Thursday, June 30, 2005

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Never Retreat!


Chopper Crashes in Afghanistan

As a thirteen-year veteran of the US Army, I'm always saddened by the lost of even one soildier, sailor, or marine. During my time I said "so long" to a few of my brothers in arms, it isn't easy, but every loss comes with a message - "Never Retreat!"

The news of 16 brave Navy Seals and Army Rangers in Afghanistan again has our war "detractors" crying, "pull back!" and "retreat!". NEVER! A soldier's life lost on the field of battle isn't a time for retreat but a cry from his blood to "Charge and overcome!"

"At any cost, let not my blood be spilt in vain!"

I found this poem on the internet, the author is Gary Jacobson. Read it slowly and take in it's meaning.

This combat soldier's prayer,
Who has served his time in Hell,
Is may we learn the lessons of war well,
That we not doom future generations,
The same old tales of horror to tell,
To endure what in youth they see mistakenly as glory.
Oh God, do not let our children
Repeat the same old story.

Make it so that America's babies live to grow old
In this land of the free and the bold.
Help us throw off the shackles of hate that bind
And grow old in a life of a peaceful kind.

Teach us that there is no glory in war,
Nor honor there that brave men should not abhor.
Teach us instead, one for another our brothers to love.
Shower us with thine Celestial message from above,
That we plant seeds of peace evermore
And make war-no-more!
But if I should die on some far, far away battlefield
Know I answered the call
For a grand principle of freedom to yield.
My fervent prayer is that death
May not have been in vain
Fighting for peace and right for the world to attain.

My brothers, American roses standing by my side
On alien soil dying
In the summer of my youthful pride
All the leaves around me falling,

Now I’m lying here still, in sunshine and in shadow,
Longing to hear, “brother next door, I love you so."
For moldering in the soft ground below,
I feel you living and loving in the world above me
Standing tall because I fought that you might be...
Oh look ye down now,
And tell me you still think of me
Honor my red blood, spilt that others might stand free.

Tell me that I did not give my all for you in vain
That brothers and sisters do not look upon my sacrifice
With hateful,
Or even worse,
Uncaring disdain.

Do not forget me when my valley’s hushed
And white with snow,
Grass growing green in the summer of my meadow
Help me see the peace I lived and died for grow.

Make my lonely grave richer,
Sweeter be...
Make this truly,
"The land of the free
And the home of the brave,"
I gave my life to save
That I might too, lie eternally,
Forever free...

Let us not forget, nor retreat - "On to Victory!"

Also visit Michelle Malkin's blog for more links and info - a real solider's friend!
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Now a word from the DNC Chairman - Howard Dean


Howard Dean Interview on Harball

Excerpt:

MATTHEWS: Well, Governor, what do you make of [Karl Rove's recent remarks on liberals and Dean]? That's personal.

DEAN: The problem with the kind of name-calling that you see in the right wing is it's polarizing. And, frankly, it doesn't serve our country well.

(end)

You know, I wish we of the Republican party could take Dr. Dean's message to heart. Then we could stop the name-calling and speak with eloquence like the people in his party. We could follow these examples:

"I think this guy is a loser" - Senator Harry Reid

"Being lectured by the president on fiscal responsibility is a little bit like Tony Soprano talking to me about law and order in this country." - Senator John F. Kerry

"While President Bush likes to project an image of strength and courage, the real truth is that in the presence of his large financial contributors, he is a moral coward." - Former Democratic VP Al Gore

On the other hand....
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DOHH!!!


Washington Times: Democrats' own mood poll scares them

Excerpt: "A poll on the political mood in the United States conducted by the Democratic Party has alarmed the party at its own loss of popularity.

Conducted by the party-affiliated Democracy Corps, the poll indicated 43 percent of voters favored the Republican Party, while 38 percent had positive feelings about Democrats."

I know, it's Bush's fault!

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin
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Widow tells Bush to stay the course in Iraq war

Via Bill Sammon, Washington Times

Excerpt:

Washington Times: "President Bush, who met with relatives of fallen soldiers before Tuesday's Fort Bragg speech, was urged to stay the course in Iraq by a woman who gave him a bracelet honoring her late husband.

"I said: 'I know people are pushing you, but please don't pull the guys out of Iraq too soon,' " said Crystal Owen, whose husband, Staff Sgt. Mike Owen, was killed in Iraq last year.

"Don't let my husband -- and 1,700-plus other deaths -- be in vain," she added during a private meeting with Mr. Bush at the North Carolina base. "They were over there, fighting for a democratic nation, and I hope you'll keep our service members over there until the mission can be accomplished."

Mrs. Owen gave the president a stainless steel bracelet engraved with the names of her husband and another soldier, Cpl. John Santos, both of whom were killed on Oct. 15. The president slipped the bracelet on his left wrist and wore it throughout his 28-minute prime-time address to the nation, becoming visibly emotional at times. (End)

Read the full article at the link above. You'll have to, the MSM won't carry it.
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Note to Democrats and the MSM: There WERE ties to Iraq and Al Qaeda


With the "new-found" criticism from the left following President Bush's speech on Tuesday where he linked Iraq with the War on Terror, it's amazing that the MSM and Democrats are still harking their line:

"There were no links between Saddam and Al Qaeda!"

Which of course is blatantly false. Note that Mr. Bush didn't say Saddam planned or was responsible for 9/11. But the links between the disposed dictator and al qaeda are so many, I can't go over them completely here. But Newsmax.com summerizes a few of them that were published by the Hudson Institute. Take a look. Also here and here.

UPDATE: Powerlineblog is "Mystified" how Democrats seems to have no memory of signing the resolution they signed authorizing the war. I'm mystified too.
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It's simple: Democrats don't have a voice!


Boston Globe: Democrats struggle to find one voice on Iraq

Excerpt:

"WASHINGTON -- House and Senate Democrats, sensing an opportunity in President Bush's sagging poll numbers and an increasingly unpopular war, have held a series of long, closed-door meetings over the past several weeks to find a common position and a sharpened political message on the Iraq War.

Some participants in the meetings said Bush's failure to articulate an exit strategy in his speech on Tuesday night only underscored the need for Democrats to devise their position. But they also acknowledged that within the party, there are fundamentally different views on the war." (end)

The fundamental problem with the Democratic Party why they can't come to a consenses about Iraq is simple: They don't have a position on anything! Especially if they don't see it as advantageous to their real cause: Get back in power.

If you've noticed the Democrats are largely a "frog party", that is they "leap" from one issue to another SO LONG as it looks bad for the present administration. After all that is what it all about - making Bush look bad, take advantage of it, and then use that to gain seats in the upcoming 2006 elections and ultimately the Presidency in 2008.

But the problem with leaping is the appearance of instability. Thus in 2004 you have your candidate for President making statements like:

"I did vote for the 87 Billion, before I voted against it." - John Kerry.

That statement gained him the "flip-flopper" lable that stuck throughout the campaign and ultimately his defeat on November 2nd.

When you ask anyone about their most glaring criticism of a politician it's "They would do anything, say anything for a vote". Whether the Democrats know it or not; or more likely they are oblivious to it; that's the impression they are giving now.

President Bush won the 2004 election because more than anything, he didn't appear to say anything to get a vote and then "flip" to something else just because polls indicated it was popular with voters. Whether or not an individual voter liked Bush or his policies or not, I believe the main reason 68 million people voted for him was the simple and clear fact that he isn't the typical politician.

He isn't swayed by polls - even if they are down at this point. Heck after the all out MSM, MoveOn, Michael Moore blitzkrieg last year it's an astounding testimony to this truth that he is still in office. That's what really kills the Democrats. They are besides themselves right now with the question, "How in the heck it he doing it?" "What do we have to do?

To use the an overused phrase: "They don't get it".

As long as the Democratic Party is viewed as schizophrenic, with no focus or identity, position or voice, they will remain on the ropes and out of power.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

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The Power of Hillary

Lou Dobbs Breaks Ban on Hillary Author

As I mentioned before, when I didn't join fellow conservative bloggers in boycotting Edward Klein's book, "The Truth About Hillary". Many conservative bloggers as Rush Limbaugh and the NY Times noted), seem to jump on the bandwagon as the did the MSM - howbeit for different reasons. A move which I though was a bit of a over reaction. Many of my brothers and sisters in Conservative land feared it would just make her a victim and might even help get her elected in 2008. Again, I don't have that fear at all. Much more will be coming on Hillary in the next two-years, that will cover more of her personal life (character counts right?), as well as her pitiful Senatoral record. So relax.

