. It's too far away from the rest of us to do much harm.

Because President Bush, meanwhile, acts like a President. The Dems carp, and he just keeps doing his job. Today he swung through the Baltimore area and spoke at a local Home Depot. He fielded questions, he talked the talk and walked the walk of a leader. He has led us through two successful wars against enemies that deserved attacking and got what was coming to them. He has managed the economy well in spite of the recession he inherited and the shock the economy took on 9-11. He's not perfect, but he is presidential and he is more than competent. The Dems have no one who deserves even to stand on the same stage with him at this point. They're running a race-baiting "preacher" who has the blood of 8 people on his hands, a former senator whose chief claim to fame is a bunch of taxpayer-funded junkets to Africa, a demagogue who wants to create a Department of Peace, another demagogue who floats conspiracy theories that Bush somehow knew about or even planned 9-11 (and that demagogue is leading the pack at the moment), a censorious senator whose right about the war but wrong on nearly everything else (and who has turned his back on all the other issues he was once right about), a blow-dried trial lawyer, a former war hero who threw someone else's medal away to protest the war and who lives off a rich wife who firewalled a great deal of her money away from him, and a couple others that I can't remember. Oh yeah, a congressman who says his dad inspired him to be such a union go-getter (but that dad turned out to be a non-union Republican), and a general who can't decide for himself what he thinks about a little thing called THE WAR unless his handlers tell him. What a bunch of clowns. They're desperate, and this desperation is making them say crazy, damaging things. Damaging to themselves, mostly. Whoever they put up against Bush will be lucky to win a single state next year.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:28 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've been battling a wicked cold. I know, I know--cry me a river.

Anyhow, ever since the arrest of John Muhammad and his sidekick Lee Malvo, I've been one of the few crazy enough to insist that religion is a factor in their sniping spree of October 2002. Alex of the 12th Man has put together a very compelling post on the subject, which you should read now.

Now, once you've read it, also consider this: Malvo's letters refer to a number of motivations that justify, in his and Muhammad's minds, the killings. Among them, slavery and a "continued genocide" against blacks. Those letters were addressed to the Montgomery County police, which continued to insist well into the investigation that they were seeking two white men in a white van.

How likely is it that two white guys would cite slavery and some mythical genocide against blacks to justify a crime spree? Not very. But that's what the police, mainly through Chief Charles Moose, kept telling the public.

Now, there may have been good reasons for this. It's possible that Moose et al didn't want to somehow jeopardize the search by tipping the killers that the police were well on their trail. It may be that the police feared an escalation of attacks at area schools--a fear proved valid when a list of schools turned up in the snipers' car. But--they misled the public, whether from noble intent or not. They told us they were looking for a certain profile, when in fact they had much evidence that pointed away from that profile and toward another.

We need to know why.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:48 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 03, 2003


The Rev. Dr. Michael A. Newdow, Esq. -- physician, lawyer and founder of the First Amendmist Church of True Science -- has a restless, uncompromising mind, a mind that dissents radically from many widely accepted aspects of American life, from the pledge to family law to gender-specific pronouns in the English language. In his own writing, Newdow uses "ree" instead of "he" or "she," and "rees" instead of "his" or "her."

And until his daughter was around four years old, Newdow apparently often denied being her father. Now that he wants to use her as a prop in his various legal battles, though, he has become "a wonderful father." Well, those are his words. Not anyone else's. The girl's mother says she supposes he loves their daughter--"as much as it's possible for him to love anyone."

Sounds like a real prince.

Posted by B. Preston at 01:23 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Jane Fonda may claim to have become a Christian, but she remains an apallingly lousy thinker and a flaming feminist at war with masculinity. Roll tape:

It's possible that the extreme, neo-conservative version of Patriarchy which makes up our current Executive branch will over-play its hand and cause the house of cards to collapse. We know that this new "preventive war" doctrine will put us on a permanent war footing. We know there can't be guns and butter, right? We learned that with Vietnam.

Stop the tape--this is Hanoi Jane talking, brazenly referring to Vietnam without any mention of her own treasonous role in that war, nor any mention of the consequences paid for our eventual pullout. The Stalinists won, enslaving millions of their fellow Vietnamese. Many tried to escape on shoddy boats, and some made it our shores while many drowned or ended up in prison. Hanoi Jane is directly responsible for that. Anyway...she goes on to promote some sort of feminist revolution, which as she describes it is a war against all traditional roles, a war against masculinity, a war against everything she doesn't like. And she seems to mean it; she's a peacenik who wants to wage war on her fellow Americans. But as is typical of the lefty concept of war, it basically boils down to some sort of glorified sit-in, a lot of feelings and emotions, and an atmosphere of hot air:

So our challenge is to commit ourselves to creating the tipping point and the turning point. The time is ripe to launch a unified national movement, a campaign, a tidal wave, built around issues and values, not candidates.

