Sunday, November 30, 2003


Hillary wasn't as political on her trip as one may have predicted, but a couple of her comments were enough to remind one that every move she makes has a political implication.
"I left Afghanistan feeling very positive about what our military personnel had accomplished there, but I am not very confident that we have adequate forces to accomplish the many missions we have been asked to handle," Clinton said.

Clinton said, "The administration didn't fully appreciate what they would be encountering in Iraq," although many members of the Bush administration had been preoccupied for years with former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein.

"Now we're playing catch-up," she said.

Who thinks that Hillary's planned invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq would have been more successful than Bush's? What was Mrs. Clinton’s specific plan again? It looks like she voted in favor of it and then stood back waiting for something to go wrong.

Does a serious leader travel overseas to campaign during wartime? Did Dewey travel to Europe to criticize FDR's policies? Did Eisenhower go to Korea to criticize Truman? Did Nixon travel to Vietnam to criticize Johnson? On the positive side, Hillary went the entire trip without mentioning her plan for universal health care.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle is demanding that Republicans stop showing their first television ad of the 2004 presidential race, which he called "repulsive and outrageous."

The 30-second ad, which aired in Iowa over the weekend, features clips of Bush during his State of the Union address last January. It portrays Bush as a fighter of terrorism and says his opponents "are now attacking the president for attacking the terrorists."

"It's wrong. It's erroneous, and I think that they ought to pull the ad," Daschle told NBC's "Meet the Press" program on Sunday.

"We all want to defeat terrorism," the South Dakota senator said. But "to chastise and to question the patriotism of those who are in opposition to some of the president's plans I think is wrong."

Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy called it an "attempt to stifle dissent." On ABC's "This Week," Kennedy said "dissent is a basic part of what our whole society is about."

The ads are not an attempt to stifle dissent as Kennedy claims, but recognition of the differences between the two parties. Democrats have been debating and running ads on those differences for months now. This is their big chance to show Americans their plan for defeating terrorism. We’re listening.

We want to defeat terrorism too, but with a more gentle approach we'll outline after the election won't cut it.

Sunday, November 23, 2003


Slate has an interesting article about the origins of the Kennedy Assassination conspiracy theories and links to Watergate. It's pretty much the thread that Oliver Stone started with his film JFK and finished with NIXON. I am certainly a person who thinks there is more to the story than we've been told, but can only laugh at the notion that it somehow all ties back to Vietnam, when that was hardly a front burner issue during Kennedy's assassination. What was going on in Eastern Europe and even Cuba had more relevance in 1963.

Hippies and baby boomer elites are still caught up in Vietnam, though. The generation cannot let it go. Every time we’re fired upon in a war it’s Vietnam all over again. Kennedy is sainted because he could have prevented Vietnam. Watergate was a good way to get us out of Vietnam.

North Vietnam was simply a country that our leaders didn't have the stomach to defeat. No different than Korea. The only lesson that needs to be learned is don't commit yourself to a war if you don't intend to do the things necessary to win it. We don't need any more glorifications of unwashed Haite Ashbury types that were protesting because their college deferments were revoked. Vietnam could have been a step in defeating communism. Had we prosecuted that war properly, the Berlin Wall could have fallen much sooner.

Kennedy wasn't as Left Wing as some would like to remember him. He called for tax cuts and developed programs like the President's council for physical fitness that promoted self-achievement. It's often conveniently ignored that Jack and Bobby Kennedy were close friends with Joe McCarthy and they shared a hatred of communism. Kennedy scheduled back surgery so he wouldn't have to vote on McCarthy's censure in the Senate. McCarthy was even Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's (Daughter of Bobby Kennedy) godfather.

Kennedy may have actually fought Vietnam to win. Those who speculate that he was killed to help escalate the war ignore who he was at that time and before. That people like Frank Sinatra who supported Reagan in 1980 also supported Kennedy in 1960 is a reminder of the likenesses. Kennedy made his mistakes by letting the Russians put up the Berlin Wall and knowingly letting the leader of South Vietnam be assassinated. But his kind of tough foreign policy Democrat doesn't exist today, and it's a leap to think that he was going to be a dove in French Indo-China.

