Sunday, May 28, 2006

The last full measure of devotion

On this Memorial Day weekend, as we enjoy time away from work, spending it with our families and friends and/or in various pursuits, I'd like you all to take a moment to reflect on the real meaning of this particular holiday, where we honor those who have served in the military, and have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we all enjoy, and all too often take for granted.

To help you do this, I'd like to point you to a
very moving profile written by Alex Leary, a staff writer for the St. Petersburg Times, of one young man, Sgt. Paul R. Smith, who was awarded this nations highest award for valor in combat - the Congressional Medal of Honor - which he received posthumously, for actions in the Iraq War. The Medal was presented to his young son by President Bush on April 4th, 2005. The description of the action in which Sgt. Smith gave his life was pulled together by Mr. Leary through interviews with the men in Sgt. Smith's platoon.

This Memorial Day, please take a moment to reflect on, and gives thanks to, those who have paid for our freedom with their blood.

(Thanks, Supe.)

Kerry revisits Vietnam - again

Recently, Sen. John Kerry gave an interview to the NY Times, revisiting Vietnam, his Swift boat experiences, and the 2004 election in which the organization Swift Boats For Truth played an important role, pointing out discrepancies in Kerry's claims of "heroism".

You'd think Kerry would leave this alone, since it caused him considerable embarrassment, but no, he brings it up again, and Patterico
takes him to task for doing so. Check out all of the links there, as well as the comments.

This guy makes my head hurt, bringing up his made up "hero stories" again ...

(What's the difference between a fairy tale and a "hero story"? A fairy tale begins with, "Once upon a time ..." and a "hero story" begins with, "I remember when we were in Cambodia ...")

Hat tip:

The ballot's in the mail, for all of King County

As reported here, all mail-in voting in King County will begin in 2007. That bodes ill for those of us concerned with free and fair elections, not only in King County, but in Washington State, after the fiasco that was the 2004 election.

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation has compiled a database hi-lighting the criminal activities that occurred throughout Washington State during that election, and the lack of enforcement of the laws on our books (a total of eight people have been prosecuted in KC - eight!). Secretary of State Sam Reed (RINO), sees "no problems" with all mail-in voting (as I've posted about before), nor is he upset in any way with what happened in 2004, saying that the new voter registration database will somehow, mysteriously, make all of those "problems" disappear.


The state voter registration database will not stop people from attempting voter fraud - neither by an individual voter, nor by a county employee working in a county elections department - nor will all mail-in voting. The best that the state voter registration database will do is keep voter fraud to a minimum, while all mail-in voting will only increase opportunities for those who desire to commit fraud to do so.

Note: RCW means Revised Code of Washington, while WAC means Washington Administrative Code, both of which comprise the laws of Washington State.

Threats Followed FBI Search of Congressman's Office

As reported here, the House of Representatives threatened the Justice Department with budget cuts after the FBI raided - with a legally obtained, court ordered, search warrant, mind you - the Congressional offices of Rep. William Jefferson (D - LA). That threat was apparently countered by threats of resignation by top Justice officials, including AG Gonzales and FBI Director Mueller.

"After the raid, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill, lodged a protest directly with Bush, demanding that the FBI return the materials. Bush struck a compromise Thursday, ordering that the documents be sealed for 45 days until congressional leaders and the Justice Department agree on what to do with them." [Emphasis mine]

"House leaders acknowledged Friday that FBI agents with a court-issued warrant can legally search a congressman's office, but they said they want procedures established."

They want "procedures established"? I have news for the House 'leaders' - there already are procedures in place. The way it works is, during an investigation (in this case, possible bribery/corruption charges against Rep. Jefferson), information obtained during the investigation leads the investigators to believe that there is probable cause that more information that will help the investigation may be available to them at the subjects residence or place of work, or both. They then take that information and present it to a judge, and asks for a search warrant. Then, if the judge deems the probable cause aspect is legitimate, then issues said requested search warrant, which the investigators then serve on the subject.