That's why V-Day, The White House Project and their many allies are partnering to hold a national women's convention somewhere in the heartland, next June of 2004. Its purpose will be to inspire and mobilize women and vagina-friendly men around the 2004 elections and to build a new movement that will coalesce our energies and forces around a politic of caring.

"...vagina-friendly men." What do you suppose that means? Straights only? Just guys who are good in bed? Dick Gephardt? No, no, apparently it's nothing like that:

And then, of course, there are what Eve Ensler calls Vagina-Friendly men, who choose to remain emotionally literate. It's not easy for them – look at the names they get called: wimp, pansy, pussy, soft, limp, momma's boy.

Emotionally literate. M'kay. Whatever. So what will this intimidating alliance of radical womyn and flaccid girly-men and snivelling sissy-boys do once they're all in a big hugging circle of transcendant New Age power?

There will be a caravan, a rolling tour across the country, of diverse women leaders, celebrities and activists who will work with local organizers to build momentum, sign people up, register them to vote, get them organized and leave behind a tool kit for further mobilization through the election and beyond.

This movement will be a volcano that will erupt in a flow of soft, hot, empathic, breathing, authentic, vagina-friendly, relational lava that will encircle patriarchy and smother it. We will be the flood and we'll be Noah's arc. "V" for Vagina, for vote, for victory.

"Relational lava" to smother patriarchy? Ya just can't parody these people anymore.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention where I found this story in the first place. sent a link to it in their newsletter.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:54 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack


More proof that blog posts are here today, gone tomorrow, but the ideas they contain may live on. Or something like that.

Jonah Goldberg writes that we should set up an alterna-UN that includes only democracies. Tyrannies need not apply. In this way we minimize the Chinas but maximize the Indias; we dilute the stagnant backstabbing French by playing up the economically mighty and US-friendly Japanese. And by making democracy the password to get into the club, we promote democratic values and norms worldwide without having to kill anybody. It's so sensible that it can't possibly happen, but as an idea I like it.

In fact, I like it so much I've been saying the same darn thing for months. Look here. And here. And here. That first post is from February. The only obvious difference between Jonah's idea and mine is the name--he calls it the League of Democracies, I call it the Council of Democracies. LoD or CoD. Whatever, it's a good idea. Welcome to the party, Jonah. You're just under 10 months late, but it's good to have you.

The original idea wasn't mine; I stumbled across it on another blog somewhere and filed it away, but when I wanted to retrieve the original thoughts to write about them myself I discovered I'd failed to bookmark the original post. Too bad--that blog was obviously ahead of its time, and is probably a solid read now.

(thanks to Cold Fury)

MORE: On a tangential issue, the embryonic CoD may soon enlist 50 new member states. The Proliferation Security Initiative, which for now includes 11 states, may also start using "robust measures" to interdict WMD traffic on the seas and in the skies. The more I hear about John Bolton (Undersecretary of State, and architect of the PSI), the more I like him:

Bolton's remarks Tuesday also contained a message for nations who have criticized the United States for not relying more on the United Nations to resolve disputes, including the four other permanent members of the Security Council -- Russia, China, Britain and France.

He noted that neither the dispute over Iran's nuclear program nor the standoff over North Korea's efforts have been referred to the Security Council -- the former, because Britain and France objected, and the latter, because Russia and China did. In both cases, the United States went along, despite concerns that not referring such major issues to the council risk weakening it or rendering it irrelevant.

"We hope that the other four permanent members of the Security Council are aware of the long-term implications of these decisions, as we are," Bolton said. "Policies intended to bring about the termination of the Iranian and [North Korean] nuclear weapons programs, which result in reducing the council's role under the [U.N.] Charter, would truly be unfortunate and ironic."

Unfortunate and ironic, perhaps, but not surprising.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


The President's approval rating has risen to 61 percent, up 5 points from the days prior to his surprise trip to Iraq. It's fair to say that that trip, which was absolutely the right thing to do, helped boost his ratings as well.

But there's more to the story. President Bush's rising approval rating has reached into the Democrats' own kitty of voters, 55 percent of whom personally approve of President Bush. That's a nine-point rise, in about a week. These Democrats may disagree with his policies, but a majority of them think he's an okay guy. Keep in mind these Democrats see and hear the same things we do--about Enron and Halliburton, about the "WMD lies," etc, and they're more inclined to buy into anti-Bush rhetoric than non-Democrats. Yet they view him positively.

To me, this suggests that the Democrats who are currently driving the primaries and influencing their presidential candidates to keep moving left are out of the mainstream, even of their own party. They're too far to the left for their party's own good. The Howard Dean candidacy is fueled by a demagogue's anger and hatred of Bush that apparently is not a majority view within the party. When Dean wins the nomination next year, and it's his to lose at this point and he seems invulnerable to the kind of gaffes that typically destroy a candidate, he may find himself in command of a rump party. The majority of Democrats, the centrist and center-left components of the party, will probably not follow him over the electoral cliff. They will vote for Bush a la the "Reagan Democrats," or they will not vote. Dean is running like McGovern while taking advice from Jimmy Carter, and seems about as charming as a rattlesnake to those of us who see in his anger a slightly disturbing tendency to exaggerate Bush's faults and play to the hard left at the expense of rational discourse. He may lose next year in Mondale '84 proportions--or worse--if even at this stage a majority of his own party view President Bush favorably on a personal level. I doubt Dean himself could get a 55 percent personal approval rating from the Democrats.