Yet a greater story has been developing about how the Clinton Machine has been working overtime to get this book banned from any TV coverage. Newsmax has an article on this here.

On Monday Newmax reported how CNN's Lou Dobbs broke the "embargo" on interviewing Edward Klein:

Excerpt:

"CNN's Lou Dobbs broke the self-imposed television embargo on the new biography of Hillary Clinton Monday night with an in-depth interview with author Edward Klein.

Describing Klein’s "The Truth About Hillary” as a "highly controversial and provocative book,” Dobbs challenged Klein on allegations he is reported to have made, including charges that Hillary is a lesbian and that Bill Clinton once "raped” his wife.

Dobbs noted the "salacious nature” of the biography and "the highly personal attacks that you bring to bear .. But this is reaching to a personal level that is extraordinary.”

Klein noted some allegations, such as claims Bill raped Hillary, are not to be found in his book. He reminded Dobbs that some of the sensational items about Hillary simply could not be avoided.

"It's impossible to do a biography of Hillary without discussing” such matters, he said, referring to sex scandals that plagued the Clinton presidency." (end)

If this book is untrue - why would the Clinton machine be pulling out all the stops and twist network producer's arms to boycott Mr. Klein. Heck, if he's a hack they could let loose on him and expose him. It simply doesn't make any sense.

Again, as I leaf through the book I find some things that make me wonder, and wince. But quite frankly I don't see what all the huff is about. But then I think Hillary is the antichrist - so who am I?

Although the most objected to is the "anonymous sources", doesn't bother me in the least. That doesn't make a story untrue. I also don't know where some of the pundits get the "two-source rule". In all my years of writing I've never heard that one before. If it weren't for "anonymous sources" many journalist would never get their stories completed.

In any case I feel the book is important and Mr. Klein, who by the way is a respected and experienced journalist and not a conservative, deserves to be heard EVEN if some think he shouldn't.

Everyone is entitled to opinion, but I think the book will have an impact. As Mr. Klein noted does anyone think it was a "coincidence" that Hillary waddled up on stage with Rev. Graham over the weekend?

Drudge has it up on his site that The Truth About Hillary is going to debut at Number 2 on the NY Times Best Seller's List on July 10th.
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Honorable Mention

ANATOMY OF A POLITICAL FIRESTORM

As I said before, I'm new to this new medium of blogging. I like it better than the old paper-medium of yesterday, especially because of the feedback I get which is sort of like what I used to get from "Letters to the Editor":

"Hey, Mac you're a bum! You should take up knitting!"

But every once in a while I like to read about myself in the paper so long as it's not the obituary or the police blotter.

Today a friend called me to tell me, "Hey Mac! You're mentioned in the Chicago Tribune!" "Naw, really?" I said, as I searched my memory to see what I could have possibly done anywhere near Chicago.

"No, your blog was mentioned!" he continued, "I sent you the link!"

The mention he was telling me about was from the article linked above from Jill Zuckman, of the Chicago Tribune that mentioned the blogs that "fired up" Senator Dick Durbin over his "Nazi" remarks a week ago.

So what was my mention?

"Less than 24 hours after Durbin had tried to point out the errors of administration policy, the bloggers were buzzing in what some call a "blogswarm."

"Give this putz a call at his office and tell him what you think about him comparing our brave men and women in uniform to Nazi Storm Troopers," said the macsmind blog."

Michelle Malkin, a leading conservative blogger, entitled her comments "Hitler, Hitler everywhere."

Well it's an honor to be on record calling Senator Dick Durbin a "putz"! As well it is an honor to be mentioned with Michelle Malkin who unbeknownst to her, inspired me to get involved in blogging during the 2004 election.

So there you have it. I'm "almost famous"......

In fact, today I got email feedback on my mention.

"Hey Mac! You're a putz! You should take up knitting!"

Ah, fame, isn't it sweet!
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"A Team" Critics


Remember the A-Team from the 80's TV show? Sure you do. Col. John "Hannibal" Smith , Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck, Capt. H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock and Sgt. Bosco "B.A." Baracus formed the A Team to root out evil on our TV every week.

The interesting thing that critics of the show pointed out what no matter how much shooting they did at the bad guys or the bad guys at them but no one got shot! Yet the A-Team prevailed over evil, the bad guys subdued and all was well for next week's episode.

Sometimes I think that is the kind of politicians and media pundits we have. Most of the critics of the war in Iraq have been critiquing it since the beginning. But it almost seems that they expected this to be over in an episode - in an instant, you know, so we could get on to the next espisode.

Yet as soon as REAL shooting took place, and people got hit and some died and are still dying, the A-Team critics began to wail and gnash their teeth, crying, "Oh! The bloodshed! How could this be? That Evil Bush guy, he'll get us all killed!

I for one do not watch the TV pundits, or much of the MSM anymore. First, I don't give a squat what they have to say good or bad about the War. I have my own contacts over in Iraq, so I get a daily email dose of what is happening. From what I'm hearing you'd think the MSM is on another planet talking about War of the Worlds, not realizing it's a movie.

No, not everything is cheery - life isn't cheery. But by and large it gets better each day. There are problems, but every post war reconstruction had problems. What? You expected the terrorist - who view this as a Crusader Invasion to just lay down and come peacefully?

As ex-military I'm not so decieved as to think that any success in Iraq could be accomplished in a year, or two or even ten. You have a whole middle east full of radical islamics bent on distroying us in the west. It wouldn't have mattered if we invaded Iraq or not, they would still hate us.

How hard is it to realize that it's better to fight them there than here on our own soil?

Ms. Pelosi? How would you deal with it if they came to your district? Who would you call? What decisions would you make to protect your people?

Mr. Kennedy? Mr. Reid? same question. What would YOU do?

For that matter Fox's Mr. O'Reilly? You're fond of saying, "I'm looking out for you?" What would you do? Would you protect us if they were here?

The question can go to any armchair and frankly inexperienced and uninformed politician or pundit. What would YOU do, if the terrorists in Iraq came to visit your hometown? Would you then be saying, "Oh, I wish they were over THERE far away...."

Who said war is like a TV show? Who said it needs a "time-table"? Folks, thing don't work that way in war! Heck, it doesn't work that way in life. In a war - and no one really likes war - the best laid plans are just that plans. The reality on the ground is fluid - you roll with the punches, you give a few back and harder ones than you received, until the job is done.

Real life, unlike TV doesn't always operate on schedule - especially just to make it convenient.
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Army Meets Recruiting Goals for June - Hillary is pissed at Pentagon!

Army reverses series of recruitment shortfalls

"PENTAGON: After months of declining enlistment, the Army has more than met its recruitment goals for the month of June.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers announced the turnaround during a "town hall" meeting this afternoon at the Pentagon.

Myers did not provide numbers, nor did he indicate how far above the recruitment target the enlistment number is.

Going into the month of June, the Army had failed to meet its recruitment goals for four consecutive months. Officials blame a strong economy and the continuing carnage in Iraq.

Just last night, during his speech on the situation in Iraq, President Bush urged Americans to consider joining one of the service branches during this time of war."

Again, if the MSM had been doing it's job it would have told you that the slow months for recruitment in any year are traditionally the first few months. Typically people join in the Summer when they get out of school in May and June. This was true when I entered in 1976 and was true until I left in 1989, and true for every year since then.

Yet I wonder if the MSM would cover the fact that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has this little detail on her website:

"Senator Clinton Calls on Pentagon to Stop Data Collection Efforts That Infringe on High School Students' Privacy"

Seems that Ms. Clinton is alarmed that the Pentagon would go to such lengths to find recuits.

Newsmax has a article about this on their website. Here is their take:

Excerpt:

"In an apparent blast at the armed forces, Clinton declared, "It is critical that we do everything we can to make sure that our most sensitive personal information stays out of the wrong hands."

The Pentagon - "the wrong hands"?

I'll be covering more on this non-story of Pentagon 'farming' in a later post.
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Like it or not, we are in Iraq for the long haul

Rebuilding after war takes time

This article from the Washington Times in 2003 still has something to say to the critics of our efforts in Iraq today.

Excerpt:

"It shouldn't come as a shock that rebuilding Iraq will be, as many are predicting, long and costly. The same was true when Americans led the massive reconstruction efforts of Germany and Japan after World War II and South Korea in the 1950s.