If Nixon had won in 1960, history could have been different. It’s hard to say if Nixon’s troubles in the 1970s were the result of his inferiority to the Kennedys or if the conflict in Vietnam made him a more Machiavellian leader. Nixon’s early Vietnam policy may have been handled differently and that could have made all the difference.

It was tough losing a young vibrant President like Kennedy. His handling of Vietnam may have been proof that a strong military and foreign policy isn’t in conflict with the goals of the Democrat Party. That may have saved us from the George McGoverns and Jimmy Carters and given us the Scoop Jacksons and Lloyd Bentsons. Or maybe not.

I think we can all speculate on how history would have been different, but there is scant reason to believe that all idealism left with Kennedy, or that he was killed because he was the messiah. All those rich post World War II kids that had it easy were bound to rebel against their "meaningless" lives. Had it not been at Vietnam, it would have been something else.

We can piece together this concerted effort only now with the release of documents from Soviet archives -- some disclosures authorized, some not. Taken together, they prove that the KGB played a central, pernicious role in fomenting the belief that the CIA was involved in Kennedy's assassination.

Read the whole article by Max Holland here.

Let's have some fun. NPR's All Songs Considered has a long two-hour interview on the discovery of the Beatles lost LET IT BE Tapes. The interview was recorded in the spring, but I found it when researching the new re-mix of the LET IT BE CD that has just been released. They play a bunch of the music and also talk about what was going on during the days they recorded film and audio. There is still no word on when the LET IT BE film will be released to DVD.

Friday, November 21, 2003

A U.S. senator said on Thursday that he would hold up a massive year-end spending bill if it included a ban on Internet-access taxes that he and several colleagues fear would harm state and local finances.

Delaware Sen. Thomas Carper, a Democrat, told reporters he would try to keep the omnibus bill from coming to the Senate floor if the ban was included in its present form, which he said infringed on the rights of state and local governments to raise revenues.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates these jurisdictions would lose $195 million that year but said the true cost of the provision could not be determined and could be much higher.

It sounds like Caper is acknowledging the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. It’s probably just a phase.

The last sentence is a good argument for proving a Left-wing media. "The true cost of the provision could not be determined." The provision to ban taxation doesn't cost anything. Cost is what you have to give up to obtain something of value.

Government getting less money doesn’t cost them anything. Does it cost the Wal-Mart anything when I decide to shop at Target? This land has survived without Internet taxation since Christopher Columbus. Delaware will probably not sink into the Atlantic Ocean without it.
Calling the ban proposal an unfunded mandate on states and a massive tax break for the telecommunications industry, Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said he and his colleagues had proposed a compromise two-year ban.

An unfunded mandate is when the government demands that a state spend money on a program without providing the money. Banning taxation is hardly the same thing.

And the telecommunications industry isn't getting a massive tax break. Taxpayers who use the industry are getting the tax break. Can Alexander name anyone he knows who doesn’t use the telecommunications industry?

Thursday, November 20, 2003


Iraq cannot win this war, but the situation involving Lt. Col. Allen B. West is a good example of how we can defeat ourselves. West and his men were interrogating an Iraqi police officer that was reported to have helped the enemy in a previous attack. The man refused to tell them anything of importance, even after they got a little rough with him. West decided that “civilized” interrogation would probably cost more lives in a future attack, so he fired a shot over the Iraqi’s shoulder. It worked and the detainee gave up the names of a few attackers.

The Hearing. . .
"I felt there was a threat to my soldiers. ... If it's about the life of my men, I'd go through hell with a gasoline can," said Col. West, who sat erect in the witness stand during cross-examination on the second day of a court-martial hearing.

"I love the Army," he said, fighting back tears.