But there is probably more fueling Bush's own surge than the turkey day trip to Iraq. The economy, after adjustments, grew at 8.2% last quarter. Jobless claims are down, new jobs are up. And now manufacturing has kicked in royally, the most robust growth in 20 years. The jump in manufacturing, which is a lagging indicator, tells the economic types that we're in for yet another positive quarter, but this past quarter was so strong that next quarter may look weak by comparison. So much for the "Bush economy" being the President's Achilles heel next year. It's looking more and more like a club that he can use to bludgeon Dean.

As for Iraq, no US President has ever lost an election by being too hard on the nation's enemies. In persuading the nation that Saddam Hussein must be removed from power, President Bush used nearly identical arguments to those the Clinton administration used, to futility, for the same purpose in 1998. The country was for the most part hawkish on Iraq then, and was even more hawkish after 9-11. The principal differences, the ones that ultimately brought about Congressional support for military action, seem to have come down to the events of 9-11 and the personal leadership employed by Bush and his national security team. In 1998, virtually no one took the Clinton team seriously when it tried to use a town hall meeting broadcast exclusively on one cable network from a university to argue in favor of war. They just didn't seem serious; the whole thing played as farce. But the Bush team, in speech after speech and before the world and the UN, made essentially the same arguments the Clinton team had, and carried the day. They got Congressional support, and a majority of the American public lined up behind them. They got a new UNSC resolution promising serious consequences for further Iraqi misbehavior. They built a real coalition, mustered its armies, and actually removed Saddam from power. No US President has ever lost his job for liberating millions of people, even if they happen to live halfway around the world. President Bush won't be the first. As the Iraqi security situation turns a positive corner, as is likely, next fall President Bush will be seen rightly as the man who led us through two successful wars, and who has kept terrorists from mounting a major strike on US soil in three years.

He will be very tough to beat for a credible candidate. Dean will probably find defeating Bush impossible.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:40 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 02, 2003


Has anyone out there ever actually been around real, live drunken sailors? I ask, because there's a meme going around now that Sen. John McCain shouldn't have insulted drunken sailors by suggesting that the Bush administration is spending money in a fashion reminiscent of inebriated seamen, because at least such men (and women, one supposes) are actually spending their own money. The Bush administration's free-spending ways tap into your funds, my funds, everyone's funds, and comparing them to drunken sailors does a disservice to drunken sailors, or so says the meme.

Maybe we need some sort of national service program, or some way to get more people who opine for a living or on blogs in contact with actual sailors. Because no one who has been around real drunken sailors would say that at least drunken sailors just spend their own money. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A few years ago, I was in the US Air Force but out to sea with the USS Blue Ridge. She's a fine ship, a floating command center complete with a mini-NORAD type room from which to conduct theatre-level combined operations. Blue Ridge is the flagship of the Seventh Fleet, so much a showplace that the sailors who call her home joke that her designation, LCC-19, doesn't refer to her landing, command and control capabilities, but to the fact that officers always say to the crew "Let's continue cleaning, 19 hours a day." It's not all that witty, but you get the point.

I accompanied Blue Ridge to the Japanese port of Nagasaki on her first visit there, ever. The city that Truman nuked welcomed the high-level US Navy presence with mostly open arms--a regatta of fishing vessels, a small fleet of helicopters, and even a brass band greeted us as we pulled in. Yeah, there were a dozen or so protestors, enough for CNN to label a Million Man March or something, but nothing really unusual. Looking back, the protestors were probably North Korean dupes anyway.

After we pulled in, some sailors I'd been hanging out with for the three day cruise down invited me to roam the city with them. I took them up on it, having no idea what I was getting myself in for. I forgot about the whole drunken sailor thing, but the boys reminded me of it before long.

After walking around and around Nagasaki, night crept in and we set up camp in a sushi bar. That was my idea, thinking that Nagasaki's reputation for fresh sushi must be put to the test. While enjoying the fresh toro, the shrimp, the works, a TV behind the barkeep showed news video of our arrival. We reacted and the patrons started asking us if we were from the ship. We said we were, and rivers of sake began to flow our way. The patrons and owner were happy to have us there, happy to get to know us, and apparently happy to get us smashed.

I'm not the drinking type, so I never touched the tide of alcohol that washed over us. But I observed that the more sake my compatriots consumed, and it was top drawer hootch, the more money they spent. Soon they'd run out of their own, and were spending mine. Meanwhile, the patrons kept volunteering more Asahi biru, more sake, more of anything liquid the sailors wanted. One tipsy sailor started massively hitting on a female patron, to such an extent that she began to get nervous. I halted the proceedings with a word or two, which got shrugged off but did their job.