A half-century later, "We still have troops in Korea, and we still have a large presence in Germany," said Blair Haworth, a historian with the U.S. Army Center of Military History. "

The article brings up points that are still relevant to today:

1. Rebuilding and establishing a democracy takes a long time.

2. There are still going to be "loose werewolves" disrupting and attacking coalition troops for some time to come.

3. After war, comes a period of occupation until stability is achieved.

Further Excerpt:

"National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has compared the attacks on U.S. and British troops in Iraq to those carried out by Nazi fanatics known as "werewolves.

SS officers called werewolves engaged in sabotage and attacked both coalition forces and those locals cooperating with them, much like today's Ba'athist and Fedayeen remnants" in post-Saddam Iraq, Miss Rice told a Veterans of Foreign Wars gathering in San Antonio last month.

Historians point out, however, that the Nazi Secret Service officially disbanded the werewolves shortly before Germany surrendered.

Nevertheless, other radicals who viewed Adolf Hitler as a martyr, many of them associated with the Hitler Youth and continued to call themselves "werewolves" and engaged in violence up to a year after the war ended.

The werewolves were blamed for the assassination of the mayor of Aachen, Germany, in May 1945. " (end)

Although the article goes on to make the point that Dr. Rice's comparison was a "little off the mark", as to the level of violence in Iraq vs. post-war Germany and Japan, this article from the same time in 2003, published in Capitalism Magazine agrees with Dr. Rice's analogy:

Excerpt:

(Read) "Perry Biddiscombe's "Werwolf! The History of the National Socialist Guerrilla Movement, 1944-1946," which gives full chapter and verse on Nazi-postwar guerrilla operations. It's true that the Werwolf was poorly organized, and the threat of attacks greatly subsided after a few months of occupation. But they were very real. A survey of records by the U.S. Army Center of Military History shows that at least 39 combat deaths occurred in the first few months of the occupation. If the Nazis had been better organized, the Werwolf might well have given World War II GIs as much trouble as the thugs in Iraq are generating now.

And Werwolves weren't the only problem. Violent crime, thievery and black-marketing were rampant. Germans incessantly complained to U.S. military officials about inadequate public safety. And these threats paled in comparison to the physical privations. Many feared masses of Germans would freeze or starve to death in the first winter after the war. To suggest that the first year of occupation was anything less than a dreadful, harrowing experience for many Germans is just bad history." (end)

In that last paragraph can you see some of the same "fears" of Iraq the left is taling about today?

No only are the left's critique of our efforts in Iraq false and misleading, they simply show their monumental ignorance of history.

Quite frankly, many of these critics are simply washed out hangovers from the 60's (peace, love and happiness) generation (or wish they were there).Fortyty-years ago their power was great, and their "critical efforts" led to an early withdrawal and defeat in Vietnam. The consequence was millions dead after the fall of Saigon.

They wanted to relagate the service of tens of thousands of brave Americans who gave their life in Vietnam to a "grotesque mistake".

So strong was their influence ocharacterizingng the Vietnam war a mistake, was that for years afterward Vietnam and it's vets were viewed as "crazy" or "disturbed". No wonder they called Vietnam, "the defining war of our generation."

Through the power they had in cultural reforms, and the injecting of their leftist agenda into our society, the changes they made are the most reponsible for it's moral relevancy, decadence and moral bankruptsy today.

Yet thankfully, all bad ideologies must come to an end.

Over the last twelve years or so, the left's power to influence society has lessen significanly. They can poll the public all they want, but they are rapidly losing support for their ideas. They thought the Polls in 2004 would put them back in power. Yet the 2004 election showed them just out of touch with the heart of America they really are.

America is behind the President; our efforts in Iraq; and most of all the troops. The Democrats? Well they are behind the eight ball and about to get scratched.
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When Critics Rage ....

Bush Flops in Prime Time

A blog called the "Dissident voice", writes this morning about Bush's speech last night:

Excerpt:

"The Bush prime-time fiasco was the biggest presidential pratfall in the history of the office. Bush was expected to lay out a new vision that would soothe the jittery nerves of the country but, instead, ladled out the same tired bromides he’s used for the last five years. Even his worshipful audience of servicemen and women slumped into stunned silence as the Commander in Chief exhumed the pitiable rhetoric of the Vietnam era. The reverberations of Westmoreland’s “light in the tunnel” speech resonated through the Fort Bragg auditorium as Bush blathered on about “no timetable” and “staying the course.” The oratory offered no explanation for why the nation continues to slip beneath the Iraqi quicksand." (Get your Kool-Aide and your popcorn and read the rest if you can! I haven't laughed so much in years!)

Whooboy....Isn't the internet fun? I mean that anyone, even an idiot with a connection can be a 'pundit'!

However.....

A few corrections for this "Journalist". The service men and women at the President's speech weren't "slumped into stunned silience", they were ordered not to clap or respond. Try "Research". In fact, many times during my long military career when we sat and listened to dignitaries we were told not to respond - ether positively or negatively to what they said. It's called "Discipline and Protocol"

Secondly the only "pitiabler Vietnam era rhetoric" that I hear these days comes from sites like yours, and the rest of "stuck in the 60's or wish I was", lunatics on the left.

"Quagmire rhetoric anyone?"

Oh, and by the way we are winning in Iraq. If you stop making Daily Kos your primary "source of disinformation" and you might learn a thing or two about what is really going on in Iraq. In fact, why don't you just visit there?

("Mr. Mike Whitney? There is call on line three, Mr. Michael Smith wants to know if you've heard from Dan Rather about those memos lately?")

Like I said, "Isn't the Internet fun?"
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Democratic Response to Bush Speech: "He didn't say 9/11!!? Did he???

Democrats: Bush Wrong on 9/11

Democrats are all a flutter this morning because in President Bush's speech last night he touched their "holy grail" - 9/11.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi accused Bush of demonstrating a willingness “exploit the sacred ground of 9/11, knowing that there is no connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq.”

Others brought up that "We didn't have a enough troops on the ground" stupid assed argument again. Senator "Chia" Biden:

“I’m going to send him the phone numbers of the very generals and flag officers that I met on Memorial Day when I was in Iraq,” the Delaware Democrat said. “There’s not enough force on the ground now to mount a real counterinsurgency."

Mr. Biden, I doubt you have any such numbers, and by the way retired General (armchair warrior pundits) don't count. While you're at it, ask General Wesley Clark about Bosnia.

The whole "9/11 isn't related to Iraq" argument is stupid and intellectually dishonsest. Just because the September 11th Commission could find no "credible link", others have. Saddam may have not took flying lessons but he didn't exactly kick Al Qaeda out of Iraq in the 90's. I mean does anyone with half a brain think Saddam wasn't hiding and hosting Al Qaeda?

Here is the questions Democrats can't answer. "If Iraq isn't necessary, if Saddam was such a "non-player", why has there been no repeat attacks on American soil since 9/11?" Not one. Can Ms. Pelosi or Mr. Chia answer that?

Seems to me that removing Saddam and installing democracy in Iraq has had a major effect on our security.

Another question. Since Democrats are sooo quick to criticise President Bush, what have Democrats done to strenghten our National Security since 9/11? What action (besides bitching and moaning and touting Michael Moore) have they taken to strenghten our National Security?

(Crickets chirping again.......)

I'll answer: Not a damned thing - zero, zip, nada.

They truely are the party of "No".

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

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Leadership - Something the MSM and Liberals Don't Get.


MSNBC's Take
Originally uploaded by macsmind.
MSNBC's picture from their front page is telling about how they rate the President's address.

I told you that the MSM would get on his case if he failed to live up to their expectations. Look for some squirley headlines from AP, Reuters and the rest of the bunch.

Far as I'm concerned, and I wasn't at all concerned about his speach, he didn't tell the American people what the press said they wanted to hear, but he did tell them what they needed to hear - that's Leadership!

True leadership doesn't always give you warm and fuzzy news. I was an Army Sergeant for nine years. I told my people the truth - whether they liked it or not. Leadership isn't a personality contest, like American Idol where people call in and say, "I like that guy, he makes me feel good." Deep down people don't want a leader like that - not like a blade of grass blowing around to every wind of change. They want a Leader who believes in what he is doing and most important, that he is doing it from a profound sense of duty and honor.

No, he won't satisfy critics with this speach, they'll continue to rage and rant, make false accusations and the like.