"I know the method I used was not the right method," he said, adding, however, that he felt at the time it was crucial for the safety of his soldiers that he find out about the purported plot.

"If I had to err, I would err on the side of not losing my soldiers," Col. West said.

Inhofe Gets it.
A preliminary investigation alleged that West's actions violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The court, on a U.S. base in Tikrit, Iraq, will determine whether West should face a court-martial.

(Sen. James) Inhofe (of Oklahoma) said unless some new information emerges at West's hearing, "I would continue to have the position that Lt. Col. West should be commended for his actions in interrogation that prevented an attack on the soldiers of his command. That's my feeling and I think others may share it but may not want to say it."

During the American Revolution the British fought in outdated fashion by lining up in the open and making great targets. The Americans took the lead of Indians who fought by hiding behind trees for cover. Washington’s crossing the Delaware was a prime example of Yankee ingenuity and clearly against the rules of gentlemen soldiers. You don’t win wars by enforcing rules on your men that the enemy wouldn’t force on their own. If we send a message to the Iraqis that we’re playing with kid gloves, we’re sure to have a lot of double agents like this police officer. If the bad guys don’t fear our soldiers, who will? There are plenty of people who are rooting against our victory in Iraq, and some are in our own country. A good way to please them would be to shame men like West.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Democrats will "continue to resist any Neanderthal that is nominated by this president" for the federal courts, said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

It sounds an awful lot like Ted Kennedy called Bush’s minority nominees, monkeys. At least that would be the New York Times charge had George Pataki called Al Sharpton a Neanderthal. Kennedy by nature of being a Democrat is above the accusation of racism because he spends more of our money on the poor.

But more important than the double standard is that Kennedy sees potential justices that believe in the original intent of the constitution as pre-human. Wouldn’t that make James Madison and Benjamin Franklin pre-human. Didn’t Jack Kennedy once compliment a group of intellectuals by saying that the White House hadn’t seen such brain-power since Thomas Jefferson dined alone? Jefferson, you Neanderthal!

Ted Kennedy might actually be shocked to learn that the writers of the Constitution were ahead of their time. America was the first country founded on self-rule that had a Bill of Rights stating what the government couldn’t do to its people. Irish families like the Kennedys left their repressive serfdom to be treated equal under the law.

Those Neanderthals understood that equal outcomes could never be guaranteed, but equal protection would at least ensure that people could be left to make their own happiness. Ah, but modern man is so much more enlightened. Now we see that every problem can be solved with government largesse or lawsuits. The will of the people is so 18th Century.

We now have judges to make laws for us and Kennedy isn’t going to sacrifice that genius idea by allowing the people’s representatives a vote on who gets to be a judge, unless, of course, they have a proven ability to make laws.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, launched a stinging attack on President George Bush last night, denouncing him as the "greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen".

Where exactly would Hitler and Stalin fall into that critique?

“Bush is the biggest danger in the world” has seemed to trump “McCarthyism” as the Left’s favorite push button phrase. The right honorable gentleman went on to say. . .
Mr Livingstone recalled a visit at Easter to California, where he was denounced for an attack he had made on what he called "the most corrupt and racist American administration in over 80 years". He said: "Some US journalist came up to me and said: 'How can you say this about President Bush?' Well, I think what I said then was quite mild. I actually think that Bush is the greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen. The policies he is initiating will doom us to extinction."

1. Why do we allow people to throw around the word "racism" without supporting evidence? Isn’t that what the Left said McCarthy did in the 1950s, ruin people reputations with mere accusations?

2. Doom us to extinction is a bit much don’t you think? Where exactly would Britain be now if we hadn’t stopped Hitler in World War II? Or maybe the Mayor would have preferred Hitler or Uncle Joe to run things instead.

It's nice to know that we're not the only country electing eccentric mayors in big cities.

Luckily, the British people show more sense.
A majority of Labour voters welcome President George Bush's state visit to Britain which starts today, according to November's Guardian/ICM opinion poll.

The survey shows that public opinion in Britain is overwhelmingly pro-American with 62% of voters believing that the US is "generally speaking a force for good, not evil, in the world". It explodes the conventional political wisdom at Westminster that Mr Bush's visit will prove damaging to Tony Blair. Only 15% of British voters agree with the idea that America is the "evil empire" in the world.

Monday, November 17, 2003


Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith sent an interesting memo to Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller. The memo is a Cliffs Notes version of intelligence that links Osama Bin Laden to Saddam Hussein. The Weekly Standard lays out the memo and offers commentary. Here’s a couple of interesting pieces:
17. . . . Iraq sent an intelligence officer to Afghanistan to seek closer ties to bin Laden and the Taliban in late 1998. The source reported that the Iraqi regime was trying to broaden its cooperation with al Qaeda. Iraq was looking to recruit Muslim "elements" to sabotage U.S. and U.K. interests. After a senior Iraqi intelligence officer met with Taliban leader [Mullah] Omar, arrangements were made for a series of meetings between the Iraqi intelligence officer and bin Laden in Pakistan. The source noted Faruq Hijazi was in Afghanistan in late 1998.

26. During a custodial interview, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi [a senior al Qaeda operative] said he was told by an al Qaeda associate that he was tasked to travel to Iraq (1998) to establish a relationship with Iraqi intelligence to obtain poisons and gases training. After the USS Cole bombing in 2000, two al Qaeda operatives were sent to Iraq for CBW-related [Chemical and Biological Weapons] training beginning in Dec 2000. Iraqi intelligence was "encouraged" after the embassy and USS Cole bombings to provide this training.

31. An Oct. 2002 . . . report said al Qaeda and Iraq reached a secret agreement whereby Iraq would provide safe haven to al Qaeda members and provide them with money and weapons. The agreement reportedly prompted a large number of al Qaeda members to head to Iraq. The report also said that al Qaeda members involved in a fraudulent passport network for al Qaeda had been directed to procure 90 Iraqi and Syrian passports for al Qaeda personnel.

The idea that these Middle Eastern Terrorists were working alone has been a big Democrat talking point. That this intelligence was uncovered during the Clinton Administration would make one wonder what Al Gore was thinking when he gave this speech.

There are plenty of Democrats who hate Bush as much as Republicans hate Clinton. But do Democrats really think the country would be safer if a Democrat were President now? The only issue that really matters is safety and Bush is the only viable candidate that has anything credible to say. The others just react to Bush and offer some vague plan about getting al Qaeda instead of Iraq. They’re not going to win a majority on the Iraq issue. It will be interesting to see their next plan of attack.

UPDATE: Jack Shafer at Slate wants to know why this story is being ignored.

Friday, November 14, 2003


American Billionaire pledges to unseat Bush with his fortune.
“America, under Bush, is a danger to the world," Soros said. Then he smiled: "And I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is."
Soros believes that a "supremacist ideology" guides this White House. He hears echoes in its rhetoric of his childhood in occupied Hungary. "When I hear Bush say, 'You're either with us or against us,' it reminds me of the Germans." It conjures up memories, he said, of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit ("The enemy is listening"). "My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitized me," he said in a soft Hungarian accent.

What is the left’s fascination with the Nazis that they see them lurking out of every corner? The fact that we have elections and the people can vote on whether they support the President should end any comparison to Germany. Hitler never asked anyone whether they were with him or against him. He pointed a gun and said, you’re with me or you die. It’s the Muslim world that squelches freedom like Stalin and Hitler. How can you grow up in such a God forsaken place and miss the similarities?
Neoconservatives, Soros said, are exploiting the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to promote a preexisting agenda of preemptive war and world dominion. "Bush feels that on September 11th he was anointed by God," Soros said. "He's leading the U.S. and the world toward a vicious circle of escalating violence."