Yeah, I was being a bit of a killjoy, but I also probably stopped an international incident. During our stroll back to the ship, which included several detours and backtracks while my affected friends tried to pretend sobriety, we witnessed a sailor getting arrested for something, and another riding a bicycle down the middle of a major thoroughfare, against the traffic. He was lucky that there was little traffic at that hour, or he'd have been a casualty of the friendship port call.

The moral of the story, if there is one, is this: Drunken sailors do not limit themselves to spending their own money, contrary to the current meme bouncing around the 'sphere. They'll spend their cash until they run out, then they'll either reach for the plastic money in their wallets or for the green money in yours if you happen to be with them. They'll also happily indulge in anything that anyone wants to buy for them. I think the Nagasaki sushi bar's chief patron must have spent several hundred dollars soaking American sailors that night, and the other patrons chipped in healthy amounts too.

All of which does describe how the Bush administration has been throwing around money on non-defense spending. They have been spending like drunken sailors out on the town, or at least like the drunken sailors that I hung out with in Nagasaki.

The sushi was unbelievably good, btw, the type that just melts in your mouth.

Posted by B. Preston at 05:37 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Why do we bother with the UN? And why do the Democrats insist that if we'd just let the UN handle everything, it'll all work out in the end? A new UN report concludes that, basically, the UN hasn't been effective in dealing with al Qaeda:

The report comes as Chile's UN ambassador Heraldo Munoz, who heads the council committee supervising the sanctions, was preparing to lead a mission later Monday to visit Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other nations.

The panel concluded that many nations are not taking the steps needed to crack down on terror groups and called on the UN Security Council to pass a new resolution that would compel nations to comply.

"The risk of al-Qaeda acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction... continues to grow," it said.

"Without a much tougher and more comprehensive resolution... little or no progress will be achieved with regard to the sanctions regime imposed on Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, their associates and associated entities."

Yeah, pass a new resolution. That'll teach 'em! Those terrorists will be quaking in their boots.

A modest suggestion: The Democrats use the UN to absolve themselves of responsibility. They can play peacenik on the one hand to their base by calling for an end to strictly US operations, but then to the rest of us they can point to the UN and say that it should be used to handle everything. Terrorism is, after all, a global problem, they'll say, so why not let the global legislature handle it? Of course, there's a giant problem with that thinking: There's no way to insure that member states will take effective action. The entire civilized world, and much of the rest of the world, agrees that al Qaeda is a problem, yet according to the UN few nations actually put any mustard into their drives to kill the beast. Many of them just don't want to put themselves in al Qaeda's crosshairs by siding publicly with us. As for the rest, they, too, pass off responsibility to the UN. The UN's existence is quite convenient for any state actor that wants to look tough while doing nothing. They can just demand in local speeches that the UN do this or that, then quietly scuttle any real UN action at the next meeting. Then there are the dictatorships and tyrannies that actually support terrorism, yet sit in good stead with the UN anyway. If responsible UN members want anything effective done about terrorism, a good place to start would be putting hard raps on other member states that support terrorism, even kicking out the worst offenders like Iran.

But they'll never do that; it would require real action. And the UN is useless for that.

Posted by B. Preston at 02:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Interesting piece about scientists increasingly running out of ways to exclude God from creation:

Newer issues, such a biological tensegrity, are breaking new ground in biology, pointing to never before seen aspects, such as cytoskeletons that provide shape to cells with implications that point to issues of community and the need for connection, even at the cellular level. Questions about the very nature of the universe continue to challenge what scientists think they know and point them back again and again to the aspects of a Wholly Other.

I have to say, I have seen *some* evidence of a new openness and acceptance of religious thought among astronomers in the past few years. Most are still atheists or agnostics, but a few have come out of the belief closet in the past three or four years, and some of those who have come out are both prominent and influential. One of them, Alan Sandage, probably has the best pedigree of any living astronomer--he was Edwin Hubble's assistant when Hubble discovered galaxies beyond our own, and therefore the expansion of the universe, which led to Big Bang theory. Sandage is an evangelical Christian, having come to faith directly from his deep knowledge of the universe.

As for Hubble, today's lefty peacenik scientists would have a hard time dealing with him. He was a hawk, and favored pre-emption against Japan in 1939. During the war, he used his scientific abilities to improve the accuracy of US ballistics, and thus played a key role in defeating Hitler and Tojo.

Saddam's (and Bashir Assad's) Baath parties are direct descendants of Nazi ideology, through the Vichy French connection. I suspect Hubble would have had no problem with waging war to strike down Saddam, especially in light of 11 years of futility with UN sanctions.

