Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Wrong Army

It appears that we have the wrong army.
That's right, America has the wrong Army. I don't know how it happened, but it did. We have the wrong Army. It's too small; it's not deployed properly; it's inadequately trained, and it doesn't have the right sort of logistical support. It's a shambles. I have no idea how those guys even manage to fight.
An anonymous member of the Navy USN Chief Jeff Edwards explains why. (Hat tip: Instapundit)

UPDATED 25-Aug-05 with the author's name, and a link to the original column. Chief Edwards's columns have also been linked on the sidebar.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

All Oriana, All the Time.

I feel her writings are the most lucid exposition of the neowarmonger reality, it throbs with passion trying to breath life into a culture too corrupt to fight for survival. Here's part II. What a treasure. Who in the world can be compared to our beloved Oriana?

Arianna Makes Sense

It's nice to see someone on the left promote the "Judith Miller outed Plame" theory. Of course Huffy still has to get hysterical about the lies that rushed us to war. "Miller -- intentionally or unintentionally -- worked hand in glove in helping the White House propaganda machine". While I hear in the "unintentional" that reasonable people relied on bad intel, no lying involved, it sounds like if Miller's going down we have an angle: Of course, she was a neowarmonger. Hey Frank Rich, it writes itself.

Run, Dick, Run!

I've long been a huge fan of Dick Cheney. There's no point in him running for the presidency, though, because aside from his own vote, those of his wife and daughters, and mine, well, I don't know where the other 50M or so he'd need would come from...

However, Helen Thomas has now promised that if Cheney does run for president, she will commit suicide.

Run, Dick, run!

UPDATE (1-Aug-05): Ms Thomas is upset that her pledge, which was intended for her interlocutor's ears only, were published:

"I'll never talk to a reporter again!" Thomas was overheard saying. "We were just talking -- I was ranting—and he wrote about it. That isn't right. We all say stuff we don't want printed"
Yes, we do, but when the speaker happened to be someone Thomas doesn't like, has she ever had any hestiation in printing it anyway? I highly doubt it. Goose, meet this bottle of gander sauce. (Hat tip: Instapundit)

Second Thoughts on London Shooting

Mark Steyn makes some interesting points in this column, some of which I find more convincing than others. So does Gary McGath. The initial picture I had of how the shooting went down was largely premised on de Menezes realising that the people waving guns at him, and shouting at him to stop, were in fact legitimate policemen, something that may not have been all that clear if they were in plain clothes and did not identify themselves. But it is one fact that Steyn supplies that gives me most cause to change my mind. One of the main reasons given for why the police suspected de Menezes is that he was wearing a bulky overcoat, in the heat of summer. In Israel, that has emerged as a major warning sign for someone carrying an explosive belt, and in fact every year when winter rolls around there is always concern that this makes it easier for suicide bombers to blend in.

But Steyn points out one thing that I had not seen elsewhere, and that, in retrospect, I should have at least suspected: the temperature in London that day was about 17°C /62°F and overcast. Now for London that may count as a hot summer day, and in that weather I go around in a T-shirt, with a jumper tied around my waist just in case it turns chilly. I certainly wouldn't be wearing a thick fleece jacket, as de Menezes, I gather, was. But, as Steyn points out, de Menezes was from Brazil, and back in Gonzaga, if the temperature ever drops that low, I imagine they do break out whatever passes for cold-weather gear, shiver around the campfire, and worry about global cooling and the coming Ice Age. So for him to be dressed like that might not have been that remarkable. There also seems to be some question over whether his jacket was in fact bulky enough to be useful in hiding an explosive belt (though I wouldn't put a whole lot of trust in this particular source).

Related links:
Wikipedia
Dafydd ab Hugh

UPDATE (21-Aug-05): As we now know, the story that emerged immediately after the shooting was complete bullshit. De Menezes was not wearing a bulky jacket, he did not run from anybody - identified police or not - he did not jump the barrier, and the only running he did was when he saw his train pull in, as I'm sure dozens of other people did too. The man who shot him should be prosecuted.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Mugged by Reality

neo-con-ser-va-tive (n) 1 : A liberal that has been mugged by reality.

