"...everyone is bored,and devotes himself to cultivating habits..these habits are not peculiar to our town.." Albert Camus "The Plague"

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Scott Spraggins, a Connecticut state trooper and former U.S. Marine, recently returned from a Christmas vist to the African nation of Ghana, tells of a harrowing encounter with armed intruders invading their quarters in Accra. Here is the headline and lead from today's Hartford Courant:

Menacing Eyes, Shotgun In The Dark

Connecticut Trooper Prevails In Ferocious Fight To Defend Family In Ghana
December 31, 2006
By TRACY GORDON FOX, Courant Staff Writer

"Trooper Scott Spraggins opened his eyes to the African darkness, awakened by a strange scraping noise. It was different from the crickets and the whir of central air conditioning in the gated, elegant home where he and his family had been staying during their trip this month to Ghana"......( Spraggins lunged at a man with a shotgun and a viscious fight broke out eventually involving the troopers wife and mother, all were injured but the 3 intruders were routed)......"Scott and Angelica Spraggins, 39, and his mother, Lyla Mills, 63, now back home in Newtown, recalled how they fought with the three armed intruders. Scott Spraggins slashed one of the bandits in the abdomen and blinded another in one eye."

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Trooper Spraggins and Family (Hartford Courant photo)

To top off an amazing year there's this....honestly folks you couldn't make this stuff up....
(Martina).....Navratilova defended the “right” of sheep to be gay. She said: “How can it be that in the year 2006 a major university would host such homophobic and cruel experiments?” She said gay men and lesbians would be “deeply offended” by the social implications of the tests.

The experiments in question are being conduceted Oregon State University (excerpt below)
Experiments that claim to ‘cure’ homosexual rams spark anger
SCIENTISTS are conducting experiments to change the sexuality of “gay” sheep in a programme that critics fear could pave the way for breeding out homosexuality in humans.

The technique being developed by American researchers adjusts the hormonal balance in the brains of homosexual rams so that they are more inclined to mate with ewes.

It raises the prospect that pregnant women could one day be offered a treatment to reduce or eliminate the chance that their offspring will be homosexual. Experts say that, in theory, the “straightening” procedure on humans could be as simple as a hormone supplement for mothers-to-be, worn on the skin like an anti-smoking nicotine patch.

From Timesonline (UK) via Drudge
Now these experiments could be described as "ewegenics".Here's more about this sort of word play; Ewephemisms.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Time to Swing!

In his Friday sermon, a mosque preacher in the Shiite holy city of Najaf called Saddam's execution "God's gift to Iraqis." "Oh, God, you know what Saddam has done! He killed millions of Iraqis in prisons, in wars with neighboring countries and he is responsible for mass graves,Oh God, we ask you to take revenge on Saddam."

Worthy of note is this statement, issued yesterday, from Ed Koch........

Reprinted from NewsMax.com

George Bush is a Hero

Edward I. Koch
Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006

President George W. Bush, vilified by many, supported by some, is a hero to me.

Why do I say that? It's not because I agree with the president's domestic agenda. It's not because I think he's done a perfect job in the White House.

George Bush is a hero to me because he has courage.

The president does what he believes to be in the best interest of the United States. He sticks with his beliefs, no matter how intense the criticism and invective that are directed against him every day.

The enormous defeat President Bush suffered with the loss of both Houses of Congress has not caused him to retreat from his position that the U.S. alone now stands between a radical Islamic takeover of many of the world's governments in the next 30 or more years. If that takeover occurs, we will suffer an enslavement that will threaten our personal freedoms and take much of the world back into the Dark Ages.

Our major ally in this war against the forces of darkness, Great Britain, is still being led by an outstanding prime minister, Tony Blair. However, Blair will soon be set out to pasture, which means Great Britain will leave our side and join France, Germany, Spain, and other countries that foolishly believe they can tame the wolf at the door and convert it into a domestic pet that will live in peace with them.

These dreamers naively believe that if we feed the wolves what they demand, they will go away. But that won't happen.

Appeasement never works. The wolves always come back for more and more, and when we have nothing left to give, they come for us.

Radical Islamists are very much aware that we have shown fear. For example, we have allowed the people of Darfur — dark skinned Africans — to be terrorized, killed, raped, and taken as slaves by the supporters of the Sudanese government, radical Islamists.

The countries surrounding Iraq — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan — made up of Sunni Arabs, know that for them, the wolves who are the radical Shia are already at their door. The New York Times reported on Dec. 13, 2006, "Saudi Arabia has told the Bush administration that it might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in any war against Iraq's Shiites if the United States pulls its troops out of Iraq, according to American and Arab diplomats . . .

"The Saudis have argued strenuously against an American pullout from Iraq, citing fears that Iraq's minority Sunni Arab population would be massacred . . . The Bush administration is also working on a way to form a coalition of Sunni Arab nations and a moderate Shiite government in Iraq, along with the United States and Europe, to stand against ‘Iran, Syria and the terrorists."

This Saudi response will take place notwithstanding that until now, according to the Times, "The Saudis have been wary of supporting Sunnis in Iraq because their insurgency there has been led by extremists of al-Qaida, who are opposed to the kingdom's monarchy. But if Iraq's sectarian war worsened, the Saudis would line up with Sunni tribal leaders."

The Times article went on to state the opinion of an Arab expert, Nawaf Obaid, who was recently fired by the Saudi foreign minister after Obaid wrote an op ed in The Washington Post asserting that the Saudis were prepared in the event of an American pullout to engage in a "massive intervention to stop Iranian-backed Shiite militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis."

Obaid went on "suggest[ing] that Saudi Arabia could cut world oil prices in half…a move that would be devastating to Iran."

The Times reported, "Arab diplomats . . . said that Mr. Obaid's column reflected the view of the Saudi government." When writing about affairs of state in distant places, unless you are on the scene talking to knowledgeable participants, the most reliable sources to support conjecture with "facts" are the superb reporters of the great international newspapers like The New York Times.

Surely this turn of events in Saudi Arabia undoubtedly replicated in other Sunni-dominated countries — Sunnis are 80 percent of the world's Muslim population. This will give support to my proposal, advanced nearly a year ago, that we tell our allies, regional and NATO, that we are getting out of Iraq unless they come in.

That may well work, and they will come in, in large part and share the casualties of combat and the financial costs of war.

Doing what I suggest is far better than simply pulling out, which is the direction in which we are headed, notwithstanding the president's opposition. I think at the moment simply getting out and not making an attempt to bring our allies in is supported by a majority of Americans and would be supported by a majority of Democrats in the Congress.

For me, staying is clearly preferable, provided we are not alone and are joined by our regional and NATO allies, aggressively taking on the difficult but necessary task of destroying radical Islam and its terrorist agenda if we don't want to see radical Islam destroy the Western world and moderate Arab states over the next generation, or as long as it takes for them to succeed.

Two other requirements are needed to bring the war in Iraq to a successful conclusion: First, require the Iraqi government to allow greater autonomy for the three regions — Kurd, Sunni, and Shia. The second requirement is that the national Iraqi government enact legislation that will divide all oil and natural gas revenues in a way similar to that of our own state of Alaska.

The Alaskan state government takes from those revenues all it will need to finance government and provide services and the balance is divided among the population of Alaska, in a profit sharing program. That would settle the major Sunni problem which has been being cut out of oil revenues because the country's oil is located only in Kurdish and Shiite areas.

If the Iraqi government refuses our demands, our reply should be "Goodbye. You're on your own." This proposal was suggested to me by Mike Sheppard in Chapel Hill, N.C.

It won't be easy to implement this proposal. But President Bush has courage.

Now is the time to use it.

Edward I. Koch, author, lawyer, and talk-radio host, was a member of the U.S. Congress and, for 12 years, the 105th mayor of New York City.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

.......And a Merry Christmas to All!

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For information about the above image by Dean Morrissey and for links to everything Santa click here.

The Great Christmas Night Raid: 1776

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“My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do, and more than could be reasonably expected, but your country is at stake … The present is emphatically the crisis which is to decide our destiny.”
Gen. George Washington in an appeal to his troops following the surprise attack on the Hessians at Trenton, December 1776

A must read is this article by W. Thomas Smith Jr. about the "special operation" that changed the course of history and turned the war in favor of the continentals 230 years ago. Excerpts:

Continental Army General George Washington’s celebrated “Crossing of the Delaware” has been dubbed in some military circles, “America’s first special operation.” Though there were certainly many small-unit actions, raids, and Ranger operations during the Colonial Wars – and there was a special Marine landing in Nassau in the early months of the American Revolution – no special mission by America’s first army has been more heralded than that which took place on Christmas night exactly 230 years ago........The factors in Washington’s favor were clear: The weather was so bad that no one believed the Continentals would attempt a river crossing followed by a forced march, much less at night. The Continentals were numerically – and perceived to be qualitatively – inferior to the British Army. The Hessians, mercenaries allied to the British and who were garrisoned in Trenton, had a battlefield reputation that far exceeded their actual combat prowess. And no one believed the weary Americans would want to attempt anything with anyone on Christmas.

Here is an illustrated account of the Battle of Trenton from the BritishBattles.com website.

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Listen to an excerpt from the stirring conclusion to David McCullough's "1776" read by the author. Here he tells of the perilous crossing of the Delaware and the victory over the Hessians at Trenton. (MP3 File - 36:42)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Flying While Muslim!

The 6 imams removed from U.S. Airways flight 300 on November 20 are shown to be engaged in an elaborate, premeditated scheme to extort money from the airline in the guise of being victims of "Flying While Muslim" profiling. Debra Burlingame, whose brother Chip was captain of the hijacked airliner whcih struck the Pentagon on 9/11/01, was a guest on Fox and Friends this AM. She is a member of "9ll Families for America" on whose website you will find new information about the imams' actions to provoke and terrorize. Follow the links below for further details.

Expressions of support are needed to U.S. Airways for their correct actions in defusing this provocation in a professional manner which received high praise from the affected passengers on the flight. Protests should made to U.S. Department of Transportation against caving into CAIR's demands for sanctions against the airline.

Fox and Friends (video on Pajams Media)
Mark Levin Show 12/12/06 Download Audio WMA
Debra Burlingame/Mark Levin 12/12/06 (download audio WMA)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Dr. Seuss on Appeasement - His WW II Cartoons

A Catalog of World War II Cartoons by Dr. Seuss

Before his series of successful children's books as Dr. Seuss brought him prominence, Theodor Seuss Geisel had been a lifelong cartoonist. During the World War II years, 1941-43, he drew editorial cartoons for "PM," a New York City newspaper. In fact, he published more than 400 panels based on the current events of the day. He was particularly concerned about pacifist and appeasment views among the U.S. populace and drew many cartoons with that theme in mind. Above is an example and another below.

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

How the Left Stole Christmas

A Parody of Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas,"
New words by Kris Avalon

Every Who
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot...

But the Folks
Who lived just Left of Who-ville,
Did NOT!

The Left hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be that their heads weren't screwed on quite right.
It could be, perhaps, that their shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that their brains were two sizes too small.

Whatever the reason,
Their brains or his shoes,
They stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the Whos,
Staring down from their caves with a sour, grouchy frown
At the warm lighted windows below in their town.

"All those holiday trees!" they snarled with a sneer.
"Tomorrow is x-mas! It's practically here!"
Then George Soros growled, his fingers nervously drumming,
"I MUST find a way to keep Christmas from coming!"
For, tomorrow, he knew...

...All the Who girls and boys
Would wake up bright and early. They'd rush for their toys!
And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
That's one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!

Then the Whos, young and old, would sit down to a feast.
And they'd feast! And they'd feast!
They would start singing carols with Jesus's name
Imagine the scandal! Imagine the shame!

They'd do something he liked least of all!
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Would stand close together, with grace and finesse.
And say merry Christmas, in public no less!

And they'd sing! And they'd sing!
And the more the Left thought of the Who-Christmas-Sing
The more the Left thought, "We must stop this whole thing!
It's unconstitutional! We must stop it now!
We MUST stop Christmas from coming!
...But HOW?"

Then they got an idea!
An awful idea!

"I know just what to do!" Michael Newdow declared
With a cold twisted smile and cold twisted glare.
And he chuckled, and clucked, from his head to his heels
"I'll go to the ninth circuit court of appeals!"

"All I need are supporters..."
The man looked around.
But in Who-ville support was quite scarce to be found.
Did that stop Mr. Newdow...?
No! The man simply said,
"If they don't see it my way, I'll make them instead!"
So he called up his friends at the ACLU
To pursue every caroling, Christmasing Who.