Allow me to digress at this point. As I look over the Democratic landscape, their comments, actions, I can sense that their rage comes not from anything George Bush is or does, but from their own sad realization that they have no one like him on their side. He reminds them of what they would like to be, but cannot because their ideology will not allow that.

Sure they have "rock stars" like Bill Clinton and Hillary. Yet when they had their to win the Presidency all they had to offer was a stereotypical politician from Massachusetts. The kind of candidate you would find in a Hollywood movie. A candidate who couldn't say what he meant (because he changed it every day), so he could never mean what he said.

They don't have a Ronald Reagan or a George W. Bush. In fact they haven't had anyone of note in power since JFK (Clinton was a rock star - nothing else).

I'm proud of this President not because he is Republican, but because he has always said what he means, and laid it on the line even if I didn't happen to like it at the time. Unless the Democrats can find a leader like that they haven't a chance in 2006, 2008 or beyond.
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Israel selling planes to China?

U.S. forces Israel to cancel sale of planes to China

The Hindu reports that the US has pressured Israel to cancel it's sale of dones to China in response to what the report say, "US allegations that (China) misled Washington on the export of shared technology.

Excerpt:

"The U.S. imposed a series of tough trade sanctions on Israel in protest at its deal to upgrade Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, which are used for intelligence gathering from space. American defence officials said Israel had claimed it was maintaining the drones when in fact it was upgrading them using technology the U.S. did not want to fall into Chinese hands.

According to a report on Sunday in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has ordered officials to travel to Washington to resolve the dispute.

Rachel Niedak Ashkenazi, a spokeswoman for the Israel Ministry of Defense, said a delegation left for Washington on Sunday. It is understood that Israel has frozen the upgrade of the Chinese drones and has agreed to allow the U.S. to examine its defence exports.

It is the country's second dispute with Washington over arms sales to China. In 2000, Israel was forced to cancel a £1billion radar deal with Beijing at the request of the Americans. It was forced to pay compensation and will probably do so again for breaching its contract.

The U.S. is determined that no country with which it shares military technology should sell it on to Beijing." (end).

China is becoming bad news real quick. Bill Gertz in the Washington Times has a special running this week called, "Chinese Dragon Awakes". In his special he covers China seemingly unnoticed military build-up:

Excerpt: " China is building its military forces faster than U.S. intelligence and military analysts expected, prompting fears that Beijing will attack Taiwan in the next two years, according to Pentagon officials.

U.S. defense and intelligence officials say all the signs point in one troubling direction: Beijing then will be forced to go to war with the United States, which has vowed to defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack. "

China has been gathering OUR secrets for years. Most famous of these attempts was under the Clinton administration. While China has a massive Army number wise, they could not match us in a war technology wise. Secondly there is the energy question which causes great concern about China's proposed offer for Unocal. Put two and two together. China needs technology (which it is getting by hook or crook), and energy which the Unocal deal will give them.

China is no doubt happy about America's attention being in Iraq and elsewhere, but I'm glad that someone in the Administration saw something in the Israeli deal and told them to halt.

I would propose that before we give China any information or trade they are made to disclose their full intentions no only on Taiwan, but in future Sino/US relations. Which would mean that they would have to allow inspections to see 'where they are'. I don't think that is going to happen anytime soon.
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It's Clobbering Time!

http://www.freestarmedia.com

Rush limbaugh has a great link on his site to a press release that says; get this:

"Press Release

For Release Monday, June 27 to New Hampshire media
For Release Tuesday, June 28 to all other media

Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home."

According to the release "this is for real". What a great idea - sign me up!
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Mr. Smith: "Calling the Washington Post....Did you hear?"

First I had to slap Mr. Smith (London) about this memo drool that seems to say that Bush had it out for Saddam and this was evidenced by buildups and antagonistic flights, blah, blah.

MSNBC carries the story today (why am I not surprised?) about those Downing Street Memos again.

However, as I have told you Mr. Smith was floating this same story in the LA Times OPED pages over the weekend as the "most revealing thing about the memos". So that after getting relagated to the ass-end of the newspapers after nobody paid attention to him the first time, he comes back and says, "No No! Read this, this is the point you missed!"

No Mr. Smith, we didn't miss it. It isn't important because it's bull crap. Then today, the story again revives (its like Mr. Smith called the WAPO and said, "Hey lookie here! You're missing the point!)

Again, here is the question that Smith and others keep beating a dead horse with is this: "Did Bush and Blair decide to go to war with Saddam no matter what?"

The answer is NO. They simply finished what was in the works since the Gulf War ended 14 years ago.

Again quoting Lisa Hoffman in her article, "Trajectory of a crisis" she wrote:

"Was there a devious White House decision, even before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, to concoct a rationale for ousting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who had bedeviled America since the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War and who had plotted to assassinate President George H.W. Bush?

If there was, it was hardly necessary. While it was the first for the George W. Bush administration, the 2002 military buildup was at least the fifth time the United States had massed fighting forces and materiel to confront Iraq since the end of Operation Desert Storm. Each time, the use of force was under full contemplation and, in several cases, used."

The fact that Bush and Blair should be commended for completing the job that quite frankly President Bush I didn't, and that President Clinton didn't have the guts to.
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What does Bush have to tell the Country tonight ? I'll tell you what he's not going to say!

MSNBC: Bush seeks to ease worries about war

Everywhere across the MSM and the blogshere this morning people are talking about "What President Bush needs to tell the Nation tonight".

So, I'll weigh in on this as well. How much does he have to tell us? Not much. Why? Because I think the American people for the most part know what we are in Iraq for, why we went, how long this effort might take, etc, and despite what the MSM is trying to tell us, they are supporting the President and the war.

The American people are not doofs as the media seems to protray them so often.

Over at Polipundit, Lorie Byrd list seven points that the President should cover.

They are good, and maybe he'll cover them. But I'm not going to tell you what I think he should say. In my opinion Mr. Bush doesn't need an apologist.

But I will tell you what he's not going to say, and that is what is going to make the news tomorrow.

Here are five things he's not going to say:

1. He isn't going to announce a pullout date.
2. He isn't going to say he was wrong about going into Iraq.
3. He isn't going to say, "I'm sorry!, Me and Dick and Rummy are all pinheads and didn't know what we were getting into (prolonged struggle with 'insurgents' etc.)
4. He isn't going to talk about the "Downing Street Memo".
5. He isn't going to repudiate Karl Rove's statements; or fire him.

Now you watch the MSM tomorrow. After all, is it a mistake that the WAPO releases a opinion poll today? Does this lead by the AP story of the poll and Bush's speech tell you what "they expect"?

"President Bush is using the first anniversary of Iraq'’s sovereignty to try to ease American's’ doubts about the mission and outline a winning strategy for a violent conflict that has cost the lives of more than 1,740 U.S. troops and has no end in sight."

He's going to disappoint their expectations - as he usually does. President's Bush's most glowing characteristic is that he doesn't seemed phased by polls or media "concerns". He says what he means and means what he says. That idea is foreign to the left - it's called Leadership.

Buried down in the same AP article is this paragraph:

"Despite public misgivings about elements of the policy, there remains an underlying reservoir of support for the war and continued unwillingness by the public to abandon Iraqis to their fate. Despite the almost daily suicide bombings and mounting casualty rates, a majority of Americans -- 53 percent -- now say they are optimistic about the situation in Iraq, up seven points from December."

I"m not a "poll fan", I think they're bogus for the most part and tell us nothing except what opinion the pollster would like to get across, or more precisely to feed the OPEDs of tomorrow.

Yet, lets take that last paragraph quoted above at face value. It simply proves my point that the American people are not stupid and despite what the left and MSM would like us to believe this is NOT Vietnam. The same "game plan" they used then (polls, bad press, student - unrest) to have us retreat from Vietnam isn't going to work in Iraq.

This President isn't going to bow to "polls" and the "elite media's" expectation of what he should do. He stood on a twisted heap of rock and metal on September 14th, 2001 and said, "The people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!"

He inspired us then, and the MSM cringed.

He'll inspired us tonight, and tomorrow you'll see the media seeth.

Monday, June 27, 2005

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Greta Van Susteren

Congrats to Greta on the top-rated show on cable last week per Nielsen.

Per Drudge:
6/23/05

FOXNEWS GRETA 2,803,000 [VIEWERS]
FOXNEWS O'REILLY 2,735,000
FOXNEWS HANNITY/COLMES 2,549,000

(Don't even ask about "Connected: Coast to Coast")

Been a fan since the beginning. This lady knows how to get to the bottom of the story! What she has been doing on the story in Aruba is first-rate. If anyone get's a hand on solving the case it's her.
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File Swapping - Not Likely to Stop with Ruling

CNET: Ruling won't slow file swapping, experts say


CNET: Excerpt: "The Supreme Court may have dealt file-swapping companies a blow on Monday, but its decision is unlikely to put a damper on the illegal sharing of music and other media online anytime soon, industry experts say.

In its ruling, the nation's top court found that file-swapping companies Grokster and StreamCast Networks should be held liable for the widespread copyright infringement their technologies enable.

The decision casts uncertainty on the fate of Grokster and other file-swapping companies, but not on the viability of file-swapping itself, an activity that has only flourished under legal attacks, observers said. That's because the software that underlies peer-to-peer networks, used now by more than 8 million people simultaneously around the world, is designed to function and evolve without the aid of any particular commercial venture." (end excerpt).

My Take: I'm all for legal downloading and against piracy, but enforcement is going to be an uphill battle as long as you have two people; two computers and a program, movie or a song to share. There are tens of millions of peer-to-peer networks around the world and many are in some in countries where the SCOTUS has no jurisdiction. The media companies can go after the "big fish", but no one has the resources or time to chase everyone, everywhere.

Suing teens and elders isn't the answer either.

To date the only profitable model - and in my opinion - workable model is Apple's iTunes, iPod, 99-cent a download model. Others like Yahooare trying to use subscriptions, but I don't think that shows any potential at all. Who wants to "rent" music?

The answer isn't easy. No one "owns" the internet (no matter what some jurisdictions may think). Media companies are going to eventually get off the 'litigation route' and on to the creativity route if they want to curtail this problem - although they will never alleviate it completely.


NOTE: CNET has more links here for other articles on the SCOTUS decision today.
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A few "Bad Apples" Doesn't Equal the Whole Bunch

Army Recruits Quickly Abused in Training


(Hat tip Captain's Quarters Blog, where he covers the aftermath of this incident where the guilty were relieved and punished. Nuff said there. In the Mac'ster's opinion ARMY PAO should call for an immediate correction of the headline, as it is truly slander, and at best totally misleading.

I entered the Army in 1976. Even at that time "physical abuse of trainees" was not tolerated and hadn't been for many years before that. Yes, the discipline at times made you want to run for the hills, but we survived. I remember being late to bed check and having to scrub the inside of a dumster with a toothbrush. I remember doing push ups on hot asphalt in July because I didn't do something right. But this wasn't torture. Yes there were incidents of physical abuse reported around the nation but they were dealt with quickly.

Years later I became Cadre (training personnel) for a Basic Training/AIT company. This was about 1985 and the scrutiny over our training; constant classes on how to handle "new soliders", was immense. Heck, by then we couldn't even call them new recruits " trainees" anymore.

Come to think of it I didn't get called soldier until I graduated basic training! I digress...

In our Cadre training we were taught never to even touch a soldier unless it was in a emergency - e.g. dropped their grenade in the pit during training - always an emergency! Or for instruction purposes ("Here, soldier - tapping on the shoulder and pointing -" shoot over there at the target, not at the ducks flying by!"

We had PC classes before PC was vogue. The purpose of this training? To professionally train soldiers for the serious job they had to do.

The point is that the Army was then keenly aware that abuse was a detriment to moral and order. I can only imagine that the training of Cadre has become even better as the years since I left the service, as evidenced by the professionalism I see in these young men and women fighting for our nation today.

It's time to stop bashing the troops and do it now.
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There IS abuse at Gitmo - But not from the Military

What I Saw at Gitmo

(Hat Tip to little Green Footballs

Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu toured the Guantanamo facility with the Congressional delation this weekend, and tells us where the real abuse is occurring and who it is occurring to.

My take: I spent some time while in the military as a "cage-kicker" (Corrections Specialist), and I know about the abuse you have to take while doing your duty, and the incredible professional restrait you must show not to retaliate. Mr. Durbin seems to have no clue of the magnitude of slander he committed against these brave men and women. For myself there is no apology sufficient that could ever take his careless words back.
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Macsmind News Alert: Israeli Solider Guilty of Killing Peace Activist

Soldier Killed Peace Activist

Excerpt: "An Israeli soldier has been convicted by a military court of the manslaughter of British peace activist Tom Hurndall two years after he was shot in the head in the occupied Gaza Strip.

Sergeant Taysir Wahid was convicted by a court near the southern city of Ashkelon over the death of the 22-year-old activist.

Hurndall was working with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) when he was shot in the Rafah refugee camp in April 2003.

He died in a London hospital after spending nine months in a persistent vegetative state."

The Timesonline however presents a expanded story about the same type of scrutiny Israeli soldiers face that is not unlike our own. Unless one has been in combat you don't know the incredible "micro-seconds" you have to shoot, or not shoot. In this case apparantly Sgt. Wahid reportedly fired a warning shot that hit Mr. Hurdall in the forehead. Sgt. Wahid says that he is being singled our for being "arabian"; yet this appears to be more or less (according to his account which the court accepted) an accidental shooting. Although the family states he is being made a scapegoat to divert attention from "he freedom with which soldiers feel they can shoot civilians in this area", which seems to come straight from the Hamas propoganda machine.

Sometime, in war, conflict you make a mistake, and making that mistake you must live with it's consequences.
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Michael Smith - London


Michael Smith - London
Originally uploaded by macsmind.
Well, after about a week of searching for the elusive Mr. Michael Smith (Texas) is still, well elusive. Contacting CBS on a few occassions they will no longer comment other than to say, "see the report". hmmmm,

Again, the question - "Is the Michael Smith of Downing Memogate, the same Michael Smith of RaThErGaTe?

Is this just a fruitless story - a "breading of spotted mice"? Perhaps. But Mr. Smith (London) seems to be "pushing" his message in the memos as noted here.

In any case I have nothing else to do except read newswires, talk to contacts, etc. I've got all the time in the world!
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Have a Nice Day Der -Schröder

How will these bruises mend?

Excerpt:

"On the agenda of the meeting in Washington are discussions of the situation in Iran after presidential elections during the weekend brought a hard-line conservative to power, the military commitment of both countries in Afghanistan and the Balkans, and the future of the European Union after the recent failed summit meeting.

Schröder is also expected to use the occasion to lobby the U.S. administration for support for Germany's campaign to win a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The United States, however, has so far only supported Japan's candidacy.

The decades-long special relationship between Washington and Berlin was punctured during the run-up the U.S.-led attack on Iraq when Schröder used his opposition to American policy in his campaign to be re-elected in October 2002.

Even after his election victory, Schröder kept up the rhetoric. Together with France and Russia, Germany formed the anti-war camp in Europe, causing some of the sharpest tensions and disagreements inside Europe and in the trans-Atlantic relationship for many years.

"Schröder had put himself in a corner over Iraq," said Kamp. "Bush does not forget easily."

But one man who has spent years trying to redefine and rescue the relationship between Washington and Berlin, says the tensions between both countries go well beyond personalities. They are about a fundamental shift in how the two countries perceive each other.

"It is always easy to see the relationship in terms of personalities," Karsten Voigt, Germany's special U.S. envoy said in an interview. "But the reality is that the German-American relationship is today a relationship operating in a different strategic environment."

"What we are living through is the birth pains of a new type of Atlanticism. In the old one, Germany was at the center of a global crisis which was the Cold War. We would have always been part of the action. Now we are in the center of an area of stability. Early on, we were a consumer of security. Now we are asked to be an exporter of security. We have to decide. We have global values but limited interests and limited military capabilities."

As part of this changing definition of Atlanticism, Voigt says the United States cannot afford to take its allies for granted."

I would agree - to a point. Schröder, while helping in Afghanistan really hung us out to dry over Iraq, and,then used that reluctance to go to war with us to get himself re-elected. As Karen Donfried, director of policy programs for the German Marshall Fund in Washington, said: "He will be able to go back to Germany and say, 'I stood up to Bush on the Iraq war, but nonetheless I can still go to the White House and have serious discussions with the President,' "

"The fact is that you simply cannot trust Schröder on anything he says. He wouldn't support our efforts in Iraq and yet like Chirac wanted some of the spoils. He came here today to "get something" - support for a seat at the UN; and support to help him win the next election.