While the above definition is reasonably humorous, but not at all perfect, it may aptly describe the newest collection of 'warmonger' converts that have come to see that their beloved multicultural pieties are nothing but empty illusions.

Monday, July 25, 2005

"Homicide Bombers"

Yeah, I'm a bit late to the party on this one. Two weeks ago, everyone was blogging about Fox's silly insistence on saying "homicide bomber". While the original sentiment behind the introduction of this phrase may be understandable, it has turned in Fox's hands into a sort of unthinking PC-speak, like those strange people who, obviously operating on PC-autopilot, speak of "African-American cats", or of the plight of "African-American Sudanese". Like many others, I came to this conclusion 2 or so years ago, when the President came up with this locution, and Fox adopted it with such enthusiasm. "Homicide bomber" sounds redundant and blurs a significant distinction; after all, every bomber aims to kill others, but it's important to distinguish between one who is also willing to kill himself, and one who is not.

But. On further reflection, this isn't really true.
Historically, many (probably most) bombers with whom we in the West have had to deal in the past, have not been homicide bombers. That is, they did not wish or intend to kill anyone. The IRA, for instance, would generally call in warnings when it planted bombs, so that the area could be evacuated and, they hoped, nobody would be killed. And in the USA, both the Weathermen and the bombers of abortion mills tended to set off their bombs at night, with the aim of minimising or eliminating fatalities. These measures didn't always work, of course, and the bombers were often justly convicted of reckless disregard for human life, but nevertheless their intent was not killing. Homicide bombing, i.e. terrorist bombing with the intent of killing people, has been far from the norm for most of the 20th century.

So it is meaningful to speak of bombers who do intend to kill as "homicide bombers", to distinguish them from bombers for whom the death of any person, if it occurs, is merely an unintended result of their recklessness. And yet, it is still useful to subdivide the category of homicide bombers into those who intend to kill themselves as well, and those who don't; and "suicide bomber" captures this distiction — I don't think there are any bombers who intend to kill themselves but not others, so "suicide bomber" should be taken to imply "homicide bomber" within it, with no need to specify.

Presidential Straw Poll

Patrick Ruffini's having a Presidential straw poll, but the choice is fairly limited. Which of the following would you vote for: George Allen, Bill Frist, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney. Well, for me, both Guiliani and McCain are right out. In the unlikely event that either of them wins the Republican nomination, I will not vote for them in the general election, nor lift a finger to help them win. I'm not particularly impressed with Frist, and know practically nothing about Allen or Romney. Out of those five, I guess if I had to make a choice I'd go with Romney. At least he's had some governing experience, and I don't know that he's made a particular mess of it. I've seen how Guiliani governs, and the word that comes to mind is "authoritarian" (well, that's one word that comes to mind...). I know we have at least one regular reader who works in Massachusetts, and has been able to see Romney's governing style up close and personal, and to compare it to that of several previous MA governors; please comment with your thoughts. Or post to your blog, and put a link in the comments here.

John Roberts - An "Easy" confirmation Process?

The conventional wisdom seems to be that John Roberts will sail through the confirmation process, insomuch as that is possible. The logic tends to go something like: if Ann Coulter does not like him and Daily Kos hates him, he's fine for the 99 and 44/100% of us left in the middle.

Michael Barone, whose opinions are better informed than most pundits, agrees that mounting a serious "Bork"ing effort will probably fizzle before it gets going, as part of a good article on the efforts/failures to deligitmize the Bush presidency. Hell, even the editorial staff at the Washington comp-Post agree, saying that 'In general, Judge Roberts's work on the court has been elegantly crafted, legally precise and of very high quality' and that 'Judge Roberts's work as a judge is too brief to recommend him especially highly as a justice; his main qualification is his long and excellent career as a practitioner. But neither will mining it yield anything disparaging. His two years on the D.C. Circuit have been a credit to it'.