Posted by B. Preston at 02:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


If the Republicans in the Senate actually found a clue, they could essentially end the Democrats' judicial filibusters and put them on a semi-permanent defensive stance for the upcoming elections. But alas, the GOP isn't known as the stupid party for nothing, and is apparently incapable of countering the evil party effectively, even when it commands both the moral high ground and the strategic advantage.

What am I talking about? Those memos, the ones that show for a fact that the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have been puppets for various hard left activist groups for the past couple of years. Imagine for a second that a pile of memos demonstrating conclusively that the GOP had been taking orders--not mere suggestions, but orders--from various far right groups, or from industries with vested interests in pending legislation surfaced. Imagine how the press would treat that disclosure--it would be Watergate times two. Imagine how the Dems would treat it--Washington would probably be in the grips of serious scandal fever. And for good reason, really. The parties are meant as ideological vehicles, and as competitive yin and yang to keep government relatively honest and somewhat functional. They are not, however, meant to be merely the above ground operation for various unelected heads of various fringe groups that prefer to operate below the horizon, or that operate out of sight because the American people reject their radical opinions. The Democrat memos prove, conclusively, that at least several very influential elected Democrats have been merely robots for left lobbying groups outside the mainstream--way outside, in the case of one or two of them. They have not been acting as elected representatives of the people; rather, they have been controlled by people who are unaccountable to the public at large. I hope you agree with me that this is a very bad thing.

So, given those facts, one could assume that the GOP would press the Dems to stop being minions of the left and start assuming their Constitutional responsibility to offer advice and consent to the President regarding his choices of appointments. One should never assume anything with the Senate Republican leadership, though, which has instead opted to turn up the heat on the staffer who gathered and leaked the memos to the press. That might make sense if the staffer actually did something illegal, but according to the original recipient of the leak, the Wall Street Journal, the staffer did no such thing.

Now back to the accused staffer. The excerpts from the memos appeared in the Journal on a Friday. By Monday, Democrats had succeeded in turning the spotlight away from the memos and onto the leaks. In this, they had the help of two unlikely allies: Chairman Hatch and Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist. Sen. Frist knew the Medicare bill was coming up for debate that week and, as one Republican insider explains, he wanted "to keep the partisanship down." Remember--this is the GOP leadership's response to Democratic memos containing such niceties as "most of Bush's nominees are nazis." By Sunday night, Nov. 16, the two GOP leaders authorized the Capitol Police to secure the committee's server room and obtain backup copies of the computer tapes on which staffers' files were kept. Over the next week two federal prosecutors conducted interviews of 50 committee staffers. Then, just before Thanksgiving, Mr. Hatch announced that he was putting an unnamed GOP staffer on administrative leave "pending the outcome of the full investigation." The next step is for forensic computer experts to evaluate the tapes. The total cost of placating the Democrats is expected to add up to $500,000.

A statement put out last week by Mr. Hatch's office says that the accused staffer "improperly accessed at least some of the documents referenced in the media reports." That accusation bears scrutiny in light of how the committee's computer system is organized: Until Nov. 16, all Judiciary staffers used the same computer server and had access to a shared drive, a system put in place when Sen. Leahy took over as chairman in 2001 and hired his own IT staff.

The Leahy techies neglected to put up a firewall between the GOP and Democratic staff, making it possible for all staffers to read everything posted on the shared drive. No one hacked into anyone's private files. These are, in effect, Leahy leaks.

So the memos came from a shared system, with no wall between the parties and their files. Leahy, one of the Dems named in the memos as servant to the fringe, is responsible for the configuration of the system in question (to the extent that any official is responsible, at any rate, since he procured both the system and the staff that set it up). The GOP staffer seems to be in the clear here, but the Dems ethically should remain on the hook. They have in effect sold their seats to lobbyists, and have become mere tools instead of representatives. But Senators Hatch and Frist have turned to linguini spined enablers, allowing the Dems to shift blame from themselves and onto the staffer. Idiots. And in the mean time, Bush's appointments continue to be grounded for the worst of reasons--because various lefty lobbying groups want to influence certain cases (thus openly politicizing the judicial process down to its roots), or because some of them might draw minority support away from the Dems, or because the lefty lobbying groups think all of Bush's appointment are "nazis." One of the memos actually says that. As an aside, ponder what would happen if a GOP memo surfaced that described all Dem nominees as "Communists." The furor would shake Washington to its roots.

So the GOP is, as usual, trying to play nice with a bunch of people incapable of playing fair, and for their trouble they'll probably end up losing a quality staffer and take a few undeserved bruisings in the press. The real scandal is the memos and their content, not how they found their way to the press. No top secret material got disclosed, no military operations have been compromised. What has been compromised is the integrity of the Democrat party and its operations on the Hill, and by extension the process of vetting and approving nominees to the bench. And I would say that the compromise extends far enough that it threatens how well the government itself can function. One side is playing in bad faith and getting away with it, while the other side seems intent on helping sweep the whole thing under the rug. A pox on all of them.

