Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

September 24, 2008

Biden on the Financial Crisis

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:50 am

The AP Reports on Sept. 23

WASHINGTON – Vice presidential candidate Joe Biden says today’s leaders should take a lesson from the history books and follow fellow Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt’s response to a financial crisis.

“When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened,’” Barack Obama’s running mate recently told the “CBS Evening News.”

Except, Republican Herbert Hoover was in office when the stock market crashed in October 1929.

It’s actually even worse than that.

The first presidential TV appearance wasn’t until 1939, and the first televised presidential “address to the nation” was by President Truman in 1951 — a full 22 years after the stock market crash!

But hey, at least Biden has EXPERIENCE, so he won’t make stupid ignorant mistakes like Palin will!

September 17, 2008

Hillary’s Odd Priorities

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:21 am

A coalition of American Jewish groups has scheduled a rally for Sept. 22 outside the UN, to protest the appearance of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This is not surprising, since Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of Jews worldwide. He is one of those people who denies that the Holocaust, the mass-murder of one-third of the world’s Jewish population during World War II, actually occurred, but seems to think it would have been a good idea. Protesting against Ahmadinejad seems to be the sort of thing every decent person would support, regardless of politics — unless your politics is that all Jews deserve to die. Sounds safely bipartisan, right?

Sen. Hillary Clinton was invited to speak at the rally. She accepted.

Gov. Sarah Palin was invited to speak at the rally. She also accepted.

Then Clinton heard Palin was going to be there, so Clinton cancelled. She claimed to have been “blindsided.”

Thus, Hillary Clinton refuses to appear on the same platform as Sarah Plain — even at an event that ought to be thoroughly uncontroversial to all Americans.

This might be understandable — barely — if Clinton had a long-standing policy of refusing to appear with people with whom she disagreed. This would hardly be a policy of “uniting not dividing,” but at least it would be consistent.

But inevitably, her refusal reminds me of a previous incident, in 1999, when then-First Lady Clinton appeared with Suha Arafat, wife of Yasser and listened passively as Mrs. Arafat falsely accuse Israel of poisoning the Palestinian water supply, of “‘daily and intensive use of poison gas’ against Palestinian women and children.” After which, Mrs. Clinton not only refrained from calling Mrs. Arafat on her slanders or her previous endorsements of terrorism, including suicide bombings, but in fact embraced and kissed Mrs. Arafat on the platform, in effect endorsing her claims.

So, Hillary Clinton hugs one who endorses terrorism and slanders Israel, but refuses to appear on the same platform with Sarah Palin.

What can we conclude from all this?

Either Hillary Clinton thinks anti-Israel terrorism is OK, or she thinks Sarah Palin is worse than a terrorist.

Is anyone going to call her out on this?

September 3, 2008

Liberals claim ANOTHER faked pregnancy!

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:26 pm

You will be pleased to know that the liberals at DailyKos and elsewhere who broke the rumor that Gov. Palin faked a pregnancy to cover up the “fact” that her youngest child is “really” her daughter Bristol’s, are not taking the announcement that Bristol is currently pregnant lying down.

They’re now claiming that Bristol’s current pregnancy is a fake, to cover up the “fact” that the Governor faked an earlier pregnancy to cover up Bristol’s real pregnancy!

Can you believe it? Here’s DailyKos:

This is a complete cover up from the McCain campaign because the blogosphere is actually making headway in exposing Ms. Palin’s fake pregnancy. I made this deduction by how fast they’re willing to tell us about what we didn’t really ask them about.

Bristol is not currently pregnant; this press release is a head fake.
Bristol’s tummy is still big from the birth of Trig
Gov. Palin is using the ultimate cover up to cover her fake pregnancy.

Bristol is the real mother of Trig. And Trig is the grandson of Sarah.

This admission is all the proof we need; this admission of pregnancy is the red-flag.

Again congratulation folks for an outstanding “grassroots oppo job”

Congratulations indeed…..

I have always been impressed by the ability of liberals to believe mutually contradictory facts (as in this list which is portrayed as humor but is basically true).

But this really takes the cake.

Ironically, if Bristol were not actually pregnant now, there would have been NO WAY to refute the “fake pregnancy” charge — a DNA test can’t reliably distinguish which of a mother-daughter pair is the real mother of a child, since mitochondrial DNA is passed unchanged from mother to daughter (or son). And of course, if a DNA test showed that Todd Palin was the father, they’d just add incest to the list of allegtions.

And of course, they couldn’t use medical records from Trig’s birth, since the whole claim is that those records were faked.

September 2, 2008

Sex, Hypocrisy, Bill Clinton, and Sarah Palin

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:00 pm

It seems that everyone on the left — from bloggers to CNN — are going on and on about the “hypocrisy” of Sarah Palin expressing pro-life values while her daughter was, um, … making a pro-life decision. And, advocating pre-marital abstinence, while her daughter was, likely without her knowledge, not acting according to that standard.

These people do not seem to understand the meaning of the word “hypocrisy.”

It is not hypocritical to “go on and on” about pro-life values and then make a pro-life decision. That is called, acting in accordance with your principles. It is called being consistent. It is the opposite of hypocrisy. It would have been hypocritical to do the opposite.

As for abstinence and hypocrisy: Have YOU ever done anything your parents disagreed with? Does that make your parents hypocrites? Or does that just mean you didn’t do what they wanted you to do?

Seriously.

Now, here’s some real hypocrisy:

  1. Liberals claiming that Bill Clinton’s sexual misdeeds were irrelevant to his qualifications, but Sarah Palin’s daughter’s sexual misdeeds — not even hers, but her daughter’s! — are relevant to her qualifications.
  2. Liberals claiming that Bristol Palin’s misdeeds are the public’s business, but that Al Gore III’s drug and drunk driving convictions are his own private business.
  3. The New York Times‘ long record of ignoring John Edwards’ affair and out-of-wedlock child, but running three front-page stories on the same day about Sarah Palin’s daughter’s out-of-wedlock child. So apparently the NYT’s view is that a candidate’s affair is irrelevant to his qualifications for public office, but the candidate’s child’s affair is relevant. Do they really expect us to believe that? Are they discriminating against women, or against Republicans?
  4. Liberals respecting the privacy of Chelsea Clinton, including her dating habits, but plastering the private life of Bristol Palin all over the front pages.
  5. Liberals claiming women should be able to work outside the home when they have small children, that Sarah Palin shouldn’t be VP because she has young children. And of course, they seem to have missed that from the time her first child was born, Mrs. Palin never had a full-time job outside the home until she was elected governor. Which, they are happy to point out when discussing “experience,” was not all that long ago!
  6. Liberals claiming to be against sexism, yet saying that Sarah Palin shouldn’t be VP because she has young children — but it’s OK for Barack Obama to be President even though he has small children. What do that think, that Michelle Obama should be home with the kids? She’s always had a full-time job before, even with young kids.
  7. … And ignoring the fact that when Joe Biden first became a U.S. Senator, Biden was a single father of two children both under age 4.

Note that when the Republicans are involved, the rules get reversed. Who are the hypocrites now?

September 1, 2008

Sexism at CNN

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:56 am

CNN’s John Roberts asked if Gov. Palin would have enough time to take care of her baby if she were elected VP.

Would have have asked that question of a man with a young child?

Of course not.

But if he is asking because he really wants to know, rather than just to smear a Republican woman, here’s the answer: She’ll have more time then if she stays Governor, since as Governor she actually has constitutional duties. All the VP has to do is show up in to open the Senate once a year, and to break a tie vote if there ever is one.

Nice try, CNN.

Smearing Sarah Palin

It didn’t take long for the Democrats to come up with a preposterous smear of Sarah Palin — just going to show that they will say anything to discredit their opponents, no matter how nonsensical it is.

This posting at DailyKos, the leading website of the liberal “netroots,” and its followup here, claim she faked her pregnancy for political gain.

Yup, you read that right. They claim that a 43-year-old governor, constantly in the public eye, faked a pregnancy, and produced a child of which she is not the real mother, to burnish her pro-life credentials. As if, with four children already, these needed any burnishing. After all, they seem to think, you aren’t really pro-life unless your baby has Downs’ syndrome, which this child apparently has.

And where, do they claim, she obtained this baby? They are claiming it is really her then-16-year-old daughter’s baby. And they are claiming that this makes Sarah Palin a hypocrite as far as her pro-life credentials go.

Now, putting aside the fact that there is no credible evidence to support this claim, let’s look at the logic here. Suppose, for the sake of the argument, that Palin’s daughter got pregnant out of wedlock, and Palin decided to cover for her and claim it’s her baby. How does this make her a pro-life hypocrite? The claim seems to be that by providing her daughter with an option other than abortion, she would be hypocritical.

That is, in fact, completely backwards. Hypocrisy means claiming it’s OK to do yourself what you say others shouldn’t do. If she’d told her daughter to get an abortion, which seems to be what the DailyKos folks want — that would have been hypocritical for a pro-life person. Providing an alternative — especially one that gives the daughter a second chance to live the values she’s been taught — is exactly what a pro-life person would be expected to do. Obviously, most pro-life parents don’t want their daughters getting, or sons causing, pregnancies out of wedlock. But everybody knows that (a) kids don’t always do what their parents want, and (b) people sometimes succumb to temptation and do things that contradict their own values.

So the liberals have “accused” Gov. Palin of doing something that is entirely consistent with her expressed values. In fact, most people would consider doing what she’s accused of to be incredibly noble and compassionate. But since a Republican did it, it must be awful, right?

Keep in mind that this is assuming that the DailyKos claims are correct — and there is, at present, exactly no evidence for those claims. There is absolutely no reason to believe that this baby is anyone’s but Gov. Palin’s. The “evidence” they present consists basically of three things:

  1. Gov. Palin was age 43 at the time of the pregnancy. According to DailyKos, “everyone knows” 43-year-olds don’t get pregnant. Baloney. My own mother did, and without fertility drugs. I saw my sister 30 minutes after she was born.
  2. Gov. Palin flew around in a plane to give a speech shortly before the birth, then returned to Alaska to deliver the baby. This is viewed as “impossible” since pregnant women generally don’t travel late in pregnancy, therefore this “proves” that she was in fact returning to Alaska to be there when her daughter gave birth, to “pose” as the real mother. Now it’s true that most pregnant women generally don’t travel late in pregnancy — but maybe pregnant Governors do. I don’t think we’ve had a pregnant governor before, so there isn’t any prior data to support this claim.
  3. They have some pictures in which it’s not totally obvious that Gov. Palin is pregnant under her big coat, and one picture in which her daughter has a little fat showing above her waist. Folks, some pregnancies don’t show much. And sometimes fat looks a bit more round than normal, especially with the kind of dress the daughter is wearing. Sheesh.

But of course, none of that matters, since everything is justified in pursuit of the higher goal of smearing Republicans (especially non-white-males who have the uppity to be Republicans, and of course electing the Messiah Obama president.

This isn’t just the nutcases at DailyKos by the way. Some mainstream liberals, like Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic are starting to pick this up.

Fortunately, at least one reasonable liberal is calling them out on this. Ann Althouse writes:

“Stop prying into other people’s vaginas, even if you happen to oppose them politically. What is wrong with you people?”

The insane obsession with Sarah Palin’s pregnancy rages on.

This will all go down in the annals of feminism, people. So think before you write. …


The top one is a new Kos diary, from ArcXIX:


Well, Sarah, I’m calling you a liar. And not even a good one. Trig Paxson Van Palin is not your son. He is your grandson. The sooner you come forward with this revelation to the public, the better.

Whew! That is ugly. Pictures are posted, with captions like: “Sarah’s waistline never changed. Her wardrobe still remained tight and professional.” Note the gratuitous insult to pregnant working women. They can’t possibly dress in a professional manner. There are also enlarged photos of the 16-year-old daughter with comments about the shape of her abdomen. The whole world is invited to talk about that teenager’s body.

How nice. How feminist. How “liberal.”

And they say the other side objectifies women and doesn’t respect their bodies?

And by the way — back when Clinton was president, didn’t these people say that personal life isn’t relevant politically, and that lying about sex was OK?

Who again are the hypocrites?

August 19, 2008

Is Obama Planning to put Bush on Trial?