Couldn’t we say that FDR exploited the depression to create the welfare state? The Neoconservatives are in favor, because they have an active solution to the problem of terrorism. They were to the 1990s what Churchill was in the 1930s. They were both preaching of the coming menace and begged the government to intervene. Nobody knows whether or to what extent the idea will work, but it is an active plan to solve the problem. This should make sense to Democrats who think every domestic problem can be solved by some sort of government program. What Soros and other critics continue to cloud is that our goal is to allow the people in the regions to govern themselves. This has certainly not been the plan of conquering nations throughout history.

Thursday, November 13, 2003


It's all in how you tell the story.
Peter Jennings and Linda Douglass failed to inform viewers of how Democrats are using the filibuster threat in such and unprecedented manner as Jennings referred only to how the GOP wished to “draw attention to the fact that several of President Bush’s nominees for the federal bench are not being confirmed because the Democrats object to them” while, surreally, Jennings described how “the Democrats say they’re doing what the Constitution requires.”

This is a good example of how the press makes the story. When Clinton wouldn't sign the Republican passed budget in 1995, the press reported that the Republicans had shut down the government. There weren't any stories about how the Republicans were doing what the Constitution requires by passing a budget. They became the bad guys, because they weren't passing the budget Democrats wanted.

The Constitution doesn't require a supermajority to pass a President's nominees. The Democrats are saying that it does require one. That's the story the media doesn't want to tell.

UPDATE: Here's the hourly rundown of what happened during the filibuster.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003


The "quasi-hypnotic influence" of television in America has fostered a complacent nation that is a danger to democracy, former Vice President Al Gore said Tuesday.

"Our democracy is suffering in an age when the dominant medium is not accessible to the average person and does not lend itself most readily to the conveyance of complex ideas about self-governance," Gore said. "Instead it pushes toward a lowest common denominator."

Academic liberals continue to bemoan low voter turnouts and disengaged citizens, especially when they are trying to reconstruct a world with those very people in mind. You can almost hear them say, “But we’re doing it all for you, why aren’t you helping us.” I think this is a case where prosperity coupled with the welfare state has made it easy for liberal middle class people to be disengaged in the political arena without much harm. The unstated part of Gore’s plea is, “Wake up, downtrodden, because middle class conservatives are listening to talk radio and their ideas are winning. If you want us to continue to take care of you, you’ll have to sober up and vote for us.”

The government has provided enough of everything now that the average impoverished person owns a car and a color TV. If they can afford beer or weed or whatever, they would just as soon hang out at the house and watch Survivor. They have no time to rally at your campaign. Ted Kennedy tried to remedy this with proposals like motor voter that make it almost impossible not be registered and yet Democrats still lose elections, because people need to be driven to the polls and told who to vote for.

If Gore wants people to be engaged he must start by making them responsible for themselves.

Some are fired and some quit. Afterall, you can't fire the candidate.
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (search)'s press secretary and deputy finance director quit Tuesday, adding to the bitter turmoil on Kerry's team after the dismissal of his campaign manager.

Robert Gibbs, chief spokesman for the Massachusetts lawmaker, and deputy finance director Carl Chidlow quit in reaction to the firing of Jim Jordan, abruptly let go by Kerry Sunday night. Both expressed dissatisfaction with the campaign, according to officials.

I think the campaign manager firing was a good excuse for the others to walk, but not the cause of it. Kerry has no distinction in this campaign at all. Howard Dean has proved to be the most articulate and likable Northeastern Liberal Candidate and General Wesley Clark has trumped any advantage Kerry thought he would have on the veteran issue. Richard Gephardt has them all beat on union and leftwing trade issues. Why would a voter choose John Kerry over the other three candidates? He’ll get some favorite son votes in the northeast, but he’ll drown in the South and West unless he reinvents himself again in the next few months. I don’t see it happening.

I think these campaign workers see what the media isn’t reporting. They will probably latch on to another campaign if they can.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Light-hearted debate
During the debate, cosponsored by the nonprofit Rock the Vote organization, Alexandra Trustman asked the candidates whether they preferred the PC or Mac format for their computers.

Trustman wrote yesterday that she was called the morning of the debate and given the topic of the question the CNN producers wanted her to ask. She wrote that she was "confused by the question's relevance" and constructed what she thought was a "much more relevant" question.

But when she arrived in Boston for the debate, she wrote, she was "handed a note card" with the question and told she couldn't ask her alternative "because it wasn't lighthearted enough and they wanted to modulate the event with various types of questions."

CNN did not respond to repeated

This is the danger of campaign finance laws that rely on the "objective" media to get the news out. Why have a debate in front of students if professional media men are writing the questions? Were the students threatening to make it a real debate with real questions?

Tricia just learned today that Newsweek printed her letter criticizing them on their Rush Limbaugh story of a few weeks ago. You can find the letter online by clicking here and scrolling down. They edited her letter quite a bit, so I will post her original and their version.

The Original


I cannot believe it took 11 writers to write the debauchery “I Am Addicted to Prescription Pain Medication."

This entire article is one of the most insensitive, far reaching pieces of journalism I have ever read. I am not a Rush fan, I am not even a registered Republican, and I find your piece unbalanced and completely insensitive to something so many DECENT, hard working, moral Americans find themselves involved in every day – an unwanted addiction to pain killers.

I don’t think Newsweek can get any lower after reading this article. Newsweek’s journalism integrity now matches that of The National Enquirer. Newsweek’s use of name-calling and references that pain killer addiction is parallel to the abuse of illegal substances such as cocaine is appalling. Believe or not, I would have to make a hunch that most people would say pain killer addiction is not the same as a cocaine addiction – but I suppose your reporters feel differently. How insensitive these Newsweek reporters are, this man had unsuccessful surgeries, resulting in utter pain, and painkillers were his only relief – which unfortunately resulted in an addiction. This is not the same as someone going to a party and inserting heroine into his arm just for the heck of it. What’s next? Going after celebrities addicted to nose spray?

Also, I think that Rush’s timing of talking about his addiction was timed correctly. Why should he have told his listeners about this prior to the tabloid’s report? He is not an elected official. He is a private citizen. This is not expected of him, and never should have been.

This article was extremely hypocritical on Newsweek’s behalf. Your reporters must have ice in their veins by taking such low blows.

Tricia Van Ryswyk
Orlando, Fla.

And here is what they printed. . .
I am not a Rush fan—I am not even a Republican—but I find your piece insensitive to what many decent, hardworking and moral Americans find themselves involved in every day: an unwanted addiction to painkillers. That NEWSWEEK compares painkiller addiction to the abuse of illegal substances such as cocaine is appalling. Rush had unsuccessful surgeries resulting in utter pain, and painkillers were his only relief. This dependency unfortunately led to an addiction. This is not the same as someone’s going to a party and inserting a needle into his arm.

Tricia Van Ryswyk
Orlando, Fla.

Since Tricia spends most of her day writing press releases that I never get to read, I always forget what a great writer she is. I can understand editing her letter for brevity, and wanting to remove the disparaging remarks towards them, but I wonder why they took out Registered in front of Republican and why did the Heroin going into someone's arm become a needle? They skipped the best line of the letter when she compared Newsweek with the National Enquirer. If she had only known a week later that the Enquirer would come out with illegal drug allegations against Matt Lauer and that Newsweek would ignore it.

Trish needs a blog.

Monday, November 10, 2003


Al Gore reads Orwell.
Former Vice President Al Gore accused President Bush on Sunday of failing to make the country safer after the Sept. 11 attacks and using the war against terrorism as a pretext to consolidate power.

"They have taken us much farther down the road toward an intrusive, 'big brother'-style government - toward the dangers prophesied by George Orwell in his book '1984' - than anyone ever thought would be possible in the United States of America," Gore charged.

First, the country is safer. They are obviously on the run around the world and haven't been able to follow up the 911 attacks.

Secondly, Bush isn't trying to consolidate power. The Democrats wanted a Department of Homeland Security as much as anyone. The existing government power structure by nature takes any means possible to expand it's own power. Bush will be back in Texas in 2009, but these bureaucrats won't be. Bush should have had better foresight before expanding the government to the levels that he chose. Why do liberals oppose a President that is so willing to solve problems with government money?

Most importantly, if Gore wants to start throwing Orwell charges around, maybe he could start by explaining Waco.

Thursday, November 06, 2003


All of those Big Macs you’ve eaten were really a donation, because Joan Kroc, wife of the late hamburger tycoon, has given NPR $200 million in her will. Now if that isn't enough money to stop those annoying pledge drives, how much will it take?
Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald's Corp. founder Ray A. Kroc, died Oct. 12 of cancer. She was 75. In recent years she had made substantial gifts to organizations promoting world peace.

Now that would be a great dodge working for an organization promoting world peace. The work is never done. Keep sending the donations. We're trying. Can we help it that human beings are so darn disagreeable?

The investigation of strip club owner Michael Galardi and numerous politicians appears to be the first time federal authorities have used the Patriot Act in a public corruption probe.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Congress intended the Patriot Act to help federal authorities root out threats from terrorists and spies after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"The law was intended for activities related to terrorism and not to naked women," said Reid, who as minority whip is the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate.

"Let me say, with Galardi and his whole gang, I don't condone, appreciate or support all their nakedness. But having said that, I haven't heard anyone say at any time he was involved with terrorism."

The Patriot Act will expire in 2005 unless Congress renews it. "More activity like this is going to cause us to take a close look at what was passed," Reid said of the law being invoked in the Galardi probe.

While I doubt Reid would make such criticism if a Democrat were President, he is still exactly right. The government will always push to the utmost extent of our freedoms and it takes us to stand up and push back. The Patriot Act is like much of government. It promises to do one thing and operationally does another. We should be targeting the demographic that attacked us on 911, not going after strip club owners because they are easier to get.

The American people supported the Patriot Act in good faith, but like most government programs it's being abused. If the government is serious about the terrorist threat they will target the groups that hate us, instead of targeting everyone. This law should be revised so that the government cannot use in any way that isn’t linked to terrorists and terrorism. Further, if they are serious about protecting us, they will seek the death penalty against people like Johnny Walker Lindh would take up arms against us.

There aren’t too many bills worth calling your senator about, but a Bill permanently banning taxation of the Internet is certainly one. Of course, localities have been collecting handsomely on our purchases at brick and mortar stores since we were born. That was always based on the idea that commercial areas need the support of roads and cops and other services that impact a city when people are driving around to do their shopping.
"Every time we, in our wisdom, tell a state or a city that it cannot use this tax, all we are doing is increasing the chance that Minnesota or Tennessee will increase some other tax, or fire some teachers or lay off some employees or close some parks," Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, said Tuesday on the Senate floor.

The Internet doesn’t cost local governments anything; in fact, it saves them money because they have fewer commercial businesses to support with government services. What’s implicit in Alexander’s plea is that local governments’ have been using sales tax money to fund their whims. Localities can put these services that Lamar loves to a vote. Before we had a plethora of government spending, did people sit around the house wondering why there wasn’t a $30,000 statue outside of the courthouse? Maybe some money is spent just because it’s available. I don’t see why some Orlando politician should have any right to dictate the terms of my commerce over the phone lines. I’m already paying my phone bill that includes enough taxes to pay for a bunch of other unrelated programs.

I have been less than a fan of Alexander since he donned that ridiculous plaid shirt to run for President. It was the first time in politics that a politician used a shirt to prove that he was an empty shirt. Where was the promise of smaller government that got Republicans elected in 1994? Republicans have gone power mad and have forgotten who they are. Quit wasting money and searching for new taxation. Be responsible while you have the power, or we’ll spend the rest of our lives paying off your debt.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


I can understand the Democrats looking for an issue to beat Bush with in 2004, but I think using Iraq as that tool is to their discredit. Bush's plan to defeat terrorism had short- term provisions (Afghanistan) and long-term provisions (Iraq). The Bush Administration is hoping to foster a democracy in the Middle East and Iraq is the base of operations. Since no two democracies have ever gone to war against one another, the idea seems like the best one going. Especially when you consider that high scale terrorism can only live if it’s state sponsored.