They sued all the cities
Each park and each town
Wherever a Jesus or Mary was found

With funds from George Soros
They hired the best
Until even the Who's
Became filled with unrest.

Caving in to the pressure, they fell to their knees
And their shops started marketing holiday trees
In Who-ville the grandeur had turned to unease
The Salvation Army was asked to leave too
In case it offended some sensitive Who

And all the Who plays in all the Who schools
Sang carols acceptable with the new rules.
Like 'Merry Little Winter,' 'White Holiday' too.
But which holiday, no Who really knew

Then the leftists applauded, they thought they had won
Till one grouchy Who came and spoiled their fun
With a stick up his butt and a frown on his face
O'Reilly stepped forward, 'Oh, what a disgrace!'
"They're secular pinheads, yes, that's what they are!"
"Their little agenda has gone way too far!"

Then he put on a coat, and a hat and a beard
And hitched up a sleigh while the Leftists all jeered
He rode into town, shouting "Christmas for all!"
"You fascists can suck on my Christmas tree ball!"

And the Left became angry, so very irate
But some others in Who-ville said, "Wait, now just wait"
"Perhaps this O'Reilly has something to say"
"Perhaps we've let Christmas just whither away"

And some but not all of the shopkeepers then
Began shouting out "Merry Christmas" again
And children sang carols aloud in the snow
While Christmas trees stood in the midst all aglow

And as for George Soros
Well...in Who-ville they say
The vein in his forehead
Grew three sizes that day!

The Grinch Rogues Gallery

.......And a Merry Christmas to All!

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Gloomy Outlook at Year's End - Part 1

A number of disturbing trends, domestic and geo-political, portend a very difficult year ahead for the U.S. and the West. While it is difficult to discern which problem is the most intractable, here is a list of some of the most challenging ones, not necessarily in order of importance:
  • Iraq - President Bush, to his credit, has remained steadfast in his promise that the mission in Iraq will be completed. Whatever success he may hope to achieve is now increasingly dependent on the machinations and perfidy of Democrats, who when fully in power will have the ability fo severely undercut the President's plans and dampen the nation's will to confront the terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere. One possible sign of Democrat reasonableness is the denial of crucial committee posts to Murtha and Hastings. This leads into:
  • Iran - An article by Arnaud de Borchgrave in Washington Times 11/29 reports Iranian gloating over America's lack of will and how it presents Iran with an unprecendented opportunity for regional domination:(quotes)
Iran can either facilitate or humiliate a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Key mullahs now say Iran should assist a U.S. exit that would enhance Iran's regional power. The argument, put forward by Moshen Rezai, secretary of the government's "Expediency Council," states that "America's arrival in the region presented Iran with an historic opportunity." and.... "The kind of service that the Americans, with all their hatred, have done us," said Mr. Rezai, "no superpower has ever done anything similar. America destroyed all our enemies in the region. It destroyed the Taliban. It destroyed Saddam Hussein. ... It did all this in order to confront us face to face, and in order to place us under siege. But the American teeth got so stuck in the soil of Iraq and Afghanistan that if they manage to drag themselves back to Washington in one piece, they should thank Allah."
  • Russia - Russia cannot be trusted or considered a friend. It is becoming clearer that Putin & Co. are embarked on a return to totalitarianism. The various poison and asassination incidents against journalists and dissidents is disturbing. Russia's supplying of missiles to Iran is dangerous and provocative. (To be continued)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Scottish Highland Cattle from Footsteps Farm (see below)

Questions about Meat Production: Some History and News About Humane Farming and Slaughter

In another forum in which I participate, a lively discussion occurred concerning vegetarianism vs. meat consumption and the ethical, moral, and health implications involved. My contribution which follows dealt only with the historical and ethical issues:

Because humans are the most advanced and intelligent life form on this planet it has become our singular responsibility to exercise dominion over other life forms. Of especial importance is our relationship with those other mammals whose husbandry we have undertaken for the benefit of humans and domesticated animals alike . I speak here of the symbiotic relationship between man and beast that has evolved over millenia. It has been suggested that the ancestors of modern cattle gradually became used to a closer relationship to humans which allowed for the slaughter of some of their numbers while the main population thrived under humankind's protection thus perpetuating the species.

The ideal solution of course would be that we personally kill what we plan to eat. As much as we might applaud Ted Nugent we cannot all be like him. Thus there must be intermediaries between us, as consumers (the eaters), and our provender (the eaten). It is upon these middlemen, the farmers and meat packers, that our attention must be focused if we are to achieve respectful treatment of animals while assuring our food supplies.

Within the last 10 years we have seen a huge growth in the "organic" and "natural" foods industry. At first this was primarily focused on the fruit and vegetable segments but is now changing the way meat and poultry are slaughtered and marketed. There have been significant changes in seafood where farmed fish, i.e salmon, tilapia, catfish, have become mainstream commodities. Once exotic meats such as bison, venison, ostrich can be easily found today in our larger food stores. Poultry, beef, and pork are touted as "free range", "hormone and anti-biotic free"etc.

An interesting offshoot of the above mentioned trends is the emergence of small farms dedicated to the preservation of "heritage" breeds; that is those animals that were once common here (in the U.S.) because of their particular suitability to our geography and climate. These breeds have been largely supplanted by ones more suited to factory farming. These small scale farmers are particularly concerned with respectful treatment of their animals and their humane slaughter.

I recently heard of a farm here in Connecticut that adheres to the above principles. I urge you to visit their web site: http://www.footstepsfarm.com/index.html

I also recommend Stephen Budiansky's "The Covenant of the Wild-Why Animals Chose Domestication"

Whole Foods Markets standards for meat and poultry.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Here are excerpts from an interesting article by Robert James Bidinotto in "The New Individualist", a publication of The Atlas Society and The Objectivist Center.

TRUST NO ONE: The paranoids are out to get you!

Or so it seems in this era of conspiracy theories. To conspiratorialist wingnuts, the world isn’t ruled by ideas and physical laws. No—powerful plotters operating At The Highest Levels are running things.

The fifth anniversary of the 9/11 atrocity has come and gone. Many of us took time to remember the fallen, and to reflect upon the wider meaning of the ideological threats to our way of life.

Regrettably, these somber remembrances and thoughtful reflections were marred by the loud, incendiary claims of conspiracy theorists.

Robet James Bidinotto, Editor
The New Invidualist

Surely, you have heard the 9/11 conspiracy theories by now. The U.S. government—not Osama bin Laden and radical Muslims—brought down the World Trade Center. Attacked the Pentagon. Tried to hit Congress, even. Or at least allowed these things to happen—then covered it all up.