Their lone "criticism" of his record is one decision that is 'troubling because it suggests a too-narrow view of Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce -- the constitutional backbone of the modern regulatory state [read: Nanny state]'. God forbid! A justice that may have reservations about further stretching a clause that his been comically/tragically over-applied by the SCOTUS for the better part of 150 years.

The kicker is I don't think that any of this will stop the Bidens and Kennedys from trying. Basically, a viable plan of attack would involve asking questions that, if Ginsberg were the nominee and a Republican was asking, would be totally out-of-bounds and then trashing the guy for being evasive. And we all know the NYT, WP, LAT, CBS, NBC, ABC, et al. will give them a huge PR assist. Its starting already! I really hope that I'm wrong and that the CW is right, but something tells me this is still going to get extremely bloody. The militant wing of the Democratic party (the wing that also coughs up all the dough) cannot let BusHilter get his nominee on the court without a battle to the death.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Brief John Roberts for SCOTUS Thought

Roberts seems like a good pick. Anyone who is istantly hated by MoveOn, the Alliance for Justice and People for the American Way must be doing SOMETHING right. What's even better is he'll probably get through easy. Early prediction on vote count: 75-25 or so. Look for Ted Kennedy to explode. Well, back to reading up on him!

Bonus Edit! Ann Coulter thinks it's the wrong choice. Confirm him now!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Greg Gutfeld Calls Out Hollywood on Theo Van Gogh

Greg Gutfeld is the editor if Maxim UK. He's also incredibly funny and the best thing at Madame Arrianna's House of Pain (Aka HuffPost). He gets under their skin like nobody's business because he pretty much thinks most of the posters there are pretentious blowhards. His posts mock them and their "feelings". It's good stuff. But today, he called them out on the murder of Theo Van Gogh, which has always been a big topic here at Neowarmonger and most of the anti-Islamist blogosphere (I consider this to be non-partisan). Anyway, check out his post entitled "Oliver Stone's New Project", a reference to the fact that Oliver Stone, of all people. is directing the first 9/11 movie from the studios. Just read it, and check the comments. I think Greg deserves and honorary spot on our links for this and other efforts. He's keeping the nuts in line over there.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Plame, Rove, Cooper, and all that.

Yeah, I know, if you're reading this you're proabably also reading Tom Maguire, the Captain, and a bunch of other sites, and know more than you ever wanted to about this story. You probably made up your mind about it 1.5 years ago, when it first broke, and nothing that's happened this week has been real news. So I wasn't going to say anything. But I just wrote a whole long screed as a comment on a friend's LiveJournal, and it took me a while to write, so dammit, I might as well copy it here. Better still, I'll just post a link, and let you read it there. If you feel called on to comment, please be nice — these are my friends, even if they are Bush-hating bigots. Mostly, we just don't talk politics.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Meet The SCOTUS Opposition!

While the President has apparently decided to wait until the end of July to name a replacement for Sandra Day O'Connor on the Court, and while he's asked both sides not to go overly partisan on the whole thing, neither side seems to be listening. Before O'Connor had even announced her resignation, the conservative group "Move America Forward" had online ads running that showed, rather effectively, that Dems will accept almost no one the President might select, save Ted Kennedy.

While I felt that "Move America Forward" was setting up a combative tone far too early, I was proven wrong just a week later when Teddy himself wrote a hysterical op-ed calling for the President essentially to get the approval of Democrats for a "fair" process. Or else. Kennedy completely distorts the Senate's role in the process, moving it from mere confirmation to full-on equal choosing footing with the President. The unindicted murderer and Senior Senator from Massachusettes misreads the Constitution so badly that one wonders if it's an honest mistake, or really a plan to muddy the process to get what he wants. Call me a cynic, but I think it's the latter.

This is all preamble though. The real battle will not be fought in the Senate. It will be fought by such groups as Nan Aron's ironically named "Alliance for Justice", the misguided moonbats at People for the American "Way", and, of course, the organization that refuses to do what its name implies, MoveOn.org.

