A Weekly Blog
"Our constitution is made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Friday, October 29, 2004
If you happened to IM me in the past few days, I was unable to view your messages because of an IM malfunction. If you've IMed me and not gotten answer, you can IM me again or, even better, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arafat Seriously Sick (physically too)
Head Palestinian Terrorist Arafat has been flown to Paris to receive emergency medical treatment. He has apparently lost consciousness. Though Arafat’s doctor has claimed that Arafat does not have leukemia, Israeli intelligence has speculated that he does. Read a full story here.
Click here for a past blog on the Palestinian’s behavior under Arafat.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
UK paper The Guardian: Assassinate Bush
As you may have heard by now, a column in the UK’s Guardian by liberal lunatic Charlie Brooker has essentially called for the assassination of our president.
After Brooker dispenses with his intro (“The rest of the world bangs its head against the floorboards screaming ‘Please God, not Bush!’”) he moves on to discuss the possibility of Bush’s having worn a wire during the debates (to get help from his offstage cronies).
“Quite frankly, the man's either wired or mad. If it's the former, he should be flung out of office: tarred, feathered and kicked in the nuts. And if it's the latter, his behaviour goes beyond strange, and heads toward terrifying…Each time he recalls a statistic (either from memory or the voice in his head), he flashes us a dumb little smile, like a toddler proudly showing off its first bowel movement. Forgive me for employing the language of the playground, but the man's a tool.”
Brooker then complains that the US media failed in its responsibility by just letting the “wire” story die. The column rambles on, applying a few more epithets to Bush, and then we get the closer: “John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. - where are you now that we need you?”
I was going to add an explanation here, but that last line speaks for itself.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Cal State's own "Ideological Bigot"
Cal State English teacher Clifton Snider’s website header runs: “Clifton Snider, Poet, Novelist, Literary Critic, and Lecturer at California State University, Long Beach.”
As I started reading his website, my first impression was that I was dealing with someone who really loves himself. Most of the site is dedicated to discussing his own books, poetry (he has another site called “Poets against the War”) and various other works. But it wasn’t long before I found what I was looking for – his curriculum.
I just heard on Fox a few minutes before writing this that Mr. Snider is known for forcing his liberal views on his students (who have to take an English class as a requirement). These are some “Subjects for an Argument Paper” as printed on Snider’s curriculum pages:
“Is it right for the Bush Administration to use the War on Terrorism for political or commercial purposes?”
“What role does George W. Bush have in the Enron scandal?”
“The Economy…Under President Clinton, the Federal Government had a handle on the national debt. Now the Bush administration is passing that debt on to the post-baby-boom generation.”
“The Environment (insecticides, off-shore drilling, protecting the forests, clean-air laws, protecting pristine land in Alaska from oil drilling). See Elizabeth Shogren's, "States, White House at Odds on Environment," Los Angeles Times, 29 December 2002, A23.”
“George W. Bush's time in the National Guard presents important questions about the character of a man who has sent hundreds of Americans to their deaths in war and killed and maimed untold thousands of others. See Richard A. Serrano's "What Did Bush Do in the Guard?" (Los Angeles Times, 15 February 2004: A1+), Jennifer Loven's "Bush Guard Records Lack Answers" (Press-Telegram, 15 February 2004: A5), and James Rainey's "Documents Say Bush Got Breaks in Military" (Los Angeles Times, 9 September 2004: A1+).”
“It is no secret that the Bush administration and many Republicans have taken steps to undo the progress in environmental protection made before they took office.”
“Gun control (should a license, including a card with a picture similar to a driver's license, be required of gun owners? should handguns be banned? These are only two narrowed gun control topics; "gun control" itself is far too broad as a topic). See Aparna Kumar's "More Guns in Citizens' Hands Can Worsen Crime, Study Says" (Los Angeles Times, 23 January 2003: A15).”
These are only a few of the topics he lists at the bottom of his argument paper page. Beneath these topics, he lists those which may not be discussed. Taboo topics include religion, and “Topics on which there is, in my opinion, no other side apart from chauvinistic, religious, or bigoted opinions and pseudo-science (for example, female circumcision, prayer in public schools, same-sex marriage, the so-called faith-based initiative, abortion, hate crime laws, the existence of the Holocaust, and so-called creationism).” (Emphasis in the original)
Opposing this “teacher” is Dr. Mike Adams, whose articles appear here. After Dr. Adams exposed Snider as an “ideological bigot” in “Shut up and Teach,” Snider threatened to sue Adams because Adams quoted from his website without permission. Adams followed with “Shut up and Sue,” and most recently “Cliff’s Notes.” They all make very interesting reading.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Kerry’s campaign has deteriorated to the point where Kerry is no longer talking to voters about his plan for America and why it’s so great. He is now reduced to snatching at every little anti-Bush rumor that comes along.
Last week, Kerry told The Des Moines Register that, with Bush as President, there is a “great potential of a draft” despite the fact that the President explicitly stated during the debates that the draft will not be brought back. Perhaps Kerry wasn’t paying attention?
Kerry told voters last Sunday (the 17th) that, if elected, Bush had in store a “January Surprise,” – privatizing social security. The first thing that’s wrong with this is that Bush has not said he will privatize social security (though that would probably be a good idea). Bush’s plan is to allow people to invest 25% of their social security payments privately.
The second problem with Kerry’ statement is that it’s not a surprise. As Fred Barnes pointed out on Fox News yesterday, it such a non-surprise that Bush actually campaigned on the partial privatization of social security the first time he ran for President.
I’m sure that the strongest feeling you’d find in the Kerry camp these days is desperation.
Monday, October 18, 2004
The Red Folder
I have had a number of requests for the information that I carry in the Red Folder that I referred to in my article in the Weekly Standard. I will therefore be adding in the next few days a section on my sidebar containing links to the online documents that I keep copies of in my folder.
How English Teachers Destroy the English Language
My school uses The Writing and Revision Stylebook, by Gregory Heyworth and Rosette Liberman (the latter is a teacher at the school, which may explain why we have so many copies). I was glancing through the book to see how in compares to great stylebooks like Fowler’s Modern English Usage and Strunk & White, and I was horrified to find a section entitled, “Using non-sexist controlling pronouns.” The Writing and Revision Stylebook explains:
“Non-sexist terminology emphasizes the equality of men and women by injection gender-neutral nouns and feminine pronouns into writing…In a short piece of writing, the hybrid pronoun he/she or its cousin his or her can be non-intrusive.”
The stylebook admits that the ‘he/she’ type of thing can be cumbersome, and demonstrates this by example. Just as you think the book is about to get serious and tell you the truth about pronouns, it gives instead the following commentary:
“This example can be corrected in several ways. The controlling voice can be converted to the plural they, to the objective one or to the exclusive use of either the masculine or the feminine throughout [in which case] the controlling pronoun can alternate between female and male from one example to the next.”
The English language does, of course, change over time – it becomes simpler and more elegant. What you see here is an attempt by feminist teachers to change the language in order to accommodate their political views.
There is some doubt as to the veracity of the quote "If you are young and not liberal, then you don't have a heart. If you are old and not conservative then you don't have a brain." (This used to be beneath my blog title on the header). Since I am not Dan Rather, I have retracted it and replaced it with a Roosevelt quote which I think goes quite nicely.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
The 'Non-Partisan' Press Makes Another Little Mistake
Democrats are anxious to show that our campaign in Iraq just a big pile of mistakes. One of their favorite things is to complain that we don’t have enough troops in Iraq (despite the fact the President has repeatedly told his generals to ask for more troops if they need any).
Kerry has claimed that former Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki was forced to retire early for criticizing troop levels, but Shinseki actually retired on time.
The Washington Post, always eager to help the Left, reported that, while it was true that Shinseki was not forced to retire early, “Defense Department officials leaked the name of his replacement 14 months early, effectively undercutting his authority” in revenge for his comments.
As reported by Fox News, however, The Post has admitted that this could not be true, since Shinseki made his comments after the Defense Department had already identified his successor.
Iraqi Eloquence in the Blogosphere
This is a post from the Messopotamian, which is an Iraqi blog.
The blogger, Iraqi Alaa, seems to understand the stakes in this election better than many Americans.
