Sunday, January 29, 2006
(Before reading the piece, I might suggest getting a refill of your favorite beverage, and perhaps a snack or two as well, due to it's length. But don't let that deter you from reading it!)
Hat tip: mightyrighty
In this opinion piece by Gerard Baker of The Times, Mr. Baker advises us that preparing for a war with Iran may be a necessity, due to Iran's nuclear ambitions, and the statements made by their current president of wanting to "wipe Israel from the map."
While 53% of respondents think that the war in Iraq has been a mistake, according to a recent LA Times/Bloomberg poll, 57% of respondents favor a military intervention against Iran, should they continue their attempts at gaining nuclear weapons capabilities.
The current president of Iran is a lunatic who is bent on achieving the following:
- The eradication of Israel;
- Full nuclear weapons capability for his nation, leading to domination of the Middle East;
- After achieving domination of the Middle East, he wants to set up a world wide Muslim State.
War with Iran looks to me to be more of a probability with each passing day. Are you prepared for that?
Of course, environmental groups are also gearing up to fight any initiative such as this, saying that it would be a give away to developers and others who want to skirt land-use rules protecting natural habitats and rural communities.
I don't think so.
The Critical Areas Ordinance passed by King County last year is unfair, in that it restricts property owners in how they can use their own property, putting aside as much as 65% of their land as being "off limits" to development, without any kind of recompense whatsoever to the property owner. In other words, King County has told property owners that a) they don't know what the proper use of their property is, but that King County does, and b) King County now basically "owns" up to 65% of the property - free. It's a government land grab, if ever there was one, no matter how you frame the language.
We need this initiative, because it's a question of fairness.
Well, isn't that nice? Lose a council seat (voters reduced the number of county council seats from thirteen to nine), and Sims creates jobs out of thin air for you. Get ousted as county council chief of staff? No problem! "King" Ronny will give you a job, so no worries!
If this happened in the private sector, I can almost guarantee that there would be a "worker revolt". But in the political world of "King" Sims, it's a standard practice. All you need to be is a political sycophant to the "King", and you're assured of having a job, even if one has to be created out of thin air.
I certainly take OBL seriously (and you should, too!), and I'm certainly glad that President Bush has the NSA monitoring communications between people here in the US with those linked to Al Qaeda. I personally think that it would be totally irresponsible of the President to not have the NSA doing the monitoring that they are, and if he didn't have the NSA on the job, I would want to know why not!
All of the hyperbolic theatrics that the Dems are going through over this NSA program is nothing but smoke and mirrors, designed to cast President Bush in the worst possible light for their own political gains. Both President Carter and Clinton authorized warrantless searches and monitoring through Presidential Executive Orders (as President Bush has done) with each getting legal opinions on those actions saying that they were perfectly within their capacity as President to do so.
The only difference between then and now is that both Carter and Clinton are Dems (which makes it ok in the eyes of the Dems), and Bush is not (therefore making it not ok in the eyes of the Dems). Oh, and not to mention the fact that the Dems have a pathological hatred of Bush, and will do anything to "demonize" him.
Among the "gems" from the speech and the interview:
In an address to a packed house at McCaw Hall, Rather said that journalists -- buffeted in recent years by scandal and a declining consumer base -- needed to do several things to win back the trust of the country's citizens. Yeah. like tell the truth without injecting personal political bias.
"What many of us need is a spine transplant," Rather said. "Whether it's City Hall, the Statehouse or the White House, part of our job is to speak truth to power." Like I said above, report the truth, not a perception of what you would like the truth to be.
Remember, this is from the man who tried to do a smear on President Bush by using forged documents (not, as stated in the article "allegedly forged", but proven to be really forged)!
It takes a lot of gall, you know?
Monday, January 23, 2006
In the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers out played the Denver Broncos, by a score of 34 - 17, which was a pleasant surprise. Jake Plummer looked dazed and confused for much of the game, and "Big Ben" and "The Bus", along with the Steelers defense took care of business.
