Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sunnis and Sadr's Shiites make peace.

This is truly wonderful news.

The weekend Australian has this:

"THE movement of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, alleged to have played a role in the anti-Sunni violence over the last few days, publicly made peace with political and religious Sunni leaders overnight.

Four sheikhs from the Sadr movement made a "pact of honour" with the conservative Sunni Muslim Scholars Association, and called for an end to attacks on places of worship, the shedding of blood and condemning any act leading to sedition."

Gee, I know this is gonna so disappoint you lefties who keep hoping for that civil war that your pundits have been predicting for the last couple of years.

Please don't give me that "of course we want peace" stuff either. Everytime there is violence over there you guys go on and on about a possible civil war in a gleeful tone, hoping that Bush can be proven wrong. It's more important than anything else to you guys.

Ricin found at University of Texas.

Michelle has all the updates and reports. Interesting, strange, and scary.

via Ace.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Now didn't I warn you guys?

Not too long ago, out of the goodness of my heart, I told you Democrats to call your representatives and let them know that people like Stephen Colbert and the reporters on The Daily Show were not real reporters.

Well, no one in St. Louis did that. Heh.

This may explain the sense of humor thing. Hey lefty friends! Get your leadership turned on to some of Comedy Central!! Maybe then they won't be so angry all the time.

Brokeback humor, fun or insulting?

Update: I wasn't even looking for brokeback stuff and stumbled on this one. It's everywhere!

There are different views. Just a few online funnies are Brokeback to the Future and Star Wars: The Empire Brokeback and Brokeback Trek and Topgun: Brokeback Squadron.

I guess this would be the right time to show you
Lego's Brokeback version. By the way, I got that link at Pink is the New Blog, a website run by a gay man.


UPDATE 2: Good grief. It's IS everywhere. Brokeback Quailhunt.

Warning! I have not looked at the videos linked here. I got them from NRO, so I cannot tell you if you will need an eyeball scrub or not after viewing. So be careful out there!

Victor Davis Hanson is back from Iraq...

with his usual excellent analysis:

"It is an odd war, because the side that I think is losing garners all the press, whether by blowing up the great golden dome of the Askariya shrine in Samarra, or blowing up an American each day. Yet we hear nothing of the other side that is ever so slowly, shrewdly undermining the enemy."

And more:

"The Iraqi military goes out now on about half the American patrols, as well as on thousands of their own. It is not the Fallujah brigade of early 2004 -— rather, it is developing into the best trained and disciplined armed force in the Middle East."

And finally:

"Can-do Americans courageously go about their duty in Iraq -— mostly unafraid that a culture of 2,000 years, the reality of geography, the sheer forces of language and religion, the propaganda of the state-run Arab media, and the cynicism of the liberal West are all stacked against them. Iraq may not have started out as the pivotal front in the war between democracy and fascism, but it has surely evolved into that. After visiting the country, I think we can and will win.."

The New KKK.

I never thought there would be a group in this country that I would be more disgusted with than the KKK. But now there is Fred Phelps group who has been known for years for railing against gays at funerals, and he has spawned another hater, his daughter who now also "protests" at military funerals. Equal opportunity haters I suppose. His so called "church" only has about 100 members who are nearly all Phelp's relatives. He is not affiliated with any Baptist Conference or other organization.

It makes one grit their teeth that Phelps uses free speech to do these HORRIBLE protests, but now we have another group to the rescue, Patriot Guard. The group started in Kansas in October, when biker veterans decided to show up and place themselves between the demonstrators and mourners. They generally surround the protesters with their backs to them. They will hold up large flags to cover the picket signs and rev the engines of their motorcycles to drown out any chanting.

The organization has grown quickly with chapters in nearly every state and more than 8,700 members, about 100 of them so far in Minnesota. Read about them here.

I posted at my disgust with Phelps when he was busy at gay funerals, and now military. Not only is his message the opposite of Christianity, his actions go against any shred of decency.

If there is one thing the left and right can agree on it's that this guy is a hate filled idiot. I encourage everyone to get involved in Patriot Guard. If you hear of a funeral near you that the Phelps group will be attending, please contact Patriot Guard and show up to show support for common human decency.

I actually saw Phelps years ago at Disney World on gay day. As we were driving toward the park and he was there with his nasty little group holding signs that said "God hates fags." My oldest son yelled out the window (with no prompting from me, he was 10) "God doesn't hate anyone!!!" and then turned to me and said, "What's a fag?" My husband said, "A cigarette, that's what the British call them." My son said, "Oh, well maybe God does hate them." We laughed and then I told him in a roundabout way what fag meant here. No big details were needed. All he needed to know what that it was a person and God loves all his children.

via The Captain.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Gore vs. Hillary.

From Taegan Goodard's political wire:

"Guest contributor Dick Morris emails: "I think the most interesting recent development is the growth of Al Gore in the Democratic field at the expense of Hillary. Without Gore in the running, the Marist poll of Feb 21 has Hillary at 40% but with Al, she drops to 33 and Gore runs second at 17%. He is pure on the war and his issue, energy and climate change, is becoming increasingly relevant. The real fight of 2008 may be Clinton v Gore."Morris writes more in The Hill: "History indicates that candidates who won the popular vote but lost in the Electoral College have all come back to win revenge in subsequent elections."

That would be more fun to watch than any pay for view you could imagine.

Run Al Run!!!!!

Where are the horns?

"Great Performers" photographed for the New York Times Magazine.

I think this explains a lot about George Clooney.

Hearing from the Moderate Muslim community regarding the Ports issue.

The Free Muslim Coalition (a nonprofit organization made up of American Muslims and Arabs of all backgrounds who feel that religious violence and terrorism have not been fully rejected by the Muslim community in the post 9-11 era) has this: (emphasis mine)

"...However, it is wrong to accept management by one foreign owned company and reject another foreign owned company when both companies are located in nations that are strong allies of the United States.

Indeed, the United Arab Emirates is a great friend to the United States. They have been loyal friends in the war on terror and they are excellent friends to the U.S. military. The United Arab Emirates provides docking rights for more U.S. Navy ships than any other nation in the region.

Moreover, the United Arab Emirates has adopted American style capitalism and tolerance. The UAE is a success story that is helping to shape the Arab world in a positive way. The UAE has opened its doors completely to Americans and American businesses. Relations between the UAE and United States are so good that the UAE spends billions of
dollars in America and only accepts U.S. Dollars for the sale of their oil and gas. Their loyalty to the United States helps keep the American Dollar strong and the American economy moving forward. Thus, just as the UAE opens its arms to America,
America should open its arms to the UAE.

Finally, by closing the door on one of our closest allies, the U.S. would be sending the wrong message to voices of moderation in the Middle East and a gift to voices of extremism. We are certain that Muslim extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and HAMAS would jump on this issue by arguing that Americans hate all Arabs and Muslims including their allies. The Free Muslims have argued time and time again that the United States must do a better job of supporting moderate Arabs and Muslims. The uproar against this ports deal is misplaced and the Free Muslims stand by President Bush for fighting back against the voices of bigotry."

via Lone Star Times (commenter)

We either believe in bringing Democracy to the Middle East or we don't. If we who support this war in the belief that it is a turning point for the future in regard to freedom and Democracy for Arab nations, do not also believe that we can do business and support our friends in the Arab world, then we might as well give up on that dream of Democracy.

We cannot say how wonderful it is that we fight for the freedom of the Iraqi people and then turn our backs on Arab FRIENDS. This is not the time to send mixed messages. Our message must be one of outreach and friendship to nations who are wondering if we are sincere in our efforts in Iraq.

We must encourage positive steps and positive role models that reveal the virtues of Democracy and capitalism and freedom.

The Bombing of the Holy Shia Shrine in Iraq.

As usual, Iraqi The Model gives us the most detailed report about what is really going on. Two things struck me because I hadn't heard them on MSM. One is that leaders in Iraq quickly and loudly requested that no one take any action against any Sunni sites, asking for self control and no violence. This is significant in a part of the world where retaliation is a given. I think it shows our influence, which is a good thing.

Iraqi The Model thinks that outside forces were responsible for the bombing "because this particular shrine had been in Sunni territory for a thousand years and the residents of Samarra had always benefited from the movement of religious tourism and pilgrimage."

Also I thought that The President Talabani promising to make rebuilding the shrine his personal responsibility and to donate the required money from his own is also impressive.

It's difficult to find any positive in this bombing, but there are my two small silver linings.


I have been busy with my new puppy, but honestly there was nothing interesting to talk about yesterday. Everyone is talking about the port thing and I haven't changed my mind about that.

I was looking over at Newsbuster this morning and I just couldn't believe that Time and Newsweek have as their cover stories this week the Cheney hunting accident. This kind of thing will be the death of news magazines. With online news, magazines, and blogs giving people minute by minute news, magazines like Time, who put a week old story of no real significance on their cover, will fade into history.

Speaking of history, there is also the story of Pacific Radio, a leftwing network of five radio stations, having a fundraiser with a DVD of celebrities reading from leftist historian Howard Zinn's "Voices of a People's History of the United States."

One of the voices ( Marisa Tomei) does a dramatic reading of.....Cindy Sheehan.

She's a "person of History???"

Good Grief.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cheney and Whittington, the Reenactment.

via Boing Boing

Some Linky Love.

Blogs for Bush gives us David Frum's encouraging look at Iraqi forces.

RedState gives us Abortion vs. The Death Penalty. (excellent. The comments as well)

The Captain asks if McCain can woo conservatives.

La Shawn gives us a look at Harold Ford Jr. , who looks like a Democrat ought to look to me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Security and Ports.

There is quite the fuss going on over the deal which would hand commercial control of six major U.S. ports to a state-owned Arab company.

From CNN'S Situation Room: (emphasis mine)

BUSH: The transaction should go forward, in my judgment. If there was any chance that this transaction would jeopardize the security of the United States, it would not go forward. The company has been cooperative with the United States government, the company will not manage port security. The security of our ports will be continued to be managed by the Coast Guard and Customs. The company is from a country that has been cooperative in the war on terror, been an ally on the war on terror.

Weldon represents the "concerns" of Congress:

REP. CURT WELDON (R), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: This White House did nothing to communicate with Congress on this deal. With all the concern about port security going on in America right now at a minimum, leaders of both parties should have been brought in from both houses and had this deal reviewed.That didn't occur. And it's a little late right now to announce it and say the government's behind it. We're not going to stand for that.

And Bartlett responded:

DAN BARTLETT, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: Well, it's understandable. I know he takes port security really -- it's a top priority for the chairman, as it is for this president.We've done a lot of things, Wolf, since 9/11 to improve our port security. And there's a specific process that was followed here, Wolf. And I must remind you, this -- a deal was announced, this transaction was announced back in November. This is not something that just came out of left field in the last couple of days.

It seems to me that there is a lot of political posturing going on because it is an issue that politicians think they can look good being against. It's easy. But just like the wiretap issue, I question those who act like it is "news to them," when in fact they knew about it for a long time. Just when they found out there could be some political capital out of it, they decide to be outraged.

McCain agrees with the President:(emphasis mine)

We all need to take a moment and not rush to judgment on this matter without knowing all the facts. The President’s leadership has earned our trust in the war on terror, and surely his administration deserves the presumption that they would not sell our security short. Dubai has cooperated with us in the war and deserves to be treated respectfully. By all means, let’s do due diligence, get briefings, seek answers to all relevant questions and assurances that defense officials and the intelligence community were involved in the examination and approval of this transaction. In other words, let’s make a judgment when we possess all the pertinent facts. Until then, all we can offer is heat and little light to the discussion.”

Let's face it, if Bush had brought most of our boys home after Afghanistan, he would have sailed into a landslide in 2004 and the left would have had little to bash him with. But he didn't. He put our safety before his own legacy and that proved to me, right there and then, that he would always put our security before politics. So I have to trust him on this. Plus, we can't say to the Arab world, "Come and be more like us" and then reject the very things that help them be more like us.

Check out the Cotillion!

There is really good stuff! Go!

As Cassandra at Villainous Company says:

This week, hostesses Janette of Common Sense Runs Wild, Christina of Feisty Repartee and Sissy of Sisu join with me in serving up a saucy mix of opinions on topics ranging from the terrorist attack in London, the G8 summit, political correctness and racial profiling, Live 8, family, and the proper expression of patriotism. There's something for every taste from fiery to icily satirical to sweetly sentimental. And so it is with great pleasure that we invite you to join us over at The Cotillion for the week's festivities.

Open Thread.

Sorry to do another open thread but I am on my way to a rescue shelter out of town to get another dog! I'm very excited! I'll try and post a picture this afternoon.

UPDATE: Here is my new doggy!! Her name is Jewel and she is a blue merle Sheltie. We can't tell if she is a mix or not. She is a sweetie!!!!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

An All-Star night.

I took my 9 yr old sports fanatic son to the NBA All-Star game last night and it was full of stars, not just on the court though. There was the first President Bush, Eva Longoria, and Jamie Foxx. Eva and Jamie played a sports quiz game inbetween. Also there, Chris Tucker,Queen Latifah, and the rapper Ludacris, whose security detail was ludicrous. Some people have a over important view of themselves.

Anyway, since we had church we got there late, which meant the roads were smooth sailing, which was sweet. Then when we got in, they had delayed the start to 7:45 so we didn't miss a thing! Even sweeter! They had a girl sing "O' Canada" first and she was wearing these old jeans and a jacket and I thought, "Geeze, can't you dress up for international TV?" I thought, "Well, I bet American will show then how to dress to sing the 'Star Spangled Banner'." And who comes out but "Destiny's Child" looking incredible! Singing like nightingales. I felt sorry for the first girl.

The half time show featured Carrie Underwood whose song "Jesus Take The Wheel" is my favorite. She didn't sing that one though, but she was fantastic. Then they had John Legend. He was very good too. In between quarters and timeouts were dancers, cheerleaders, drumlines, and all sorts of stuff. Never a dull moment.

Oh, you wanted to hear about the game? Well to get the full scoop you would have to ask my son. He knows all the players. All I know is they were playing like the Harlem Globe Trotters to begin with. Shaq and Ming showing off. But in the 2nd half they seem to start playing like they both wanted to win. East won 122 to 120.

Giuliani starts wooing religious conservatives.

NewsMax has this:

"In late January, Giuliani showed up unexpectedly at the Global Pastors Network conference in Orlando, Fla., and told the evangelical crowd: "I can't tell you from my heart how much I appreciate what you are doing - saving people, telling them about Jesus Christ and bringing them to God."

I wonder why he had to "show up unexpectedly?" Yeah. If he thinks telling relgious conservatives how great we are, but disagreeing with us on all the social issues is going garner our support, he could not be more wrong.

The Guest Worker program could work.

John Hawkins over at Right Wing News gives us 3 simple reasons why the guest worker program won't work. I don't agree with any of them. The only point he made that was correct was his last one:

Securing our borders and enforcing our laws against illegal immigration should be done first, before a guest worker program comes into place. If that isn't done, we could only end up exacerbating our current problem by pouring more "legal" foreign workers into our country without getting rid of the illegal aliens. If anything, that would just make our current illegal immigration woes worse.

Securing our borders first has got to happen to stop the flow, but that doesn't really address his 3 points anyway. He cites a New York Times article (registration required) where Charlie Bearse, the president of Sidney Coal, laments the work ethic of Americans to do these kinds of jobs like mining citing a deficit of 6000 miner workers in Kentucky and West Virginia. Giving what has happened to miners lately, I can kind of understand that. Mr. Bearse cites declining work ethic, bad attitudes and drug abuse as reasons some Americans won't take these jobs. We may hate to admit it, but he is right about a lot of Americans. We are fat and lazy.

Here are Mr. Hawkins 3 points:

#1) Isn't it interesting that a job paying $18 an hour with benefits is now supposedly one of the jobs that "Americans won't do?" And the solution to the problem is to hire non-English speaking workers (translation: illegal immigrants) who'd undoubtedly be paid cut-rate wages to do the same work.
If that were to happen, in a few years the work force would be overwhelmingly made up of illegals, probably making $10-$12 an hour, and guys like Charlie Bearse would be claiming that he had no choice but to hire them because Americans just don't have a "work ethic" anymore.
Incidentally, that's what illegal aliens do to EVERY INDUSTRY they get involved with from picking fruit, to construction, to meat packing. Because so many of these illegals come from backwards Third World countries with terrible economies, they can come here, work for peanuts, have us educate their kids and pay their medical bills for free, send a big portion of the money back home, and still be doing better than they would have back home.
Whether you think that's good, bad, or indifferent for Americans, understand that is how it works.

If $18 an hour and benefits is such a great deal then why is there a deficit of people wanting the jobs? And the only reason they are paid $18 an hour now is because of the union and the lack of good workers. I don't think lowering it to $10-$12 is necessarily a bad thing. When a company is able to cut costs in such a way, the savings can be past on to the consumer. Mr. Hawkins just assumes that all the money will go into Mr. Bearse's pocket.

I doubt " the entire work force will be overwhelming made up of illiegals." That is just silly. And they would no longer be illegals if they are here under the guest worker program.

There is no way to know how much money goes back home, but one has to live here. One has to buy food, rent, electricity, clothes, shelter, and goods. So quite a bit of the money goes into our economy.

#2) Because of #1, if we actually stopped illegals from coming into the US, a guest worker program would make things real interesting for politicians.
For example, let's say we get a guest worker program and Charlie Bearse gets permission to start bringing in guest workers. Then those guest workers, quite naturally, drive wages into the toilet and start putting tens of thousands of American workers in a position where they have to choose between big pay cuts or losing their jobs.
At that point, the politicians will have to choose between guys like Charlie Bearse, who'll be flush with cash and able to pour money into their coffers for their reelection campaigns and all those workers who'll be screaming bloody murder and demanding that their Senators and Congressman do something about those guest workers "stealing their jobs" right now!

Once again Mr. Hawkins assumes that companies won't pass savings on to customers. If a company knows that it can sell it's product for less, thus selling much more, he knows that in the long run he will make as much money with more product out there. With the examples that Mr. Hawkins has given, construction work, to fruit picking, I haven't seen "wages driven into the toilet" and the company owners "flush with cash." In fact the only thing I have seen is better built houses in a quicker time and lower fruit prices. A good work ethic doesn't care what color your skin it. Higher productivity doesn't care what color your skin is. Company growth doesn't care what color you skin is. I also haven't seen construction workers here screaming about illegal aliens "stealing their jobs." It seems that working on a black roof in 102 degree hot sunshine isn't the ideal job for most Texans. They don't seem to miss it much.

#3) Whatever you think about #2, at least it's much more honest and out in the open than the current situation.
What we have today is illegal aliens pouring into the country, the business owners who are hiring them making cash hand over fist, and the workers not really knowing who to blame when they're priced out of their jobs. Their representatives in Congress SAY they don't think people should be able to enter the country illegally, but nothing ever seems to get done.
Why so?
Because if it did get done, then see #2 for the dilemma politicians would be in. That's why despite talking tough, most members of Congress don't actually want to see illegal aliens stopped at the border -- which is why it never gets done. Even most of the politicians talking about guest worker programs in truth, want those workers to come into the US IN ADDITION TO the illegals that would still be flowing into the country.
Because it would provide more workers for the Charlie Bearse types out there, which would make them happier and lead to more money for the pols and yet the workers who get screwed still wouldn't know exactly who to blame for it.

The reason there hasn't been much done about illegal immigration is because the benefits have outweighed the complaints. Period. Now, that seems to be changing, so expect something to be done finally. At least Bush stepped up to the plate with SOMETHING. Unlike any other leader.

Deporting the millions of illegal aliens here now cannot be done with the manpower we have. We have to deal with the problem we have NOW. The Guest Worker program is our best bet. It may not be fair since they came here illegally, but at least we would know who they are and where they are working. Businesses would no longer be able to take advantage of them. As much as many may want a giant spaceship to suck them all up and drop them in Mexico, it just isn't going to happen. We have to deal with reasonable alternatives even if we don't like them.

As I said before, the only point I agree with Mr. Hawkins on is securing out borders first. If we don't do that, then the guest worker program will not work.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

This pretty much sums up the Washington Press Corp.

The Captain has this hilarious exchange between Chris Wallace and former Senator Alan Simpson:

WALLACE: So, many up here, Senator -- and we love your tour of this whole event -- what does the last week tell us, or should tell us, about Washington, about the politicians, about the press corps?

SIMPSON: Well, it tells you that you should listen to Lindsay Graham and Evan Bayh and that really there is cooperation. But what it really tells you -- what are we going to expect out of our national press corps, and especially the Washington press corps, when something really happens? How are we to trust, after a whole week of absolute drivel and babble -- and people interviewing themselves! [mimicking reporters] "Uh, what do you think about Cheney?" [makes a face] Jay Leno and David Letterman asked them, "How would you feel if this happened to you?" Let me tell you, the American people are really waiting with a sense of glee when something really, really happens in America, and I suppose they'll just have a catatonic stroke and pitch forward on their faces.

W: So I take it, Senator, that you really miss this place?

S: [Claps hands and laughs] Oh, no, I do! I loved it, I did, I loved it. And I loved it because it was fun. I have a lot of pals on both sides of the aisle. I worked with President Clinton, enjoyed him, President Bush, President Carter, good people doing good things. But let me tell you, you'll never find it if you just follow the Washington media. You'll never know the good -- all you'll get is controversy, crap, and confusion.

W: [laughing] Well, there you go, there's a slogan. I've got to put that on a bumper sticker.

So almost immediately someone came up with the above. Heh.