Saturday, December 18, 2004

Drug Companies

We seem to be hit by a recent string of pharmo scandals recently. Vioxx and Celebrex are just two in a recent string but they are the ones I want to look at the most. I would argue that trail lawyers are part ofthe problem here and are a greater danger than the drug companies. They are self serving vipers who go after business that is helping people. As pointed out on Forbes on Fox today 7 out of 1000 people had increased their chances of a heart attack with the use of Vioxx. So we are going to punish the 993 people who Vioxx was helping by taking it off the market. Taking medicine is always a risk and one people should have the option of going on. Celebrex is a more recent development which is taken by 27 million people worldwide. Pfizer who makes the drug has announced it will stay on the shelf until more studies show it is dangerous. One study has shown it was dangerous however that study was giving higher dosages then is normally recommended and being used on a collateral effect. Vioxx was shown to increase heart attacks in those 7 out of 1000 people is actually fairly logical. One cancer researcher once explained to me that Vioxx lacks IBprofin qualities which are what reduces the chance of heart attacks with other pain medications. It was not so much that Vioxx increased the chance of heart attacks over things like Advil or Allieve but it did not posses the things that reduced heart attacks like the others. Another problem that we see is an over aggressive FDA. The FDA was an organization that was badly needed at its time but it may be a little over zealous for todays needs. I will post more on this after Christmas since I need a lot more research before I present this idea but it is something that as of right now I believe to be true based on my discussions with some of the cancer researches who work in the pharmo areas.

Marginalization of Africa

I was recently reading an essay in "The Lost Equilibrium: International Relations in the Post-Soviet Era" that was discussing how Africa has become a marginalized region in the world politics of today and that the states need to work to correct this. The article "Sub-Saharan Africa after the Cold War" by Marina Ottaway discusses the idea of marginalization by saying that when the cold war ended there was no reason at all to focus on Africa. Before the end of the Soviet Union itwas necessary to go in and make sure these states did not fall into communism. After the fall it was clear that there was no more concern over Africa as Somalia fell into a space on the map of Africa but not an actual state. The basic ideas I think are important to note especially as we move into a phase of battling international terrorism. These are places where terrorist can hide and we do not have any intelligence assets in these areas. It is a possibility that will eventually have to be acknowledged. General Aided harbored Al-Qaida operatives in the early 1990's and used them to train his people in the use of RPG's which would bring down our Black Hawk helicopters there. It may only be a matter of time and I encourage everyone to look into the African situation a little more. It is something I have not had as much time to explore but will be taking a closer look into after reading this article.

A few thoughts on Rumsfeld

All right I have put off long enough weighing in on the Rumsfled issue. As most ofyou know I was very displeased with Rumsfeld's treatment of the intelligence bill a few weeks ago. Despite that however I have been pleased with Rumsfeld's service in the past and although I do not think he is the best fit for the future the way he is being treated right now is ridiculous. David is correct when he reminds us that wars are fought with what you have not what you want. The humvees are not armored Calvary and do not come standard with armor. They ware quick strike vehicles to provide supplemental fire power to soldiers. These questions by reporters who should be trying to report on the stories in Iraq and not mindless military matters that they clearly don't understand need to stop.

I have always been a John McCain supporter and I do respect the man for many of the things he has gone through in his life and the stands that he takes. He was the candidate that I supported back in the 2000 primary and I liked his views on campaign finance reform. I will acknowledge that he has not always supported the President but I think a little independent thought may be what is needed especially in regards to the upcoming social security debacle. John McCain on this point is a man who was a solider and I would have hoped that he would understand better the nature of the war and the fact that we do not typically armor these humvees. We are adapting well to the war in Iraq and learning to armor them, but it was not necessarily done before. I agree that McCain always does seem to be leading the pack and it would be nice for the sake of unity on this issue that we address what is really wrong with the troops. Post war is Iraq is going to be very different from the war time in Iraq and like the change in CENTCOM I think we need to see a change in several areas of DoD from the Joint Chiefs to the Secretary of Defense. I think Rice to Secretary of State is a good move and she is a very smart woman who will do well there and present a more unified approach to policy. Only time will tell and in the end it is up to the president as who he wants in that position so if he wants Rumsfeld that will have to be good enough for the country.