In the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks simply dominated the Carolina Panthers from the get go, winning 34 - 14 (interesting how both winning teams scored 34 points). This is something that I have been waiting for, for 30 years, as the 'Hawks are going to their first ever Superbowl! I'm still having to pinch myself!
So, on to the Superbowl in Detroit, on Feb. 5th. Go 'Hawks!
Sunday, January 22, 2006
In the AFC game, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in Denver to play the Broncos, while in the NFC game, the Carolina Panthers are here in Seattle to play against the Seahawks. In both games, the home team is favored, with both Denver and Seattle having gone 9 - 0 at home. But, both the Steelers and Panthers, being Wild Card teams, have won games on the road to advance to the championship games.
Both games are intriguing for various reasons. Will the Steelers defense be able to contain Jake "The Snake" Plummer? Will Jerome "The Bus" Bettis be able to carry his team past the Broncos defense in possibly his last game?
Will Julius Peppers and Shaun Alexander be able to play the entire game, and do so up to their regular season abilities? Both are coming off of injuries, with Peppers having a sore shoulder, and Alexander coming off of a concussion. Will Steve Smith turn in another performance against the Seahawks secondary, as he did against Chicago? Will Nick Goings be able to run against the 'Hawks? Will Matt Hasselback be able to find D-Jack in the end zone? Will Walter Jones, Steve Hutchinson, and Mack Strong be able to pave the way for Alexander to finally have a break out playoff game? All of these questions will be answered as the day unfolds, of course.
What do I think the outcomes will be? Although I like Pittsburgh as a team more than I like Denver, and would be very happy to see Pittsburgh advance to Detroit, I just don't think that will happen, as I predict Denver will win in a shootout.
As for the game here in Seattle, with the "Twelfth Man" in full throat, the multi-dimensional offense of the 'Hawks, and the swarming 'Hawks defense pitted against the one-dimensional offense of the Panthers (Goings, if you'll pardon the expression, ain't goin' anywhere against the 'Hawks run defense), I predict that Seattle will win in a close, defensive game.
With that said, here's another bit of interest, at least for my brother and I. If the two games turn out with my predicted winners, it will pit two former members of the AFC West against each other in the Super Bowl, the Denver Broncos against the Seattle Seahawks. There is still an intense rivalry between the two teams, which could make for an intense grudge match in Detroit, which if that does happen, I see Seattle winning.
Now that would be sweet!
From all of the false outrage spouted by Dems over the NSA surveillance program on terrorism related communications that originate in the US, it would appear to be so. If the Dems do want the government to capture terrorists on US soil, why all of the caterwauling about the NSA monitoring? After all, the Dem leadership has been kept apprised of the NSA activities since 9/11, right?
Could it be that the Dems really don't want the government to be able to capture terrorists on US soil, so that the terrorists can carry out an act of terrorism here, just so that President Bush "looks bad", and the Dems can use that for political advantage? They wouldn't do that!
Or would they?
Mr. Clements gathered enough signatures to put his plans of having the small town of Weare, NH claim eminent domain over Souter's property so that he can build the "Lost Liberty" Hotel.
State Rep. Neal Kurk, a Weare resident who is sponsoring two pieces of eminent domain legislation in New Hampshire, said he expects the group's proposal to be defeated overwhelmingly.
"Most people here see this as an act of revenge and an improper attack on the judicial system," Kurk said. "You don't go after a judge personally because you disagree with his judgments."
I don't see this as an act of revenge. More that of plain and simple justice over the arrogance of government acts against the rights of property owners.
Negotiations, held in good faith, are far better than conflict, but it remains to be seen whether the Iranians will actually negotiate in good faith or not, considering their history of, as Britain's Foreign Minister Jack Straw said, " ... concealment and deception."
Of course, events in real life have made what was reported in the article slightly dated now. Both Russia and China have backed off of their strong words, hedging their bets, in the hope that the US and other members of the Security Council won't push for Iran to be "referred" for possible political and/or economic sanctions.
It remains to be seen just what Russia and China will agree to, regarding the "Iran question". Hopefully, they will realize that it really is in their best interests to help rein in this rogue regime.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
"On Saturday, Ahmadinejad urged the West to be open-minded enough to allow a free international debate on the real aspects of the Holocaust."