The critics can point to the Iraqi opposition, but opposition funded by other countries and terrorists only point out how worried some factions are that real democracy might come. The critics who say that the Muslims won't accept democracy because it is contrary to their religion have not explained why so many bad guys over there are worried about it.

Gore began the criticism in the summer when he said that the administration isn’t doing enough to bring down Al Queda since they are the only ones who have struck. In other words, he’s asking that the Bush administration fight terrorism by being reactive to attacks. That was certainly the strategy of the Clinton Administration. They didn’t want to be bothered by attacks on American citizens. Their usual action was lobbing a couple of bombs somewhere in the middle of the night.

Bush has decided to be proactive by defeating other groups that hate us before they can pose any danger. For Democrats who want to use the entire scope of government to create giant programs to solve every domestic problem you can name, it seems irresponsible to not use that same power of government to prevent future Americans civilians from being hurt by terrorists. And the idea that our presence over there will cause more terrorism has yet to be seen. They’re too busy fighting Israelis and American soldiers.

I don’t like that the Democrats want to use National Security in a campaign, but I don’t see how it hurts anyone but Democrats. We spent the 1990s watching Americans being attacked here and abroad and we saw an indifferent Democrat President who didn’t try to solve the problem. The very fact that Republicans are doing something will win them the election. Democrats can only win if they convince people that Bush isn’t hawkish enough.

Sunday, November 02, 2003


I don't ever expect Hollywood to make a movie about Reagan that celebrates the man, but who needs them to? The real shame is that they will ignore all the fertile material available on the Clintons.

UPDATE: CBS decides that Showtime is a much better place to air slander.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

I guess we won't be seeing Matt Lauer in a Newsweek cover story about his drug problem?

Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit against the Partial Birth Abortion Law before it has even been signed.
"This dangerous ban prevents women, in consultation with their families and doctors, from making decisions about their own health," PPFA President Gloria Feldt said. "We hope the court will recognize the unconstitutionality of this ban and strike it down."

It doesn’t prevent women from making decisions it just changes the scope of when those decisions can be made. The distinction of birth alone has always stood on shaky ground, since pre-mature babies can survive outside the womb. What's been missing from the debate is not whether women can or cannot choose, but whether babies that can survive outside the womb deserve death because it's more convenient to the mother. I’m sure it would sometimes be convenient for the mother to kill her wayward toddlers. Some mothers certainly have done so.

How many of the same people who support all forms of abortion will tell you that they don't eat meat because slaughter houses are cruel punishment to animals? They have always chose to ignore that contradiction because they didn’t want to weaken abortion rights, but those who think this law weakened abortion are mistaken.

As long as abortion was legal to the very last second, the pro-choice movement was going to have many middle ground people lined up against them. The country is divided 50-50 on the overall issue, but polls have shown that people support this law 75-25.

No one from the pro-choice side is going to suddenly become pro-life because of this legislation, but there is a potential for some middle ground people who were appalled by late-term abortions to now be willing to support the other side. When the country is divided so evenly on the issue, just a few percent changing sides is a big victory.

Pro-Lifers get fewer Abortions
Pro-Choicers disarmed many critics

By winning this battle, the pro-lifers have made it more difficult to win the war. And isn’t the war more worth winning? Though they were kicking and screaming the entire way, the pro-choice supporters can now be more confident that abortion will remain. Even if Roe v. Wade were overturned by some future court and the issue returned to the states for a democratic vote, fewer people would have issue with the “keep it legal” side.

Now quit your fillabuster fraidy cats and let's vote on some judges.