Intellignece Reform Bill

Okay well you have all heard me rant and rant about the need for a joint intelligence command and I see some encouraging signs with the new bill. The dilemma of intelligence is how much can you act without compromisingthe source and the problem in the United States for too long has been that we do not talk among agencies that could corroborate intelligence if working together. I had a few days ago the case of Operation Babylon which was a precursor to this post about why we need joint intelligence reform. 15 departments will now be thrown hastily together to form a new agency. The hard part like homeland security will be getting the interagency cooperation to become a part of the culture and promote the idea that we are all on the same team. The idea of the budget being controlled by one person is to me one of the most important issues since right now 80 percent of the budget is in the hands of DoD. I know many have said that the military needs control over its satellites during times of war and when I saw an earlier version of the bill (if I am wrong please let me know) that there was a clause for in times of war the military would have control over the expanded satellite system. The NSA has some of the best satellite manipulators in the business yet they do not get control over an extensive satellite system. The predator problem that existed in Afghanistan will also now be removed. For those not familiar the CIA is allowed to use predators but not ones that are armed. With the armed predators the CIA could identify targets and kill them immediately. The Air Force would not loan predators to the CIA since it was their budget but under CIA control.

Going along with the idea of information sharing this bill will allowFBI Counter Intelligence to be aware of what the CIA does. In the case of avoiding things like Operation Babylon problems it is a good idea.The illegalities that exist will also be curtailed and what worries meis there are times when the FBI may be a little to rigid to be a good fit for the intelligence business. The FBI is a very inflexible organization and is slowly making the transition to fighting terrorism. I do not mean to suggest that the FBI is not good at what it does. When it comes to kidnapping cases the FBI is the best in the world and interms of investigative techniques I would argue that they are matched only by Interpol. The FBI responds to what it is told to do which for avery long time was kidnapping. Now the FBI will shift its resources to terrorism and as one of the most territorial organizations in the government (after the state department) the culture will need to shift.

There is some concern over turning over so much reliance to the CIA and I agree that a lot needs to change in order for this to work. The following passage is one of the best summations of the few fears I have about the CIA. "The CIA's failure to recognize the weakness of the Soviet Union and the importance of Gorbachev had serious implicationsfor US National Security. The Reagan administration unnecessarilyincreased defense spending, dragged its feet on arms control, and missed opportunities to resolve regional confrontations. In addition there were hidden costs. Islamic militants in Afghanistan, funded by the CIA, were responsible for the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York.(From "The CIA and the Soviet Union: The politics of getting it wrong byMelvin A. Goodman.) (Appeared in The Lost Equilibrium: InternationalRelations in the Post Soviet Era by Bettie and Oles Smolansky)." The CIA can become an instrument of policy which is a danger that has to be avoided at all costs. The CIA needs to provide objective analysis and cannot be a tool of the president's foreign policy as I fear the CIA is moving in the direction of now. Melvin A. Goodman was a CIA analyst who became disgusted with the politicizing of the CIA during the time of theReagan era. It is a danger that I think is worth looking at and the lack of intelligence can lead to disastrous decisions being made. I do not agree with all of the conclusions that Goodman reaches but it is an extreme example of what politicizing can lead to.

Needless to say I am encouraged by the passing of the bill and I would now say we have almost reached the end of useful suggestions made by the 9/11 commission. Many of the other suggestions I think are too problem specific and do not address the general needs of America but worry about responding to every single attack on our country. With the general defenses in place we will be better able to respond to the attacks against us.

Further Reading on what I have talked about
"Why America Slept: the Failure to prevent 9/11" by Gerald Posner
"The 9/11 Commission"
"Against All Enemies" by Richard Clarke
"Losing Bin Laden" by Richard Miniter
"American Solider" by Tommy Franks

Medal of Freedom Awards

A few days ago on Hannity there was a discussion with some crazy leftists as to why George Tennent, Paul Bremer, and Tommy Franks should NOT be given presidential medals of freedom. This is absolutely insane. These men fought for their country in a variety of ways and deserve this great honor that is being bestowed upon them. Let us look at each inturn and the arguments against them.

Tennent: Here is a man who led the CIA during an administration that ignored it and worked his hardest to acknowledge the threat of terrorism. People from Robert Baer on the right to Richard Clarke on the left acknowledge that this man thought terrorism was an important activity to concentrate on. Just because Bill Clinton was soft on terrorism and George Bush was more concerned about the response than the flurries of intellegnice does not mean that this man did not work forhis country. He wanted more assets in the Middle East and he worked hardto develop them. The CIA has a long way to go but the ball was started and the Medal of Freedom is deserved here.

Paul Bremer: This should be so obvious that we need not even discuss it but the arguments against Bremer are that he did not protect the Iraqis during his tenure there and that he was negligent in his duties. Once again more liberal lunacies as this man who even Alan said should get the Medal of Freedom was asked to do a difficult job with short supplies and did a remarkable job. He fought hard to get the Iraqis what they needed which is not an easy thing when the French and Russians are standing there stealing from you.

Tommy Franks: The argument for why he should not get the Medal ofFreedom is that the peace was done badly and too many men have been lost since the war is over. Sadly I mailed my book home so I cannot give exact pages but please see the four phases of the war as outlined by General Franks where he put that the peace would cost the most men and be the most difficult to win. He was very pleased with the way his troops did and he invaded a country with less than half the men available the first time and lost very few troops. The peace will be hard but there is not a better General than Tommy Franks who understands the idea of a joint command so well. This man deserve his medal of freedom and to the liberals who want to take it away go fawn over Hillary's new image and tell her what a great jobs he is doing so the conservatives can watch her lose in four years.

Weekend Links

If you need a break from finals, here are some excellent distractions.

Make sure you read Hugh Hewitt's extensive discussion and links about the piece in Newsweek essentially declaring the story of Christmas a lie. I've been reading bits and pieces all week, since there really is a lot. Bottom line for you busy people: the MSM looks down religion and especially dislikes Christianity and is more than willing to use its biased reporting techniques to attempt to discredit them.

Meanwhile, Charles at LGF points out the "Dishonest Reporting Awards of 2004" awarded for the worst pro-terrorist or anti-Israeli bias. Enlightening, but unfortunately unsurprising.

One more hat tip to Captain Ed, who was voted Best Conservative Blog for 2004, for this blogpost by the Anchoress taking on the sacred Vagina Monologues titled "My Vagina and Me: Politically Incorrect and Lovin' it!" Mary, you will like this.

Power Line and the Media Research Center (via The Corner) remind everyone what a liberal blowhard Bill Moyers is (Hannity ripped him apart a couple days ago.)

Finally, if you haven't heard any of Rush on Rumsfeld, head on over to his site for his comments from today but don't forget to get the National Review editors' take on the whole thing.

Suck-up Republicans

The other component to this Rumsfeld story that the MSM is absolutely loving is the group of prominent GOP senators taking the occassion to gang up on Donald Rumsfeld. Who, you ask? Well, if you even have to ask the first one, you need to be paying better attention. Of course, it's John McCain. Then we have Chuck Hagel who got a taste of the McCain Media Praise Kool-Aid and decided he liked it. We also have Susan Collins of Maine, a RINO outstrippted only by her colleagues Olympia Snowe and Lincoln Chaffee (at least Specter pretends to be conservative in election years).

The two surprises are Trent Lott and Norm Coleman. I'm rather surprised by these two, but especially Coleman. He's done such a good job on UNSCAM that this worries me a bit. Captain Ed takes this as an indicator that there is in fact something wrong and says Rumsfeld needs to be booted if it's going to cause problems with Senate support.

I think Rumsfeld is a key player, though, and I don't want to see him go any more than I want to see Condi Rice go, i.e. not at all. But I don't think this is a real issue. I'm with Rush here: this is pure media posturing. With a little blood in the water, Republicans are rushing to the microphones to see if they can't get a favorable mention in the New York Times for a change. And of course, McCain is always leading the pack, now followed closely by Hagel. So yeah, I expect this kind of thing out of McCain and Hagel and Collins, but not Lott and Coleman. Maybe Lott is looking for an article about him that doesn't include the name "Strom Thurmond."

The Captain notes that a couple GOP senators, Majority Leader Bill Frist and Majority Whip Mitch McConell, have now come out of the woodwork to defend Rumsfeld, though not very vigorously. He makes two important points:

Quelling the public revolt should have been their highest priority; instead, they appear to have dithered until the end of the week, when their statements of support would receive less attention.
...
If Frist and McConnell seriously wish to support Rumsfeld, then they need to get Coleman and Lott back on board. McCain, Hagel, and Collins can be disregarded.
...
Bush needs to call both men to the White House -- and the woodshed -- and get the troops back in line.
Now, I don't want Republican Congressmen marching lockstep with the White House; there certainly needed to be more dissent with Medicare and this intelligence bill. But again, this Rumsfeld thing is ridiculous and if Frist and McConnell can't get Coleman and Lott into line they do indeed deserve a dressing down, just like Colorado's GOP leaders got for their appalling failure last month.

There is something else at work here, though, which Rush immediately pointed out and with which I agree wholeheartedly. This media posturing is directed at making the press and the Democrats like these guys. How many times do they have to be told? It will not happen. How many times do Republicans have to try to be liked by the media and the Dems only to get it thrown back in their faces? They do not like conservatives and they will never be nice to them. Inevitably, attempts to "reach across the aisle" wind up hurting Republicans. The Dems and the media just use them as ways to attack GOPers or to portray them as weak. What will the fallout from this be? It won't be headlines like, "Lott, Coleman make sensible demands." No, it winds up as, "GOP dissention! Is this more evidence of Bush's failure?" or "Lott, Coleman criticize Rumsfeld; Now both sides see failure in Iraq." And the Democrats see this as an excuse to scream even louder about things they don't like because now the Republicans seem like they care what the Democrats think. This is not the way to get judicial nominees confirmed.

This is also a symptom of something else Rush pointed out: Republicans don't know how to win. We just had another nationwide shellacking of the Democrats (Colorado idiocy aside) and yet we have senators busy attacking our own cabinet. We won a majority in 2000 (50-50 + Cheney) and yet Lott agreed to Tom Daschle's ridiculous proposition of dividing the committees and everything else 50-50. Then, what happened when Jim Jeffords made his Jump? With a 50-49 majority, the same differential the GOP just had, Dashcle took over and gave the Democrats the majority in everything. We must learn how to govern like we won the election. Look, I don't want single-mindedness; I want debate on real issues. What I do want is less pandering to the liberals for the sake of trying to make ourselves look good. Again, I expect this kind of nonsense from McCain and Hagel and the RINOs (note I'm not including the former with the latter), but I'm disappointed in Lott and Coleman, and it really pains me to be disappointed in Norm Coleman. Come on guys, wake up.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Dogpile on the Rumsfeld

Unfortunately, supporters of the administration and especially those of Donald Rumsfeld have had to spend the past week defending him from the asinine controversy the media created last week during a question and answer session he had with troops in Kuwait.

In case you’ve been living under a boulder in a cave on Mars, here’s how this all started. Rumsfeld, on a visit to the Middle East had a Q&A session with some of the soldiers there, which is something he likes to do every once in a while. He takes questions and he and the senior generals who accompany him most places do their best to give answers and listen to the concerns of the rank and file so they get ideas on how to improve things. One thing that came up early on was the light or complete lack of armor on many of the humvees that troops are riding through the streets of Iraqi cities. Rummy addressed that briefly and then moved on. Later in the session, a soldier got up to ask him again about the humvees, and this is the exchange that’s been played endlessly all over the media all week. It’s where Rumsfeld explains, “You go to war with the army you have, [not the army you want].” I believe this is actually a famous quote, but I really have no idea who is supposed to have said it and don’t want to embarrass myself by guessing.

What was never reported, except for Drudge and Rush and Hannity, was the fact that the soldier asking the question was coached by a newspaper reporter to ask it and he made sure that all the guys he’d coached about questions has access to microphones. Rumsfeld critics are quick to accuse anyone pointing this out of saying the troops are dumb or easily influenced. That’s not at all what this means. This is about the media yet again creating their own news. It’s been a comparatively slow news cycle once the cries of indignation about Republicans who actually wanted some reform holding up the implementation of the recommendations inscribed in stone by the 9/11 Commission died down. So what to do? Make your own news, of course, but about who?

And that brings me to another aspect of this. The media and the Left are after Rumsfeld, because he’s the only one left. They feel that they got Color Code Ridge and Neo-Nazi Ashcroft and most of the rest of the cabinet (except that pesky Aunt Jemima Condi Rice; why does she have to be so smart and qualified?) even though liberal hatred of these people had nothing to do with their moving on. But Rumsefld, well, he’s the last leg of the hated Bush Cabinet Triumvirate and Shrub had the unmitigated gall to ask him to stay. So it’s time to take aim at him once again.

Of course, Rummy actually gave an answer to the question, with specifics about the number of humvees being armored and shipped out to the theatre. I forget the specifics, but Hannity had the number of “up-armored” humvees, and they’re constantly working to get more there. You don’t hear this part played, though.

I have to interject a comment on these humvees. I want our troops to have all the best and safest equipment, but it occurs to me that the media and a lot of the people whining about Rumsfeld don’t seem to understand that humvees are not armored vehicles, and were not really designed to be. They are the jeeps of today’s army, light, multi-purpose vehicles. That is exactly what the Army’s fact file says on them. They were designed to “[p]rovide a common light tactical vehicle capability. [and replace] the quarter-ton jeep.” And because they are so versatile, the army has a great number of them. However, it does not have a similar number of armored personnel carriers, the most well known of which is the Bradley. Unfortunately, we simply can’t have Bradleys for everybody riding around in Iraq, so people are using humvees. Since they’re being used to drive through urban environments infested with guerilla fighters who especially love to use RPGs and improvised bombs, it only makes sense that they should be retrofitted with armor for that role. However, it is just plain stupid to criticize Rumsfeld for the design of a vehicle that was introduced in 1985 and was likely conceived in the late 70s.

That is what Rumsfeld means by saying, “You go to war with the army you have.” You can only plan so much and then you must adapt the army you have to the conditions on the ground. As Eisenhower said, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” Rumsfeld has been working tirelessly since 9/11 to transform the military from a Cold War force to a 21st century War on Terror force, but he’s still working with equipment that was designed and introduced during the Cold War. All this aside, though, how was that comment callous or even worth turning into a media firestorm. It’s a basic truth, and I don’t see how saying that is tantamount to being incompetent.

Can you imagine the media grilling Chester Nimitz and Frank Knox after the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, saying, “Why don’t you have more carriers? Why didn’t you anticipate the need for them?” All Nimitz would be able to say is “You fight with the navy you have. We’re building more.” And the navy lost 3 more of its vital aircraft carriers between then and the arrival at Pearl Harbor of the first new WWII carrier, the USS Essex in May 1943.

The first of the Essex-class carriers were ordered in 1940, but the Essex was not finished until the last day of 1942 and did not arrive in the central Pacific until around 6 months later. In December 1942, the Pacific Fleet had only 2 carriers available to it, and one, the Saratoga, was often in dry dock for repairs. The Pacific Fleet began 1942 with 6 carriers but lost 4 due to enemy action between then and the introduction of the Essex-class carriers. Yet the only answer Nimitz could have possibly had was “We’re working on more.” For the time being they had to use what was available to fight and a lot of brave men were killed during that time. But the war cannot be put on hold until you have the equipment you want.

There’s even more to this story, though. The other component of this is the shameless participation in this pile-on by Republican senators. I’ll have a post about this nonsense a little later. Right now I have to finish some laundry.

Yet Another Reason Not to Vote For Hillary

Hannity pointed out a tidbit of news from Germany today. Apparently some German group gave her an award for being "The Ideal Politician." Of course, this means she’s the ideal liberal. Actually, it means she’s worse than that, considering the German Left more socialist than ours is (though not by far).

Vote for Hillary! The Germans think she’s the ideal socialist! Hannity seems to think this is part of her makeover attempt, which is certainly going strong (see her thoughts on immigration), but I don't think this helps her image in the Red States at all. Go around Oklahoma City and tell people that Hillary is Germany’s ideal politician and watch the polls desert her.

Hannity further commented that he can’t think of one thing she’s ever accomplished politically, and that is indeed an excellent point, just like with John Kerry. Has she done anything in four years in the Senate and eight years as First Lady, besides remind people why the government should have as little to do with healthcare as possible?

These are things we need to try to remember four years from now.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Live Bookmarks and Firefox

For those of you properly using Mozilla's Firefox browser (and if you're not, go download it right now - version 1.0, of course), you may have noticed a little orange button in the lower-right corner of the window when you visit our site. If you click on that button, you can "Subscribe" to our site, which creates a nifty bookmark that's much more than a bookmark; when put in the toolbar folder, it turns into a pull-down menu of the titles of our latest posts here. When you open it through your bookmarks, it turns into a folder of those same titles. Click on one, and it takes you right to that post. This is the miracle of the RSS feed, or something similar to that. Well, with our site you may need to right-click on the link and select "Refresh Live Bookmark" to make sure it's up to date

Other blogs have these (and they appear to work better than Blogspots'), most notably Captain's Quarters and Little Green Footballs.

What's that you say? That's cool, but you're not convinced yet to switch to Firefox? Okay, how about a robust pop-up blocker? A return to the Netscape Navigator base we all used to know and love (before the awfulness of Netscape 6)? Tabbed Browsing? A huge number of easy-to-install extensions, including a Google toolbar, an advertisement blocker, weather forecast reporter, and many, many more? A browser that's fully skinnable and much, much more secure than IE?

Go on. Download it. Take it for a spin. You'll never go back.

Get Firefox!

What's in a Name?

I had to share this gem from a caller to Hugh Hewitt's show with a suggestion for a new moniker for the atrocious movie Alexander: Alexander the Fabulous. I thought this beat out my ideas: Alexander and Grace or Angelina Jolie the Overactor.

Okay, enough. I plan to have some actual blogging later tonight.

Wal-Mart Debate

I watched about 10 mins of O'Rielly tonight and was disgusted by thedebate that was held over Wal-Mart and its effect on the United Stateseconomy. Like most good liberal economists Wal-Mart is the perfectmarket and is the answer to all market equations. If I were to analyzeform only an economic view I would say Wal-Mart is perfect. Now forthose who know me you may be shocked to find I have somewhat of a smallvoice inside my head that tells me to do good things. Wal-Mart hurtssmall town America by operating at a loss in that area until it drivesother businesses away and then raises its prices. The discounter ideais nice in that everything is located but it has destroyed main streetUSA. The companies donations are pitiful (at least discounters likeTarget donate to the specific communities). I do not participate in thefull boycott of Wal-Mart mostly because I can't in the situation I findmyself in without a car and a lack of options. I can say that if I had acar I would drive to Target on the other side of the Lehigh Valleybecause their business practices are much better.

Wal-Mart was a direct contributor to the grocery store strike thatgripped the west coast and eventually the country. The super Wal-Martsthat have grocery stores operate at a much cheaper cost because they areun-unionized with their workers so bigger grocery stores (another wholeset of interesting labor relations that I will ignore for now) cannotcompete. These stores were forced to lay off workers and cut wageswhich of course the union responded with a strike that only helped thesuper Wal-Marts since people could get the goods they needed there andthe strike caused so much press around them.

When I get home and haveall my books on Wal-Mart I will look at making a more substantive postbut for those who want more information I suggest you read "Sam Walton:Made in America by Sam Walton (Wal-Mart's Foudner) and "On Target: Howthe World's Hottest Retailer hit a bullseye by Laura Rowley.

Silly liberal Iraq is not Vietnam!!

With as usual the left decrying Iraq as another Vietnam I wanted to stopand think about the ways in which they were different. I was having alot of trouble coming up with what in Vietnam was so tricky to cause usto lose so many people. We had some similar problems in terms of nothaving the amount of troops we needed (initially) and also having a lackof the right equipment. In Vietnam we saw US soldiers taking northVietnamese rifles because they were of better class early on. It wasnot however until I got to my research on Napoleon and considered theinsurgency in Spain that was against Napoleon in 1810. In thisinsurgency Wellington of the British had a formal Spanish army fightingNapoleon with heavy insurgency. That was the link to Vietnam that I hadmissed.

In Vietnam we faced the North Vietnamese army who were helped bydevastating attacks by the Vietcong. When a population can combineguerilla warfare with a regular army the results are devastating. Now welook at Iraq who has no popular army and our soldiers are not beingdrawn into conventional battles. Instead we see a marginally effectiveguerilla movement occurring. I say marginally effective because althoughthe loss of life is tragic and regrettable we are not on a scale thatwas seen in Vietnam. Wellington who was not a brilliant commander atthis point used his resources effectively. I have not had a chance toanalyze the battle fully but I am beginning to believe that the effectsof British sea power may have been a role in the continued loss byNapoleon in Spain but it is still hard to say at this point and thesources I have make it inconclusive. What is clear is that the guerillaharassment demoralized napoleons troops and energized the Spanish troopsunder Wellington's advising. Iraq does not have this dynamic leadershipin our opposition and we are fortunate that although the insurgencycontinues the average Iraqi is welcoming our presence. To that effecthowever we must not overstay our welcome. Napoleon put ineffectiveleadership in Spain and it proved to be his downfall and by the time hiscommanders (most of whom were inept) arrived on scene they were defeatedby the growing insurgency that was already there. The liberals like tosay we are heading into another Vietnam but we don't have a liberaladministration (like the one that got us into Vietnam which is anotherpost for another time) so I am comforted in the knowledge that we willbe taking the war to the enemy for another four years.

Kerry nightmare Joke

Title: Can I See The President?



One sunny day, an old veteran in a worn service overcoat approached theWhite House from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he'd been sittingon a park bench.He spoke to the Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go inand meet with President Kerry."The Marine replied, "Sir, Mr. Kerry is not President and doesn'treside here."The old man said, "Oh......Okay," and walked away.The following day, the same man approached the White House and said tothe same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Kerry"The Marine again told the man, "Sir,.....as I said yesterday, Mr. Kerryis not President and doesn't reside here."The man thanked him and again slowly strolled his way back across thestreet.The third day, the old man approached the White House and spoke to theverysame Marine sentry, saying "I would like to go in and meet withPresidentKerry."The Marine, getting a little agitated at this point, looked at the manandsaid, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking tospeak toPresident Kerry. I've told you already that Mr. Kerry is not thePresident and doesn'treside here. Don't you understand?.....How can I make it anyclearer????"The old man answered, "Oh, I understand perfectly!! I just love hearingyou say it."The Marine, snapping to attention, saluted, and said, "Sir, See youtomorrow morning, Sir".

Dean as chair of DNC???!!!

Last night as I watched Hannity and Colmes I was fascinated by thedebate over who should be the next chairman of the DNC. I actually wouldnot mind the suggestion that Jerry Brown give up being mayor and go forit. He did not want that option but announced he would be running forAttorney General in CA and I would welcome him in this position in myformer state. Anyway the announcement was made as I had heard beforethat Howard Dean is up for the job. Seeing as this man has no job he isready to step in and I think the democrats would only seek to destroythemselves further. I will admit that Dean does have a vision for theDemocratic Party which is needed by the chairman I would argue if theyare to be effective they must go more mainstream (and Dean being pro gunwill not be enough). When Zell Miller said Kerry could not even findmain street he should have referred to his party as a whole. Thedemocrats are moving so far left that they lost elections across thiscountry and a serious moderate is needed if they are going to savethemselves. Although as Napoleon once said "Never interrupt you enemywhen he is making a mistake"

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

President Kerry what a nightmare

Well as I stated earlier my disdain for John Kerry has only grown as Iread John O'Neal's book Unfit for Command. It is a shocking look at howKerry lied his way through Vietnam and dishonored those whom he servedwith. While I will admit there is obviously a bias present in the bookthere are far too many swift boat veterans who were against Kerry thanwere for him to make Kerry's claims logical. Kerry put himself in forthe first medal which was self inflected and for something which themedic treated with a band aid. Many of the people who took light woundsand were intervied for the book would not take purple hearts despitebeing entileted to them since they felt they had not earned them. Kerrydecided that a small wound (cut) that he inflicted on himself was enoughfor his medal. Kerry also used the reunion of the veterans as a photoopportunity to which he showed up and then once he had been there forabout an hour he decided to leave. This type of behavior is despicableand should not be that of presidential character. I would be horrifiedto have this man as our commander in chief and please see the joke thatI post at the end of this for a viewpoint on the nightmare of a Kerrypresidency. The Democrats would have to be even more insane then webelieve them to be if they are going to let this man be the president.It is unthinkable and they should be ashamed that they even consideredthis man. He was a traitor by meeting with the North Vietnamese duringwar time. He was still enlisted in the army at this point and bymeeting with them he has committed and act of treason. Instead of beingin prison he is allowed by those on the left to run for president.Kerry's testimony was shown in Vietnamese cities and is in theAtrocities Museum as a Vietnamese hero practically. This is insane thata man who was one of their greatest propaganda weapons would be up forpresident of the United States much less a prominent senator. A checkon Massachusetts sanity is probably in order but I would be afraid tofind out the results with one senator who runs people over with his carand another who believes that he is the great truth master of the Navy.Although I could keep going on I will cut this rant off and get back toworking on my thesis.

PS David I love the title of the book.

Joke will come later have to find it again.

Operation Babylon

I was given a chance to reflect today after watching Brit Hume andhearing about FBI-CIA relations and I will say we have come quite a longway. I think back to this and for those not familiar I will go into the background information of one particular case (Operation Babylon). A joint operation between the CIA, MI6 andMoussad to spy on the Iraq weapons program. It was tracked through abank in Atlanta where money was going and purchases were being tracked.In August of 1989 the FBI seized the bank in Atlanta for fraud duringthe S&L investigations. FBI checked with many groups including Customs,The Fed, US Attorney, and the Treasury but no one contacted the CIA tosee about it. The FBI stormed in and realized the bank had loaned outan illegal 4 billion to Iraq which the FBI's counterintelligence branchjumped on. The CIA made the mistake of not contacting thecounterintelligence people when the office was seized to let them knowwhat was going on. Rather than keeping this branch open for espionagepurposes the CIA was investigated by the FBI for fear of an Iran-Contratype scandal. This luckily has not been repeated since the one goodthing we see with the department of Homeland security and what we willsee with a National Intelligence director is that information will beshared. Some people argue that the loss of the Bank led to signs thatwould have allowed the United States to foresee the Kuwait invasion andsomething could have been done before hand. I don't know enough eitherway on that point but regardless to lose this source was a terriblemistake. We have created several large bureaucracy post 9/11 andalthough I hate to see the waste there has been better intelligence andI am shuddering with the upcoming revisitation of the Patriot Act. Ihope that the conservatives in congress stand strong and remember thatwe are still at war with terror. We need the FBI and CIA workingtogether to protect our nations borders and the lives of our citizens.Communication is one of the most key aspects and is stressed by RichardClarke when he discusses the break up of the Millennium Plot in his book"Against All Enemies". I hope to do a more expansive post in a few daysabout the ways that the intelligence sharing has been improved but I amstill slowly recovering from finals.For more on this operation see Henry Gonzalez Congressional Record"Statement Regarding Banco Nazionale del Lavoro"

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

book

David, I will write the book with you if you want. We can make a little money, pay off loans, get on TV, become famous etc etc, then you can have your own radio show and I can get elected to Congress - it will be great. Also, rumor has it you will be on the east coast coming up...let us know, I'd make a trip down to DC.

Monday, December 13, 2004

A Thought

As liberals turn to books like What's the Matter With Kansas? desperately trying to figure out why people would vote for Bush or could possibly listen to that blowhard Rush Limbaugh, I have to wonder, where's the conservative answer?

I mean, there's an opening for a #1 New York Times Bestseller here (or as Ann Coulter says conservative books are invariably labeled, "a surprise bestseller"). I've even got the title all worked out: What's the Matter with Massachusetts? Why Kansas is Right. Someone just has to go write it. C'mon... you know you want to.

Crichton Speaks Out

Michael Crichton's latest book, State of Fear, is sparking quite a bit of discussion around the blogosphere and even in the MSM. In his new book, he apparently dares to question the great pillar of truth that is global warming. This really has people troubled. Well, not conservatives who have said a lot of it is junk science and hysteria masquerading as actual science for years. But Crichton, well, he should be one of the enlightened, I mean, he's a writer, he should know how serious global warming is.

Crichton, though, is not so quick to agree. In last week's Parade Magazine, Crichton wrote a great article saying how we need to stop scaring ourselves with every little crisis of the moment.

The Corner has been linking some fantastic speeches he's made in the past, including about environmentalism and how science has been too often perverted for political purposes.

K-Lo links to his interview with John Stossel, who is one of the few truely professional journalists in the business. Stossel is open to stories from every side, and is always at least willing to listen to and air conservative or libertarian ideas. Which is why a lot of the MSM hates him.

Steve Hayward discusses the movie prospects for this new project. Conclusion: unlikely.

For some of Crichton's best commentary, though, I always remember Ian Malcom's lecture of John Hammond in Jurassic Park, written in 1990 (my favorite of his novels):

You can't destroy this planet. You can't even come close.
...
The planet has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us.
...
...to the earth a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We have been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we are gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.
...
Let's be clear. The planet is not in jeopardy. We are in jeopardy. We haven't got the power to destroy the planet-or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves.