9/11

Two years ago today, a close friend called me and told me to turn on the television. I was horrified by what I saw- I remember going numb, and I immediately called a very special friend in Brooklyn and told her to turn on the tv and to stay home. The day went downhill from there. I know this is a political season, but I simply do not care- there will be time for politics tomorrow. Today, I am going to think about all the mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, and children who lost people they love. We will never see those we lost again, we will never know what they may have done with their lives, and my world and your world will never be the same again. That is worth some reflection and remembrance, and I don’t care to talk about anything else. I just hope that those we lost are in a better place.

With that in mind, Andrew has some words that we should take to heart:

On this anniversary, the tritest thing to feel is mere grief. Not that grief isn’t justified. But grief is a natural response to unforeseen tragedy, to random events, to things beyond human control. And what happened two years ago today wasn’t merely tragedy. It was a conscious atrocity, an act of war. The free West was attacked by a pathological ideology that still holds a whole region of the world in its grip. And the very forces that tried to destroy us then are still trying to destroy us – as that grotesque videotape yesterday only underlined. Any attempt to hide that fact, minimize it, gloss over it, or complicate it into vagueness is an insult to memory.

For me the rage is still there- not an unjustified, lashing out at anything rage, but a well placed, purposeful, deserved, rage. Trite as it may be, I still feel a profound loss, a heavy sense of grief.








New Blog

I have added the VRWC, Inc to the blogroll. He is a friend of my blogson’s, Misha (and I know many of you hate him, but I am standing by him- I am a firm believer in letting all ideas out here, and Misha has been nothing but a DECENT and KIND human being to me), so hopefully, if you have time, you will stop by and give both Misha nd the VRWC a read.

BTW- I bet you if you ask Misha, he doesn’t agree with damn near anything I say- probably thinks I am too moderate or something. You know what, though? We give each other the latitude to be wrong and to have our own opinions. That is what the blogosphere is all about, isn’t it? Sure beats the hell out of car bombs, IMHO.








Hard Times in Cotton Country

Things could get ugly in Alabama:

With voters overwhelmingly rejecting a massive tax hike, it’s up to legislators to figure out how to run schools and government for another year despite a $675 million deficit.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting Tuesday, 866,623 people, or 68 percent, opposed Gov. Bob Riley’s $1.2 billion tax plan, while 416,310, or 32 percent, voted for it.

The governor was expected to call the Legislature into special session Monday to deal with the red ink. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Riley and several leading lawmakers have said they would follow the voters’ wishes and make cuts if need be. The governor has said cuts could include releasing 5,000 inmates, ending nursing home care for hundreds of elderly citizens, and curtailing prescription medicines for the mentally ill.

State Sen. Hank Sanders, chairman of the Senate education budget writing committee, said he can’t imagine legislators raising taxes now.

be the first to find a lefty blog blaming this directly or indirectly on Bush.








Republicans For Dean

Via Sully, I see there is a wesbite called Republicans for Dean. I am not going to delve into the motivations behind this site, whether it is a hox, or what inspired the creator of the website. This is politics, and he can choose to support whomever he wants. However, I must note that anyone who is a Republican yet supports Dean is a RINO, and clearly no longer shares many (if any) of the principles that are held within the Republican party and mainstream conservatism.

I would suggest a perhaps more apt name for the website:

FORMER Republicans for Dean.

I have thought about leaving the Republican party for about 3 years now and becoming a Libertarian or Independent, but I would rather shower in prison than vote for Howard Dean. If there are any Republicans who think Dean is a better answer to our current problems than the Republican party or Bush, do yourself a favor and make the trip to the County Clerks office and change political affiliation. The only person you are fooling is yourself.








The Exxageration Problem

One of the memes that the left likes to keep repeating is that the ‘So-Called Liberal Media’ (SCLM, for short), invented the truth problem from Al Gore. The fact of the matter is, that it was Gore’s own creation, since he was prone to exxagerate and stretch the truth. It looks like Dean is going to soon face the same problem, and I look to the partisan Democrats to blame Republicans and the SCLM for ‘creating’ this issue. Here, Dean is on the hot seat for his remarks about race during the panderfest (I mean, debate) last night:

Dean, defending himself against criticism that his supporters are mostly white, told the predominantly black debate crowd, “I’m the only white politician that ever talks about race in front of white audiences.”

Dean was wrong.

Edwards urges racial tolerance in nearly ever speech he gives on the campaign trail, including addresses to white crowds. Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut talks about his efforts as a student during the 1960s civil rights movement. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts has discussed race and its role in his Vietnam service.

“What he said last night was devisive and devisive is exaactly what we’re trying to overcome. He’s right about one thing, politicans should talk about civil rights wherever they go. And in the future, I hope he leads by example instead of by attack,” Edwards said in a telephone interview.

“Sen. Lieberman marched with Martin Luther King. Sen. Kerry talks about his experience in Vietnam. I grew up in the segregated South. Fighting for civil rights is part of who I am which is why I talked about it in front of every audience and whoever I’m with,” he said.

The North Carolina lawmaker had avoided attacking his rivals until Wendesday, but his criticism is another sign that Dean’s eight rivals are throwing elbows at the front-runner in an effort to force their way to the front.

Dean, as I have noted, has a temper and plays fast and loose with the facts. This will be an issue in the future.








Dean Vs. Lieberman

This was the only worthwhile exchange (other than some of the stuff which can be viewed as comic relief) in the entire debate:

LIEBERMAN: Thank you, Reverend.

All of us here on the stage have quite correctly criticized George W. Bush for not standing by our values in our foreign policy and for breaking our most critical alliances.

That, with all respect, is exactly what Howard Dean’s comments over the last week about the Middle East have done.

LIEBERMAN: We have had a unique relationship with Israel, strong support of Israel. Why? Based on values. This is the only democracy in the Middle East, that’s the beginning.

Secondly, based on mutual military strategic interests. Israel is the one country in the region that we can rely on today, tomorrow, 10, 50 years from now to stand with America in a time of crisis.

We do not gain strength as a negotiator — and I’ve always supported a two-state solution, Israel and Palestine — we do not gain strength as a negotiator if we compromise our support of Israel.

Let me say to Governor Dean, he has said he wouldn’t take sides, but then he has said Israel ought to get out of the West Bank and an enormous number of their settlements ought to be broken down. That’s up to the parties in their negotiations, not for us to tell them.

HUME: Governor Dean, you were pretty specifically mentioned there. You have 30 seconds to respond to that.

DEAN: I am disappointed in Joe. My position on Israel is exactly the same as Bill Clinton’s. I want to be an honest…

LIEBERMAN: Not right.

DEAN: Excuse me, Joe. I didn’t interrupt you and I’d appreciate it…

LIEBERMAN: Not right.

DEAN: … if you didn’t interrupt me.

(APPLAUSE)

I think America needs to be an honest broker. We desperately need peace in the Middle East. I can tell you, the Israelis can’t go to school without wondering if their kids — send their kids to school without wondering if they’re coming back. The Palestinians now have 80 percent of the people living below the poverty line. We need peace.

It doesn’t help, Joe, to demagogue this issue. We’re all Democrats. We need to beat George Bush so we can have peace in the Middle East.

(APPLAUSE) LIEBERMAN: I will say one sentence.

HUME: OK, Senator, please.

LIEBERMAN: I will simply say that Howard Dean’s statements break a 50-year record in which presidents, Republican and Democrats, members of Congress of both parties have supported our relationship with Israel based on shared values and common strategic interests.

HUME: Senator, thank you.

Juan?

LIEBERMAN: And Bill Clinton always agreed with that and I agree with him.

That almsot makes up for Lieberman’s race pandering regarding Florida, which he did several times throughout the debate.








Opinions in Iraq

Some fascinating poll results from Iraq in the Opinion Journal:

Iraqis are optimistic. Seven out of 10 say they expect their country and their personal lives will be better five years from now. On both fronts, 32% say things will become much better.

The toughest part of reconstructing their nation, Iraqis say by 3 to 1, will be politics, not economics. They are nervous about democracy. Asked which is closer to their own view–“Democracy can work well in Iraq,” or “Democracy is a Western way of doing things”–five out of 10 said democracy is Western and won’t work in Iraq. One in 10 wasn’t sure. And four out of 10 said democracy can work in Iraq. There were interesting divergences. Sunnis were negative on democracy by more than 2 to 1; but, critically, the majority Shiites were as likely to say democracy would work for Iraqis as not. People age 18-29 are much more rosy about democracy than other Iraqis, and women are significantly more positive than men.

Asked to name one country they would most like Iraq to model its new government on from five possibilities–neighboring, Baathist Syria; neighbor and Islamic monarchy Saudi Arabia; neighbor and Islamist republic Iran; Arab lodestar Egypt; or the U.S.–the most popular model by far was the U.S. The U.S. was preferred as a model by 37% of Iraqis selecting from those five–more than Syria, Iran and Egypt put together. Saudi Arabia was in second place at 28%.

Read the whole thing- and if you can find the actual results (not just the interpretation I have linked to), let me know.








Winged Migration

When I got sick of the debate, I watched a documentary on the migration habits of birds named Winged Migration. This may be one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen, and I recommened it if you have two hours to spare.








You Should Be Happy

Apparently, LaRouche supporters interrupted the Democrat debate tonight. I watched about three minutes of the debate, and the pander factor was so high at the historically black college that I could not take anymore (really- when Dean announced his favorite song was by Wyclef Jean and Lieberman vowed to keep fighting for ‘Dr. King’s message,’ I knew it was over the top). At any rate, some Democrats see a consipiracy with the demonstrators:

Members of the Morgan State community worried the hecklers’ exposure on national television would reflect poorly on the university.

“I think they gave Morgan a bad name, even though it wasn’t us being disruptive,” said junior Danielle Cotten, 20.

Deanna V. Ikhinmwin, the university’s director of community services, said the hecklers made her uncomfortable.

“You feel paranoid, with homeland security and terrorists – anything out of place, you get nervous,” she said. “Before the terrorists, you could laugh at this.”

Morgan State, a historically black university, was the site of the debate co-sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus and the Fox News Channel.

“This is a historic occasion – the first time that the CBC has hosted a debate at an HBCU,” candidate Al Sharpton said after one interruption. “Will you respect our time the way we respected yours?”

“Do they do that to Republicans?” asked former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.

No, Carol- they don’t do that to Republicans. Normally the people interrupting Republicans are DEMOCRATS AND GREENS, with their assorted riff-raff ANSWER friends and other members of the Trotskyite left.

At any rate, from what I saw, the only thing that would make any of those candidates on stage look electable is a favorable comparison to LaRouche supporters, so all of them should be grateful those clowns showed up.








Idiots

This, via Drudge, is just priceless:

The Santa Cruz City Council is considering becoming the first local government in the country to ask Congress to look into impeaching President Bush.

“It seems to us as lay people and elected officials that Bush has committed impeachable offenses,” Vice Mayor Scott Kennedy said Tuesday.

I am going to go urge my local city council to charge Bill Clinton with Crimes against humanity.








Warron Zevon, R.I.P.

Of all of the Zevon obits and remembrances, Brian Linse’s was the most touching. While he was just a great musician to people like me- he was also a friend and a father. Such a loss.








A Real Tragedy

There is simply no excuse for these deaths:

France’s leading undertaker estimated the country’s death toll from the summer heat wave at 15,000 on Tuesday, far exceeding the official tally and putting further pressure on the government to improve its health care system…

The new estimate came after the government on Monday released a harshly worded report blaming the deaths on hospital understaffing during summer holidays, widespread failure among agencies and health services to coordinate efforts, and chronically insufficient care for the elderly.

What a waste.








Dixie Twits

I guess they need some press to prop up record sales again:

The Dixie Chicks have been voicing their political opinions again by criticising Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Last time they were in Europe, lead singer Natalie Maines, said the band were ashamed President Bush was from Texas.

Emily Robison, currently touring Europe with the rest of the band, has now said: “He is a great film star. But I find his idea to run for governor absolutely insane.”

She told German paper Abendzeitung: “America should be governed by people who have a clue. I hope he doesn’t win.”








Just A Question

David Duke stands before a gathering of white people from Louisiana, and states the foillowing:

Bill Clinton is out of touch. Bill Clinton does not share our values.

What would your reaction be?

Tren Lott stands before a gathring of his constituents, and states about his political opponent:

My opponent is not from Mississippi. He does not understand our way of life. He does not share our values.

How long would it be before the ‘southern strategy’ would be mentioned? How long before the ‘all Republicans are racist’ meme would be revived? Why then, is it acceptable for Cruz Bustamante, in front of an Hispanic audience, to state the following:

He (Arnold S.) does not share our values?

Just let me know what the difference is and I won’t make a big deal about it.

*** Update ***

I finally found it:

If Hispanic voters turn out, they could represent about 15 percent of the votes cast.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t have our values,” Bustamante told the crowd. “He doesn’t live lives like we do. He doesn’t have the same worries that we have. He won’t fight for our families, our neighborhoods, our schools. He doesn’t understand our lives.”

Bustamante has played up his Hispanic roots and has applauded Davis’ recent signing of a bill allowing illegal immigrants to get drivers’ licenses, a bill the governor opposed before the recall initiative.

That is playing the race card. Period.








The Loony Left

If you ever wonder why I sometimes refer to some Democrats as the loony left, go check out this website, where Gephardt calls everything Bush has done a Miserable Failure, to include simply the man himsef, and then promises to revive the economy (which is recovering quite nicely, thank you) with (DRUM ROLL, please)- nationalized health insurance:

As president, Dick Gephardt will restore the American economy using principles of growth he helped forge in the early 1990s. Most significantly, he will work to provide the surest stimulus measure we can give our economy: providing guaranteed health insurance for all Americans. This will give direct financial help to families who pay health care premiums, provide assistance to businesses and state and local governments struggling to pay health care costs for employees, and free up money for better wages and job creation.

Insert your own quip in the comments section.