Actually, the American elections are rather more crucial for us at the moment than our own . That is not to belittle the importance of the latter, but taking a really hard look at the present situation, one cannot escape this conclusion. This statement may annoy a lot of people, but we are not particularly concerned about sensitivities at the moment. The thing is that we have to admit that despite the fact that most emphatically, the majority of the Iraqi people are for the new Iraq, and that the “insurrectionists” do not represent but a small minority, nevertheless the balance of forces on the ground would be seriously upset were it not for the support of the American and allied forces and nations. This small minority is dangerous, desperate, ruthless and absolutely prepared to commit any kind of atrocity to further their aims and vent their spleen, as has been clearly demonstrated almost everyday. They are well financed and connected with parties and interests beyond the border who consider it a matter of life and death to thwart all U.S. efforts and abort this attempt at creating a democratic state in the area. There are even larger international forces at work behind the regional players. So with all these foes it cannot be expected that the fledgling new Iraqi state and the largely peaceful and unarmed people can withstand the assault on their own in the present stage of development. It is a foregone conclusion that any abandonment or retreat would result in the most catastrophic consequences both for the Iraqi people as well as within the context of the wider global war on terrorism. Having said that, it is also important, to ease the burden on the Multi National Forces and keep them as much as possible out of harms way and stop the losses altogether. This can be done by transferring as much of the routine tasks to the Iraqis while keeping the MNF in secure bases from which they can be deployed for strategic tasks. For us, they are a most valuable asset and must be shielded and used only with the utmost care and parsimony. I believe it is possible to devise such a strategy and that it can be implemented.
Now, do we have a right, as Iraqis to express our opinion about the U.S. elections, which are of course an entirely internal affair for the American people? Or are they?It seems to me, that since this matter is going to have a direct impact on our lives and very existence and since the U.S. government and people have seen fit to intervene and initiate this profound revolution in our country; it would not be extravagant nor incorrect for us even to demand to take part in those elections, rhetorically speaking of course.
So, I have been, personally very attentive to the debates and positions of both candidates, and I have some thoughts which I would like to share with you, my American friends. To start with, Senator Kerry may be a very good man and quite patriotic. Also we have to respect the almost 50% of the American people who lean towards the democrats. I don’t know much about domestic issues in the States so naturally, as might be expected, the position of any Iraqi would be mainly influenced by the issue that most concerns him. Thus, regardless of all the arguments of both candidates the main problem is that President Bush now represents a symbol of defiance against the terrorists and it is a fact, that all the enemies of America, with the terrorists foremost, are hoping for him to be deposed in the upcoming elections. That is not to say that they like the democrats, but that they will take such an outcome as retreat by the American people, and will consequently be greatly encouraged to intensify their assault. The outcome here on the ground in Iraq seems to be almost obvious. In case President Bush loses the election there would be a massive upsurge of violence, in the belief, rightly or wrongly, by the enemy, that the new leadership is more likely to “cut and run” to use the phrase frequently used by some of my readers. And they would try to inflict as heavy casualties as possible on the American forces to bring about a retreat and withdrawal. It is crucial for them to remove this insurmountable obstacle which stands in their way. They fully realize that with continued American and allies’ commitment, they have no hope of achieving anything.
On the other hand if President Bush is reelected, this will prove to them that the American people are not intimidated despite all their brutality, and that their cause is quite futile. Yes there is little doubt that an election victory by President Bush would be a severe blow and a great disappointment for all the terrorists in the World and all the enemies of America. I believe that such an outcome would result in despair and demoralization of the “insurgent elements” here in Iraq, and would lead to the pro-democracy forces gaining the upper hand eventually. Note that we are not saying that President Bush is perfect, nor even that he is better than the Senator, just that the present situation is such that a change of leadership at this crucial point is going to send an entirely wrong message to all the enemies. Unfortunately, it seems to me that many in the U.S. don’t quite appreciate how high the stakes are. The challenge is mortal, and you and we are locked in a War, a National Emergency; and in such circumstances partisan considerations must be of secondary importance. If you lose this war, you are no more, and you will have to withdraw within you boundaries cringing and waiting for terror to strike you in your homeland, afraid to move around, afraid to travel, afraid to do business abroad. You will have to see all your friends abroad annihilated and intimidated and nobody will have any confidence or trust in you anymore. And you will have to watch from far with bitterness the forces of darkness and evil taking over in many parts of this earth, with feelings of impotence and inability to do anything about it. In other words you would lose all credibility, and the fiends of terror and obscurantism would go triumphantly dancing the macabre dance of mayhem and death, and darkness would descend and obliterate the light and the hope. You think I am exaggerating, you think I am being paranoid? I just pray that destiny would not prove all these things; I pray that these horrors will not come to pass. And all this for what? For failing to confront few thousands ex-baathists and demented religious fanatics and some common criminals, concentrated in some rural areas of a country of the size of just one of your states; and that for a nation that has defeated Natzism, Imperial Japan and the Soviet Empire!