MoveOn will be the most visible attack dog of the Left in the coming Court battle. Groups like PFAW and the Alliance for Justice are far too wonky to make a lasting impression on the public at large, and neither has the sheer numbers and resources of MoveOn. They had been drifting for a while since they failed to elect Kerry in November, but they're back with a vengeance. Today's Washington Post has an interesting look at MoveOn's organizing tactics as late summer approaches. The tone of the article and of the organizers indicate that they will not give up easily in this fight. Take the reaction of Charles Fazio to O'Connor's announcement: "Gee, this is the worst freakin' news I could ever imagine." Yes, the President having the power to appoint a justice is the worst thing ever. Forget Al Qaida, somone who understands the intricacies of the Constitution more than I ever could must be stopped! This past weekend, Mr. Fazio hosted a MoveOn party at his home in Virginia, along with 1,000 other such parties to promote the idea of what they call an "inclusive" selection process, ie, one that includes their views being given the same weight as, say, the American Bar Association. Because that's SO what the founders intended! Only not. Expressing a common misconsception among members of the left when it comes to the selection of a new Justice, Vijaya Thakur, a 20-year old MoveOn activist said "The country belongs to all of us." True enough. But not when it comes to the nominations to the Court. The founders did not take the nomination process lightly. Indeed, there was much debate over whether the Senate should have much of a role at all. The "advice and consent" clause was included simply so the President would not have Carte Blanche over the judiciary(a wise descision). The will of the "people", especially the loudest, most vocally emotional and angry people, was not seen as being a positive for a Court where the rule of law was the only thing that mattered. Emotion was not supposed to be part of the process. Outcome based judgements were frowned upon. Only the law mattered.

So this is what the Left has decided. Unable to elect a Congress or a President, they are left with a Court with which they wish to legislate. Faced with the prospect of the President appointing someone who is not explicatly pro Roe vs. Wade (not a litmus test though!), they have decided to smear whomever is selected. It used to be that being appointed to the Supreme Court was the ultimate achievement for a jurist, a selection that reflected years of hard, honest work. While there have always been contentious debates over nominees, usually lack of credibility and fitness for the office was the only thing that might block them. With the rise of liberal interest groups that are tied directly into the Democratic Senators on the Judiciary Committee, intellegence and integrity are no longer what is required of a nominee. Adherence to party doctrine is. MoveOn initially rose out of a desire to end what could convincingly be called a partisan attack on President Clinton (this is obviously a debatable point). However, 6 years on, they have become what they claimed they despised, and are sickeningly content that they have done right. I hope the GOP has some backbone. Thomas for Chief Justice!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

One Man's Terrorist...

...is another man's terrorist.

What he said.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Violence

Over at Eugene's place, the commenters have been discussing the common but obviously false idea that "violence never solved anything", and a commenter asked:
Is there any way of calculating, on the whole, whether violence has been good or bad for society.
On the whole, the effect of violence has to be negative. Violence never achieves anything good. It doesn't even repair the damage caused by other people's violence. All it does is prevent other people's violence from doing further damage.

Yes, violence stopped Saddam Hussein, and that was a good thing. But the world is still far worse off than it would be had Hussein never engaged in violence in the first place. Even preemptive violence can only cancel out the effects of predicted future violence; it still can't actually make things better than they would be without any violence at all.

The same goes, by the way, for passive defense, such as burglar alarms, locks, insurance, etc. These are huge industries that produce nothing at all; all they do is prevent loss that would otherwise occur. If there were no burglars, nobody would need to spend money on locks and alarms, or insure against theft. If there were no arsonists, the need for fire insurance would be less, and more people would choose to do without it and do something productive with the money. Unfortunately we don't live in a universe where this is possible.

It seems appropriate

Doing Nicely, Thank You (In answer to several kind inquiries from the country and overseas)
E. V. Knox (1940)


Troy fell. It is not very probable time will renew it,
But London remains full of helmeted women and men,
Long tutored in what to do, why, and which way to go to it
And hoping by some means to get to the office by ten.

A city not proud in its heart of heroic performance,
But slightly bewildered to find that the era of glass
Introduced (I am told) in the days of the conquering Normans
Is now in the night-time of Hitler most likely to pass.

