Friday, November 30, 2007

Teddy Bear Justice

Last Sunday, Gillian Gibbons was arrested in her home Khartoum, Sudan. After receiving a complaint from an office assistant at the Unity High School. Ms. Gibbons, a British citizen, was a teacher. The complaint lodged against Ms. Gibbons? Her 7 year old students named a teddy bear Muhammad. A common name among Muslim men, it seems it is an insult to the Muslim religion to name an animal Muhammad. Is a teddy bear an 'animal'? Is the Islamic religion so fragile that a stuffed animal is considered 'an animal'?

She was imprisoned. She faced sentencing of further imprisonment and 40 lashes.

As background, the alleged offense to Islam was part of a class project. The class was studying animals. One of her 7 year old students brought a teddy bear to class and then Ms. Gibbons asked the class to name the teddy bear. Names were suggested, including Muhammad. Muhammad is the name of one of the 7 year old students and he suggested the teddy bear be named for himself. The class vote was 23-3 in favor of the name Muhammad. The children took turns bringing the teddy bear home for weekends. They kept diaries in which they wrote about what they did with the weekend visits. These diaries were collected and the teacher made them into a book with the teddy bear's picture on the front cover. The title of the book: "My Name is Muhammad".

If you've had a child this age in school, you know this is a very common lesson plan to teach journaling.

Sara Khawad, an assistant working at the school, complained to the Ministry of Education. She testified at the trial yesterday. Ms. Gibbons' attorney, Kamal Djizouri, claims Khawad did it out of revenge against the administration. According to the Director of the school's PTA, Khawad argued with the principal before the teddy bear was named.

Ms. Gibbons, a 54 year old mother of two, has been sentenced to 15 days in jail and deportation. Fortunately, the barbaric practice of lashing will not be included in her sentence.

Today in the streets of Khartoum, Muslims protested the sentence. Muslim clerics were allowed to drum up public outrage in the name of 'Western plot' to insult the Prophet Muhammad. The Prosecutors at trial demanded Ms. Gibbons receive a punishment of 40 lashes, six months in prison and a fine.

She was found guilty of "insulting the faith of Muslims".

The protesters attended Friday sermons in the mosques then took to the streets saying,"No tolerance: Execution," and "Kill her, kill her by firing squad." Ah, the Religion of Peace.

Protesters carried clubs, knives and axes. Fortunately no automatic weapons were used as in previous government sponsored demonstrations. This may indicate the rally was not organized by the government.

Ms. Gibbons tearfully explained that she never intended to insult Muslims during her trial.

So, what has the British government done to protect one of its citizens? Prime Minister Brown sent his regrets to family members. Some in London say the British Muslims openly voiced displeasure at the imprisonment. "In the past, people have been a bit upset when different atrocities have happened and there hasn't been much voice in the U.K. Islamic population, whereas with this, they've quickly condemned it."

The Muslim Council of Britain denounced it as "gross overreaction." The Muslim Public Affairs Committee said her prosecution was "abominable and defies common sense." Archbishop of Canterbury said it was "an absurdly disproportionate response to what is at worst a cultural faux pas."

So, instead of taking any clear action, the Brits continued to declare respect for Islam, praise ties with Sudan and proceeded with whatever diplomatic means they were allowed.

Ms. Gibbons is lucky she wasn't placed before that firing range.

The Daily Telegraph suggested that the Foreign Secretary "has tiptoed around the case, avoiding a threat to cut aid and asserting that respect for Islam runs deep in Britain. Given that much of the government's financial support goes to the wretched refugees in Darfur and neighboring Chad, Mr. Miliband's caution is understandable." However, the newspaper suggests the ambassador in Khartoum be recalled and impose sanctions on the Sudanese regime.

Yeah, that'll happen. I hope the teddy bear survives.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

These People are Idiots

So, today we learn of the further hi jinks of the fine folks at CNN who conducted the Republican debate last night. Why did they even bother if it was all rigged to make points for the Dems?

The first inkling that all was not above board, shocking, I know from CNN, came with the apology from Cooper Anderson for the alleged non-vetting of the retired Brig.Gen.Keith Kerr. Cooper had to go ahead and say something because Bill Bennett was telling him that he was receiving text messages that Kerr was a Team Hillary member during the after debate chatter show. Yep, the very retired general who was assuming all Republicans are ignorant, fascist homophobes and complained about the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy in the military is supporting the very candidate who is married to the President that put the policy into law. If you'll remember back to the fabulous early glory days of Bill and Hill, the Don't As, Don't Tell policy was the first big legislative act that the Clintons were only too happy to crow about passing. Colin Powell told them it was not good legislation but they pushed ahead. Hey, they support the military. If it fits their agenda, that is.

How would CNN not have vetted this loser? Not only was his video in line with the agenda of the Dems and he's military, retired, so he was a real catch for them. They chose his video question and then flew him out to Florida for the live debate and paid for his accommodations. I can assure you that he was heavily vetted. Maybe Anderson Cooper was in the dark but I find that a bit much to take, too, as he is suppose to be one of their investigative reporters and I would think he'd research the questioners in the audience.

Then, to continue on with the theme of Republicans are ignorant, Bible thumping, homophobes, too racist and fascist to be taken seriously, David Cercone, a Log Cabin Republican questioned the panel about gay rights. Thing is, on his web site, he's a declared Obama supporter.

A 'undecided' young person whose video background looked to be a dorm room turned out to be an active Edwards supporter, also traced to her web site. And, oh yeah, she has a huge crush on Anderson. Sigh.

A 'concerned' Mom posing with 2 young kids in a room that looked to be a playroom, asked about lead on imported toys. She's a union activist also supporting Edwards. Hey, it's for the children. We don't know if those were her kids but that's beside the point.

So, we also had a black father and son, looking to be in a workout room, asking why it is that blacks vote for Democrats almost exclusively even though they have traditionally conservative family values? Yeah, why would that be? Huh? See, if a white person says this, well, we're racist. I've said it before and was told I was being silly. Really? When all data show black Americans vote Democrat by a 90% majority, doesn't that bear notice? There is no other group of people who votes so consistently single minded. Not even rich white people, as my critic told me. She said rich people were Republican voters. I knew better. And this week the stories have broken of studies proving her wrong, too. Especially among the newly elected Dems. So much for that scenario. It's a tired old stereotype.

CNN must now be totally boycotted. The network is a joke. Why do you think the Dems only go there, or MSNBC. Neither are doing well with ratings yet continue to push for the Dems. The farther left the better for them.

What bias? Know who owns YouTube? Google. CNN should use it sometime.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

McCain's Night

The YouTube Republican Debate? It was John McCain's night. He finally found his voice and didn't cede the stage to anyone else. It did my heart good.

Cooper Anderson was the host and he had a bit of trouble keeping control of the event. It was refreshing, though, to watch a host who didn't feel we were all entitled to his opinion.

I will say that I am no fan of this YouTube format. I think it is dishonest. The questions are all screened and deliberate. It's not just regular Joes and Joans as it should be. Two in particular were used that really pissed me off - one by Grover Norquist on taxes, and one by Nick Anderson, a political cartoonist for the Houston Chronicle. Norquist was at least identified as the head of an organization pushing the Fair Tax. Anderson, using a cartoon head of Cheney to bash the VP's power, was never identified as the Chronicle's cartoonist.

I don't think professional agenda pushers should be used as questioners. We have the mainstream media for that.

An interesting twist was that all the candidates were asked to do a 30 second video for airing on the debate. Thompson got slammed on this. His video came out swinging against Romney and Huckabee. All the others used their videos to state their positions and Rudy's poked a little fun at himself. All this made Thompson, a very tall man, look quite small.

Tancredo and McCain used their videos to compare their views with Hillary's. Romney used a good line in his - "ordinary isn't good enough." Giuliani used King Kong and said annual snowfall was reduced during his administration in NYC, all in good humor. Hunter spoke about the fence in the San Diego area he sponsored in the House and produced to diminish crime and illegal immigration problems there, as well as supporting the military as a former military man himself. Huckabee's video stressed his faith. So, yeah, Thompson looked like a chump.

Huckabee, known for his folksy remarks, when asked what Jesus would do about the abortion issue, said "Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office, Anderson."

And, yeah, Ron Paul is still every one's crazy old Aunt.

Oops, He Did It Again

Hillary Clinton, she who must be obeyed, is coming to town today. She's to appear at 3, count 'em, 3, fund raisers this afternoon and evening. First up, at the Hilton Americas hotel downtown, an event hosted by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. It's a coffee and tea reception for Hill's female supporters. "Women Making History With Hillary!" is the event theme. Don't forget the exclamation mark, ok? Admission starts at $100 donation to her national campaign. Next is the "Countdown to '08 Cocktails", an evening cocktail reception at the Westin Galleria hotel with admission starting at $1,000. And to finish the day's work, a $1,000 per person dessert reception at the home of Abdelkader Fustok, a surgeon and former president of the Arab-American Cultural and Community Center here. So, there you go. A little something for everyone.

I'll pass, thanks.

You'd think with the Clintons' penchant for dirty Asian money, she'd have something for herself sponsored by the local Asian community, which is quite large here.

I guess Hill won't have to worry about any pesky questions today about Bubba's stupidity. He was quickly caught in his latest revision of history. He claimed yesterday in Iowa that he was never supportive of the war in Iraq. Why does he keep doing this nonsense? Every utterance from his phony mouth has been recorded over the years and so easily brought back to remind everyone what he really said. As this latest mistake produced. Of course he supported the Iraq War. As did the missus. Now, however, with Hill's poll numbers down, especially in Iowa, he's out pandering with the best of them. Hill's staff was quick to pooh pooh the remarks, too, saying he meant he thought the weapons inspectors should have been given more time to do their work. Yeah, sure, that's what he meant. He also said he was angry that he wasn't given the opportunity to support the soldiers. What? Who kept him from that?

The fact that Clinton bemoans not being allowed to support the soldiers is rich. He has never, ever supported the soldiers of our country. While fighting his draft back in the Vietnam War days, he wrote a letter to his Arkansas senator saying he despised the military. He couldn't just ask for help with a student deferrment, he had to go off the cliff. In the White House days, Hillary insisted the military assigned to the White House not wear their uniforms in the West Wing as it made her and the staff 'uncomfortable'. They used uniformed military as waitstaff at their dinner parties. Not to mention the dismemberment of the military force and monetary allotments to keep up with equipment and weaponry. He was more than willing to sacrifice the military to put the money into other areas and help the mirage that so many thought was a booming economy under his guidance. We found out otherwise as he left office though.

And it appears the rumors that Hill is using the old Bush campaign playbook as her own now are true. I heard her tell a crowd in South Carolina that she'll be so inclusive in her administration that she'll have Republicans helping her, too. What a gal. She invoked the name of Colin Powell as an example of her future help. Considering that his reputation is completely tarnished on both sides of the aisle, I think she'll have to come up with a better example. The left hates him for his U.N. presentation leading up to the war in Iraq, the right hates him for allowing Armitage to betray the administration in the Scooter Libby case and for publicly criticising Bush over the war.

Hey, Lincoln Chaffee's available, Hillary.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Women, Women Everywhere

This morning on the radio, I heard a terrific description of Oprah. She was called the High Priestess of our secular culture. Isn't that great? A clever listener e-mailed that to Bill Bennett this morning and it made me smile. The discussion was Oprah's decision to go out on the road for her candidate of choice, Obama. I admit I'm apathetic about this development. I don't think celebrity endorsements sway voters. If they did, John Kerry would be president. He had everything from free concerts to every major Hollywood celeb out campaigning for him. They still don't understand that the American people like to make up our own minds.

Michelle Obama is also going out on the road. She'll be in Iowa later in the week, mostly to counteract Bill Clinton's appearances for Hill. Hill is dying that Oprah isn't campaigning for her, she's a woman after all and Hill wants you to think women are so stupid that every one in the country will support her for her gender alone, and is trying to downplay Oprah's popularity. She says her Bill is even more popular, so there. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. That's what she told her chief cheerleader, the vacuous Katie Couric. Couric was all about asking Hill about her 'feelings' and such. No policy or anything. Hill is known as a cold fish so all these feelings type of questions simply waste time. Couric is no journalist.

According to an article in the newspaper today, Obama is going to be interviewed on ABC News on Monday night. He voiced his opinion about all of Hill's 'experience' : "I think the fact of the matter is that Senator Clinton is claiming basically the entire eight years of the Clinton presidency as her own, except for the stuff that didn't work out, in which case she says she has nothing to do with it," Obama said. So true. Now she is claiming credit for peace in Northern Ireland. I don't recall Maddy Allbright ever placing any credit with Hill. Or anyone else, for that matter. Hill does have a healthy ego.

The truth is that the only credit to success she can claim is that she married Bill Clinton after going to Ivy League undergrad and Law School. Had she not, we would have never heard of her. She's quite the feminist, huh. But don't worry your pretty little head about Hill - Barbra Streisand has come out in support of her. Considering she was banned from the White House after being caught in a compromising position with Bill, that's generous of her. Maybe she'd like another play date.

And we have more victimhood from Hillary. She says she is now forced to go negative in her campaigning against Obama and Edwards. Those mean boys won't be nice to her so she just has to do it. Otherwise, of course, she would never do such a thing. You wait, as soon as Oprah starts drawing crowds for Obama the Hillary hit machine will throw all kinds of dirt her way and muddy Obama in the process. Hillary and her people are the definition of nasty. Let's not forget she had a flunky steal 1500 FBI files on Republicans during the first weeks of her first administration with Bill. Not to mention all the IRS audits on Republican critics.

I guess they 'made' her do it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gratuitous Whining Serves No One

Lately I have been losing patience with the injection of politics into stories where the injection just proves to be gratuitous. For example, I enjoyed a book recently, a true story of a woman's personal journey to find religion and peace. Unfortunately, the author who was otherwise a very competent writer, felt the need to inject a slur against Republicans into the conversation between herself and her sister. It seems the only thing worse than a birth defect, mental instability, or terminal disease that might afflict a child is if the child grows up to be a Republican. Yeah, it was that stupid.

Thursday last week, Thanksgiving Day, I was reading the Houston Chronicle. This headline caught my eye on page A29, "Take it to the airport and win one-way ticket to Gitmo". What do you suppose that article was about? It was an Associated Press article out of Orangeburg, N.Y. and it was a story about a new Swiss Army knife with a new record number of bells and whistles. It costs $1200 and is noted to be too large for most pockets. The headline makes no sense, does it? So, I pondered as to whom would write the headline. I contacted the 'reader's representative' at the Chronicle. That was Friday morning. I left a voicemail. Still no answer today so I did the next option, I e-mailed him. He got back to me and even though I gave him the newspaper date and headline, I had to provide the info if it was online or print. I said print. His answer was someone on the news copy desk would have written the headline. Figures.

The Houston Chronicle is known as anti-Bush, anti-war in Iraq, we were attacked because we are pigs. Same old, same old.

I read an interesting article by Donald Lambro in the Washington Times that shows a recent study proves the districts with the largest wealth concentrations, based on IRS income data, are represented by Democrats. That didn't surprise me but it is another stake into the heart of the tired old argument that the Republican party is the party of 'the rich'. And this argument will become more apparent as the terms proceed as a good number of those elected as freshmen legislators in 2006 are Democrats.

And, the Los Angeles Times would like you to know that Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement from the Supreme Court to care for her ill husband is just plain inconvenient for them. Sure, they say, it's terrible that John O'Connor is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease but since she left the Court, the liberals have lost their swing voter. Of course when Sandra Day O'Connor was placed on the Supreme Court as the first woman by Ronald Reagan, well, she was a horrible choice to their way of thinking. As she stayed on the Court, over the years, she leaned more moderate than some so she was wonderful after all for them.

Here's the article's last sentence: "It is the doubly sad tragedy of John O'Connor's Alzheimer's that he is becoming lost to his wife, and that she has been lost to us." Can these whining fools get any more selfish?

Recently it was disclosed by Justice O'Connor that her husband has developed a relationship with another woman in the nursing home where he lives now. He says he is in love with her and Justice O'Connor says she accepts this development. She knows the working of his mind has changed with the disease and she has little choice than to accept his behavior and insure that he is as comfortable as possible. What a strong woman. It makes the LA Times' whining opinion piece all the more obnoxious. Let the woman live in peace, for heavens sake.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Grain At A Time

Want to improve your vocabulary and feed the hungry around the world? Here's how:

Go to and play a game. It's that simple. The game is a multiple choice vocabulary game. A word comes up and four choices of a definition are offered. Pick the correct definition and 10 grains of rice appear in the bowl to the side of the page. Three correct answers put the player in a higher level. So, it doesn't become boring and the challenge continues.

This caught my eye through a newspaper article explaining the process and the web site's creator, John Breen, age 50, from Bloomington, Indiana. That was of interest to me as it is the hometown of my husband and his mother is still there. I lived there for several years, too. This guy has created other sites that deal with hunger and poverty and earlier this year did one called which "bluntly explores and depicts a U.N. finding that 25,000 people a day die from the effects of hunger.", according to the article by Edward M. Eveld of McClatchy Newspapers.

Originally Breen was going to make a math game out of the site but decided on a vocabulary game instead. His inspiration was his son's SAT prep. Names of advertisers pop up during the game at the bottom of the site. Their fees are donated to the UN World Food Programme which pays for the rice earned by correct answers. Breen acknowledges that 10 grains of rice is minuscule but says that the numbers add up. The first day the site was up and running, October 7, the site donated 830 grains of rice. As of last week, 850 million grains of rice have been donated.

Make no mistake about my feelings toward the U.N. in general. I think it is a criminally corrupt organization with very little hope of ever turning itself around. I think their humanitarian and peacekeeping goals are lost forever. The only success that can be credited to the U.N. today is their ability to distribute food to the hungry. If it doesn't require much courage.

Maybe this and other efforts out there will encourage the U.N. to remember their mission in the world and save some lives. We can hope.

The game is fun and I learn new words. Go on over and give it a try. Couldn't hurt.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

I read a good piece by Joseph Epstein today in the Wall Street Journal. He quoted the poet W.H. Auden, "let all your thinks be thanks." What a terrific thought to plant into the minds of readers today.

And, I like this that I found while looking for a good Thanksgiving quote:
"Let us remember that, as much has been given us,much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds." - Theodore Roosevelt.

Seems many credit JFK for it, but TR was the original. In more ways than one.

I wish everyone many Thanksgiving blessings to count and a bountiful feast. Enjoy our truly American holiday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Optimism Lives

Well, this will put a crimp in the holiday cheer of the far left in the country. Not only have most of their major arguments concerning the evil Bush administration begun to noticeably fall away, now we find yet another European country coming back to pro-American affirmations. Now to the list of France, Germany, Great Britain, Australia, Japan, and newly strong former Soviet Union cast-offs, Denmark has elected Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to the center-right government. He was re-elected due to his strong stance as a supporter of the war on terror. Well, so much for the whole 'every country hates us' mantra.

The leftists are under fire for their inability to end the war. Now, with even the New York Times having to run stories about the positive developments in Baghdad and other parts of the country of Iraq, well, so much for Harry Reids' the war is lost remarks. Plus, Hillary, the future candidate, maybe president, says she can't immediately end the war. She was for it before she was against it.

The Dems promised transparency and no more pork spending in the new session as they took over. Well, Republicans are being denied the ability to have input into legislation via amendments and the work week has been shortened to 4 days again. No more working on Fridays for Grandma Mimi's Congress. Pork spending continues to grow, interestingly enough in huge amounts in districts like Rep. John "killing them in cold blood" Murtha's. The Congress has yet to get any appropriations bills to the President for signature. They are at a record time of tardiness for the legislation process for the past 20 years.

"While our troops are quelling violence and defeating terrorists in Baghdad and throughout Iraq, Democrats in Washington are trying to choke off funds for our troops in the field," said Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, according to The Dems are so heavily invested in failure and defeat in Iraq that they have no other choice. That's what happens when you bet against your own country.

Hillary currently whining on the Republican attack machine is so amusing. Are you kidding me? That's Rich. Oh, pardon me. Hillary who introduced the War Room in 1990, who has a team of detectives, including dumpster divers working for her, who introduced the "bimbo eruption" team to handle her husband's sexual indiscretions. Well, if I was Barack Obama I'd be hitting back harder and acting like I really wanted the nomination. Those in Iowa are waking up.

The U.N. has to admit they miscalculated the severity of the AIDS epidemic in Africa. No. Follow the money. That may shed a bit of light as to why they would do such as thing. Any recognition of the evil Bush administration and their record-breaking allotments of monies to Africa for AIDS and for malaria? Yeah.

A major scientific break through has occurred in research. Skin cells have shown huge promise to replace the need for embryonic stem cell tissue in developing medical cures. So much for the old canard that the evil Bush administration won't allow people to stand up and walk after spinal injuries due to no federally financed embryonic stem cell research. John Edwards and John Kerry promised Christopher Reeve would walk again if they were elected last time around. Michael J. Fox has pimped himself out to any Dem who asked, for election purposes, including the current freshman Senator from Missouri, Claire McCaskell. If they were all so knowledgeable why weren't they honest enough to admit that federal funding was going to adult stem cell research and that private grants and monies went to both adult and embryonic stem cell research? Why wouldn't they admit embryonic stem cell research had not been successful? Guess it really didn't matter if you could make the other party look responsible.

It's getting a bit more difficult out there to remain the party of negative.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Put Your Money Where Your Ideas Live

Did you know there is a conservative alternative for the AARP? Me either, but apparently there is one, or else one is forming. American Seniors Association, with a post office box number in Atlanta, Georgia, sent me some material, hoping of course that I'd send along my check for membership.

The American Seniors Association people tell me that AARP is ultra-Left in their politics. They lean left, most assuredly, but what else is new in this world? I've noticed the past two presidential elections, in particular, that they are going left in their lobbying efforts. Especially in their efforts to keep Social Security as a government entitlement and not allow new thoughts about part of it being privatized, if the retiree so chooses. When an organization brags on being 'non-partisan' I rarely find it to be a nugget of truth. Just sayin'.

American Seniors Association is surveying the views of 2,000,000 senior Americans, wow, how special do I feel now?, and hope to alert Congress and political leadership that the AARP is out of step with a majority of American seniors. Interesting.

The dues are the same as AARP, $15/year, and I know this as I have been eligible for 2 years now, having met the required age of 50. My consolation is that the husband here is still 7 years older than me. We aren't members, though, for the very reason I stated above. For two presidential elections now, they have appeared unworthy of my family's money. And, if you read my blog somewhat regularly, you know that I vote with my wallet as the primary money distributor in this house. I pay the bills and I decide who is worthy of donations.

The organization says that AARP has 36 million members and receives $900 million a year. They have also received more than 1 billion in taxpayer money from the government over the last decade. The clincher for this organization was when AARP named Harry Belafonte their Person of the Year. Yeah, I agree with the outrage there, I admit. He's another ignorant America bashing celebrity.

AARP offers member discounts, mutual funds, life insurance, prescription drug discounts, and the like. I'm sure some will overlook any political differences in order to use the discounts. I understand that, as I am a very frugal person myself. Living on one income all these years will do that to a person. The majority of American people aren't politically involved and don't much pay attention to the greater scheme of things.

Organizations like AARP depend on that.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hillary's Network

Holy cow. The CNN Dem Debate just looks worse and worse, the more sunshine is shined on the event. First we have the student questioner claiming to be a plant for the stupid pearls or diamonds question. And, by the way, why are all these planted people agreeing to be planted people in the first place? Have they no minds of their own?

Today while reading a daily favorite, blogger Rick over at Rightwing Nuthouse, the story continues. We already heard yesterday that CNN insisted on screening and approving all questions to be asked. We heard that the Clintonistas were told to loudly boo Obama and Edwards if it seemed they were challenging Hillary. Rick mentions that fact that of the 1,000 tickets made available to UNLV, the site of the debate, only 100 went to students, who by common theory are predisposed to be supportive of Obama and Edwards. The facility and staff, however, Hillary fans, were given the lion's share of the tickets. The other 1,000 tickets went to the Nevada Democrat Party.

Seems a couple of the 'average' people, the questioners, were not so 'average' after all. One man asked a question after declaring he is profiled all the time after 9/11 and thinks his civil rights have been taken away by the evil Bush administration and the Patriot Act. Turns out he is the President of the Islamic Society of Nevada and has been a guest on CNN shows during their whines about the evil Patriot Act. Wolf Blitzer, head cheerleader for Hillary, didn't bother to say who Khalid Khan is or that he has been a CNN guest talker before. And, of course, no one bothered to challenge his lack of understanding of the Patriot Act. The Dems are, after all, still the party of victimhood and count on those voters.

The other 'average' questioner has been identified as La Shannon Spencer, the former Arkansas Democrats Director of Political Affairs in 2003. Probably just an innocent oversight.

And, during the post debate analysis, James Carville was never identified as a Clintonista either. Sure, most people interested in politics know who he is but still, common ethics would determine that he be identified as a Clinton team leader.

Now, explain to me again about the awful bias on Fox News Channel and how they tout candidates? CNN is so 'worldly' and so very sophisticated. They'd never outright push one particular candidate for the office of President, would they? This blatant rigging of a debate may backfire a bit on their beloved Hillary, though. Americans don't like to be taken for fools. Americans like to make their own political decisions.

America just may not want another 8 years of Clinton drama. The lies, secrecy, Asian money scandals, Bubba abusing women while Hillary is the darling of the old feminists. Makes Hillary's Bush bashing appear almost comical, doesn't it?

Wolf Blitzer should be drummed out of the business. Shame on him.

Friday, November 16, 2007

But They Support the Troops

Poor Harry. Those mean supporters of the troops just won't get with his program and vote to broadcast all troop withdrawal plans to the world. Maybe creepy voiced Harry didn't notice that troops are all ready beginning to be brought home? Maybe he could grow up a tad and stop attaching 'conditions' to funds for the Pentagon? Poor Harry. He's having another tantrum and pouting today on the Senate floor. Those mean Republicans did the right thing and won't fall for his blackmail. With violence in Iraq noticeably, markedly down and the services to the people of Iraq being administered with renewed fervor, like electricity and water services, and the fractions coming together to work on the politics of the country, well, we'll not have any stinkin' success kind of talk from the surrender monkeys. How will Harry walk back from the famous 'the war is lost' speech from this past spring? Oh yeah, and his approval rating in his home state of Nevada is at 20%. That may get his attention eventually since he is used to approval ratings of 50-60%.

The new Dem leadership in the House and Senate still doesn't get it. They have a majority now because of the moderate Dems that were elected over the previous Republicans who held the offices. The moderate Dems elected in 2006 are not voting to end the war in a specific time frame. Some of the formerly anti war critics of the President are now strongly in favor of letting the surge play out. Like, for example, Rep. Brian Baird of Washington. He was of the Pelosi school of thought before his trip to Iraq and he was able to see with his own eyes the successes of the troops and the plan of General Petraeus. Now he's a believer.

In his recent speech delivered at the Center for Politics and Foreign Relations/Financial Times breakfast at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies Senator Joe Lieberman said "Since retaking Congress in November 2006, the top foreign policy priority of the Democratic Party has not been to expand the size of our military for the war on terror or to strengthen our democracy promotion efforts in the Middle East or to prevail in Afghanistan. It has been to pull our troops out of Iraq, to abandon the democratically-elected government there, and to hand a defeat to President Bush."

"Iraq has become the singular litmus test for Democratic candidates. No Democratic presidential primary candidate today speaks of America's moral or strategic responsibility to stand with the Iraqi people against the totalitarian forces of radical Islam, or of the consequences of handing a victory in Iraq to al Qaeda and Iran. And if they did, their campaign would be as unsuccessful as mine was in 2006. Even as evidence has mounted that General Petraeus' new counterinsurgency strategy is succeeding, Democrats have remained emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq, reluctant to acknowledge the progress we are now achieving, or even that that progress has enabled us to begin drawing down our troops there." ....."there is something profoundly wrong-something that should trouble all of us-when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how the Bush administration might respond to Iran's murder of our troops, than about the fact that Iran is murdering our troops."

"There is likewise something profoundly wrong when we see candidates who are willing to pander to this politically paranoid, hyper-partisan sentiment in the Democratic base--even if it sends a message of weakness and division to the Iranian regime."

Senator Lieberman is a smart man. And he is the very result of the fact that most Americans, while suffering from war fatigue and anxious for the troops to come home, do not want a defeat in Iraq. If defeat was the desired effect, people like his last opponent, Ned LaMont, would have been able to buy his Senate seat. His whole message was anti-war a la George Soros. It didn't square with the voters and Lieberman is now an Independent in the Senate, not a Democrat. What did the Dems accomplish with that?

Secretary Gates says the Department of Defense will have to begin lay offs soon and suspend contracts for projects if the monies aren't forthcoming in the budget. Something in the Committee hearing that came out, much to the chagrin to the Dem questioning General Casey about monies needed, was that due to the gutting of the military, both in the number of personnel and in equipment, the unforeseen global war on terror demands that the military grow, not shrink. General Casey said it was the actions taken in the 90's that brought on the current shortages. The 1990's, huh? Who was in charge then? Oh yeah, it was Mr. and Mrs. Clinton. They were too busy having officers in full dress uniform serve as waitstaff at their dinner functions than be concerned about the man in uniform on a base somewhere.

But, they support the troops.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tipping Point

In light of tonight's Dem debate with their favorite network, CNN, Wolf Blitzer is under fire doing the pinkie swear that no, the Clinton campaign hacks didn't make him swear to take it easy on Hillary. No Russerting from him, they said. Wolfie promises to treat her just like everyone else, though he's never done that before. We'll see.

John McCain yesterday was in South Carolina and taking questions from the audience. One woman stood and asked how he would beat the bitch, referring to Hillary. He did his best to be graceful about answering the woman and made a point to say he respects Hillary. That wasn't good enough, of course, for Hill's people and they are whining that McCain should have stood firmer for Hillary against that naughty word. "I can't dictate what other people say - that's not my business," he said. How true.

And then we hear that the Spitzer people arranged the press conference yesterday for the Governor of NY, another Hillary drooler, so he could announce he was giving up on his quest for illegals to have NY driver licenses at the insistence of Hill's people. The day before the Dem debate. The last debate was where Hillary's downturn began. Interesting.

All of this added to the bad press she and her people were receiving, though limited since the regular media still acts as her main cheerleaders, about stiffing a waitress in Iowa of a tip. The campaign tried their best to act as though the waitress was mistaken and the tip was left, but she is standing by her story. As she said, what's her reason to lie about it? She's a Democrat, she said, and was leaning toward voting for Hillary. Not any more.

The campaign claims they left a $100 tip for a tab of $157 and they wanted the waitress to share with the other waitresses. Even though they didn't wait on the table. Hillary. Socialist in tipping, too. Wealth re-distribution at the expense of a regular working woman.

Well, they chose the wrong woman. Also with Hillary were Christie Vilsac, (wife of former Gov. Vilsack and he's a campaign manager for Hill), and Ruth Harkin, wife of Senator Harkin. A high profile table. Waitress Anita Easterday at the Maid-Rite diner spoke to Hillary about her need to work two or three jobs as a single mom. Hillary had the famous loose meat sandwich, by the way. Then Hillary used Anita in her campaign speech. Without asking if that was ok with Anita. Which, it was not apparently. She felt her privacy was violated.

The other waitresses back up Anita's story. They say they never received any tip money from that table.

Hillary. A supporter of working women. Stiffing tips and using their stories for her vote getting purposes. What a gal.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

They Are Old and Know Better

Who'd of thought a bunch of middle age and older American women who play bridge for a living would be so stupid and classless? All dressed conservatively and groomed, the team of women who represented the U.S. at a world bridge championship in Shanghai now face the indignity of sanctions, and possibly a year long ban from competition.

Seems these hags decided to be cool and all that as they were being photographed together on stage. As a 'spontaneous' action, they held up a crudely made sign announcing that they didn't vote for President Bush. What pigs. Who do they think they are, the Dixie Chicks? At least the Chicks have the excuse of youth and ignorance in general. No one expects them to be smart.

Seems the players thought they were on the receiving end on some snide remarks by those competing against them overseas. Poor delicate babies. So, instead of standing up for their country, instead of defending the sacrifice of our military and their families, instead of being proud of our country's efforts to bring change in the Middle East, they decided to go along with the America/Bush bashing overseas.

One team member is having a bit of regret. Not because she made a really bad decision, but because she may suffer financially. "I earn my living from bridge, and a substantial part of that from being hired to compete in high-level competitions, "Debbie Rosenberg, a team member, said.

The President of the U.S. Bridge Federation said "There isn't any question that private organizations can control the speech of people who represent them." He's correct. It isn't a 'free speech' issue that the defeatists and hags hide behind.

Later this month a hearing is scheduled to determine if the members conducted themselves in an unbecoming way. I say sanction them to the hilt and deny them any further profit from the federation's tournaments. They showed who they are.

They can live with it. They can go to their new friends overseas and bask in their support, now that they have disgracefully sold themselves out. They like them, they really, really like them.

Did Republicans go around the world announcing they didn't vote for Clinton? Again I'll say, country over party. Every time. I'll continue the drumbeat until I can't any longer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Glass is Half Full

I read an interesting opinion piece by Dr. William Bennett. Bill Bennett was a part of the Reagan administration cabinet and has written some terrific books about American history, especially enjoyable for young people.

The teaching of American history to today's students is especially of interest to Bennett. He is hoping to get his set of books, Volumes I and II of America: The Last Best Hope, in classrooms across the country as tools for teachers. I agree with his opinion that American history is not taught to its fullest advantage today. While some of our history is doom and gloom, the uplifting parts of our nation's history, which far outweigh the gloomy parts, is often given short sighted lessons and not taught with enthusiasm. Students are most responsive to interesting stories with characters who come alive for them. Is there anything worse than a dry, boring lecture on history?

With the vast array of characters presented through out our history, it truly does a disservice to the student not to spark an imagination and encourage further interest in our history, our government and our everyday heroes.

"For indeed, we are not living in the toughest of times, we are not living in the worst of times, nor are we fighting the toughest of wars. But try telling that to our nation's young people; too many of them absorb too much of the negativism taught by our culture to know this." "The truth is, we've been in far worse shape in terms of what we've had to endure in this country - but we may not have been in far worse shape in terms of what we know about our country. To many of our high-school students do not graduate high school, and of those who do, too many do not know the basic facts of their own country's history."

"Too many of our nation's adults have taken too dark a view of their country and have not seen fit to transmit her story down to the next generation. Too many in our culture would rather point out our nation's failings than its successes. And in our schools, too many textbooks on American history are politically one-sided (turning off those with opposing political views). Worse, and more often, many of them are just plain boring." It's true. Lots of today's teachers don't even use a complete textbook in class. They use some supplements which can be good or not. Last year my son was in his junior year of high school and one 'supplement' was Howard Zinn's book on American history, which I found offensive due to the outright liberal bias. History is history. Facts are facts. Opinions are not facts. American historians do no favor to students by pushing the negative view over the positive view."

The reason why authors such as David McCullough and Michael Beschloss are so successful with book buyers and readers is that they tell the stories without any noticeable bent one way or the other. They are true historians and teachers. I also think that is the appeal of the History Channel. It offers history as it happened, the good, the bad and the ugly.

I admire Dr. Bennett's knowledge and grasp of American history. He tells a good story. He points out that our country is full of everyday heroes who never receive the recognition they are so worthy of, not just politicians or community leaders. He has a radio talk show I'm able to listen to towards the end of it as I'm in the car driving my son to school. In some cities around the country groups of women have formed who enjoy the show and the topics discussed. They are called Saturday Morning in (whatever city). The one here met last Saturday morning and I was able to attend. They are breakfast meetings and the fellowship of like minded women is stimulating. Ours was a mix of women from different parts of town and different occupations. The founder of our chapter is an attorney, working part time now, self-employed. She lead us through various topics and spoke of an upcoming service project.

This group is going to put together packages for Soldier's Angels, a very worthy non-profit that distributes mail and packages to soldiers who may not otherwise receive anything from home. One member is collecting Christmas cards at next month's meeting to send to recovering soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital in D.C. I look forward to participating in these projects. I've done such things before and I always feel it is the least I can do for them. It is an easy way to support the troops.

Interested in sending along Christmas cards to wounded soldiers? You are free to sign them as you wish and include a note or not. It's a great way to use leftover cards in your drawer. Who doesn't have a box with a few laying around?

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20307-5001

The member coordinating our cards will put them together in a box and mail them off together with those she collects from her work. She has her whole medical office building getting into the spirit.

The spirit of the season.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Every Day is Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day. Fellow blogger, Jo, at points us to the web site for the history of this day.

President Eisenhower penned this letter to Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs on October:

Dear Mr. Higley:

I have today signed a proclamation calling upon all of our citizens to observe Thursday, November 11, 1954 as Veterans Day. It is my eternal hope that all veterans, their organizations, and the entire citizenry will join hands to insure proper and widespread observance of this day. With the thought that it will be most helpful to coordinate the planning. I am suggesting the formation of a Veterans Day National Committee. In view of your great personal interest as well as your official responsibilities, I have designated you to serve as Chairman. You may include in the Committee membership such other persons as you desire to select and I am requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch to assist the Committee in its work in every way possible.

I have every confidence that our Nation will respond wholeheartedly in the appropriate observance of Veterans Day, 1954.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

This year, in 2007, we will have the national observance tomorrow, on Monday. It is an ensured three day weekend for federal employees. If the day falls on a Saturday, then Friday is the day of official observance.

In August, 2001, the Senate Resolution 143 called for the week of November 11-17 to be "National Veterans Awareness Week. The resolution calls for "educational efforts directed at elementary and secondary school students concerning the contributions and sacrifices of veterans." Ironic, huh? August, 2001, just before 9/11/2001.

As to the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day, Memorial Day is a time set aside to remember service members who died in service or as a result of injuries from battle. Fallen veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day but Veterans Day is set aside to honor living veterans having served honorably in wartime or peacetime.

Every day should be Veterans Day.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Torturing A Nominee

"After the longest confirmation process in nearly 20 years, the Senate has finally voted to confirm Judge Mukasey as attorney general," said Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who chairs the Senate GOP Conference. That quote from by Manu Raju. According to the site, the vote was a bit of a surprise, as Senator Reid, the creepy voiced Majority Leader of the Senate stated that he was not sure if the nomination would be filibustered. He even suggested the vote could be postponed until after the Thanksgiving recess, which begins at the end of next week.

Those Senators absent from the vote were all five presidential candidates, as well as Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and John Cornyn (R-TX).

The vote was 53-40. The Democrats, so predictable. The party of McGovern strikes again.

Six Democrats and one Independent joined with Republicans to vote for Judge Mukasey. Those voting in favor of the best interests of the country were Democrat Senators Evan Bayh (IN), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Ben Nelson (NE), Mary Landrieu (LA), Charles Schumer (NY), Thomas Carper (DE), and Independent Joe Lieberman (CT). Landrieu is worried about her chances for re-election in '08, and Schumer was feeling the obligation as he recommended the nominee as someone acceptable to Dems.

"We cannot afford to take the judgement of an attorney general who either does not know torture when he sees it or is willing to look the other way," said Teddy Kennedy. If anyone should know about using torture, it'd be Teddy, the swimmer. Did he stand on the banks of the water as Mary Jo drowned in the automobile after he ran it off the bridge? Or did he just keep swimming to shore and walk to call his attorney and political advisor without watching? Yeah, Teddy would be my standard bearer of moral judgement.

Wednesday Alan Dershowitz had an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal. Dershowitz is no conservative but is a liberal who gets it when it comes to war. He is of the same cloth as Lieberman and Ed Koch, former Mayor of NYC. They put country above party. True patriots.

In his opinion piece, Dershowitz writes about Democrats and their continued soft stance on the issue of national defense and terror. His opinion is that it is a political loser for the party. He wrote of the willingness of the Democrat party to allow the war in Iraq to become mostly a Republican project. He writes, "This pacifistic stance appeals to the left wing of the democratic electorate, which may have some influence on the outcome of democratic primaries, but which is far less likely to determine the outcome of the general election. Most Americans---Democrats, Republicans, independents or undecided---want a president who will be strong, as well as smart, on national security, and who will do everything in his or her lawful power to prevent further acts of terrorism."

"Hundreds of thousands of Americans may watch Michael Moore's movies or cheer Cindy Sheehan's demonstrations, but tens of millions want the Moores and Sheehans of our nation as far away as possible from influencing national security policy. That is why Rudy Giuliani seems to be doing surprisingly well among many segments of the electorate, ranging from centrist Democrats to Republicans and even some on the religious right."

On the waterboarding issue and the Mukasey confirmation, Dershowitz, a professor at Harvard Law School, said Mukasey was absolutely correct as a matter of constitutional law that it can not be decided in the abstract. "The court must examine the nature of the governmental interest at stake, and the degree to which the government actions at issue shock the conscience, and then decide on a case-by-case basis. In several cases involving actions at least as severe as waterboarding, courts have found no violations of due process."

"The members of the judiciary committee who voted against Judge Mukasey, because of his unwillingness to support an absolute prohibition on waterboarding and all other forms of torture, should be asked the direct question: Would you authorize the use of waterboarding, or other non-lethal forms of torture, if you believed that it was the only possible way of saving the lives of hundreds of Americans in a situation of the kind faced by Israeli authorities on the eve of Yom Kippur? Would you want your president to authorize extraordinary means of interrogation in such a situation? If so, what means? If not, would you be prepared to accept responsibility for the preventable deaths of hundreds of Americans?"

That is the question to ponder - what are you prepared to accept or authorize? Something that often goes missing in the waterboarding argument is the fact that the technique is used in training our own soldiers. And, I repeat, the waterboarding of Mary Jo by Teddy Kennedy was much more extreme than the technique used on battlefield enemies, if it is used. She died.

"The Democrats may lose the presidency if they are seen as the party of, Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Dennis Kucinich and those senators who voted against Judge Mukasey because he refused to posture on a difficult issue relating to national security. They will win if they are seen as just as tough but a lot smarter on how to deal with real threats to our national interests." I agree with Dershowitz.

The coming presidential election will be about national security issues. Again. It will be true for the next generation or two, until the cancer of Islamofacism is destroyed. The Dems have to have something other than bashing Bush. He's not running. Americans don't vote doom and gloom. Americans are by nature an optimistic people. It is our story as a nation. Our nation is a story of success, a can-do work ethic. Our economy remains strong, even after 9/11. Health care insurance can be improved for many but as a private sector solution, not socialized medicine that has failed in other countries. Our country is the beacon of personal freedom and choice.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sarko Does D.C.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in Washington,D.C. visiting with President Bush and First Lady Laura. Last night they hosted a black tie formal dinner for him.

"I've come to Washington to bear a very simple, straight-forward message...I wish to reconquer the heart of America." That's the money line from his little speech at the dinner last night.

I have a little crush on President Sarkozy. He had me at his acceptance speech on his election night.

I am very encouraged about this little trend growing in Europe these days. Now that the countries of 'Old Europe' have fairly well been ruined with socialism and turning a blind eye to the growing hostility of radicalized young Muslims, they are coming home to common sense. Despite what our own media would have you believe, America is not the cause of the world's problems. America is looked to for solutions. People from all over the world are still coming here every day to pursue the American dream. All along, though Europeans may have been irritated with American foreign policy, they maintained friendly connections to the American people. They didn't hold Americans accountable for the administration's policies. So, the whole continued drum beat in the press that 'everyone hates us' never rang true.

First we watched Angela Merkel's rise to lead Germany. She stated from the outset that she intends to forge a strong friendship with the leaders in America and then her country will reap the benefits. Stephen Harper, the conservative candidate, won the Prime Minister slot in Canada. Same thing. And now we have President Sarkozy.

Bless him.

Today he spoke before a joint session of Congress. I wish the two buffoons sitting directly behind his podium, Grandma Mimi and Robert (KKK) Byrd, were half as much a class act as him. He spoke of the ''eternal debt we owe America" for the liberation of France during World War II. He attended a ceremony to celebrate WWII veterans and presented them with medals. He received nine standing ovations during his speech this morning.

My husband, no fan of the French after his many trips there for business, was so moved listening to the speech on the radio this morning that he called me and asked if I was listening. He was in shock. So, when I said I've changed my position about going to Paris now as a tourist and do, in fact, now actually want to go, he said it'd be ok. It's a hopeful time now.

Bless him.

President Bush said, "I have a partner in peace." President Sarkozy has his work cut out. I think his time has come.

No more cheese eating surrender monkeys.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tuesday Tidbits

Last night I caught a re-broadcast of the ceremony for the Presidential Medal of Honor awardees. I was able to see Harper Lee receive hers, so I was really happy to see her. She's distinctly frail and walks with difficulty so she held on to the President's arm after he helped her from her chair on the stage. Benjamin Hooks was helped by fellow awardees, too. And, I saw my hero, Brian Lamb. So, it was cool.

The first woman President of an African country, the president of Liberia, was given a standing ovation. She amused me. She was acting humbled but when the standing ovation happened, she acted like she expected it. She was wrestling with herself and the image she should present to the audience.

Further proof that Senator Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Grandma Mimi are not worthy of their positions of power: Reid said that by staying "so bogged down' in Iraq that the U.S. is unable to respond to the Pakistani State of Emergency.

Really? What would Senator creepy voice have us do? Bomb Pakistan like Obama said he'd consider? Cutting financial aid doesn't require military involvement.

And, I guess I've missed all the praise Reid and Grandma have rewarded to the military now that the news is guardedly good and the General's strategy is working. There was an article buried in the paper yesterday that thousands are returning to Baghdad from their refuges like in Syria or Jordan.

But, they support the troops.

The husband's Iraqi friend sent an e-mail this week saying he is ok and still in Baghdad. He checks in every so often with his contact list letting all know he's alive and ok.

Some true theatre occurred today. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, running for President when he isn't spotting UFO's at Shirley MacLaine's house, introduced articles of impeachment for VP Cheney. The fun began as the vote was taken on House Majority Whip's motion to table the vote to proceed. The Dems counted on the Republicans voting to table it. Surprise. They decided to not do that and call the Dems out on it. They rightfully wanted a recorded vote on the matter and let the voters decide if Kucinich and his group of 22 co-signers were worthy of representing them. So, when the votes were tallied, the vote was not tabled. So, Steney Hoyer moved to vote on putting the matter to the House Judiciary Committee. There it remains. Rep. John Conyers, D-MI, the chairman, said Grandma Mimi won't consider impeachment proceedings so he says he won't do anything with it. I wish he would. I'd love to see that debate and the vote on the floor after it came out of committee. Lots of campaign commercials there. I say bring it.

The poll numbers of Congress remain considerably lower than even the President's. The country is fed up with investigation after investigation over nothing that is going on in Congress. They are still arguing over the dismissal of the U.S. Attorneys. They admit nothing has been proven to be amiss in the dismissals, but they keep trying. They think the American voters are stupid. The American voters aren't stupid, they're fed up.

No appropriation bills have moved to the President. For the first time in a record amount of years, not a single regular fiscal year appropriation bill has reached the President's desk, at this time of the calendar year.

Grandma Mimi is so proud of herself being a woman and in her position. She's an embarrassment and not capable. Too bad she represents women achieving her position. She's setting back women in politics. She's no example for a good 'first' woman in the position. Her own base is disgusted with her. They actually thought she'd do what she promised them.

Silly sheep.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Chuck at the Helm

This week will bring a vote in the Senate Judicial Committee on the nomination of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General. Friday, late into the afternoon and non-prime time news time, Senator Chuckie Schumer and Senator Diane Feinstein announced that they would, in fact, be supporting Mukasey. With their support, the vote will pass in committee and go to the floor of the Senate. Schumer let the nomination twist in the wind until that late hour by refusing to say which way he intended to vote.

The irony is not lost on those watching the committee. Schumer was the Senator who sent a list of nominee names to the White House that the Dems considered acceptable for consideration. Schumer thinks he is running the country anyway, so, sure, why not a list of those acceptable to him, huh? Judge Mukasey was featured as a great selection. A judge who would receive strong bi-partisan support as a fair, independent individual, Schumer told the White House. He has unquestionable integrity and impeccable ethics, the White House was told.

Then the White House bowed to the Dems, yet again, and nominated Judge Mukasey. So, the hate machine that is the staff of Committee Chair Patrick Leahy, D-VT, and the likes of Teddy, the swimmer, Kennedy, morph into the forefront of the nomination. Why, he must be questioned thoroughly about his opinions on all things torture, all techniques used in pursuit of the global war on terror. Never mind the fact that the Judge hasn't received the top level intelligence briefings that the Senate committee has received. He must give his opinion on techniques that may or may not be used, right now. What was the Judge to do, I pondered? Guess?

This is why the whole concept of bi-partisanship is just a ruse in today's D.C. The Dems had no intention of allowing a nomination of President Bush's choice, a lame duck President, to come to fruition. What does the President think, anyway? That's he's entitled to have his nominees come to the floor of the Senate for a vote, barring no findings of criminal record or major questions of ethics? Please. That's so old fashioned, so 1990's.

You remember the good old 1990's, don't you? When we had a Dem President with no personal morality or sense of ethics, yet the Republican controlled Senate voted out his nominees almost always unanimously and he got his votes on the Senate floor. That's the process. Or, it used to be. Today's D.C. is so Bush deranged that the Dems refuse to accept yes as an answer to anything. No matter the issue, they are the party of defeatism.

Judge Mukasey was questioned on water boarding, a technique rarely used in questioning known mass murderers wishing harm to the U.S. and our soldiers. The Judge refused to positively declare the method as unconstitutional and stated that he has not been privy to de-classified intelligence briefings. The ones given to the Committee. He rightly answered that he will need to be briefed on the whole picture before he can make a judgement.

Mon Dieu! What kind of answer was that? Independent? Impartial? Intellectually curious? Please. We'll have none of that.

I said back when Attorney General Gonzales resigned that the Bush administration should just use the Deputy AG as the interim AG until the President's term is over. It is perfectly kosher to renew the Deputy AG over and over until the next administration comes in. I knew there was no way a decent hearing would be given to a good nominee.

For all the huffing and puffing of the defeatists, something seems to be forgotten. Twice the Senate has had a chance to vote to strip the CIA of this interrogation tool. Twice. Twice they declined to do so. Once in the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 and again in the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Teddy, the swimmer, Kennedy tried mightily to specifically prohibit waterboarding, along with other methods, and it lost 46-53, as pointed out in the article recently.

The defeatists are so completely beholding to the anti-war and fringe left that they wish to go back to the good old Clinton days of treating terrorist like common felons. Never mind that treating terrorists as just another criminal all throughout the 1990's brought us 9/11/01.

History never repeats itself, right?

Which Senator said this about waterboarding at a hearing in 2004? "We ought to be reasonable about this. I think there are probably very few people in this room or in America who would say that torture should never ever be used, particularly if thousands of lives are at stake...It is easy to sit back in the armchair and say that torture can never be used, but when you are in the foxhole it is a very different deal. And I respect, i think we all respect the fact that the President is in the foxhole every day."

Yes. It was Senator Chuckie Schumer.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Oaths of Service

All organizations, whether business, civic, or political, have two kinds of participants. There are those who understand and perform, and there are those who understand and perform when it suits them. There will always be those within groups who are pushing agendas rather than doing the job that needs to be done.

Let's talk about the State Department. "I ______, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will perform the duties of a member of this Board faithfully and to the best of my ability; that i will adhere to the Precepts; that I will apply the Precepts and promotion criteria without prejudice or partiality; and that I will not reveal to unauthorized persons any information concerning the personnel records used or the deliberations and recommendations of the Board, (so help me God)." That is the oath that the members of Foreign Service take as they participate in voluntary service to their country.

I was angered as I watched part of a town hall style meeting at the State Department earlier this week. The preening and whining of career professionals was sickening, to say the least. What in the world is going on there, I pondered. So, I did a little digging into it.

It's been widely known for years that the career employees of the State Department are full of agenda driven opinions and are willing to tell tales to to the press for personal desires. Like any group of people in our country now, there are those who support the work of the military in Iraq and those who are openly working against our efforts in the region. Those at the State Department, being a bit closer to the arguments, are feeling emboldened by politicians declaring the war lost and the president and vice president liars and the military committing murder to innocent women and children in the dead of night.

So, with the embassy in Baghdad in need of filling 48 positions, the State Department called upon the Foreign Service Officers to come forward. Foreign Service Officers "represent the United States' interests abroad. In addition, they are responsible for the adjudication of visa and passport applications and assistance to U.S. citizens abroad. FSOs are classified into various specialties, including Management, Consular, Public Diplomacy, Political, and Economic." That is the definition from the Wikipedia entry.

These were career FSOs at the Town Hall meeting. They were voluntarily working for the State Department as their chosen career paths. Harry Thomas, the Foreign Service director general conducted the meeting. David Satterfield, Secretary Rice's Iraq deputy was also in attendance. Secretary Rice was in the Middle East. Many federal employees have refused repeated requests to go to Iraq and some have demanded they be assigned only to Baghdad, not the Green Zone. The Green Zone is the area where the American Embassy and the Iraqi government ministries reside. A continuing problem has been the lack of cooperation of older, more experienced, mature diplomats to go to Iraq. The majority of those signing up are younger, entry level employees.

"It's one thing if someone believes in what's going on over there and volunteers, but it's another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment," said Jack Croddy, once a political adviser with NATO forces. "I'm sorry, but basically that's a potential death sentence, and you know it." "Who will raise our children if we are dead or seriously wounded?" Lovely.

I suggest if he was required to go and didn't want to because of his disagreement of the policies toward Iraq, as he blatantly stated above, then he should resign and leave. Now. He signed the oath when he was hired and he is no more entitled to run the show than any other FSO. Who does he think he is? Richard Armitage? And as far as the slap about the potential sentence? I assume his children have a mother. I assume he takes advantage of the government goodies of which he is eligible: the life insurance policy, 401K, health insurance for families, free or reduced rates for sporting events, special events and the like? Life is good for the FSOs compared to the common man in this country. Not all assignments can be in Switzerland. Or France. His family would be in a far better position than the National Guardsmen or military lost in Iraq. Oh yeah, he's better than them anyway.

So, as I was feeling the effects of such selfish arrogance, I pondered: does Jack Croddy feel the American military members have the same duty? They are a voluntary force, too, and their commitment should humble the pampered Croddy. From the gray in his hair and the lines on his face, he is old enough to know better.

Who does he think he is? Joe Wilson?

Rep. Duncan Hunter, running for President, had an excellent idea. He suggested that if the diplomats don't want to go to their assigned posts, fire them and hire wounded vets who want to go back and serve. It would be a new career path for them and they richly deserve it, too. Time after time I hear interviews of wounded vets, male and female, who say they just want to go back and help.

They are true patriots. They are not concerned with the gravy train of the diplomatic community.

Since the invasion in 2003, no FSOs have been killed in Iraq. About 1500 have been sent there and served.

After the Town Hall meeting, which also included some who have served in Iraq and spoke to the enriching experience it was for them, many volunteers came forward and only a few slot remain open.

I'm feeling much better about the state of our FSOs now. Why? What should I come across but an article by Kathrine Schmidt of the Washington Bureau of the Houston Chronicle about Kristin Hagerstrom, a Houston woman focusing on helping women in Ramadi as a FSO. She is 57 years old and is the mother of two assigned to a U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team. The team is one of 25 units of military and civilian workers whose mission is to help rebuild regional governments in the country. Her 22 year old son is a Marine who served in Anbar. "This part of the war is just as important as the shooting part of the war," Hagerstrom said via telephone from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

"If you get basis services back to the people, it creates a safe environment. If young men have a job, they won't be tempted to take $500 from al-Qaida to plant an IED," she said. She seeks concrete action over symbolism. "We think it's very important to build up the local government: the imams, the Iraqi police, the tribal leaders." "We stay away from taking a box of school supplies and handing them out."

Focusing on helping women, Hagerstrom said,"One of the things that al-Qaida did was push women out of the schools and out of any place in the economy." "One place we've seen incredible growth is the number of women who will come out to events, who feel safe enough now to do that."

She is in her 17th year of foreign Service. She's been assigned to Peru, South Korea and Burma. She thinks she'll stay in Iraq about a year before her next assignment. She's hoping to be assigned to China.

Hagerstrom's father was an Air Force pilot in WWII, and her mother was a pilot, too. Her son John was her inspiration, though, to serve in Iraq. "My son came here, so I needed to, also. I'm not a warrior. My father and my son are warriors, but there are things I can do to make it better."

"The most gratifying thing is how optimistic the Iraqi people are, "she said. "They really are in this together. They really believe that they can do this."

She sounds like a warrior to me.

Friday, November 02, 2007

What's Your Line?

The buzz lately is that there is a story going around D.C. that 'everyone' knows, which means the media people, and the L.A. Times can break it at any time. So far the newspaper is sitting on it. This story is described as potentially devastating, a sexual scandal, involving a 'leading Presidential candidate', according to Ron The L.A. Times is debating the timing of releasing the story to the world and whether or not to do so during the primary season.

And, no, he says it is not the story going around about the state of the Edwards marriage and John's alleged long time affair that is circulating out there.

So, it all revolves around the gotcha game played over politics and sex. How much are we to demand of the candidates concerning their personal lives? Are we, the voters, entitled to know all about their private lives, and if so, where's the line drawn?

I think the culture of our society has so devolved that for instance, when Bill Clinton ran for President the first time, he was asked on an MTV appearance if he wore briefs or boxers. And like a damn fool, he answered the question. Why? Why wasn't it ridiculed as a question of no substance and let it go at that? Really. Who cares?

Sometimes the argument revolves around the private life indicating the character of the politician. If that were true and we were serious voters in this country, Clinton would never been elected to any political office. His history was well known as far back as his days in Arkansas but it was put aside. Hillary hired her 'bimbo eruption' squad and off they went.

Ronald Reagan was a divorced man. JFK had women parading in and out of the White House, especially as Jackie traveled and raised the kids. Humans are not perfect creatures and a lot of the difficulty lies in the notion that we expect our elected officials to be unblemished. Especially our presidential candidates.

Now, Rosenbaum speculates that the mystery candidate involved in this sexual scandal must be a Democrat. His opinion is that if it was one of the Republican front runners, it would gleefully be splashed all over the front pages of the country. He's probably right about that. There is no denying the double standard in the world of journalism today. And, I'll remind you of the spouting off that Hillary's spokespeople have done that if Rudy is the GOP candidate, well, all kinds of nastiness is coming over his personal life and how they will use that in nasty commercials. That's pretty arrogant, seems to me, with all the baggage the Clinton marriage has. Especially considering if Hillary were married to anyone else she wouldn't even be the candidate today.

Hillary wants the world to think she is super feminist woman, yet when the going gets tough, she throws the victim card and how mean those men are to her. Poor dear. Bless her heart.

She's simply entitled to the job and she wants you to believe that. She stayed with Bill all these years, letting him humiliate her internationally, and this is her pay off. She is woman, hear her roar. Hillary is a stark example of why the original feminism movement is dead.

Ah, the deals that are made in marriage.

Slate Magazine is doing a series on the candidates wives. I'm assuming they mean Democrat candidates wives, but we'll find out about that soon enough. The first chosen was the Obama marriage. It was an interesting read.

Michelle Obama is a modern kind of American wife and mom. She's the modern kind of political wife, too. She makes speeches for her husband, the candidate, and she has used the method of downplaying the notion that he is a perfect human being. That's a bit refreshing but she was told to knock it off by the staffers fearing she was emasculating him. Interesting. She's in the P.R. biz so I think that would make her the perfect political spouse.

"Almost invariable, the first thing friends mention about her is that they have never known her to be caught unprepared." "Today, watching her in action - giving a speech better than he does, and working a crowd equally well- one wonders not why she and her husband are together, but who in the world else he might have married."

Michelle goes with the dilemma of raising children in busy professional lives. "You only think about yourself," she would tell him. "I never thought I'd have to raise a family alone." And it was Barack that said Michelle told him as he went on stage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention:"Don't screw it up, buddy."

Their's is described as "the marriage of two people who actually mean it when they say that setting up one guy as the lead dog who is supposed to pull us out of this mess can only cause more of the same. They see that leadership model as a risky way to run a family - or a country."

"If people are attracted to him, it's because he can lead without being authoritarian." That's a quote from his friend Cassandra Butts.

I know from my own marriage, almost 25 years now, that marriage is all about compromise and agreements. I've been a single parent within my own marriage for the majority of it. That's how it is. Would I ever think of telling my husband he can't do the work he enjoys and the travel that goes with it? No. Would he ever think to tell me I couldn't do something, too? No. Our compromise was for me to stop working outside the home when our son was born and I have been a stay at home mom since, with a small break for a couple of years as I helped open a Children's Museum, which evolved out of my community volunteer work. I never stopped that.

So, where's the line we draw with the political marriages?