Well if Senator Kerry is such a good man, and he may well be, then it would be prudent to wait just another four years to elect him, after the job is done. And if this is interference in your national affairs by a foreigner, I am not going to give you any apology for it.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Sunday, October 10, 2004
ABC also seems Rather surprised
It seems that one scandal was not enough for the mainstream media. Just one month after CBS's Dan Rather proved to be biased to the point of truth-blindness (hear no truth, see no truth, speak no truth) ABC News' Political Director Mark Halperin has released a memo to his subordinates instructing concentrate more on Bush's than Kerry's mistakes, and to use their "skill and strength" to "serve the public interest.
Read it for yourself:
Halperin Memo Dated Friday October 8, 2004 It goes without saying that the stakes are getting very high for the country and the campaigns - and our responsibilities become quite grave.I do not want to set off and [sic] endless colloquy that none of us have time for today - nor do I want to stifle one. Please respond if you feel you can advance the discussion.
The New York Times (Nagourney/Stevenson) and Howard Fineman on the web both make the same point today: the current Bush attacks on Kerry involve distortions and taking things out of context in a way that goes beyond what Kerry has done. Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win.We have a responsibility to hold both sides accountable to the public interest, but that doesn't mean we reflexively and artificially hold both sides "equally" accountable when the facts don't warrant that.
I'm sure many of you have this week felt the stepped up Bush efforts to complain about our coverage. This is all part of their efforts to get away with as much as possible with the stepped up, renewed efforts to win the election by destroying Senator Kerry at least partly through distortions.
It's up to Kerry to defend himself, of course. But as one of the few news organizations with the skill and strength to help voters evaluate what the candidates are saying to serve the public interest. Now is the time for all of us to step up and do that right.
It's easy to see why no one is taking the mainstream media seriously anymore.
Friday, October 01, 2004
As I’m writing this, I’ve just watched the first Presidential Debate. Kerry did better than I had expected, and Bush seemed inarticulate at times (though he shone when he spoke about America’s need to win the war on terror).
It’s too bad that Bush isn’t as well spoken as Kerry is, because it makes it harder to see Bush’s worth. You still can hear what makes him a great leader, of course, but you have to stop making fun of him and actually listen.
Bush is a man of conviction. He has never wavered in the face of unpopularity – he resolutely stands his ground because he is doing what he believes is his duty. You could say that he has “firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.”
When Bush decided to go into Iraq he knew that it could be unpopular. He knew that if we went in and removed Saddam that, weapons or no, we would have to turn Iraq into a democracy. He knew that this was going to take a long time and that it would cost American lives. He also knew that we would bring freedom to a new part of the world – that 30 million people would have the right to vote for the first time.
Bush is proud of America. We are the world’s moral superpower. And while we could sit around and wait for decades while the UN politely asks vicious dictators to behave like nice guys, we would be ignoring our responsibility. America has a history of fighting for right, which has made us so powerful that what was once an option is now our duty. We are the “shining city upon the hill” – the world’s beacon of freedom. We may not be able to give the whole world freedom in a hundred years, but we can certainly give some of the world freedom now. That is what Bush is doing.
Okay, so Bush remembers his duty to the world; does this mean that he forgets his duty to America? No. Bush’s economic plan has been more successful than any Bush-hater would like to admit. The 9/11 attacks made the recession (which started six months before Bush took office) evem worse – so the Democrats complained about the economy. Then our economy began to grow faster than it had for twenty years (since Reagan was President) – so the Democrats complained that our economy might be growing, but we weren’t creating new jobs. As of September 2004, however, the United States has created 1.9 million jobs in the last 13 months. This is more than the number of new jobs in Germany, Japan, Canada, Great Britain, and France combined.
What will the next four years bring? That’s up the American people; but how often do you find a politician whose views are the same no matter what the popularity polls say? Bush says what he believes in. He fights for freedom. As Hillel says in Pirkei Avos 2:6, “In a place where there are no men, try to be a man.” Bush has taken those words to heart – he is a man.