The real aspects? The real aspects are this. The Nazi regime intended to fully exterminate all Jews (along with others such as Gypsy's, those deemed mentally or physically "deficient", people of Slavic descent, etc.) that they could get their hands on, succeeding in slaughtering approximately six million Jews (the number of the others slaughtered will never fully be known). Those are the "real aspects", Mr. Ahmadinejad, no matter how much you, and others like you, want to deny what the "real aspects" of the Holocaust were!
The Holocaust was real. It happened, and no amount of denials, or "conferences" to find the "real aspects" of it, will ever change that fact.
Jessica Lunsford is the Florida girl who was abducted, repeatedly raped, and then buried alive, and then left to die, by a released sex offender. If the various state legislature's had had any back bone, any moral fiber, that released sex offender would not have been released, and Jessica would be alive today.
But there are some who say that a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life may make some victims family members reluctant to testify in a case of a relative being the abuser, as they may want the perpetrator to be punished, but not for that length of time. In many cases currently, where a relative is the abuser, they get a 6 month sentence and "treatment". To those who say that the stiffer penalties are too harsh, I say HOGWASH! A sex offender is a sex offender, whether they are a relative or a stranger. If you do not apply the mandatory sentence that "Jessica's Law" calls for in the case of a relative as the abuser, the you set a double standard, and open the way for sentences to be thrown out in cases of abuse by a stranger. I can guarantee you that the ACLU would be right there to file appeals in that kind of a situation, which we do not need, as the ACLU has done enough damage in sexual abuse cases as it is. Passage of this law would also preclude such sentences as the 60 day sentence recently handed down by a lunatic Vermont Judge, which I posted about here.
This law must be made the law of the land! I urge everyone, of whatever political stripe, to press your legislators to pass this law.
Folks, this stems from Sharia "law", the dogmatically extreme form of "law" found in the "Religion of Peace", Islam. The lesson here is, don't be born female, as no matter what the circumstances, if you are raped, or even seem to appear to not be "chaste", you can, and will be sentenced to death.
If we in the West are not careful and vigilant, this form of "law" will soon come to a town near you. Just ask the Canadians about that.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Many in the so-called "Mainstream Media" were quick to seize on the carefully worded summary statement issued by the 9/11 commission, that said in part, that the commission had found no evidence "indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States" and ran blaring headlines like the one on the June 17, 2004, front page of the New York Times: "Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie."
However, Mr. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn in this other article state that "this was woefully imprecise. It assumed, not unreasonably, that the 9/11 Commission's conclusion was based on a firm foundation of intelligence reporting, that the intelligence community had the type of human intelligence and other reporting that would allow senior-level analysts to draw reasonable conclusions. We know now that was not the case." [Emphasis mine. GW]
Still think Saddam had no links to Al-Qaeda?
Although his piece addresses local issues here in Washington State - such as our under funded state pension plan, regional transportation issues, etc. - it should also apply where you live as well. We all need to press our local, state, and federal elected officials to spend money more wisely on all publicly funded programs and infrastructure.
After all, it's our money they're spending, right?
Sixty DAYS? For putting a little girl through Hell for THREE YEARS? Judge Edward Cashman said that, in handing down the 60 day sentence, that he doesn't believe, after 25 years on the bench, in punishment anymore, that he believes in "rehabilitation". Well isn't that just fine and dandy? This Vermont judge has the unmitigated gall to impose his morality on THIS CASE? He had to pick THIS case? A case where a little girl was repeatedly raped by an adult male, from the time she was SEVEN YEARS OLD to when she turned TEN YEARS OLD? He couldn't have picked say, a simple burglary case, or a jay walking ticket to try out his "I hate punishment" theory on sentencing?
This is just so appallingly outrageous! This judge needs to be removed from the bench immediately, and stripped of his legal credentials. The State of Vermont needs to do whatever it legally can to re-sentence this individual to an appropriate period behind bars, as well.