(thanks to Hanks)

Posted by B. Preston at 12:12 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


If this report is true--that several prominent Christian and Jewish groups have allied with terror-connected Islamist groups to oppose gay marriage--somebody has a lot of explaining to do. The end, stopping gay marriage, does not justify the means, aligning with murderers and those who fund and support murderers. There is just no excuse for allowing "diversity" to trump principle.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 01, 2003


Finally, all of Gary Larson's cartoons in one hefty book. If someone wants to be reaallllyyyy nice to me this Christmas.......

Posted by B. Preston at 10:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Arab News, official press organ for the Saudi entity, is cheerleading for Hillary!'s possible run for the White House. Most interesting line:

Arab News notes that "there may be many in the Middle East who would have great hopes" if a Democrat were to defeat Bush in 2004.

Yeah, and their names are Arafat, Assad, Hussein, Omar, bin Laden (if he's still alive, that is), the mullahs in Tehran, the Saudi royal family...they'd all be real happy if this country turned our foreign policy over to the appeasement party. A weird guy named Kim might not be too displeased as well.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


The US Supreme Court will rule on the right to have sex with your, ahem, fellow man--though such a right is nowhere to be found written in the Constitution. But it refuses to rule on the right to bear arms--a right that is expressly written as the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

What am I missing here?

Posted by B. Preston at 09:59 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


The Hollywood left reaches a new low. They hate our president, and they're loud and proud about it.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


On Saturday, two Japanese diplomats were killed in Iraq. One of them, 45-year-old Katsuhiko Oku, had earlier lost a friend in the bombing of the UN compound. Rather than being shaken by that experience, his diary shows that he understood why the mission in Iraq is so important:

By chance, amid the rubble of the building, Mr Oku found the name card of his friend, the Unicef worker Christopher Klein-Beekman.

He wrote in his diary: "It was as though the card was telling me: 'My Japanese friend, go straight ahead. Don't hesitate. There are things that must be done'."

In November, after visiting the site of a suicide bombing in Nassiriya, he wrote: "What we should learn from this tragedy is to have stronger determination not to yield to terrorists. Terrorist attacks could happen anywhere in the world. The elimination of terrorism is therefore a goal to be sought by all of us."


Posted by B. Preston at 09:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


It's a three-fer Fisking smackdown! World Magazine's Max Goss plants boots in the keisters of Molly Ivins, Al Franken and Michael Moore (in whose keister Goss probably lost one or more of his boots, and maybe his leg up to the knee).

AL FRANKEN CALLS KARL ROVE "human filth," Ari Fleischer a "chimp," and John Ashcroft "something of a nutcase." Michael Moore calls President Bush a "nitwit" and (in the voice of God, no less) a "devil." Molly Ivins manages to insult millions at once when she approvingly quotes William Brann's crack that "the trouble with our Texas Baptists is that we do not hold them under water long enough." Mean-spirited, you say? No, it's all in good fun, the authors say.

That's their technique: spewing hatred but saying it's funny. Or as Mr. Franken likes to say, "kidding on the square," purporting to tell a joke but really meaning it. Though he might not admit it, Mr. Franken, along with fellow humor writers Molly Ivins and Michael Moore, specializes in kidding on the square. You don't care for their reliance on ad hominem, innuendo, guilt, and distortion? Why, you must have missed the joke. As Mr. Moore once remarked, "How can there be inaccuracy in comedy?"

And there you have Moore et all summed up neatly--it's only a lie if I mean it, and since I don't really mean it (wink wink), it's not really a lie.

Soooo...Moore doesn't really mean what he's saying, when he calls Americans dumb and ignorant? When he lamely ties defense contractors to the killers of Columbine, it's just all in good fun? Well pardon me if I'm not ROFLOL.

It's a clever tactic, really. Mr. Franken and company can assert anything they want, no matter how ludicrous, to prove that President Bush and his cohorts are bent on destroying America—and anyone who complains is branded a sourpuss. Nor are these writers above poisoning the well with innuendo and gossip. Convinced that Mr. Bush has been corrupted by money and religion, they never tire of pointing out his supposedly incriminating associations with business and religious leaders.

Yup. That's how they work all right. Well, occassionally Franken will challenge Rich Lowry to a fight. All in good fun, of course.

Goss divides to conquer, taking on the axis of idiotarians one at a time. Franken gets it first:

Mr. Franken's preferred strategy is guilt-mongering. He writes a darkly comic chapter from the perspective of a fictional teenager working under miserable conditions in a Bangladesh shoe factory. The moral of the story? "Free trade may not be good for everybody. It may not be good for you, my reader, or for the Kharap Jutas of the world, of which there are three or four billion." There is no excuse for hazardous working conditions or forced labor, as almost any conservative will grant, but what Mr. Franken doesn't mention is what life would have been like for Kharap Juta had the factory not been built. Why work in such a factory in the first place if it didn't promise a better life? Mr. Franken never answers this question. Once he's pushed our buttons, he moves on, apparently uninterested in discussing any merits of global free trade. Devious, you say? You must have missed the joke.

Then he goes after Chunkybutt:

Michael Moore specializes in outrageously cynical rumor-mongering, and devotes the first chapter of his book to entertaining paranoid theories about the president's supposed protection of Saudi dignitaries in the wake of Sept. 11. Mr. Moore suggests that "certain factions within the Saudi royal family" masterminded the attacks, and that Mr. Bush helped many Saudis evade prosecution, obstructing justice to protect his family's financial interests.

These allegations would be disturbing indeed if they weren't utterly groundless. In a recent article for, a nonpartisan media watchdog, Bryan Keefer points out that Mr. Moore ignores "mountains of evidence connecting the hijackers to al-Qaeda." Although there is some evidence that the hijackers received funding from the Saudis, Mr. Keefer notes, "there is no evidence that the Saudi government or Saudi officials helped plan the Sept. 11 attacks." It appears Mr. Moore's imagination got the better of him. As he said himself in his Oscar acceptance speech, "We live in fictitious times."

Maybe you live in fictitious times, Mikey, whatever that means. The rest of us live in the real world, where lies and liars are bad things. Evidence is, you're a liar:

Mr. Moore also criticizes the Patriot Act, citing eight shocking examples of what he calls "FBI abuse." But as Mr. Keefer points out, "None of the incidents he lists ... happened as a result of the Patriot Act, nor did any of them involve the FBI." Mr. Keefer learned this in many cases from Mr. Moore's own sources.

Finally, professional Texan Molly Ivins gets her bigoted lies laundered:

Molly Ivins lives by cynical innuendo, especially concerning the president's Christian faith. Of course she's not alone. Mr. Moore calls him a "nitwit" for believing in Providence, and Mr. Franken, after noting Mr. Bush's belief that Christian faith is necessary for salvation, counts him among those who "like to exclude others from heaven." But Ms. Ivins seems to harbor a special animus toward Christians, at least those Christians with the gall to believe Christianity is true. She scoffs at Franklin Graham's prayer "in Jesus' name" at the president's inauguration, and records with evident horror the president's claim that he could never have stopped drinking without the grace of God. How retrograde!

Ms. Ivins is convinced that the president's foreign policy is dictated by apocalyptic theology. She blames Pastor James Hagee of San Antonio, to whom (she fails to note) Mr. Bush has no direct connection. Pastor Hagee is from Texas; he has apparently said that the United States should help Israel destroy Yasser Arafat's regime and seize full control of Jerusalem and the West Bank; he pushed for the removal of Saddam Hussein; Mr. Bush has shown support for Israel and recently invaded Iraq. Conclusion? The Bush administration has decided to "fall in behind the likes of the Reverend James Hagee."

Yeah, that's about what you'd expect from the woman who says that the problem with Texas Baptists is they we don't hold them under water long enough. Is it a joke, or an invitation to genocide? Or both? By hiding it in humor, Ivins masks a serious tendency to advocate mass murder. A charming Texas rose, that one.

Goss ends solidly, noting the irony inherent in the rising popularity of the three lefty lunatics:

Ironically, the three authors attack the alleged dishonesty of the president and his supporters but apparently have very few scruples about their own practices. Each relies almost exclusively on insults, unsubstantiated allegations, and misrepresentation of the facts to "prove" that conservatives are liars. Why not? This is satire, after all—the more outrageous, the better. Strangely, for all his talk of "kidding on the square," Mr. Franken never mentions what is most obvious: It's an essentially deceptive strategy. Kidding on the square lets us say whatever we want without having to own up to it. If someone takes offense, we don't have to give an answer. We can just wink and ask, "Can't you take a joke?"

I've given away the ending here, but you should check out the whole thing.

Posted by B. Preston at 01:10 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 30, 2003


On December 1, 2001, the JunkYardBlog climbed up from the ooze of the primordial blogosphere and assumed its rightful place near the bottom of the as yet unnamed ecosystem it inhabited. On that first day it got its first InstaPundit link, merely for announcing its existence and letting Glenn know that he'd been part of my inspiration to start a blog. It was easier to get the big guys to link you back in the old days. I didn't have a hit counter then, so I have no idea what kind of traffic he sent my way that day. The term "Instalanche" hadn't been invented yet.

When I logged on to Blogspot and set up the JYB's initial templates, there were far fewer bloggers out there, and fewer still that called themselves Christians. But there were lots of blogs that bashed Christians, and equated us with the terrorists that murdered so many just a few months earlier, so I set out with two missions--to defend the war to skeptics, and defend Christians to the other bloggers and readers out there who mindlessly lumped us in with the bad guys. Hopefully I haven't strayed too far from those missions, though I have probably added a few new purposes since then.