Why? To justify launching the War on Terror.

And why launch a War on Terror?

If you are a Muslim conspiratorialist, it’s because the Great Satan wishes to destroy the Muslim world.

If you are a libertarian conspiratorialist, it’s because a War on Terror would allow excuses for the diabolical neocons to violate our liberties, vastly increase government spending, and consolidate power.

If you are a leftist conspiratorialist, it’s because that gives the imperialistic U.S. a rationale to colonize the Middle East.

If you are a conservative conspiratorialist, it’s because it gives the communist Insiders and international bankers a greater stranglehold on our economy.

The wonderful thing about the 9/11 conspiracy theory is that it can be cited to explain damned near anything, for damned near anyone. Like the Blob from the 1950s horror movie, an ambitious conspiracy theory like this one can expand amorphously in any direction, allowing it to encompass—and account for—any conceivable fact, thus allowing its proponent to imagine himself unassailable to any challenge.

Of course, the “theory” (if we dignify it with that label) is complete nonsense. Recently, Popular Mechanics editor Jim Meigs and his staff took on and meticulously refuted the various 9/11 conspiracy theories in several long articles, a dedicated blog, and a book, Debunking 9/11 Myths. Naturally, none of this matters one whit to the conspiratorialists: clearly, Popular Mechanics has been co-opted or duped by The Conspiracy, you see.

This prompts me to address a wider issue: the general susceptibility of many people to conspiracy theories of all sorts.

(There is much more; click here for the entire November 2006 article.)

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Hartford Tornado: Willie Pep Dead at 84

Willie Pep: 1922-2006

See Hartford Courant 11/24/06 for lengthy article and vintage photographs.

How to be a Good Liberal

This came in over the transom this morning!



1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand.

2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Iran or Chinese and North Korean communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical changes in the earth's climate and more affected by soccer moms driving SUV's.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artficial, but being homosexual is natural.

7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.

8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th-graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

9. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but PETA activists do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money to make "The Passion of the Christ" for financial gain only.

12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Gen. Robert E. Lee, and Thomas Edison.

15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.

16. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.

17. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag queens and transvestites should be constitutionally protected, and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

18. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast, right-wing conspiracy.


Oops - can't do that, either!!!!!

A somehwat longer and comprehensive list of essential liberal beliefs can be found Here

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Murder in Beirut: Update


Pierre Gemayel Murdered by:

Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad

Is there any doubt the Syrians have brought Lebanon to the brink of destruction. An editorial today in the Wall Street Journal discussed the 2005 asassination of Lebanon's Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and a U.N. tribunal's attempt to affix blame for the deed. All signs point to Syria and Bashar Assad in that case.

.....events in Lebanon are so important. Syria's Lebanese allies are trying to undermine the Hariri investigation from within, and are expected to escalate their efforts very soon, maybe even this week. It makes no sense for the U.S. to hand them more ammunition by prematurely transacting with Mr. Assad before the U.N. completes its task and assigns responsibility for the assassination.

Yes, Syria's agents did escalate their efforts and today murdered the anti-Syrian Industry Minister, 34 year old Pierre Gemayel, son of a former Lebanese president.

....Pierre Gemayel, Lebanon’s Industry Minister and son of a former President, was shot dead yesterday http://beta.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifin his car in a Beirut suburb. It was the first assassination of a leading anti-Syrian figure in almost a year.

Update: Wall Street Journal 11/22/06 - Former Secretary of State James Baker has been saying that, when it comes to diplomacy, you don't "restrict your conversations to your friends"--shorthand for the view that the U.S. should engage Syria and Iran to find solutions in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. But yesterday's murder of Lebanese Minister Pierre Gemayel might remind even Mr. Baker and his Iraq Study Group what some of those non-friends are all about.

"The hand of Syria is all over" Gemayel's assassination, said Saad Hariri, the leader of the parliamentary bloc that helped evict the Syrian army in the spring of 2005. Mr. Hariri knows whereof he speaks: His father, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, was blown up with 22 others in February 2005, and the preliminary U.N. investigation offered a trail of evidence pointing to Damascus as the culprit.

A who's who of anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians and journalists have also since been targeted for assassination.....Which brings us back to Mr. Baker and the rest of the U.S. foreign-policy establishment now urging a new entente with Damascus. It's true that every Administration must deal with the world as it is. But when it comes to Syria, do the sages of the Iraq Study Group really want the Bush Administration to seek the benediction of a country that stirs such mayhem in Beirut?

Monday, November 20, 2006

OJ Simpson: No IF About It!

Thankfully, Rupert Murdoch and Co. have come to their senses and cancelled this abomination. This Christopher Hitchens piece, written before the cancellation, spells out the tawdriness of the whole affair.

Hat tip to The Stranger for top photo.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

$17 Oil: Good News if Israeli Plan Works!

Israel Presses for Oil From Shale

"With the help of homegrown technology, an Israeli company's proposed energy plant could help the country vastly reduce oil imports.

With oil prices hovering around $70 a barrel, Israel is looking for ways to reduce its near-total dependence on energy imports. It's pondering the use of the nation's huge reserves of oil shale—a dark, crumbly rock loaded with hydrocarbons—located in the central and southern parts of the country. Thanks to a technical breakthrough, it should be possible to extract fuel oil from the shale for less than $20 a barrel. That could allow Israel eventually to cut its crude imports by up to one-third...."The cost of producing a barrel of oil using the process would be around $17 a barrel," estimates Amit Mor, managing director of Eco-Energy."
From "Business Week" Jul 06

Meanwhile, here in the U.S. we need to be doing more to exploit our own gas and oil reserves. New drilling in Grand County, UT has brought gas and oil wells on line.Our oil shale deposits are a huge resource made more important in light of the new Israeli process. (photo)

US oil reserves are at least three times the size of Saudi Arabian reserves beneath federal land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

And even more Good News! LOL!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman Dead: A Giant is Gone


Word reached us this morning that Milton Friedman has died. Friedman, who won the Nobel Prize in Ecnomics in 1976, was a giant in free-market economics--and freedom more generally--and a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal. Just last month he penned an op-ed lamenting Hong Kong's departure from laissez-faire economics. Back in July Tunku Varadarajan published a charming interview with Friedman and his wife, Rose. Milton Friedman was 94.
Thanks to James Taranto, WSJ "Best of the Web Today"
Here is audio (MP3) by Edward Crane of the Cato Institute honoring Milton Friedman.
Google video from Dec. 2005 on Charlie Rose (56:40). This requires a $.99 purchase from Google and is worth every penny!
Also see Capitalism and Friedman fron WSJ 11/17/06.
Another free Google video on Limited Government.

Monday, November 13, 2006

What Joe Does Not Rule Out!

Lieberman appearing on "Meet the Press" with Russert yesterday had this to say about his plans:

Lieberman told Russert that he wants to "bring the [Democratic] party back to its historic traditions of strength on national security, foreign policy and innovation and progress in domestic policy like Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy Democrats that I was raised to be. But I'm going to be an independent because that is how and why I return to the Senate. I was elected as and independent, I was elected because I said to my constituents in Connecticut, 'I'm as fed up with the partisanship in Washington as you are, I promise you I will put progress and patriotism ahead of partisan ship and polarization,' so I am now an independent Democrat, capital I capital D."....

Russert pointed out that Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont crossed over and joined the Democrats and they gave him his committee chairmanship, saying, "You're not ruling that out in some future time." Lieberman admitted, "I'm not ruling it out but I hope I don't get to that point."

Article from NewsMax 11/13/06


A Connecticut blogger whose articles we enjoy has this to say about liberal inanities:

When I sit and listen to the tripe served-up by Olbermann, I can’t help but to wonder what the Constitution would read like had our Founding Fathers been replaced by Olbermann et al.

In keeping with a lack of depth and a 30 second attention span:

We the self-styled elitists of the United States, in order to form a more perfect playground, establish unaccountability, insure domestic chaos, provide for the common mediocrity, promote the general welfare state, and secure the blessings of liberty exclusively to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Diverse States of America.

Read the complete article by Dan Sargis here

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Nuremburg Style Trials in Germany for Rumsfeld et al!

Get this: It didn't take the Left long. The German's high prosecutor plans to bring war crimes charges against Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales, Gerge Tenent and others. Germans claim they have "universal jurisdiction"; and, even more troubling, a former U.S. Army Brig. General is in Germany and will testify for the prosecution. Plus, Harry Reid when asked today if investigations were on the agenda in the new Congress he replied that "congressional oversight" was the first order of business! That means YES and the supeanas will be flying. So the storm clouds are thickening; the international Left combined with our Dems are going to see to it that this nation will never again be able to defend itself against foreign enemies who attack us.

Time Mag via Drudge

Facing The Next Two Years

Peggy Noonan has some wise and encouraging words to take us through the wilderness of the next two years:

What can you do in two years? The common wisdom says not much. But here's a governing attitude: First things first.
Do all you can to keep America as safe as possible as long as possible. Make sure she's able to take a bad blow, a bad series of them......Make America in the world as safe as possible by tending to and building our friendships in the world, by causing no unnecessary friction, by adding whatever possible and necessary emollients. In your approach to foreign affairs, rewrite Teddy Roosevelt: Speak softly, walk softly, and carry a big stick.....Much flows from this, including Iraq. This involves a huge and so far unanswered question: How to leave and not make it all infinitely worse. America will never accept a long war whose successful end even its most passionate proponents cannot convincingly envision or articulate. And America will never allow a repeat of the pictures of 1975, with desperate people who'd thrown their lot with us clinging to the skids of helicopters fleeing the U.S. Embassy. We will never get over Vietnam. And it's to our credit that we won't.

McGovern Redux

We note with sadness the re-emergence of George McGovern on the political stage. He has been invited as a consultant to "the Congressional Progressive Caucus , a 62-member group led by Reps. Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee." Rep. Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against authorizing military action against al Qaeda in 2001."McGovern, returning from distinguished service as a bomber pilot in WW II, became attracted to leftist politics and joined the pro Soviet Progressive Party of Henry Wallace. Despite carrying only one state, MA, plus DC, in the 1972 presidential election McGovern is nevertheless called upon for sage advice by a quarter of the new Democrats in Congress!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Way to Go Joe!

The Election Aftermath and Lieberman's Role

Even though Joe Lieberman ran as an independent he has said he will caucus with the Democrats and so be it. But he will provide a desperately needed voice in the 110th Congress to avoid the abandonment of our troops and dilution of the war on terror. Following are comments from James Taranto's column (11/8) on WSJ's "Best of the Web Today"

This is not to say every Republican who lost deserved it. We were especially sad to see Rick Santorum and Michael Steele go down to defeat. But as a party, the Republicans needed to lose sometime. And better this year than in 2004, when it would have meant President Kerry--a prospect that even the most diehard Bush-hater knows in his heart would have been catastrophic.

It was not a referendum on Iraq. One of the most pro-Iraq lawmakers in Congress, Sen. Joe Lieberman, ran as an independent and trounced anti-Iraq Democratic nominee Ned Lamont. Meanwhile, of the five remaining Republican members of Congress who voted against Iraq's liberation, three lost: Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), Rep. John Hostettler (Ind.) and Rep. Jim Leach (Iowa). Only two anti-Iraq Republicans will return to the 110th Congress: Reps. Jimmy Duncan (Tenn.) and Ron Paul (Texas).

The Associated Press reports that while "three-fourths of voters said corruption and scandal were important to their votes, . . . Iraq was important for just two-thirds."

It was not a victory for the left. Lieberman's victory over Lamont should be sufficient to establish this, but also, as we noted last week, the Democrats nominated many moderates for Congress, including Heath Shuler in North Carolina and Bob Casey and Chris Carney in Pennsylvania. (Carney, who beat Rep. Don Sherwood, got an endorsement from Richard Perle at a cocktail party we attended last month.)

In 1994 Republicans won Congress by nominating strong conservative candidates in districts long held by the other party. In 2006 Democrats did the same. It will be interesting to watch how Speaker Pelosi mediates between her ultraliberal committee chairman and the moderate freshmen to whom they owe their jobs.

It seems clear America is a center-right country, rather than a center-left one--though the Northeast is an exception. In fact, with Reps. Jeb Bradley and Charles Bass of New Hampshire and Nancy Johnson of Connecticut going down to defeat, and the Nutmeg State's Rob Simmons, Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut may soon be the only GOP House member in all of New England.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hot Air introduces…the Absolute Moral Authority card

Find yourself in a jam? Are your anti-war lies catching up with you? Then use the Absolute Moral Authority card and get right out of trouble free. Once you play the Absolute Moral Authority card, no one can ever question you again, no matter what you say or do!

HatTip to Hot Air, see more cards here.
Below is the lead from a long, but important, analysis of what is at stake in tomorrow's election. The link is to the entire article.

Election About Stopping The Next 9/11

Ronald Kessler
Monday, Nov. 6, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Contrary to what many pundits would have you believe, this election is not about side shows like the meaning of Macaca or Senator John Kerry's assessment of American soldiers' I.Q. Instead, voters face choices about the most fundamental issue: our national security and whether we can foil a devastating attack that could kill millions of Americans and wipe out our economy.

From NewsMax

YouTube has 3 videos depicting what Democratic anti-war campaign ads would have looked like in 1941, 1861, and 1775! Click links below to watch.

Friday, November 03, 2006

How determined to kill you is radical Islam?

This weekend, FOX News Channel examines the full scope of the threat to the United States, with the help of documentarian Wayne Kopping. This hour-long program exposes the stunning and explicit threats made against the West made by Islamic leaders. It features interviews with former terrorists, shocking Islamic news video never before broadcast in America, and undercover footage taken inside suicide bomber initiations and secret jihadist meetings.

The special will air Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET, and will be repeated Sunday at 1 a.m. ET, 5 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET.

She Voted, Will You?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Seymour Hersh: Bashing Our Military Again!

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If any one person has caused more damage to our national will and the morale of our military than John Kerry it has to be Seymour Hersh. His latest rant about our military was delivered, on foreign soil naturally, at McGill University. Some quotes and excerpts:

"If Americans knew the full extent of U.S. criminal conduct, they would receive returning Iraqi veterans as they did Vietnam veterans," Hersh said.
“In Vietnam, our soldiers came back and they were reviled as baby killers, in shame and humiliation,” he said. “It isn’t happening now, but I will tell you – there has never been an [American] army as violent and murderous as our army has been in Iraq.”

During his hour-and-a-half lecture – part of the launch of an interdisciplinary media and communications studies program called Media@McGill – Hersh described video footage depicting U.S. atrocities in Iraq, which he had viewed, but not yet published a story about.

From: McGill Daily 10/30/06

She Voted, Will You?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

Clearly, The Issue Is Iraq (Cont.)

Marine Capt. Robert Secher

Another soldier's thoughts and suggestions.

See "Iraq Through the Eyes of a Dead Soldier" in the current issue of Newsweek. Marine Capt.Robert Secher became disillusioned with the way the war was being prosecuted but believed in doing the job. He paid with his life. The Newsweek article contains emails home provided by his family. Excerpts:

On working with the Iraqis: Anytime an American fires a weapon there has to be an investigation into why there was an escalation of force. That wouldn't have stopped us from firing, but it prevents us from just firing indiscriminately. We have to have positively identified targets. That is why I am now a big fan of having the Iraqis with us. They can fire at whatever the hell they want, we call it the "Iraqi Death Blossom." These guys receive one shot and the whole unit fires at everything in sight until the attached American unit gets them to control their fire. That's fine with me.

On the "dirty secrets" of war: Of course you've heard about two different sets of Marines being charged with murder.....

I feel bad for those guys. Bush should be ashamed of the predicament that this nation has been put in. And anyone who calls those young Marines killers should think twice. War puts perfectly ordinary young men in situations that can't be judged by laws. They are the situations of survival. The dirty little secrets of war, no one would want to know the horrible things that the "greatest generation" did to German and Japanese soldiers and civilians... ... If you really want to win a war you have to be brutal. You have to be Sherman and raze Georgia as you march to the sea.

On Iraqui military culture: The biggest lesson I have learned over 6 months here is that the Iraqi culture is incapable of maintaining a western style military. The Arabic-style military.... is distasteful to western soldiers: officers who hit their men; officers and senior enlisted men who regularly steal from their men; using leadership to openly grant yourself more food and 'standard of living' items while your men go without.

Newsweek Story

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Clearly, The Issue is Iraq

(the following article appeared yesterday in the "Best of the Web" column from WSJ On Line; thanks to James Taranto)

Best of the Web Today - October 25, 2006


A View From Iraq

Our item yesterday in which we reaffirmed our support for the liberation of Iraq brought some very interesting reader comments. This is from an American there who asks not to be named:

There's been a lot of discussion back home about the course of the war, the righteousness of our involvement, the clarity of our execution, and what to do about the predicament in which we currently find ourselves. I just wanted to send you my firsthand account of what's happening here.

First, a little bit about me: I'm stationed slightly northwest of Baghdad in a mixed Sunni/Shia area. I'm a sergeant in the U.S. Army on a human intelligence collection team. I interact with Iraqis on a daily basis and I help put together the intel picture for our area of operations. I have contacts with friends, who are also in my job, in every are of operations in the Fourth Infantry Division footprint, and through our crosstalk I'd say I have a pretty damn good idea of what's going on in and around Baghdad on a micro and intermediary level.

I wrote heavily in favor of this war before I enlisted myself, and I still maintain that going into Iraq was not only the necessary thing to do, but the right thing to do as well.

There have been distinct failures of policy in Iraq. The vast majority of them fall under the category "failure to adapt." Basically U.S. policies have been several steps behind the changing conditions ever since we came into the country. I believe this is (in part) due to our plainly obvious desire to extricate ourselves from Iraq. I know President Bush is preaching "stay the course," but we came over here with a goal of handing over our battlespace to the Iraqis by the end of our tour here.

This breakneck pace with which we're trying to push the responsibility for governing and securing Iraq is irresponsible and suicidal. It's like throwing a brick on a house of cards and hoping it holds up. The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)--a joint term referring to Iraqi army and Iraqi police--are so rife with corruption, insurgent sympathies and Shia militia members that they have zero effectiveness. Two Iraqi police brigades in Baghdad have been disbanded recently, and the general sentiment in our field is "Why stop there?" I can't tell you how many roadside bombs have been detonated against American forces within sight of ISF checkpoints. Faith in the Iraqi army is only slightly more justified than faith in the police--but even there, the problems of tribal loyalties, desertion, insufficient training, low morale and a failure to properly indoctrinate their soldiers results in a substandard, ineffective military. A lot of the problems are directly related to Arab culture, which traditionally doesn't see nepotism and graft as serious sins. Changing that is going to require a lot more than "benchmarks."

In Shia areas, the militias hold the real control of the city. They have infiltrated, co-opted or intimidated into submission the local police. They are expanding their territories, restricting freedom of movement for Sunnis, forcing mass migrations, spiking ethnic tensions, not to mention the murderous checkpoints, all while U.S. forces do . . . nothing.

For the first six months I was in country, sectarian violence was classified as an "Iraqi on Iraqi" crime. Division didn't want to hear about it. And, in a sense I can understand why. Because division realized that which the Iraqi people have come to realize: The American forces cannot protect them. We are too few in number and our mission is "stability and support." The problem is that there's nothing to give stability and support to. We hollowed out the Baathist regime, and we hastily set up this provisional government, thrusting political responsibility on a host of unknowns, each with his own political agenda, most funded by Iran, and we're seeing the results.

In Germany after World War II, we controlled our sector with approximately 500,000 troops, directly administering the area for 10 years while we rebuilt the country and rebuilt the social and political infrastructure needed to run it. In Iraq, we've got one-third that number of troops dealing with three times the population on a much faster timetable, and we're attempting to unify three distinct ethnic groups with no national interest and at least three outside influences (Saudi Arabian Wahhabists, Iranian mullahs and Syrian Baathists) each eagerly funding various groups in an attempt to see us fail. And we are.

If we continue on as is in Iraq, we will leave here (sooner or later) with a fractured state, a Rwanda-waiting-to-happen. "Stay the course" and refusing to admit that we're screwing things up is already killing a lot of people needlessly. Following through with such inane nonstrategy is going to be the death knell for hundreds of thousands of Sunnis.

We need to backtrack. We need to publicly admit we're backtracking. This is the opening battle of the ideological struggle of the 21st century. We cannot afford to lose it because of political inconveniences. Reassert direct administration, put 400,000 to 500,000 American troops on the ground, disband most of the current Iraqi police and retrain and reindoctrinate the Iraqi army until it becomes a military that's fighting for a nation, not simply some sect or faction. Reassure the Iraqi people that we're going to provide them security and then follow through. Disarm the nation: Sunnis, Shias, militia groups, everyone. Issue national ID cards to everyone and control the movement of the population.

If these three things are done, you can actually start the Iraqi economy again. Once people have a sense of security, they'll be able to leave their houses to go to work. Tell your American commanders that it's OK to pass up bad news--because part of the problem is that these issues are not reaching above the battalion or brigade level due to the can-do, make-it-happen culture indoctrinated into our U.S. officers. While the attitude is admirable, it also creates barriers to recognizing and dealing with on-the-ground realities.

James, there's a lot more to this than I've written here. The short of it is, the situation is salvageable, but not with "stay the course" and certainly not with cut and run. However, the commitment required to save it is something I doubt the American public is willing to swallow. I just don't see the current administration with the political capital remaining in order to properly motivate and convince the American public (or the West in general) of the necessity of these actions.

At the same time, failure in Iraq would be worse than a dozen Somalias, and would render us as impotent and emasculated as we were in the days after Vietnam. There is a global cultural-ideological struggle being waged, and abdication from Iraq is tantamount to concession.

(what follows is Taranto's take on the shallowness of Democrat views about what to do about Iraq)

This weekend "60 Minutes" aired Lesley Stahl's interview with Nancy Pelosi, who most likely will become speaker if Democrats take the House. The Web write-up suggests how shallow is the Democratic Party's thinking on Iraq:

One issue that she is fighting about here is Iraq. She opposed the war from the start and now, like her, most Democrats support a phased withdrawal of troops beginning later this year.

"Does that not open you up then to that charge of cutting and running? This is just what they're saying," Stahl asks.

"The issue is them. The issue is the war they got us into," Pelosi replies. "If the president wants to say the war in Iraq is part of the war on terror, he's not right."

"Do you not think that the war in Iraq now, today, is the war on terror?" Stahl asks.

"No. The war on terror is the war in Afghanistan," Pelosi says.

"But you don't think that the terrorists have moved into Iraq now?" Stahl continues.

"They have," Pelosi agrees. "The jihadists in Iraq. But that doesn't mean we stay there. They'll stay there as long as we're there."

It seems entirely too pat to say that if we leave Iraq, so will the jihadists. After all, there were jihadists in Afghanistan long before we arrived. But let's say it's true. Where does Pelosi think the jihadists will go? Isn't she worried that some of them will come here?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Lieberman: Last Senate Democrat Strong on National Defense

With yet two more polls showing him substantially ahead, it looks like incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman, running as an independent and with great support from the Republicans, is going to save his skin. In the Quinnipiac University poll, Lieberman leads the real Democrat, Ned Lamont, 52% to 35% and in the ARG poll it is 49% to 37%.

The Hartford Courant in reporting today quoting Lieberman on his campaign finances:

"I will tell you there is no way I can now match this last-minute Lamont onslaught of attack ads without your help," he said Thursday. "So if you want something better for our democracy than Ned Lamont's $11 million tear-down campaign, and if you believe in my message of putting people ahead of politics, then I ask you today to make a contribution on my website."

But the Joe-needs-help message has been spreading for a while in Washington. Beginning with Rove's phone call, "a lot of Republicans around Washington who know [Lieberman] and like him spread the word," said Charles R. Black Jr., a longtime adviser to the Bush family. Black has not given to Lieberman - "I don't write checks to Democrats," he said, chuckling, and then added, "If I lived in Connecticut, I'd vote for him."

According to those familiar with the events and the pitches for money, no one is dangling the prospect of a re-elected Lieberman voting with Senate Republicans. The senator has consistently said that if he wins a fourth term, he will caucus with Senate Democrats.

That's fine, Black said. "What I tell people is that it's important we have leaders in both parties who believe in a strong national defense and are willing to sacrifice politically if necessary," he said. "Joe is the last Democrat standing in the Senate who fits that description."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Winter is Coming!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

U.S. Success in Iraq only 50/50:
Col. Ralph Peters

Here is audio from Jim Vicevich's "Sound Off Connecticut" show heard weekday mornings on WTIC, Hartford. Jim is interviewing Col. Ralph Peters, author and NY Post columnist.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Where Are All the News Stories on
Harry Reid's Shady Secret Land Deal?


WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid collected a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale even though he hadn't personally owned the property for three years, property deeds show.

In the process, Reid did not disclose to Congress an earlier sale in which he transferred his land to a company created by a friend and took a financial stake in that company, according to records and interviews.


h/t Limbaugh for Pic

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Holocaust Denial: Now, "Climate change Denial"

Things are really heating up in the debate over global warming. Some comments seen way out there:

‘Perhaps there is a case for making climate change denial an offence. It is a crime against humanity, after all.’ and...

Others have suggested that climate change deniers should be put on trial in the future, Nuremberg-style, and made to account for their attempts to cover up the ‘global warming…Holocaust’ and...

"When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg.”

Monday, October 09, 2006

Of Old Houses, Antiques, Cats, Scots, Llamas Pajamas, Fine Food and Drink, & Fellowship:

Photo loop of a fun day in the country! Many thanks to hosts Christine and Randy; a wonderful time!

Family's Search for Sunken WW II Sub

Here is an interesting article about one family's privately funded search for a lost U.S. submarine, the USS Grunion, commanded by their father. The ship was believed to have been sunk in July 1942 off Kiska in the Aleutians. Here is the lead to the story:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Underwater sonar images of a black shape against a background of grainy monochrome are safely stored on two computer hard drives at Bruce Abele's home in Newton, Mass.

Blurred by odd shadows and striations, the silhouettes are the biggest clues in more than 60 years to the fate of his father's World War II submarine, the USS Grunion, which sank nearly 5,000 miles west of Massachusetts, near the obscure islands at the tip of Alaska's Aleutian chain.

For decades, relatives of the Grunion's 70 lost crewmen had no information beyond fragmented
U.S. Navy records, and a few rumors, about where and why the sub went down.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sen. Joe Lieberman Audio from Glenn Beck Interview, 8/22/06

I recently came across this interesting radio interview in which Sen. Lieberman makes clear his strong support for the war on terror. Interesting stuff.

Joe Lieberman audio from interview on Glenn Beck show, 8/22/06.
h/t Wild Bill

Monday, October 02, 2006

Lieberman, Ashcroft, Bingham, Donnelley: 1964 Yale Grads

As a dealer in books I sometimes come across college yearbooks containing the profiles of prominent and famous persons. The 1964 yearbook from Yale University is one such example.

This interesting yearbook documents the college days of four Yale graduates who went on to lead quite different public lives. The class of 1964 included Joseph I. Lieberman, a liberal Democrat, now the U.S. Senator from Connecticut; John Ashcroft, a prominent conservative and former U.S. Attorney General; Stephen Bingham, an idealist involved in progressive causes; and, Strachan Donnelley, Ph.D, a scholar and environmentalist.I have included 2 photos of Lieberman including one showing him "on the stump". There is a thumbnail photo of Ashcroft as well.

Joseph I. Lieberman, the United states senator from Connecticut is running for re-election this year as an independent having been defeated in the Democratic primary by an anti-war candidate.

John Ashcroft was, until recently, the United States Attorney General.

Stephen Bingham was involved in civil rights and leftist causes in the 1960's and 70's and in 1971 was accused of smuggling a weapon to George Jackson at San Quentin prison.

Bingham, one of several lawyers working with Jackson, was accused of being part of an escape plot. Bingham fled the country and lived in exile until 1984. When he returned, he was acquitted of all charges related to the “escape.” Today, he is a welfare rights attorney in San Francisco.

Strachan Donnelley is from the prominent Chicago publishing family: A recent announcement describes his current activities (2003):

Minding Nature: Humans, Nature, and Democracy Strachan Donnelley, PH.D., Project Director: New School University November 7-8, 2003

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ann Coulter and the McCarthy Myths

I recently purchased and downloaded Ann Coulter's "Treason" from Audible.com. I had previously read some of her books but not this one. My curiosity was aroused by some interesting reviews of the book I came across at Intellectual Conservative. The articles by Dan Sargis and Bruce Walker point out that the most absurd myth about Senator Joseph McCarthy, that he somehow created HUAC, is still being repeated as gospel by liberals.

In a review of an Audible.com production of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" Corey Thrasher repeats the oft told myth about Senator Joseph McCarthy. He cites the play's "significance to American culture (and also) it's connection to American history. (The play, first produced in 1952 presents) a riveting and imagined account of the famous witch trials in 17th century Salem. The play draws a direct parallel to 1950's America and the wave of communist paranoia that led to the establishment of the House Un-American Activities Committee driven by Senator Joseph McCarthy"

Upon hearing the above statements I immediately fired off an e-mail to Mr. Thrasher:

"Corey Thrasher: In your review of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" you compare the 17th century witch hysteria in Salem to the activities of HUAC, Joseph McCarthy and a "communist witch hunt". In fact, Senator Joseph McCarthy had nothing to do with HUAC (House Un-American Activites Committee). The operative word there is "house" as in House of Representatives and McCarthy was a U.S. Senator not a Representative! Senator McCarthy did work tirelessly to expose persons in very high positions in the U.S. government who were agents of the Soviets. A very well written, and read, account of this period can be found in Audible's "Treason" by Ann Coulter. "

In a return note Mr. Thrasher thanked me for the correction and agreed to extract the refernece to Senator McCarthy from his review.

In his review of "Treason" Daniel Sargis makes the point that Coulter's critics are mainly quoting each other ad infinitum, most appear not to have read the book at all. Sargis writes:

"Talk about bright minds! Andrew Sullivan leads diatribe with intellectual verve, “Few would dispute that she’s a babe.” And happily for his testosterone, “Lanky, skinny, with long blonde hair tumbling down to her breasts…” Good thing he wasn’t writing about Living History…"

"When Sullivan finally takes a shot at some substance, he asserts that Coulter is “defending the tactics of Joe McCarthy….” If Sullivan had actually read Treason, he would know that Coulter documents that the “tactics” attributed to McCarthy are little more than historical fabrication created by lying propagandists and their liberal devotees. Sullivan makes a better jilted suitor than serious writer."

Bruce Walker, in his review of "Treason", notes:

"Precisely as Ann Coulter noted in her book, I have visited with educated Leftists who absurdly assume that Senator McCarthy served on the House Un-American Activities Committee. The ignorance of Leftists about this presumed bogeyman is breathtaking."

"Leftists know nothing about the life of Joe McCarthy. They do not know or care about his strong support for civil rights when that cause was not popular or his genuine nobility and heroism in the Second World War. He is a cartoon figure, denied the same understanding which Leftists demand we give to baby-rapers or terrorists."