Schröder is in real political trouble. Germany's has serious economic issues. With a 12 percent unemployment rate and an overextended defense budget, Germany simply doesn't have much clout internationally at this time.

However, Bush on the other hand is going to need Germany at some point if Iran becomes a flash point. The recent sham election in Iran is just another example that diplomacy isn't going to make them stand down from their nuclear ambitions.

My guess is that Bush smiles, takes pictures and then politely tells him "auf wiedersehen", for now and waits for the new elections to see who is running Germany after September.

How it the meeting viewed in German Press? Headline says it all: "Germany's 'Lame Duck' Goes to Washington."
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Ten Commandments - Supreme Court - One For; One Against

Following the Supreme Court Decisions on SCOTUS blog.

I was wrong - in one case McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky, the court ruled in favor of the ACLU of displays of the Ten Commandments on the wall of courthouses in two Kentucky counties Yet in another decision involving a Ten Commandments statue on the state capitol building in Austin, Texas, ruled the display was consitutional.

Talk about split! To me it seems OK if you buy a monument and give it to the court or government building. It can be displayed in that case. So that as long as the Government didn't buy it and erect it, it's Ok. I'm no lawyer, correct me if I'm wrong.

Bloomberg "rides the fence" on the issue by writing:

"The decisions will help guide government officials who want to display religious symbols. The rulings will affect the legal status of thousands of statues, murals, monuments and other displays that already are in place around the country."

I smell "loopholes" all over the place. This isn't completely over yet. Seems like the court have openned this to a re-visit in the coming years.

One thing, you can bet your bippy that the ACLU will cut across both decisions and continue their rampage on "Judeo Christian Freedom".

(Note: Although it may be OK to the ACLU if the Judge of a Court wants to read the Quran during boring testimony - I doubt they would challenge that.)

On the first ruling the deciding vote was by Sandra Day O'Connor - who hopefully will retire at the end of this term. In my opinion she has been a thorn in the side of right-wing causes over the years.

I agree with Anklebitingpundits.com that a Culture War is looming at this point.

Yet no retirements have been announced yet but the day isn't over yet. Keep checking the SCOTUS blog for updates.

Also visit Michelle Malkin, Captains Quarters Blog for more info.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

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Report: US to produce Plutonium 238

U.S. plans radioactive project

Excerpt:

"The Bush administration is planning the government's first production of plutonium 238 - a highly radioactive substance valued as a power source - since the Cold War, stirring debate over the risks and benefits of the deadly material. It is hot enough to melt plastic and so dangerous that a speck can cause cancer."

I love a story that begins with the bad news. But this isn't unexpected news. Last week President Bush spoke to this topic. Here is an excerpt:

"There is a growing consensus that more nuclear power will lead to a cleaner, safer nation. Slowly but surely, people are beginning to look at the facts. One of the reasons I've come to this plant is to help people understand the difference between fact and fiction. Yet, even though there has been a growing consensus over time, America has not ordered a nuclear plant since the 1970s. By contrast, France has built 58 nuclear plants in the same period of time. By contrast, China now has eight nuclear plants in the works and plans to build at least 40 more over the next two decades. n the 21st century, our nation will need more electricity, more safe, clean, reliable electricity. It is time for this country to start building nuclear power plants again.

We're taking practical steps to encourage new construction of power plants. Three years ago, we launched the Nuclear Power 2010 Initiative, which is a $1.1 billion partnership between government and industry to coordinate the ordering of new plants. "

The truth is that the US is seriously behind the "power-curve" when it comes to getting it's power from Nuclear Energy. Sooner or later we are going to have to build more plants and investigate new ways to get the power we need. Our dependency on foreign oil is about 30 percent now, but that may increase even more if China goes through with the Unocal deal.

Of course this will restart the "US Plan to Own Space", argument that was circulating a while back, and the report that President Bush was going to capture space.

Yet "National Security" doesn't necessarily mean "missles", it can well refer to the fact that if we don't get on the ball with our growing energy needs our growing dependancy on foreign sources can become a real threat.
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Ten Commandments


Ten Commandments
Originally uploaded by macsmind.
There is anticipation that before the Supreme Court goes into recess that they will decide if a granite monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol and framed copies of commandments in two Kentucky courthouses are allowed.

My guess is that this will be one of the decisions that expected outgoing Chief Justice Rehnquist will win.
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Democratic Balance

Democratic statements showing outrage at Karl Rove's remarks:

Sen. Charles Schumer - (Rove) "took something that is virtually sacred to New Yorkers" -- the tragedy of the September 11 attacks -- "and politicized it for political, opportunistic purposes."

Sen. Hillary Rodham -"Karl Rove is not just another political operative, He sits in the White House, a few doors down from the president."...I would hope that you and other members of the administration would immediately repudiate such an insulting comment from a high-ranking official in the president's inner circle."

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev - "Karl Rove should immediately and fully apologize for his remarks or he should resign, I hope the president will join me in repudiating these remarks."

Sen. Nancy Pelosi - "The president wanted to go to Iraq in the worst possible way and he did," Pelosi said. "The president is on the ropes."

Democratic Response on Sen. Durbin's statement comparing our troops to Nazi prison guards:

"............................................."

(crickets chirping...........)
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Conditions "Better"?

After the visitof US Congressional representitives yesterday at the Guantanamo detention facility, the media tries to hide it's dissapointment that "torture" wasn't discovered by statements like "Conditions are better."

Better than what? Than the drivel you've been reporting?

“The Guantanamo we saw today is not the Guantanamo we heard about a few years ago,” said Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif.

A few years ago?

Not "last week" when Amnesty International called it a "Gulag"? Or when Dick Durbin said:

"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime - Pol Pot or others - that had no concern for human beings."

"Sadly, that is not the case," added the No. 2 Senate Democrat. "This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners."

A few years ago? Sheesh - talk about back-tracking!
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Gitmo Secure, Qurans OK, Newsweek's Isokoff off to the races again.

Exclusive: A Sharp New Look at 'Material Witness' Arrests

Mr. Isokoff been a little busy. After getting his ass hung out to dry on the fake Quran story, his next 'exclusive' is about 70 "material witnesses" picked up by the FBI in the wake of 9/11 who were "victims" of a "little-known legal tactic". The Material Witness Rule.

Citing a report to be issued this week from Human Rights Watch and the ACLU, he writes:

"A report to be released this week by two civil-liberties groups finds nearly 90 percent of these suspects were never linked to any terrorism acts, resulting in prosecutors and FBI agents issuing at least 13 apologies for wrongful arrest."

....Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union say they have assembled the most comprehensive look yet at the practice—and conclude it may have produced the most civil-liberties abuses of any post-9/11 policy. Out of the 70 "material witness" arrests the groups were able to document, only seven suspects ended up charged with terror-related crimes."

Ok, you've lost me here already Mike. Both those organizations are decidedly leftist and anti-US, anti-Israel - therefore anything they've come up with is suspect in my book.

The 'horror stories' of the sweeps conducted by the FBI in the months after 9/11 are old news. Sure there were wrongful incarcerations. But people weren't picked up for "no reason" or because they were "muslim". Give the FBI a break you dweeb, in all the hsyteria after 9/11 ONLY 70 being picked up (although they may have been more), is an astounding show of professionalism and restraint.

This isn't an "exclusive" it's a 'hit piece" another cheap shot at the administration for which Isokoff prides himself on.
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Mac's "Keeping it Real" Alert

MSM is jumping on a report from the Sunday Times in London that claims that "US officials held secret talks in Iraq with the commanders of several Iraqi insurgent groups recently in an attempt to open a dialogue with them."

I doubt this report's veracity on several counts. First the "sources" quoted by the Times cannot be colarborated:

AP via MSNBC:

"The story, which quoted unidentified Iraqis whose groups were purportedly involved in the talks, said those at the first meeting included Ansar al-Sunnah Army, which has claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in Iraq and an attack that killed 22 people in the dining hall of a U.S. base at Mosul last Christmas."

"Two others were Jaish Mohammed, or Mohammed’s Army, and the Islamic Army in Iraq, which in August reportedly killed Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni, the newspaper said."

I'm extremely skeptical about "unnamed" sources and "ex" Iraqi officials.

Secondly, you could imagine the implications that would come from a "negotiation with killers" that are directly involved in specific incidents involving the US and Italy. It would be a diplomatic nightmare, and fly in the face of our "no negotiation with terrorist" rule.

Yes, it's possible (heck anything is possible), and the article does talk about the prior talks with Sunni leaders. Again, this story may be possible, but in my mind it's highly unlikely these meetings actually took place.

Third, keeping the geo/political implications in mind, neither American or Iraqi officials have colaborated this report. True, the US would possibly deny it as SOP (Standard Procedure), but Iraqi officials have been a little bit more forthcoming on things like this. Ok, they have "slip of the lip" disease. Yet at this point with no other source except the statements of the terrorists themselves; I throw this report to the wind with a grain of salt.

As former military with PSYOPS and Intelligence background I don't doubt the varacity of some CIA activity here (rogue?)or even MI (Military Intelligence); but to say, "They sat down to drink tea to discuss "demands and grievances." Sounds more like a Tom Clancey novel than reality. I don't know, the report makes my "bullshit" alert meter go off.

I'll wait for further confirmation from my "sources" ; or from a source that is a little more credible than what is being given us so far.

UPDATE: Like I said, I could be wrong....Fox News is now reporting a certain amount of "colaboration" on occassion between some Iraqi groups, but no direct colaboration of this particular story.

UPDATE 2: I watched Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace where he questioned Mr. Rumsfeld, specifically on this report. Here is an excerpt:

WALLACE: Were there direct meetings with insurgent commanders?

RUMSFELD: Look, my understanding is that some London paper reported this and everyone's chasing it. I would not make a big deal out of it.

Meetings go on frequently with people. The wonderful thing about what's happened since the election is the Shias have said, "Let's reach out to the Sunnis."

The Sunnis made a mistake not participating in the election as fully as they could have. They now know that. They said they've made a mistake. They're leaning in.

The Shia could have said, "Well, you didn't play, you're out." They didn't. They said, "Let's get the Sunnis in. We want to have one country, the Kurds, the Shia, the Sunni."

WALLACE: But let me ask you specifically about these reports. Is there an effort -- you talk about this, sort of, spectrum...

RUMSFELD: I can't comment on that.

WALLACE: But let me just ask you about this one specific idea. Is there an effort -- you talk about the spectrum of groups -- to try split off the homegrown insurgents from the foreign fighters, the Zarqawi group?

RUMSFELD: Well, sure, my goodness, yes. The first thing you want to do is split people off and get some people to be supportive.

The same thing's going on in Afghanistan. President Karzai is reaching out to the Taliban. He doesn't want those that have blood on their hands, but he is reaching out to the lower-level people and saying, "Look, let's have one country."

So I think the attention to this is overblown." (end of transcript).

I think overblow and disingenuous.

Like I said, are there meetings here and there taking place - absolutely. Yet there is still no direct confirmation on this report - either from the Pentagon or from what I can find out - of direct meetings between "US Officials" meeting with terrorists. Reading the article it appears to give the impression that the US is desparate and pulling out all stops to stop the insurgency - a position which is totally bogus. Therefore, I still stand by my orginal position that the article should be viewed with skeptism.

Just from "Did you know?" Department: I didn't see this at first, but I noticed the STL story byline is credited Hala Jaber, who is the author of Hezbollah. A rather sympathetic look at the group (source alert).
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Attention Walmart Shoppers!

CNN has a rather interesting piece on the Supreme Court's decision on Thursday that ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses -- even against their will -- for private and public economic development.

"NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The Supreme Court may have just delivered an early Christmas gift to the nation's biggest retailers by its ruling Thursday allowing governments to take private land for business development.

Retailers such as Target, Home Depot and Bed, Bath & Beyond have thus far managed to keep the "eminent domain" issue under the radar -- and sidestep a prickly public relations problem -- even as these companies continue to expand their footprint into more urban residential areas where prime retail space isn't always easily found."

While I'm not a lawyer, the more I read of this decision the more angry I get. As a "capitalist" I'm all for business and making a buck. But on the surface this decision appears to really be an "early Christmas present" for some of the larger retailers. That is, IF local goverments choose to go that route. After all in reading the decision the Court simply said that they were not going to tell local governments how to run their operation.

Voters put people in office and voters can take them out. Don't underestimate the power of "political pressure" in all this. People need to get involved in local politics and know what their elected officials are up to; who they are in bed with; who sliding money their way.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

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"Get Thee Behind Me Bubba...."


Holy Cow
Originally uploaded by macsmind.
FOX News (AP) NEW YORK — As his final American revival meeting continued Saturday, a fragile Billy Graham (search) was met onstage by former President Clinton, who honored the evangelist, calling him "a man I love."

Clinton spoke briefly before Graham's sermon and recalled how the man known as America's pastor had refused to preach before a segregated audience in Arkansas decades ago when that state was in a bitter fight over school desegregation.

"I was just a little boy and I'll never forget it," said Clinton, who was joined by his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (search). "I've loved him ever since. God bless you, friend."

Graham called the Clintons "wonderful friends" and "a great couple," quipping that the former president should become an evangelist and allow "his wife to run the country."

(Heh, heh, heh, haa, ha, haaaa, haa.....)

(I'm going for a drink)
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Like I said, "Gitmo is doing all right"

U.S. lawmakers tour Guantanamo prison

Instead of throwing out accusations about Gitmo, a few members of congress got off their duff and actually visited the facility today. What did they find?

Nothing.

I especially like this part of the article describing an interogation:

excerpt:

"In one session, they questioned a man who defense officials said was a Saudi national and admitted al-Qaida member who was picked up in Afghanistan and knew nine of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers. In another, a female interrogator took an unusual approach to wear down a detainee, reading a Harry Potter book aloud for hours. He turned his back and put his hands over his ears."

What! No Ozzy? Oooooo, "torture"!
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Hero!


Hero!
Originally uploaded by macsmind.
In case you missed it and along with my post this morning about how capable women are in combat here is the story of Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester:

Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester of the 617th Military Police Company, a National Guard unit out of Richmond, Ky., received the Silver Star, along with two other members of her unit, Staff Sgt. Timothy Nein and Spc. Jason Mike, for their actions during an enemy ambush on their convoy. Other members of the unit also received awards.
Hester's squad was shadowing a supply convoy March 20 when anti-Iraqi fighters ambushed the convoy. The squad moved to the side of the road, flanking the insurgents and cutting off their escape route. Hester led her team through the "kill zone" and into a flanking position, where she assaulted a trench line with grenades and M203 grenade-launcher rounds. She and Nein, her squad leader, then cleared two trenches, at which time she killed three insurgents with her rifle.

When the fight was over, 27 insurgents were dead, six were wounded, and one was captured.

Hester, 23, who was born in Bowling Green, Ky., and later moved to Nashville, Tenn., said she was surprised when she heard she was being considered for the Silver Star.

"I'm honored to even be considered, much less awarded, the medal," she said.

Being the first woman soldier since World War II to receive the medal is significant to Hester. But, she said, she doesn't dwell on the fact. "It really doesn't have anything to do with being a female," she said. "It's about the duties I performed that day as a soldier."

Way to go Sarge! I salute you!
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"We" killed Hunter S. Thompson?

From the Macsmind, "WHOOBOY!" Department:

Dadahead blog has this feedback reference to this post on the liberal who died because he couldn't stand a "right wing world":

The entry from the blog:

"For what it's worth, right-wingers, I think you did kill this guy. And Hunter S. Thompson, too."

Gee, I thought the coward just blew his brains out. Silly me.
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The "Apology" drill again!

They Don't Apologize

Dan Froomkin, writing in his blog "White House Briefing" over the Washington Post moans:

"There are at least two reasons why no one should expect any apologies from Karl Rove or the White House for Rove's controversial comments Tuesday night, in which he described the liberal approach to national security as being weak and possibly even treasonous.

1) This White House doesn't apologize.

2) Why apologize when you said exactly what you meant to say?

Karl Rove didn't get George W. Bush this far just by luck. Rove has a brilliant and so far unbeatable strategy when it comes to political warfare: He doesn't defend his candidate's weaknesses, he attacks his opponent's strengths. Unapologetically.

Consider the 2004 campaign, when Rove was faced with a Vietnam problem. A war hero was running against his boss, who had opted to stay well out of harm's way. Rather than defend, Rove attacked -- and put John Kerry on the defensive."

I'll leave alone the fact that as far as I'm concerned I know about war heros, and John Kerry is no war hero.