Filed under: — Different River @ 6:01 pm

From Byron York at “The Corner”:

The Left and Plans for “Nuremberg-Style” Tribunals for Bush Administration Officials

One thing that hasn’t received much attention in conservative and Republicans circles is the ongoing conversation on the left about the possibility of Nuremberg-style war-crimes trials for members of the Bush administration should a Democratic president take office. I’m not exaggerating or introducing the Nazi analogy myself; they actually use the phrase “Nuremberg-style” when they discuss “war-crimes tribunals.” And they are quite serious (although the more moderate of them prefer a “truth commission.”)

At the Netroots Nation gathering in Austin, Texas last month — that is the successor to YearlyKos — Dahlia Lithwick, of the Washington-Post-owned website Slate, did an interview with the Talking Points Memo site in which she described a panel discussion she had just taken part in on what is known as the “first 100 days of accountability.” Among Lithwick’s observations:

We’re already falling into this trap of either positing Nuremberg-style war crimes tribunals, or nothing, immunizing everyone from John Yoo up and down…but everybody says there’s a lot of gray area in between that, and that accountability doesn’t necessarily mean Nuremberg, it doesn’t necessarily mean nothing, it means possibly a truth commission, possibly appointing a special prosecutor to look at it…

They said that if Bush were (re-)elected, he’d put shred the Constitution and put his political opponents on trial like a tinpot dictator. Perhaps they were engaging in a little Freudian Projection?

August 12, 2008

Police to track every car in New York City?

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:24 pm

CBS is reporting that they New York Police Department is planning to use “Radiation Sensors, Surveillance Cameras Used To Screen & Follow Every Vehicle Entering Lower Manhattan.”

They quote a supposedly representative “NYC resident Sam Mauer” as saying, “Good idea I think. Anything that makes the city safer is a very good idea.”

Well, yes.

But would someone please explain to me exactly how this is going to make the city safer?

If they don’t have a list of terrorists’ cars, how are they going to use this system to stop anything? And if they do have a list of terrorists’ cars, why waste the time and resources to track all the other cars?

And in any case, how is simply “tracking” cars going to stop any terrorist attacks? If they actually have a list of terrorists’ cars, why not stop them at the entry points, instead of tracking them all over the place — perhaps watching as they do their vile deeds, without bothering to stop them?

It seems to me that there is not only a massive invasion of privacy, but no corresponding benefit in terms of safety or security.

Big Sibling is Watching You.

May 13, 2008

Clinton Blaming Bush for Clinton

Filed under: — Different River @ 11:44 am

See if you can follow this without a scorecard:

INDIANAPOLIS — Hillary Clinton loves to tell the story about how the Chinese government bought a good American company in Indiana, laid off all its workers and moved its critical defense technology work to China.

It’s a story with a dramatic, political ending. Republican President George W. Bush could have stopped it, but he didn’t.

If she were president, Clinton says, she’d fight to protect those jobs. It’s just the kind of talk that’s helping her win support from working-class Democrats worried about their jobs and paychecks, not to mention their country’s security.

What Clinton never includes in the oft-repeated tale is the role that prominent Democrats played in selling the company and its technology to the Chinese. She never mentions that big-time Democratic contributor George Soros helped put together the deal to sell the company or that the sale was approved by her husband’s administration.

Apparently, blaming George W. Bush for things done before he took office is normal procedure. Bush has also been blamed for the U.S. refusal to ratify the Kyoto accord (1997), the ratification of the NAFTA treaty (1993), and the escape of Osama bin Laden from Sudan (1996).

If George W. Bush is really as lousy a president as they say, couldn’t they come up with some examples of things he actually did?

May 5, 2008

Rev. Wright and Immigration: Two problems, one solution

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:29 pm

In all the uproar over Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his “God D–n America!” speeches, everyone seems to missing the obvious solution this gives us to the immigration issue.

It’s really simply: Everybody in America who hates America that much should go live somewhere else, and give up their spot in America two one of the millions of people who want to live here, but can’t do so (legally).

Obviously, Wright is not the only candidate for this “nationality swap.” Clearly, it should include whichever of his parishioners agree with him, and all other likeminded people elsewhere — such as Alec Baldwin, who threatened (promised?) to leave the country if George W. Bush were elected in 2000.

See, now we can solve two problems at once, and make everybody happier.

Right?

March 26, 2008

Obama’s Time Machine

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:18 pm

An inspiring passage from Barack Obama’s speech on March 4, commemorating the Selma march and crediting it for his very existence:

What happened in Selma, Alabama and Birmingham also stirred the conscience of the nation. It worried folks in the White House who said, “You know, we’re battling Communism. How are we going to win hearts and minds all across the world? If right here in our own country, John, we’re not observing the ideals set fort in our Constitution, we might be accused of being hypocrites.” So the Kennedys decided we’re going to do an air lift. We’re going to go to Africa and start bringing young Africans over to this country and give them scholarships to study so they can learn what a wonderful country America is.

This young man named Barack Obama got one of those tickets and came over to this country. He met this woman whose great great-great-great-grandfather had owned slaves; but she had a good idea there was some craziness going on because they looked at each other and they decided that we know that the world as it has been it might not be possible for us to get together and have a child. There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don’t tell me I don’t have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don’t tell me I’m not coming home to Selma, Alabama.

Only one problem:

The first Selma march took place on March 7, 1965. Barack Obama Jr. was born on August 4, 1961. Do the math.

Hat tip: Ed Morrissey

In the interest of equal treatment of candidates, note that Hillary Clinton claimed she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the who climbed Mt. Everest — a few years after she was born and named.

March 21, 2008

Obama’s Grandmother — and His Non-Uncle

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:19 pm

I normally don’t quote Ann Coulter, since she’s way to strident even for me, but she makes some good points here:

Imagine a white pastor saying: “Racism is the American way. Racism is how this country was founded, and how this country is still run. … We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority. And believe it more than we believe in God.”

Imagine a white pastor calling Condoleezza Rice, “Condoskeezza Rice.”

Imagine a white pastor saying: “No, no, no, God damn America — that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people! God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human! God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme!”

… Obama felt perfectly comfortable throwing his white grandmother under the bus. He used her as the white racist counterpart to his black racist “old uncle,” Rev. Wright.

Rev. Wright accuses white people of inventing AIDS to kill black men, but Obama’s grandmother — who raised him, cooked his food, tucked him in at night, and paid for his clothes and books and private school — has expressed the same feelings about passing black men on the street that Jesse Jackson has.

Unlike his “old uncle” — who is not his uncle — Obama had no excuses for his grandmother. Obama’s grandmother never felt the lash of discrimination! Crazy grandma doesn’t get the same pass as the crazy uncle; she’s white. Denounce the racist!

Obama’s white grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, is still alive — and still lives in the same high-rise apartment in Honolulu where she raised Obama (then called “Barry”) from the age of 10. They campaign “declines to make her available for interviews.”

Incidentally, the racial opposition to his parents’ marriage came from the black side of the family. From the Chicago Tribune:

The Dunhams weren’t happy. Stanley Ann’s prospective father-in-law [in Kenya] was furious. He wrote the Dunhams “this long, nasty letter saying that he didn’t approve of the marriage,” Obama recounted his mother telling him in [his book] “Dreams.” “He didn’t want the Obama blood sullied by a white woman.”

This is from a very interesting profile of Obama’s mother.

January 7, 2008

Edwards and Clinton: “Pot, meet Keetle”

Filed under: — Different River @ 9:30 am

Ben Smith at Politico.com relates:

Edwards responded sharply to a Clinton aide’s criticism today, intensifying a back-and-forth that began at last night’s debate, after Clinton said Nataline Sarkisyan could be alive if the patients bill of rights, which he’d boasted of championing, had passed.

“The Clinton campaign has no conscience,” Edwards said, after Clinton spokesman Jay Carson said Edwards does no more than “read articles about people who need help and talk about them.”

Well, if that isn’t the clearest case ever of the pot calling the kettle African-American, I don’t know what is. Recall this incident from the 2004 campaign, when Edwards said that the recently-deceased Christopher Reeve could be brought back to life if Bush had supported federal funding for stem cell research!

As CNN reported on October 12, 2004:

Edwards said Reeve, who died Sunday, “was a powerful voice for the need to do stem cell research and change the lives of people like him.

“If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve will get up out of that wheelchair and walk again,” Edwards said.

Now I understand there is a lot of controversy about what, if any, benefits might result from stem cell research, and how long it might take for those benefits to be realized. But nobody — nobody except John Edwards — ever claimed it would result in resurrections.

But when former heart surgeon and then-Senator Bill Frist called him on it,

Edwards campaign spokesman Mark Kornblau hit back, “Yes, breakthrough research often takes time, but that’s never been a reason to not even try — until George Bush.”

So to summarize: John Edwards blames someone’s death on a policy of his political opponent’s. Hillary Clinton blames someone’s death on a policy of John Edwards. John Edwards claims, based on this fact, that Hillary Clinton “has no conscience.”

Therefore, by John Edwards’ own standard, John Edwards has no conscience.

Either that, or John Edwards is a hypocrite. Which is the more charitable conclusion?

December 4, 2007

Jew Against Channukah

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:08 pm

Some Jews — in Israel, no less — are now against Channukah. On the grounds of … Global Warming!

In a campaign that has spread like wildfire across the Internet, a group of Israeli environmentalists is encouraging Jews around the world to light at least one less candle this Hanukka to help the environment.

The founders of the Green Hanukkia campaign found that every candle that burns completely produces 15 grams of carbon dioxide. If an estimated one million Israeli households light for eight days, they said, it would do significant damage to the atmosphere.

“The campaign calls for Jews around the world to save the last candle and save the planet, so we won’t need another miracle,” said Liad Ortar, the campaign’s cofounder, who runs the Arkada environmental consulting firm and the Ynet Web site’s environmental forum. “Global warming is a milestone in human evolution that requires us to rethink how we live our lives, and one of the main paradigms of that is religion and how it fits into the current situation.”

United Torah Judaism MK Avraham Ravitz called the environmentalists “crazy people who are playing with the minds of innocent Jewish people.” He said the campaign would only convince people who do not light candles anyway.

“They should encourage people to light one less cigarette instead,” Ravitz said.

But if they do that, they’ll only make people live longer, and produce more carbon emmissions!

November 6, 2006

“Dancing on Streets of Baghdad”

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:15 am

Saddam has been sentenced to hang, and Iraqis are dancing on the streets of Baghdad. This according to the London Telegraph — not exactly a bastion of neo-conservatism.

Yet, there are still UN officials American Democratic politicians who think that the Iraqis were better off under Saddam than they are now.

Some U.S. senator better go tell them they were better off under Saddam; they’re too busy celebrating Saddam’s downfall to realize it!

November 1, 2006

Why isn’t Kerry “stuck in Iraq”?

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:57 am

In case you’ve haven’t heard the news for the last 24 hours, John Kerry’s been at it again. Campaigning at Pasadena City College for the Phil Angelides, Democratic candidate for Governor of California, John Kerry said:


“You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

The clear implication of this is that if your in the military, it’s because you were too lazy or stupid to “do well.”

Kerry is “defending” himself in classic Kerry style, saying, “I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks.” It’s a despicable attack on Kerry indeed, to quote Kerry’s own words. Kerry is also defending himself on the grounds that he was not referring to the troops, but to President Bush — as claiming that Bush is stuck in Iraq because he didn’t study hard is some sort of a reasonable argument against the war.

It’s especially disingenuous because Kerry arguably didn’t study as hard as Bush — as this blog documented, Kerry and Bush both went to college at Yale, and Kerry’s Yale grades were worse than Bush’s.

The real scandal is that Kerry — perhaps like many liberals — thinks is a reasonable thing to say that “study[ing] hard, do[ing] your homework, … be[ing] smart” is somehow the opposite of being in the military. It’s as if the joining military is a punishment for doing poorly in school.

If that was ever true, it isn’t now. The military rejects people who don’t do well in school. It’s virtually impossible to enlist without a high school diploma, or with bad grades, or if you’ve gotten into trouble with the law. It’s hard to get promted to the senior enlisted ranks without a college degree — and the military will send you to college to get one. You can’t become an officer without a college degree, and you almost can’t get promoted beyond major without a master’s desgree, and you certainly can’t get promoted to General or Admiral without a master’s degree. Most Generals/Admirals have two masters degrees, and a substantial percentage have a doctorate.

I teach economics to senior military officers. They are studying for a master’s degree. For some it is their second. Not one of them is a “classroom dud” — they do all the readings, they work hard, they show up to class with good questions, they write well, and they are clearly interested in learning, even if at the beginning of the term they weren’t sure what economics had to do with their jobs. (They know now!) One of my fellow instructors is an Army Colonel with a master’s degree in management and Ph.D. in operations research (that’s a field of math, for you Kerry people!). I know a Marine Lieutenant General with an Ed.D and four (!) master’s degrees. I was once in a training session with a Marine Lieutenant Colonel who was a lawyer — he not only had a J.D. (the regular law degree), but an L.L.M., indicating a level of education higher than probably 90% of lawyers.

Study hard, John Kerry. You aren’t good enough to get “stuck in Iraq.”

UPDATE: (11/1/06 4:00pm) Matt Drudge has this picture posted on his web site. I think this tells us what the troops think of all this:



UPDATE: (11/2/06 2:05am) The guys in the picture above are from the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 34th Infantry Division (1/34th BCT), a unit of the Minnesota Army National Guard.

October 1, 2006

Does the “anti-war” side have a plan for after we pull out of Iraq?

Opponents of the Bush administration’s Iraq policy are fond of accusing Bush of “not having a plan” for dealing with Iraq after the war to overthrow Saddam Hussein. This is, of course, just a self-righteous way of saying they didn’t like the plan Bush actually did have, and that the plan has not lead to perfect results immediately.

Nevertheless, it’s worth asking those who call for an immediate pullout from Iraq, or a timetable for a pullout within a specified short time frame, what their plan is for dealing with the situation that will result from a pullout.

Clayton Cramer has posed this question, and given some realistic answers. All of his answers are worse than the worst likely scenarios resulting from staying in Iraq. As he points out:

But if the American people decide that the cost is too high, what is the alternative strategy? Leaving Iraq alone right now will lead to full civil war, and probably the crowd that likes to torture people to death with power tools will be back in power–just like the way things were under Saddam Hussein. As the declassified Key Findings of the National Intelligence Estimate last week pointed out, if we lose in Iraq, it will embolden jihadists throughout the world. The reason isn’t hard to figure out: it will be perceived that like what happened in Somalia, Americans are weak, and lack the willingness to fight.

What are the options? Here’s Clayton’s list (I’m summarizing here, not quoting — for his more complete explanations click here):

  1. “Fortress America”: Lock down the U.S. at the border and within, and curtail civil rights in the pursuit of terrorists who are here. Of course, it only takes one terrorist to get through — either shipping a nuclear weapon with a long-period timer, or getting one single legal U.S. resident to cooperate. So we are probably looking at more 9/11-scale attacks. (Why is this less likely if we are in Iraq? Because so many jihadists are fighting us over there on their home turf. We don’t want them freed up to attack us at home.)
  2. Make the terrorists happy: Don’t just leave Iraq — forget about stopping the Al-Qaeda-backed genocide in Darfur, give them back Afghanistan, cut off aid to Israel and acquiese when Iran uses nuclear weapons to annihilate Israel. And this will only work until they decide it’s time for all of us to convert to Islam also and replace the Constitution with Shari’a law, at which point we will have to either acquiese to that, or go to war with a much stronger enemy.
  3. Here I’ll quote: “Treat Muslim nations the way they have treated every other nation. Invade them; occupy; convert their mosques into churches; send in troops with orders to kill anyone that gives them any lip; assess a special tax on Muslims; pass laws that give Muslims less legal rights than non-Muslims, not just in ways that matter (say, a ban on Muslims possessing anything more deadly than a butter knife), but in ways intended to degrade them, like the laws that Muslims nations had prohibiting non-Muslims from riding horses.” I don’t think we, as a society, are willing to do that. We still believe in religious freedom.
  4. Prove that Islam is not really as superior as it claims, by nuking Mecca. I don’t think we’re willing to do that, either.
  5. Nuke a lot of Muslims. I don’t think we’re willing to do that, either.

So next time someone tells you we should pull out of Iraq, ask them one question: What’s your plan for after that?

September 21, 2006

Public School Arson

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:57 pm

If you are a public school teacher and you start a fire in your classroom, in front of the children in your class, filling your classroom with smoke your students have to breathe — and do this not once, but twice — what one factor might prevent you from being charged with a crime?

a) It was an accident.
b) You were insane at the time.
c) The main fuel for the fire was an American flag.

If you picked (c), you’re right!

A Stuart [Kentucky] Middle School teacher won’t be arrested for burning two American flags in his classroom because authorities said his students were not put at enough risk to warrant charges.

“On two occasions, teacher set fire to combustible material (flag), allowing material to burn in garbage can and on desk, then left the classroom filled with students in an attempt to find water to put the fire out,” the investigation concluded.

Holden burned a flag in two classes, one with 30 students and another with 24 students.

The flags were about 18 inches by 12 inches with wooden poles. He lighted the cloth on each flag while holding it over a small metal trashcan, according to investigation documents.

Holden told school officials that he had wet paper towels surrounding the trashcan on his desk, but several students told investigators that Holden had to leave the classroom to get more water to put out the fire.

As part of the fire department’s investigation, arson detectives questioned several of Holden’s students, and school officials provided detectives written statements of what they saw.

One student told investigators that smoke from the fire made students cough.

“It was smokey (sic), cause I’m like allergic to smoke and the whole room was full of smoke and like I was coughing, a lot of people was coughing,” the student said in a transcribed statement in the file.

Asked whether the fire was frightening, the student replied: “Not really. I just thought he could have dropped the flag and could have, you know, made the whole classroom on fire.”

August 23, 2006

Why Aren’t Jews Rioting?

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:50 pm

Six months ago, Muslims the world over rioted over the publication of some anti-Muslim cartoons in a Danish newspaper.

Now, a reader wrote to me to point out that Iran has set up an entire museum exhibit of anti-Jewish Holocaust cartoons:

Organisers of Iran’s International Holocaust Cartoon’s Contest said the museum exhibit, which has drawn more than 200 entries, aims to challenge Western taboos about the discussing the Holocaust.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has drawn international condemnation for dismissing the Holocaust as a “myth”. Nazi Germany killed six million European Jews in World War Two.

Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for Israel’s destruction.

Iran’s best-selling newspaper, Hamshahri, launched a competition in February for the best cartoon about the Holocaust in retaliation for the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in Danish and other European newspapers.

Notice that Jews are not rioting about this. We are not even rioting “in retaliation” for the Muslim riots before.

In fact, the most strident reaction has been a strong statement by Abraham Foxman of the ADL, who is basically paid to fight antisemitism wherever he can find it.

The Iranian sponsorship and exhibition of a cartoon contest on the Holocaust is outrageous, hateful and cynical.

One should ask two questions: Why is the outrage in the Muslim world to the cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed directed against Jews, who were not responsible for the Danish cartoons? Why, if, as President Ahmadinejad says, the Holocaust is a myth, call for a cartoon contest to deride it?

The questions are easily answered in the fact of the constant drumbeat of anti-Semitism and demonization of Jews and Israel emanating from the Arab/Muslim world, through their media and through leaders such as Ahmadinejad. Everyday, in much of the Arab/Muslim world anti-Semitic and other hateful material is produced for mass consumption.

Denying the Holocaust and deriding the Holocaust are two sides of the same coin and must be denounced by the international community as classical anti-Semitism.

I’m not holding my breath. But perhaps it’s worth pointing out that not all religions are equally tolerant.

August 14, 2006

MoveOn.Org’s Alternate Universe

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:12 pm

MoveOn.org recently sent this e-mail out to its supporters:

Ever wonder why some campaigns–like Dean in ’04, MoveOn’s “Save PBS”, Net Neutrality, the Downing Street Memo, or Ned Lamont for Senate–go big online, while hundreds of others go nowhere? Our friends at the New Organizing Institute (NOI) have assembled a network of phenomenal online organizers to share the secrets of their success.

I don’t know where these MoveOn guys live, but in the world I inhabit, “Dean in ’04″ flamed out in the Iowa Caucuses, “Save PBS” was based on a urban legend and was really about “saving” a small portion of of the government-provided portion of PBS funding, not about saving PBS as such, the Downing Street Memo just proved that Bush had been planning what his opponents had accused him of failing to plan, and Ned Lamont, while making an impressive primary win, has a long way to go before he actually sits in the Senate, and is currently behind in the polls.

And these guys call themselves the “reality-based community.” It’s more like an “alternate-reality-based community.”

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