Another thought just occurred to me. This little girl has to have male relatives that must be ever more outraged at this lunacy than I am (and I'm pretty outraged, if you couldn't tell). What's to prevent them from being at the door of the prison at the end of the 60 day sentence, waiting to "greet" this individual upon his release?
If anyone from Vermont who has any information on what the State can do to reverse this judge's lunatic decision would please let me know what action the state can take, I'd appreciate it.
The US response to this was to issue a warning that implies that if Iran does pursue this, that sanctions may be applied. That's all well and good when applied to nations that take those types of warnings seriously, but we're talking about Iran here. Iran seems to be bound and determined to become a nuclear power, and vague warnings will not deter them from this course.
No, what is needed here is a similar response carried out by the Israeli's against Iraq's nuclear reactor, not more words that Iran will simply ignore. Power mad regimes, such as the one currently in power in Iran, only understand bullets and bombs, not words.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
The revelation that the NSA was doing this - legally, I might add - has been decried far and wide by Dems and the leftist defeatists as 1) a trampling on the civil liberties of US citizens, and 2) a scandal of the highest order because of the supposed trampling of the civil liberties of US citizens, and 3) violations of FISA. (For an excellent recap of FISA, and Presidential authority under FISA, see this article on this same subject by Ed Morrissey, aka The Captain of Captain's Quarters blog.)
First of all, #1 and #3 are linked here, in that, no US citizens were targeted by the activities of the NSA without obtaining the proper warrants from proper authorities, so the "trampling of civil liberties" never happened.
Second, those persons targeted for which no warrants were obtained are not US citizens, or lawful alien residents (US persons), and therefore the protections of FISA do not apply.
Third, because what the NSA did was properly authorized by President Bush, there is nothing scandalous involved with the NSA. However, the real scandal, in my opinion, rests with the NY Times printing this story, giving information to the enemies to our country and way of life, allowing them to know that they are being monitored, and allowing them to change their method of communications, making it more difficult for anti-terrorism forces to ferret them out. I believe that this action by the NY Times constitutes treason of the highest order, and those responsible need to be held accountable.
The only possible reason that I can see for the Dems to do this is to see if they can dig up any "dirt" on any of the people targeted in these information disclosure requests. Rather than rely on proposing new ways of doing things, and then trying to convince the voters that they have a better idea, they are going to continue to lie, cheat, and try to steal elections - in other words, business as usual.
Apparently the Dems feel that they have to do this, as they apparently don't have better ideas on how to do things, and already know that they can't convince the voters to vote for them because of the lack of better ideas, so they have to resort to something like this.
2006 has barely started, and obviously the Dems are already feeling desperation over their dismal chances in 2008!
One problem that Assistant Secretary of State Steve Excell says won't be completely corrected is the use of self storage and mail box store addresses for a home address, as the state has to rely on the counties to do the "leg work" to check addresses to see if indeed they truly are a residential address. But this could easily be done, by checking building permits for self storage units and mail box stores to see if those buildings contain any residential units, because they have to be listed in the permit application. Checking building use permits would identify any and all such addresses that do have a residential use permit, and those that don't! If this simple solution can occur to me, why hasn't it occurred to the powers that be?
Of course, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, and Toronto Mayor David Miller immediately pointed their fingers at the US, saying that it was illegal guns smuggled into Canada from the US that was reason this girl died. However, John Thompson, a security analyst with the Toronto-based Mackenzie Institute, disagreed, saying that Canada has a gang problem, not a gun problem, and that the remarks made by Martin and Miller were a "cop out" in that they were addressing a symptom rather than the whole disease.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. A gun is a tool - nothing more, nothing less. It is not an animate object with a mind of it's own. The person who wields it is completely responsible for how it is used. It was not the guns fault this girl was killed - and her death is a tragedy - it was the fault of the person who had the gun, and decided that he was going to pull the trigger to "settle" an argument.
Mr. Martin and Mr. Miller are both using this as an opportunity to lay blame for their country's problems on the US, instead of addressing the issues that have given rise to the increase in gun violence. Mr. Martin, if you want to blame anyone for this problem, I suggest you look in the mirror first!