But I digress.

Remember last year when the MSM was on the "Mr. President, is there anything you would like to apologize for?" trip. He thoroghly pissed them off when he wouldn't say, "I'm sorry." They 'crucified' him for it. Mr. Froomkin here is just trying to drive in another nail.

I guess Rove should use the "Durbin Example" of an apology (I'm sorry, wink, wink, nudge-nudge..), but for what? Here Mr. Froomkin get's it right - Rove said what he said, meant what he said, because - hold on to yourself Mr. Froomkin, but it is true.

Of course in the rest of his "briefing" Mr. Froomkin "alerts" us to all the stuff Bush is planning for the future ....ooooh, evil Bush!

*Democrats have really become a cartoonish party, like Jack Nicolson's "Joker" character in Batman. Cute, cunning, and crazy as hell.

*Macsmind Disclaimer: By Democrat I mean liberals; left/ultra left, progressives, and those who give to MoveOn.org.
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Iranian Election Reaction from the Region

How are other newspapers over in the east and within Iran are viewing the Iranian "election" results? Take a look:

The Indian Express - A Dark Horse Emerges

Tehran Times - Hello Mr. President

Iranmania - Hardliner Ahmadinejad elected Iran's president

Malaysia Star -Rafsanjani lures Iranian voters with share options

Arabnews.com - Ahmadinejad Leads in Iran Runoff Vote
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Women are Tough Enough

Female U.S. Marines Ambused in Iraq

With the news of five women marines killed by a car bomber in Fallujah yesterday, there is all this renewed talk over women in combat. What a travesty to take the service of these brave marines and use it to make a political argument. They weren't "women marines" they were US MARINES. They were doing their job and died in the service of our Nation - let's leave it at that.

As a former Army type guy of the 70s and 80s, I can tell you something about women in the miitiary - they are willing, capable and more than able to serve their country even in combat.

Back when I entered the service women in the Army were known as the Womens Army Corps or "WAC, which was formed during WWII. They were on a different side of the post than the men; in their own billets, and received basic and advance training separate from the males.

That changed in 1978 when women began to be integrated with the men into training; units and mission. Howbeit they were still restricted to Miltiary Occupational Specialties that were "non combat related". Yet that began to change as time went on, and in 1991's and Desert Storm women not only served but served with distinction and honor and and courage.

The Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, Inc. is a website dedicated to the service of women in the military from the Revolutionary War through the War in Iraq.

From there pages there are facinating facts you might not know about the service of women to their country. For instance, did you know that "Over 400,000 women served in the US Military during WWII and over 432 were killed by hostile fire, including 200 nurses? Eighty-eight women were POWs?"

You know, sometimes I wonder if in today's political climate, and especially with the type of negative media coverage we get today, would we have the "guts" to fight another World War?

That's a question for another post. But for today take a tour of the Womens Memorial and read of their sacrafice and service to our country, and remember they serve just as capable today.

Friday, June 24, 2005

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Time to Show Your Gratitude!

Time to Say "Thank You"

(Hat tip to Captains Quarters Blog:

Link above to the Anti-idiotarian Rottweiler blog where they are asking for us to send our troops an email word or two about how much we appreciate them and the mission they are accomplishing to keep our butts safe and warm!

Let this old war-horse tell you, it makes you feel good when you know the folks back home appreciate you! So far all they have gotten is a bunch of doom and gloom propaganda from the MSM (yes they read that crap). Think how it feels to be serving your country, sweating it out in 104+ heat wearing those hot as hell uniforms and and sixty pounds of equipment, and all you read from these namby pamby airchair warrior pundits back here is that "We are losing!" "It's a mistake"! Make my OG green blood boil!

So get to pecking on those keys!

There is a clearing house for all emails (to protect the soldiers from "slug-trail-email). Here it is:

rottmope-at-yahoo-dot-com.

Now get typing! (Hat tip to Captains Quarters Blog)
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Dooah!


Mad as heck!
Originally uploaded by macsmind.
House blocks Medicare payments for Viagra


Excerpt:

WASHINGTON - Impotence drugs such as Viagra would not be covered by Medicaid and Medicare, the government health programs for the poor and the aged, under new prohibitions approved by the House on Friday.

By a 285-121 vote, the House approved an amendment by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, to stop the government from paying for the drugs. King said his amendment would save taxpayers $105 million next year alone.

King had earlier commissioned a budget study that found the government would spend more than $2 billion on such impotence drugs over the next decade. The amount spent would greatly increase as the Medicare prescription program begins next year."

It's going to be a long summer.......
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The Real Deal


The Real Deal
Originally uploaded by macsmind.
In a age of so many fakes and frauds, it's good to know that a simple country preacher can come out of the backwoods of North Carolina and let God use him to literally change the life of millions.

Excerpt via AP

"The final American revival meeting led by the Rev. Billy Graham opened Friday evening with thousands of people filling a city park for a last chance to see him.

Many arrived hours early to get seats for the first of three daily rallies that were expected to attract tens of thousands of people.

"Since this is his last one, I want to be here to honor him," said Mary Jo Noia, a nursing supervisor from Brooklyn, who had volunteered at a Graham crusade in Boston and called it "life-changing."

The Rev. A.R. Bernard, the New York pastor who helped organize the event in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, began the crusade under a setting sun, calling the meeting a "farewell and close to 60 years in ministry" for Graham.

Graham, 86, is suffering from fluid on the brain, prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease. He uses a walker due to a pelvic fracture and is largely confined to his home in Montreat, N.C.

Yet the evangelist known as America's pastor has vowed to preach on each day this weekend. His pulpit has a movable seat hidden from view, so he can sit if he feels unsteady. His son and successor, the Rev. Franklin Graham, will stand by to preach in case his father is unable."

If you're in the area drop in and see him.
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The Party in the Mirror



The outrage over Rove's remarks has taugh us one thing. Democrats* (see note below) can dish it, but they damn sure won't take it. Two weeks ago Howard Dean get's diarrhea of the mouth and calls conservatives "stupid" "lazy" and (gasp!) white! I'll tell you that shocked the hell out of my buddy Tony who is smart, works two jobs and is (gasp!) black and a republican.

For three years there has been a steady list of insults from Democrats*. In fact 2004 wasn't that long ago. Remember the insults, accusations, made against President Bush and the GOP by people like Al Gore, Senator (hic!) Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and others of the "don't you dare call us on our shit" party"?

What Rove simply gave them was a mirror. He held it up and showed them who they were and what they stand for. They are outraged not because of what he said, but because of what they saw - in the mirror, and they didn't like what they saw.


*Note: By Democrat I mean liberals, progressives, ultra-left, and and those who just visit the MoveOn.org website because they are "curious". Happy Hillary?
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Does the left hate John Bolton because he's pro Israel?

IGNORING BOLTON'S 'ZION' WIN

Excerpt: "THERE'S an obvious answer to Democrats who claim John Bolton is too abrasive to succeed as President Bush's U.N. ambassador — he spearheaded the successful fight to get the U.N. to reverse its notorious "Zionism is racism" resolution.

The Anti-Defamation League warmly commended him when he did what many had thought impossible in 1991. ADL chief Abe Foxman wrote a letter backing his so-far stalled nomination as U.N. envoy this spring.

"We will long remember him as a man of principle and integrity who, as assistant secretary of state for international organizations, played a leading role in the successful U.S. effort to repeal the infamous 'Zionism is racism' resolution," he wrote."

Is the reason that there is such animosity and outrage against John Bolton the fact that he won such a pro-Israel victory in 1991?

It is not speculative that there is a anti-semitic theme of leftist politics. Also here

In 2004 U.S. Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (D-SC), came under fire for remarks he made in an opinion column where he accused President Bush of going to war in Iraq "to secure Israel."

Fast forward to June 15th, 2005, when a few democratic congress members huddled in the White House basement. (hat tip to blogs for bush for this:

" Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote:

"The session took an awkward turn when witness Ray McGovern...declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases...He said that Israel should not be considered an ally and that Bush was doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation," McGovern said. "The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic."...

...At Democratic headquarters, where an overflow crowd watched the hearing on television, activists handed out documents repeating two accusations -- that an Israeli company had warning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and that there was an "insider trading scam" on 9/11 -- that previously has been used to suggest Israel was behind the attacks."

Could it be that the only reason that John Bolton is -in democratic eyes - "not acceptable", simply a fear they have of further favor to Isreal?

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