A city that covers with curtains the windowless casement
And laughs but obeys when the word has come down from the wise
Not to crouch—as they once were enjoined—under beds in the basement
But to leap to the roofs of the buildings and stare at the skies.

A city unbroken, unbowed by the threats of the Axis
And saving a trifle and banting and doing its best
To spare a few coins for the urgent Collector of Taxes
Who hides with his staff in a funk-hole way down in the West.

A city deprived of a part of her principal glories
Yet still with some monuments standing and some of her spires,
And (who shall gainsay me?) how fond of all perilous stories!
How thrilled by the labours of firemen, the watching of fires!

A city of painstaking pupils and earnest instructors
(And everyone's crater the largest of all in the land),
A lemonless, onionless city with female conductors
On Manchester buses half lost in the wilds of the Strand.

A city if peopled by souls not as stubborn as Cato's,
Yet facing the bomb-fall (and crowding to look at the proofs),
Full-bearded (from shortage of razors), and eating potatoes,
and standing all night with a sand-bucket up on the roofs.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Can anyone spot a resemblance?



Our thoughts and prayers are with the British people following the tragic events of today. Just please remember the consequences of the man the right and, accordingly, throw the man on the left into the sea.

We Stand with the Brits

The British have been steadfast supporters of the war on terror, and even when they disagree with us, they still like us, with the exception of George Galloway. Anyway, for all in London and the British Isles, know that all our thoughts and prayers are with you.

On a side note, just to demonstrate why I am fed up with the Left (not liberals/Demcorats. Leftists/"progressives"). Head over to the comment section off the news story of the London bombings at The Huffington Post. Read them, if you can. Getting sick is understandable. It's worse than Democratic Underground. A good number of their readers seem to think Karl Rove planned it to get the "heat" off of him in Plamegate, or that Bush did it to make Tony Blair commit more to the war effort, or that they both were involved to buck up Blair and Bush's ratings in the polls. The far Left, which wants to control the Democratic party(it doesn't, not quite yet), has been driven mad by their hatre d of the President. It sickens me. Take a look and judge for yourself, though. It's amazing, really.

I think I speak for most New Yorkers

...when I say, "thank you, IOC, for giving the Games to someone else".

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

"There are two groups to blame for the crisis that will arise when Israel departs from Gaza. Israel is not one of them. "

I check my friend's, Micah Halpern's blog daily. I think he could get serious traffic if he addressed the topic-of-the-day and hot-links style. He's a purist, and won't have a blogroll, (or even try to sell his books). Stop by and offer some advice to a talented writer.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Supreme Court A-Go-Go

Sandra Day O'Conner announced her retirement from the Supreme Court Friday, hitting an unaware Washington, DC like a runaway frieght train. As Official Washington, as we insiders like to call it, was packing up and fleeing from the onslaught of tourists for the long holiday weekend, the Press declared that chances for a peaceful summer in Washington were nil. For once, the Press was right.

Doing a sort of survey of my friends at a barbecue on Saturday, I found that absolutely no one wants to talk about the upcoming court nomination, including me. There was a feeling of dread and the unmistakable whiff of despair amongst us politicos as we girded ourselves for the histrionics, the overwrought melodrama, the hand wringing over whichever poor soul got the nod from the President. You see, the little people who make Washington work, the people that I know, are damn tired of this crap. Democrat and Republican staffers are not eager to see a battle waged. 527 organization workers have to pretend to get fired up, but by the looks on a lot of faces this weekend, they'll be faking any enthusiasm for a long fight. Who wants it? Nobody. Nobody, that is, but the higher ups, those who fund the 527s, the professional Court Watchers and the Senators who have a political dog in this hunt. Watching them on TV with their serious attitudes and predictions on who should get picked made me ill. Yes, it's important. But can't it wait? Washington is becoming unbearable. I usually say that partisanship is overly hyped by the media, but lately that's not been the case. My friends are tired and want little to do with a nomination right now because we're tired of being at each other's throats. I don't know of any alienated friendships yet, but this could be the 1000-pound weight that broke the camels back.

You see, Washington only has two kinds of summers: Slow, hot & sticky, or politically charged, hot & sticky. Neither is appealing, but given a vote everyone in town would choose the former option. This place is miserable enough during the summer as is. Could the media, the parties, and the interest groups give us a break? No, of course not, because the Constitution asks that the President nominate a new Associate Justice, and the Senate is asked to approve this new Justice. The Constitution probably never dreamed of month-long battles, ego displays in Committee and a potential $100 Million TV battle that is old before it has begun, but I guess that's why I like the Constitution. It's smarter than all of us. So misery is the order of the day, and we'll be drunk on it by August.

Personally, I hope Bush selects another Thomas or Scalia, but if you disagree, well, I'll have to take out a 30 second ad against you. It's just the way we do things here.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Economics of Kelo

I don't usually post links to blog posts that I assume anyone reading this has already read, unless I have a comment to add. Because I assume you've already read it. But there's been tons of stuff posted about Kelo, and I'm just wading my way through it, skipping 90% of it because it's just so big. And this is just a thorough and basic explanation of the economics behind the whole eminent domain issue, and what was at stake in the Kelo case. So here's Todd Zywicki explaining it in easy words. I actually will have something to say about the issue later, but please read this first, if you haven't already done so.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Scientology Must Be Stopped

I'm going to be serious for a moment, and talk about something slightly personal. I think most people have had a good laugh at the recent Tom Cruise Insanity Explosion, and I have laughed at this psycho as much as the next thetan. But what we must not miss from this rare look at the beliefs of Scientology is that, in essence, the "religion" is a threat to the mental health of us all.

Starting with his odd comments that Brooke Shields' career was sucking because she used Paxil to help her postpartum depression, Tom Cruise has become increasingly vocal about the "evils" of Psychiatry, which finally ended in his memorable showdown with Matt Lauer when Tom basically decreed he knew more about psychiatry than any of us mere mortals. Funny yes, but disturbing in it's larger message: that Scientology thinks psychiatry should be banned. Cruise may be a nut, but there are a lot of people like him out there, equally nutty, and in a position to actually do something harmful.

I'm going to share something. I currently take the anti-depressent Paxil, as well as an anti-anxiety medication. I've been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and I've been seeing a psychiatrist off and on for 6 years. I have no doubts in my mind that if I hadn't sought help from my doctor when I was first having anxiety attacks, I might have done something awful to myself. When you can't stop yourself from freaking out, you need to get help, and spending thousands of dollars on classes at the local Scientology center isn't going to help you. When Cruise and his Scientologist brethren insult psychiatrists, people who have dedicated their lives to helping those with serious problems, it's time to stop giving them our attention. My problems are relatively minor in the pantheon of mental illness. I've had friends who have needed much more counseling than I did, who are probably alive today because they got counseling, and if anyone has a relative or knows someone who has any of the symptoms of schizophrenia, than you know that vitamins won't make them well.

Thankfully, Cruise's newfound verve for talking about his "faith" has caused people to take a look at Scientology again. Today in an Op/Ed in the New York Times, Brooke Shields lets the world know how wrong Cruise is. Also, Salon.com has run a four-part series this week that looks at Cruise, the Church of $cientology, and, today, an excellent piece on Scientology's war on psychiatry. Get the Salon day pass and read all four parts. It's frightening and creepy, and Scientology has to be stopped. I am urging everyone I know not to go see Cruise's new film War of the Worlds and I will never pay for a film starring a $cientologist ever again. I'm serious. I may SEE the film, but I might buy a ticket for, say, Batman Begins. Not a dime from me, Cruise. Now, obviously there are Scientologists who work in the film industry whom we don't know about, who may have helped make Star Wars or Batman Begins or whatever. So I'm not boycotting everything, but I will never again pay for a film featuring a known $cientologist in the starring role. Not until they call off their war on people who have helped me and countless others get through bad times. Helped them in real ways, not in Cruise's fake, self-gratifying way. I can't give him my money. $cientology must be stopped.