I won't recount everything this blog has been through, though it has been through quite a lot. It once stirred up enough controversy to prompt the Wall Street Journal to call me for quotes. It has been mentioned by Jonah Goldberg, Howie Kurtz and the late Michael Kelly in major columns, yet still remains just a large mammal in the grand scheme of things. It has earned me one or two death threats, as well as numerous offers to expand various parts of my body while shrinking other parts (for a fee, I suppose). It has earned me many friends, but hardly a cent in income (yeah, that's about as close to blegging as I get--but to those of you who have contributed to this site in the past and who host it in the present, a sincere thanks). Rather than shoot up a big laundry list of stuff that will just bore you to tears, I thought I'd put up a list of the posts that came to my virus-infected mind tonight (Thanksgiving was great, but I'm not thankful for the Cowboys humiliating loss nor for the suffocating cold I somehow picked up) as the best in JYB history. Well, my best anyway. We do have a second writer around here though he's been on the lam a bit lately, and if Chris turns up he may add some of his own to the list too. He has contributed mightily to the JYB since becoming the other half of its brain. His work on the sniper case, the Jayson Blair scandal and the Akhbar fragging incident stand out as among his shrewdest work--I found myself reading my own blog when he was writing that stuff, just to see where he'd take the story next. Chris, you have an amazing ability to size up a story and figure out how it will end before anyone else does.

Anyhow, here's the list of my best posts that I could think of. It's by no means complete and in no particular order, just fyi:

Forget Iraq, Let's Invade Mexico (yes, it's a parody, but it fooled one or two of you)

Shifting to the Sand (we need to reorganize our military, and may already be, though not in the way that I expected)

Why Iraq, and Why Now? (Reasons for war that stand up pretty well to the post-Saddam phase of history. No WMDs? No problem. My argument is predicated not on the belief that Saddam already had them, but that we should never let him have them and war was the only way to prevent it. UPDATE: I was right about prevention, it seems--UN-leashed Saddam was still trying to get his hands on long-range missiles via North Korea, missiles which were illegal under the inspections/sanctions regime.)

Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? (this is the one that got the WSJ to ring me up--also inspired the creation of a whole web site that tracks the comings and goings of terrorists in incredible detail)

The Staggering Gods (we live in interesting times)

Nukng Japan, Part II, Last Word on the Subject, Still More Nuking, and I Can't Let Go of the Issue (Don't argue with me about Truman's decision to drop the big one on Hirohito. Just don't. You've been warned.)

Dr. Vollertsen's Crusade for Human Rights in North Korea (probably not among the best written posts here, but Dr. Norbert Vollertsen doesn't get enough attention)

Zero Sum (the with-us-or-with-the-terrorists calculation is still true)

Rolling Thunder (explains why I called this site "JunkYardBlog," and digs into Vietnam to learn a few lessons about warfare)

Day Trip (a stroll through the Antietam battlefield conjures up thoughts about our war)

Surprised by the Newsboys (I'm not all blood and guts, ya know...)

Knowledge and Innocence (on meeting a mentor)

Harry Potter: Son of Satan or Wizard for the Lord? (I look at the Harry Potter phenomenon from a religious point of view)

Gregg Easterbrook, Arch Villian (defending TMQ from the jackals of the blogosphere)

Gay Marriage and the Influence of One Marriage on All (yeah, that again)

And the JYB managed to gain toeholds on more fruitful shores once in a while. Here are links to some of our pieces that have actually been published by real live news and info sites:

Red River Run (the real story behind the Texas redistricting fiasco--suffice it to say you'll never get this angle from Josh Marshall, because it's based on actual facts)

Shocked! War's Reality Surprises the Media (Chris Regan and I suggest that there may be some Stockholm syndrome going on in Iraq--still a possibility, I think)

Inside Al Qeada's Training Camps (couldn't have done this one without a well-placed informant--and I got to pitch this piece within the storied offices of National Review, to Kate O'Beirne and Ramesh Ponnuru)

Dead Even in Maryland (Dem stronghold Maryland's statehouse fell to the GOP for the first time since Agnew in 2002, and I had that story's pulse earlier than most)

Lifting the Racial Siege (how the Party of Lincoln can reclaim its rightful place as the party of all races)

Genesis: Relic or Relevant? (my read on how Genesis lines up with science)

Blind Ambition (I unlock one of the great mysteries of the modern TV age--why do so many go to such lengths to make such fools of themselves on sydicated trash TV shows?)

I hope you can find something useful or at least somewhere north of yawn-inspiring in all this flotsam and bilge. Heck, most days I'd settle for "readable" and be happy.

Two years. Not a long time, really, but I'm glad that more than three-quarters of a million times during the past two years, surfers looking either for interesting thoughts or pictures of Melissa Stark or reasons to Fear the Turtle have found the JYB and called it, um, the JYB. And a big thanks to all of you who actually come back to the joint once in a while, and to those of you who blog and link back to this blog, and to those of you who snare me in arguments in the comment threads. You make it fun, and that really is the main point of blogging.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:29 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack