Saturday, July 19, 2008

I am having so much fun!

Sorry I didn't let you guys know that I left for Austin for RightOnline blogger summit. It has been a blast. I will tell you all about when I get home tomorrow. I went drinking with Bob Novak (I have pictures!!!) I got a picture with Barry Goldwater Jr. I got great pics with so many of my Cotillion sisters!

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Obama Changes Information on Website

WASHINGTON - Barack Obama's aides have removed criticism of President Bush's increase of troops to Iraq from the campaign website

As first reported Tuesday by the New York Daily News, Obama's campaign removed a reference to the surge as part of "The Problem" section on the part of his website devoted to laying out his plan for Iraq. The change was part of many broader changes that Obama spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said were made to reflect current conditions.

Also new: A description of Obama's plan as "a responsible, phased withdrawal" that will be directed by military commanders and done in consultation with the Iraqis. Previously, the site had a sentence, since removed, that flatly said, "Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq."

Given without comment. I mean, is any needed?


A partner at Covington & Burling who represents 15 Guantanamo detainees took off his pants at a news conference in Yemen on Monday to illustrate the humiliating strip searches that his clients have to endure several times a day, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports.

Well, looking at that picture is torture, so are we even here?

Here is what Mr. Underwear had to say:

So at the news conference, I said that, in addition to this torment, which has become so typical that we don’t even talk about it anymore, now the torment also consists of constant body searches in which the men are required to pull their shirts up to their chest, drop their pants, and then the corn-fed U.S. military sticks their thumbs under the prisoner’s underwear band and circles the prisoner’s torsos.”

Just a couple of thoughts.

Corn-fed? What kind of insult is that suppose to be?

I'm thinking the soldiers who take their thumbs and circle the prisoner's torsos aren't so fond of that procedure either.

In other words, a day in the war on terror ain't fun for anyone involved.

Look, I think of myself as a compassionate person. I don't believe in or condone torture, but I just find it hard to take seriously people like this lawyer.

I have lawyers in my family so I hear the whole "everyone deserves representation" speech ad nauseum. But I always wonder when I read stories like this if lawyers like this one couldn't find some abused child in the U.S to represent. Maybe a victim of domestic abuse? I guess my point is isn't there enough people being victimized here the U.S. to represent that might be a bit more...I don't know....innocent?

The infamous "N" word.

It's no surprise to me that Jesse Jackson used the "N" word when talking about Obama the other day. In case you haven't heard, in addition to wanting to cut Obama's n*ts off," Jesse had this to say about Obama:
"he’s talking down to black people…telling n—s how to behave."

It seems some Internet spy of some sort let that leak out. It also seems O'Reilly and Fox News had this tape (which was taped at the same time as the "cut the n*ts off" comment) and didn't deem to release it. I'm sure CNN or the other networks would have shown the same courtesy to a rightwinger, right?? Right.

Anyway, yes it is hypocritical. Yes, it is crude. It is also common. If you are around young people at all, you hear it all the time. My 15 yr old's best friends are black and I am constantly having to tell them to knock it off. They use the "N" word as an insult and as an endearment. It's ridiculous and it drives me insane. It doesn't seem to matter how much I lecture them on what that word meant when I was growing up or how their parents fought against it being used. It just doesn't matter. They don't see it that way.

Now, Jesse Jackson is no teenager, but he uses the slang that is common.

There is this double layer of hypocrisy here. If a leader or official or teacher uses this word, it's over for him or her. Yet we not only allow the "N" word in music, the artists make platinum records off of it. It's common in movies. No one says a word.

We reap what we sow. If we saturate society with crude language, then crude language is what we are going to get.

Besides, didn't Jesse Jackson lose any credibility he had left when he cheated on his wife, fathered an illegitimate child, all the while acting as a Reverend and"counseling" Bill Clinton on his infidelity?

The War We Weren't Suppose To Win

Greyhawk at Mudville has such a good post up I want you to read the whole thing. His perspective on the war is something I have depended on greatly during my time of blogging. He was always fair, always honest in his assessment. But most importantly....he was boots on the ground. He was there.

Milblogs gave us a window into this war that was amazing in that nothing like that was possible in wars before. It wasn't some journalist giving his opinion or reporting. It was men and women fighting the fight and opening up their world to us. There were no starry eyed posts. There were no political rantings. There was just real stories of battles, of friends lost, of determination, of sadness, and of bravery. It has seemed as if I could feel the ebb and flow of the war reading the Milblogs. I knew when things were going badly and I knew when things were looking up. It was in their writings and in the honesty born of their sacrifice.

God, I love them. Our Warriors.

But, back to Greyhawk. He writes of getting ready for his second deployment to Iraq:

As we went from the hospital to the dentist to finance to all the other fine locations you must clear in order to prove that you really really want to go to Iraq we noticed every television in every waiting room tuned to the news story of the century: Anna Nicole Smith. Meanwhile, the initial briefings on the surge were delivered to empty seats.

But I was successfully poked, prodded, and stamped a-ok, and I got to go to Iraq - for my second tour. While I was there I had a different perspective than Mike Yon. I had a view of the bigger picture, knew how many missions were ongoing, knew where the fighting was, and knew how fierce it was. But a funny thing happened through the summer of '07: all the right numbers fell. Casualties - down, attacks of every sort - down, violence - down. And the right numbers rose: tips from citizens - up, trained Iraqi soldiers - up, and on and on. Amazingly, a much expected "Tet Offensive" immediately prior to General Petraeus' September briefing to Congress didn't happen. More amazingly, "violence" didn't return to high levels during Ramadan (a month that began with the General's briefing and had many folks "in the know" questioning the sanity of those who timed it) either.

Greyhawk saw long ago the narrative the media and the left would make of our victory:

The narrative on Iraq - the one you see in the media, that is - is changing. Claims that "we've lost" and that American soldiers have been beaten by opponents who are righteous heroes or nine-foot tall and bullet proof are being quite subtly shifted to arguments that no potential victory (if even grudgingly acknowledged) could be worth the price. This argument may prove irresistible to those who've invested heavily in defeat.

And we all know who those people are.

We all know that the fact that so much has been accomplished in Iraq doesn't mean the war on terror is over. Danger still exists. We will never live in a perfect world. But we can take a moment to relish that we (along with very brave Iraqi citizens and soldiers) ended a civil war, decimated al-Qaeda there and the Sadrist militia. We can marvel that the Iraqi government has accomplished almost all the legislative benchmarks set by Congress and the Bush Administration.

A page in history is about to turn, and I am so grateful that the last line on that page will read that America never gave up, never backed down, and fought the good fight to victory.

But there is no doubt in my mind that during our lifetime nothing will change between the right and the left. Both sides will retreat in their corners. The left will say Iraq was never worth it, even won. The right will resent the left for believing that.

Only history will tell us if this war was worth it. Only history will judge if the Middle East changed, if the tide turned, and if radical Islam was defeated.

Important To Remember

Speaking before the Center for the U.S. global Engagement, Sen. Joe Lieberman said this regarding Obama:

“What Sen. Obama does not seem to understand is that, had we taken the course he had counseled and retreated from Iraq, the United States would have suffered a catastrophic defeat that would have left America and our allies less safe not just in Baghdad, but in Kandahar and Karachi and Tokyo and London,” he said.

It is fundamental to understand how wrong Obama was on what was the most important foreign policy decision in all of our lifetimes. This speaks volumes on his ability to lead this country.

via FirstRead

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"The War Is Over"

And we have won. At least according to one of the most respected journalist covering this war, Michael Yon:

We have won the war in Iraq. By "we" I mean the Coalition and the Iraqis. Unless there is some unexpected reversal, what lays ahead is the challenge of building a better Iraq. There is still violence. We have lost four soldiers to combat this month, but there were times when we lost that many on an average day. There still are attacks, though we have finally reached the point where all that's left are truly "dead-enders." Al Qaeda is still a problem, but their numbers are decreasing in Iraq. The Iraqi people are sick of the violence. The Iraqi Army is filled with courageous soldiers who can fight. It is possible that by the end of the year we can really say, "Mission Accomplished," except for the continued support that Iraq will need.

Personally, my optimism has never been higher for Iraq.

Michael Yon has always been honest, even when it was something we didn't want to hear, like when civil war broke out in Iraq. He gives an honest assessment of Afghanistan that we might not want to hear as well. But I trust him (unlike the mainstream media).

More here.

My heart is truly filled with hope that we have done what needed to be done in Iraq.

No defeat. No surrender. Not this war. Not this time.

Energy Independence. We Can Get There.

Texas Senator John Cornyn (a wonderful true conservative) has Mike Huckabee writing over at his site about energy independence. Huckabee has it right:

We have to explore, we have to conserve and we have to pursue all avenues of alternative energy: nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel and biomass. And while we are at it, let's drill here and drill now!

You can listen more to Senator John Cornyn speak about energy independence below.

There is a misconception that conservatives are all about drilling, but it simply isn't true. Cornyn and others are getting together to figure out ways to find alternative sources of energy, but we can't ignore what we need here and now. We all agree that we need to be less dependent of foreign oil.

Democrats have stood in the way of this independence for many years. The silver lining of this gas crisis may be that we can finally get the public to listen and understand how important it is to depend on ourselves for energy.

Pres. Bush has lifted the Executive Ban on offshore drilling, but Congress needs to take action for this to happen.

Newt Gingrich is also writing over at Cornyn's site and he has discovered that the American people are ready:

Through our polling at American Solutions we have long known that a whopping 81 percent of Americans support developing more American energy, including oil and coal. And this 81 percent majority is made up of 85 percent of the Republicans, 83 percent of the independents and 76 percent of the Democrats surveyed.

We need to strike while the iron is hot. There will be no better time to pressure the Democrats to not stand in the way of America become energy independent. I'm tired of the Democrats using the excuse that any new drilling now will not produce results for five years. So? If we had done this five years ago, then we would have the results now. The Democrats say we can't drill our way to energy independence. Can we try? We can continue to find our way to cleaner nuclear technologies, wind and solar plants at the same time!

Most Americans don't realize that our ban on drilling is in the same gulf that's open to Venezuelans, Indians, Vietnamese, and Cubans. That just doesn't make sense. The time is ripe to drill for ourselves.

And it isn't just about drilling. Sen. John McCain has proposed building 45 new nuclear power plants in America. Obama has simply said that he is “not a nuclear energy proponent.”

Alternative energy research and depending on ourselves for more oil is where we need to go. It's time.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Left Attacking Obama?

The Obama camp is plenty upset over The New Yorker's front cover this month. The New Yorker claims that the cover is a satirical look at how conservatives are painting Obama and his wife, but I have to agree with Ed at HotAir on this one:

"This makes the third bigoted attack from the Left on Obama. Two weeks ago, it was Ralph Nader acting as the arbiter of black authenticity, and last week it was Jesse Jackson wanting to castrate Obama. One side in this cycle certainly seems obsessed by identity politics, but so far it isn’t the Republicans."

"The New Yorker is attacking conservatives, but Obama’s the one taking offense (and for good reason). Obama warned that the Republicans would obsess over his ethnicity, but so far only the mainstream Left has made it an issue."

Remember who was the first to put out a picture of Obama in Muslim garb? That would be Hillary's camp.

"Operation Chaos may not yet have finished, according to CQ Politics. While Hillary Clinton negotiates for a place of honor at the convention, some of her followers have a more important role in mind for her. They want an open floor vote for the nomination — and think that Hillary could win it."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"We Remained Free"

Anyone who has read my blog these last few years, know that it was stories that I read about the sacrifice and love that occurred during the holocaust that affected me so as a young adult.

It wasn't just the horror that captivated me. It was the fierceness of the human spirit. I am constantly amazed at how some people handle the harshness of life. From people like Tony Snow who faced death, yet remain one of the most optimistic people in Washington D.C., to every day people who face adversity, pain, and hardship with grace and dignity. I have seen it over and over in my life, and there is nothing that I admire more.

Which brings me to the American hostages that were recently freed from Columbia's Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (known as FARC). Intelligence forces freed the hostages by tricking FARC.

The Americans were Marc Gonsalves, Thomas "Randy" Howes and Keith Stansell. I watched their interview on CNN today. I was impressed with the obvious affection they had for one another. They spoke of how each had kept the other strong. The entire story is fascinating, as you might imagine, but they described how they carved chess pieces and drew a chess board. It became a way to escape. But the next thing they said is what got to me the most. I'm paraphrasing, but this is close. "They tried to brainwash us. But we love our country. We remained free."

Even in their captivity, they knew that as Americans, they were free men.

The capacity of man to endure never fails to amaze me. I can only hope and pray that in similar circumstances I would be as strong as these captives were.

Sometimes I get discouraged by the evil in the world. I get discouraged by how low mankind can go to oppress or objectify or destroy innocent people. But then I am reminded by men like Marc, Randy, and Keith, that man can stand up to oppressors. I am reminded that man can be strong and endure under incredible odds.

I am reminded of our unending capacity to love and reach out to one another.

They said that once they have re-connected with family they will ride motorcycles across the country together to remind them of how great a country this is.

It is a dream they had during capture.

Ride free, my friends, Ride free.