Most Legislators are lawyers, right? Then, why don't they seem to understand these procedures for obtaining a search warrant, and conducting a search? Is it that they want to be informed of a pending search beforehand, so they can get rid of any potentially incriminating evidence? Sure seems that way to me.

The fact that the 'House leaders' seem to see themselves as above getting the same treatment by investigators as ordinary citizens - and remember that our nation is based on equal treatment by the law - by having "special procedures and protocols" put in place just for them, is the height of arrogance on the part of these people, and extremely repugnant.

Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr has
a few choice words for the 'House leaders' as well.

Robert F. Turner has
something to say about this, as well, and he's just as incensed over the 'House leaders' obvious attitude that they think they are above the law, as I am.

Tax plan for city roads

As reported here, Mayor of Seattle Greg Nichols is proposing hefty new taxes, that he says will raise $1.8 billion dollars over the next twenty years to pay for transportation infrastructure repairs and improvements. Granted, these repairs and improvements are sorely needed here (as anyone who endures some of the bone jarring commutes here will tell you), but this is the completely wrong way to go about paying for it. Among the new taxes:

- a 10% tax on commercial parking lots and garages;
- a $25.00 per full time employee tax on businesses with gross receipts of over $50,000.00 annually;
- an increase of 45 cents per $1,000.00 of assessed value on property.

The first two only need approval by the city council, while the last would have to be placed before, and approved by a simple majority of, voters.

Here are the problems with this.

First of all, the state is getting Business and Occupation tax from the owners of commercial parking lots and garages, while the county is getting property tax from them, while the owners are having to pay parking attendants an hourly wage, plus pay to the state various other fees and taxes for each hour each employee works, and now the city wants to tax them 10% more? What's to prevent the owners from laying off all of their employees who probably make more than minimum wage, and turning around and hiring fewer people back at minimum wage? That reduces the amount of money going back into the economy through fewer employees getting paid lower wages.

Secondly, the per-employee tax will (not might, not maybe, not possibly - will!) result in businesses becoming unwilling to hire more people, as the per-employee tax will cut into whatever profit margin the company has (and if large enough, that would be a concern to shareholders), the result of which will be what I outlined above. Another possible related action taken by businesses is that they will consider - as Boeing actually did - relocating to a more business friendly locale, taking even more jobs away from Seattle.

Lastly, the increase on the property tax will see more people not being able to afford to live in Seattle, eventually causing an exodus to less expensive areas, and a collapse of the housing market here in Seattle, which would be a major blow to one of the strongest elements of our economy - residential construction - resulting in more loss of jobs, resulting in less money available to consumers, resulting in lower revenues for the city, county and the state.

Mayor Nichols, and his socialist, nanny-state, cohorts are completely ignoring what is going on with the national economy, and the reason for it. The national economy is booming, recording growth for the fifth straight year, with record revenues streaming into the Treasury. And the reason for this? The Bush tax cuts. While the Dems consistently seek new ways to separate you from your money by creating new taxes thinking this will increase revenues, President Bush has pushed through tax cuts, which have left more money in consumers pockets for them to spend as they see fit, which has increased revenues at a record pace. The same thing happened when President Reagan cut taxes, and when President Kennedy did it!

Note to Mayor Nichols: If even President John F. Kennedy - a Democrat - knew that to grow the economy and increase revenues, you cut taxes, why don't you know that?

Get a clue, ok?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A minor change, updated

I've made a minor change to the site, removing the Holoscan comment/trackback system, and reverting to the Blogspot comment/trackback system, for a couple of reasons.

One is that I couldn't moderate comments through Holoscan, as I can through Blogspot, and more than one person had informed me that they found trying to leave a comment via Holoscan was somewhat confusing. So, bye-bye Holoscan.

If you want to leave a comment to any of our posts, simply click on the word 'comment(s)', at the lower right at the end of the post, type your comment in the little pop-up dialogue box and click 'publish' when you're finished.

Update: The change is now in effect. I didn't delete one string of code before, but it's fixed now.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Thieves Steal Personal Data of 26.5M Vets

As reported here, thieves broke into the home of a VA employee, stealing the laptop he took home from work, that contained the personal information of at least 26.5 million veterans who were discharged from the military after 1975.

Lovely, just lovely ... that group above includes me.

An investigation into the theft is being conducted by the FBI, and by VA investigators, and the folks at the Federal Trade Commission have alerted the credit bureaus to be alert to any type of fraud activity relating to this theft. There is also a hotline you can call if you feel that you have been a victim of identity theft - 1-800-FED-INFO - plus an information page for veterans regarding this situation, that you can find here.

If you are a veteran of the US Military who was discharged after 1975, pay particular attention to your financial statements - credit card, bank, investment statements, etc. - and check that information web page often. So far, the investigators don't think the thieves know exactly what they got when they stole the laptop, but someone will find out that will know what's on that laptop, and they will use it.

Let's hope that the FBI and the VA investigators recover this soon.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Iran eyes badges for Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims

As originally reported by (but which has since been removed from their web site), "Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims."

The law, which must still be approved by Iran's "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenehi before being put into effect, also establishes special insignia to be worn by non-Muslims.

Iran's roughly 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear blue cloth."

If this report is true, it is outrageous and reminiscent of Nazi Germany, but not surprising after all of the previous anti-Semitic comments made by the lunatic running Iran. What is surprising to me, is that the yellow strips that Jews will be required to wear if and when this law passes won't be in the shape of the Star of David, as was the requirement under the Nazi's. Of course, that could become a requirement.

Hat tip:

BREAKING NEWS. As reported here, there is a scramble by various world governments to attempt to verify this report, accompanied by denunciations of the reported legislation if it is true.

More breaking news.
Free Republic has the original report reproduced here, and if you want more information regarding this, go here - tons of links!

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

As this years mid-term elections draw ever closer, Democrats have been screeching for some time now about the 'Republican culture of corruption', yet somehow, they remain silent about allegations against members of their own party, such as Jefferson and Mollohan.

The finger pointing began during the investigation into lobbyist Jack Abramoff, with the screeching coming into full voice with the admission by, and conviction of, former Republican Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, with the Democrats attempting to take the 'moral high ground' by portraying themselves as being 'pure'.

However, as reported
here, with investigations against Jefferson and Mollohan (as well as Republican Ney), that 'card' won't be as effective as Democrats once hoped. Republicans aren't the only ones who have engaged in corrupt activities, or had links to Abramoff, which you can see for yourself here. I also remember some prominent Democrats from the past who were involved in corruption, such as the first Mayor Daley of Chicago, and Huey Long of Louisiana, not to mention all of the Union heads who have predominantly been Democrats, who were convicted of corruption and sent to prison.

Perhaps I'm being cynical here, but in my opinion, politics in general is conducive to corruption. If you are in politics, and are greedy by nature, you will become involved in corruption, no matter what party you are affiliated with, so the Democrats attempt at portraying themselves as being above the temptation to succumb to corruption is baseless, hypocritical, and insulting to the intelligence of the American people.

All I can say to the Democrats is, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, and those who are involved in corruption - from either side of the political aisle - need to be caught and punished.

Mexicans see insult, danger in border plan

As reported here, Mexicans feel "insulted" that we want to protect our borders, and stem the tide of illegal immigration.

Well, isn't that just too bad.

"Alfredo Martinez, 56, a tomato seller at an open-air market, shook his head when asked about Bush's plan to send 6,000 National Guard troops to help police the 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border.

His 22-year-old son crossed the border illegally last year and now sends money home every month from his job in a New York City deli. "I don't think he'll be able to come back and visit for a while," Martinez said. "It's a shame. There should be a way to recognize the work we do up north, a way to see us as laborers and not delinquents.""

There is a way, Mr. Martinez. It's called entering the country legally. When people enter the country legally, we do recognize the work they do, and do not consider them 'delinquents'. However, when people enter the country illegally, they are then criminals (although not prosecuted for that crime, simply deported when caught, through the "catch-and-release" "plan"), just like the illegals who enter your country, Mr. Martinez.

""I don't understand why the United States must take such a repressive attitude toward us," said Agustin Melgar, 45, who works in the same open-air market as Martinez near Chapultepec Park in the city center. "It's insulting. We all know there's a mutual demand: The gringos need our cheap labor, and we want better pay.""

Well, pardon us for insulting you, Mr. Melgar, for being so 'repressive' in our attitude about you people entering our country illegally. You want 'repressive'? Look at what your own country does with the illegals that they catch. Does the Mexican Government do the "catch-and-release" thing, like ours does? Oh, heck no. It is a FELONY to be in Mexico illegally (it's in their Constitution!), so if you are caught, you go to jail! And you say that the "catch-and-release" method of stemming the illegal alien tide is 'repressive'?

Oh, please!

"Ruben Aguilar, a spokesman for Mexican President Vicente Fox, said Monday that a security-first policy at the border would not solve the problems created by illegal immigration."

Maybe not, but it would certainly do more than what we are doing now!

"Fox has said he prefers a plan that would offer some form of legal status for all undocumented Mexicans now in the USA."

But of course, as that would solve a lot of his problems, such as over-population and a stagnant economy that is producing virtually zero new jobs, and make him look like Zapata getting over on the gringo's.

"The government began to change its message on Tuesday. Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez warned that the United States might face lawsuits if the increased troop presence on the border resulted in human rights abuses. "If we see the National Guard starting to directly participate in detaining people ... we would immediately start filing lawsuits through our consulates," he told Radio Red, a Mexico City radio station."

Oh, really? What about the direct involvement of your own military and police forces in the smuggling of both people and drugs into our country, Secretary Derbez? What about that, hmmm?

And just where would you be filing those law suits, Secretary Derbez? At the "World Court"? Go ahead. We don't recognize that court as having jurisdiction over the US, so that would be about as effective as trying to empty the Pacific Ocean with a teaspoon.

"Andrés Manuel Lpez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor who is running for president in July elections, said Tuesday that Fox's government is "mostly responsible. ... There are no jobs in Mexico, so people need to emigrate.""

Well, it's nice to see that at least someone (on either side of the border) gets it! I think I like this guy.

"Felipe de Jess Caldern Hinojosa, the presidential candidate of Fox's party, said Monday that he understands the U.S. government's desire to protect its borders, but adding troops there will only "increase the social and human costs for immigrants.""

I have a real easy solution to that 'increase in social and human costs', Mr. Hinojosa. Keep the "immigrants" at home! While you're at it, do something about your own economy, so people will have jobs at home, so they will be less inclined to come up here, wreaking havoc on our economy!

""We realize that the discussion over how to manage the border has now turned into a win-lose game between the Republicans and Democrats," said Humberto Garza, an expert on Mexican foreign relations at the College of Mexico. "But it's an insult to Mexicans. This discussion clearly lacks foresight. It ignores the fact that no matter how tight you make the border, people will still find a way to cross.""

Trying to protect our borders from illegals entering our country is an insult, while your country has made it a FELONY to enter your country illegally, and when you catch an illegal "immigrant", your courts prosecute them to the fullest extent of your laws, Mr. Garza? An insult? Don't you think it is insulting to those of us who pay taxes in our country when we have to pay billions of dollars for the health and education of those from your country who have entered our country illegally? People that could, and should, be taken care of at home, if only your country would get its' act together, and straighten out your economy.

The last time I checked, the US government - and by implication, the people of the US - respects the sovereign borders of the nation of Mexico. Is it too much to ask that the Mexican government - and again by implication, the people of Mexico - respect our sovereign borders as well?

The fact that our sovereign borders are not respected by the government of Mexico is the real insult here, not our desire to protect our sovereign borders.

Put Saddam back in power?

Kevin Dooley, a student at the University of Massachusetts wrote an amateurish excuse for a column/essay, posted here, in which he advocates the restoration of Saddam Hussein to power, as the only way to restore order and stability to Iraq. In Mr. Dooley's essay, he makes several false assertions, probably due to the fact that he apparently did no research other than to read an article in the New York Times, and the Sunday Times of London, articles which he provides no links to, even though he essay was posted on line.

Mr. Dooley, in the future, please provide links to articles that form the basis of your essays, so that those of us who read your essays may check your sources and make up our minds as to the veracity of your assertions. Not providing links is both rude, and shows a certain amount of laziness on your part, in my opinion. But, I digress, as I believe that I know the reason(s) why Mr. Dooley did not provide any links. Read on.

Put Saddam Hussein back in power
[by] Kevin Dooley
Posted: 5/17/06
In an article in the United Kingdom's Sunday Times, it was reported that Saddam Hussein told one of his defense lawyers that he was ready to die."I am not scared of execution," said the former brutal dictator of Iraq. While Saddam Hussein awaits the almost certain guilty verdict to be handed down in his ongoing trial, which resumed this week, he has taken up writing some of his own poetry. Here's a sample of his work from "Ode to Iraq""My spirit is still standing firm and will not fall,And in my body runs the blood of the great.Oh Iraq you are crowned in the heartAnd on the tongue you are the poem of the poets.Oh Iraq misfortune has shaken your sword, so stand tallAnd gather your strength without bearing a grudge."Even though Saddam may have all the time in the world now to write poetry (at least until he is publicly hanged), Saddam is needed somewhere else. And it's not as a writing instructor in a creative writing class here at the
University of Massachusetts. Instead, Saddam Hussein needs to be put back in power as president/dictator of Iraq immediately.

Mr. Dooley starts out ok in his little essay, correctly identifying Saddam as a 'brutal dictator', and stating that Saddam will surely hang at the conclusion of his trial, but then he veers off into fantasy-land by stating that Saddam needs to be re-installed into power, and 'immediately', at that, as if that will end the killing. Nothing could be further from the truth, as evidenced by the current charges against Saddam. Saddam is on trial for ordering the revenge killing of Shiites after the failed assassination attempt. Does Mr. Dooley really think Saddam would suddenly become an 'enlightened leader', if released from his trial and re-installed in power? If so, then Mr. Dooley is woefully naive. But wait, there's more.

Ever since Saddam Hussein was ousted from power in 2003, Iraq has been nothing short of a disaster area.

As 'reported', in a biased and distorted manner, by the MSM. The 'disaster area' as Mr. Dooley calls it, is limited to a very small portion of the country, a fact which is never mentioned by the MSM, due to the fact that most 'reporters' never even venture out of the Green Zone. What also isn't being reported, of course, are the numbers of schools, hospitals, water purification plants, and other infrastructure being built, that had either languished under Saddam's rule (because that would have benefited Shiite area's), or had been damaged or destroyed in the war; the number of children now enrolled in school; the number of new businesses that have sprung up as the Iraqi economy is growing by leaps and bounds. Most of this information could have been found at Arthur Chrenkoff's (now defunct, but still available)
blog, among others.

The once secular nation has seen the rise of sectarian violence, mainly involving the Shiite and Sunni Muslims in their ongoing attempt to seize power in the chaotic political landscape. Some have said the way to solve the problem of sectarian violence in Iraq is to just simply split the country into three separate nations. After all, Iraq has only been an independent nation since 1932.

Long before Britain granted the country independence, the region was divided into three separate provinces under the Ottoman Empire. The problem with this plan, as Anthony Cordesman writes in his New York Times article "Three Iraq's would be one big problem," is that Iraq is not divided along a neat set of sectarian lines. As a result, the effort to divide Iraq along sectarian lines would result in massive "relocations." In addition, there would be fights over the control of oil in Iraq. According to Cordesman's article, "90 percent of Iraq's government revenues come from oil exports."

So if dividing the country along sectarian lines is not the solution to creating regional stability, what is? Like I said earlier, all you have to do is tell Saddam Hussein he is back in power. Say what you want about the guy, and yes, I know he is a brutal dictator who is responsible for countless lives being lost, but he was the only one it seems that was able to keep the Shiite and Sunni Muslims from going at each other's throats. When Saddam Hussein was ousted from power, it created a political vacuum which the majority of Iraqis filled by democratically electing a Shiite government. However, this election has only alienated the Sunni Muslims in Iraq, and was one of the factors in the Shiite mosque being blown up a few months ago. The solution to this entire mess is to put Saddam back in power.

Mr. Dooley at least (possibly) did some research, it appears, as he does put forth some factual history about Iraq, but then once again, he veers off into fantasy-land, stating that the 'only way' to restore 'regional stability' is to re-install Saddam to power, because Saddam was the 'only one' that could keep the Shiites and Sunnis from fighting among themselves. That was because Saddam made sure that the Shiites didn't have guns, and that also presupposes that there is no one else in Iraq that is capable of effective leadership. Saying that there is (apparently) no one else in Iraq who is capable of being an effective leader, is akin to the astronomers in the last century stating that there was absolutely no possibility that other planets existed around other stars, which has since been proven to be a false assertion. Mr. Dooley's assertion that Saddam is the 'only one' that can stop the in-fighting between the Shiites and the Sunnis is equally false.

Like many people have said before, Saddam Hussein was absolutely no threat to the United States. The Bush administration blatantly lied to us when they said Saddam Hussein had ties to the terrorist organization Al-Qaida.

Mr. Dooley again presents a false assertion here, saying that Saddam was 'no threat' to the US, and that the Bush administration 'blatantly lied' to us about Saddam' ties to Al-Qaida. As more and more of the millions of captured Iraqi documents are being translated, we are seeing that, yes indeed, Saddam's regime did in fact have ties to OBL and Al-Qaida, the fact of which has apparently totally escaped Mr. Dooley's attention. Mr. Dooley would have known that his assertion was false had he done just a little research into this by going to
this web site. The fact is that, Saddam was a direct threat to not only the US, but to the region and the rest of the world, through his direct links to OBL and Al-Qaida.

As a result of the U.S. invasion, however, Iraq has become a recruiting dream for Al-Qaida. Sadly, Iraqis didn't dance and throw roses at our troops when they arrived on the scene. Instead, Iraqis grew bitter and desperate as they saw their country stampeded by American troops under the orders of President Bush. The desperation has led many Iraqis to turn towards Islamic Fundamentalism as a way to fight back against the imperialistic United States. Without any doubt, Iran will soon be looking to extend their extreme Islamic teachings to desperate Iraqis who are looking for anything to cling onto as they watch their country be torn apart.

So, Mr. Dooley, would you prefer we fight Al-Qaida on the streets of, say Cambridge, or Boston perhaps, rather than the streets of Ramadi or Baghdad? Where would you like us to fight Al-Qaida, for Al-Qaida recruits radical Muslims from all over the world, not just in Iraq?

As for people being resentful of, and becoming desperate because of the so-called 'imperialistic Americans stampeding' through their country, most Iraqi's actually did rejoice at the toppling of Saddam's regime. You must not have been watching CNN at that time. Those Iraqi's who you say have turned to Islamic fundamentalism were already there in the first place, or if not, were leaning towards that way of thinking anyway. And let us not forget that the vast majority of those who are engaged in fighting against the Coalition and Iraqi forces are primarily made up of Sunni Muslims, and Islamo-fascist terrorists from other countries.

And let us not forget the claim by the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Now, you would think that our government would be able to easily tell our troops where to find these weapons, since it was the United States who sold Saddam Hussein these lethal weapons when Iraq was at war with Iran. Back in the 1980s, Saddam was in fact a friend of the United States when they were at war with the "dangerous" Iranian nation, which was then under an extreme Islamic fundamentalist leadership (and still is) that had grown hostile towards the United States.

The Bush administration was not the only government that stated that Saddam had an arsenal of WMD's. The Europeans also made that claim, as well as the Clinton administration, and both of the Senators from Massachusetts, but those facts are inconvenient to your essay, which is obviously why you decided to omit them. As for the lack of discovered stockpiles of WMD's? According to the Israeli Mossad and other intelligence services, they were transported to both Syria and Iran just prior to the invasion.

Mr. Dooley, why did you enclose the word 'dangerous' in quote marks when you referred to Iran, implying that Iran was not dangerous? After the fall of the Shah, when the extremists came to power in Iran, one of their first priorities was to establish terrorist groups, or ties to existing terrorist groups, in Lebanon and the so-called 'occupied territories'. You don't consider that dangerous? Oh, and let's not forget that the Iranians stormed the US Embassy in Teheran - which is a blatant act of war - and held Americans hostage for 444 days, ok?

And calling Saddam a 'friend' is only true in the sense of "any enemy of my enemies is my friend". Saddam needed money and weapons to pursue his act of aggression against the Iranians, an act which I'll grant we did encourage, for the reasons stated above.

So, in my opinion, the only way that we can bring home our troops immediately and at the same time bring back some regional stability to Iraq before we invaded is to have Saddam Hussein regain power. Despite the fact that this is the same man who during the Gulf War I thought was going to steal all my presents under the Christmas tree. It's sobering to know that the only person who can bring back order to a chaotic nation is one of the most brutal dictators in history, but it is necessary in order to bring home our troops and to make sure Al-Qaida and Iran do not gain more influence in Iraq than they already have as a result of the invasion.

Mr. Dooley's opinion is that the only way to 'bring our troops home immediately' is to restore one of the most brutal dictators in history to power, which would bring 'stability back to the region', and to ensure that Al-Qaida and Iran do not gain more influence in Iraq. Again, Mr. Dooley makes the false assertion that Saddam is the 'only one' who can 'restore order' in Iraq. Mr. Dooley does not know, or least makes no statements regarding, any of the other people in Iraq that are involved, or may become involved, in the political process in Iraq, so in stating that Saddam is the 'only one' that is capable shows a glaring ignorance on the part of Mr. Dooley. Considering that Mr. Dooley is a student at an institution of higher learning, his obvious ignorance, and his total disregard of honest research, is breathtakingly astonishing. Mr. Dooley is, however, entitled to his opinion, but as the saying goes, "It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.".

Restoring Saddam to power would be a disaster of untold magnitude, which even the Arab neighbors of Iraq know. Withdrawing our troops immediately would also be a disaster, which again, even the Arab neighbors of Iraq know, but apparently those two facts escape Mr. Dooley.
Restore Saddam to power? An absolutely ludicrous concept.

Kevin Dooley is a Collegian columnist.

Note to The Collegian – do you allow all of your columnists to do such sloppy work, or just Mr. Dooley?

Hat tip:
Reality Hammer

Four good ideas regarding Iran

Here are four good ideas on what to do regarding Iran and their pursuit of nuclear weapons that would not require the US to fire a single shot, that definitely need a long and hard look.

I'm wondering if anyone in the White House reads the WSJ's

Hat tip:

More paralysis through analysis

As reported here, the SR-99 Viaduct 'retrofit' idea is going to get another look see, as the people pushing for a retrofit have come up with a different idea. Their idea would not require the Viaduct to be shut down during the work they propose, but, their idea would only last an estimated 30 years, instead of the 70 to 100 years estimated for a replacement, whether that replacement in a new elevated structure or a tunnel.

The Viaduct was severely damaged in the Nisqually earthquake of 2001, requiring extensive 'band-aid' repairs while the powers that be wrangle over what to do about the problem. It is now 2006, and the powers that be don't expect any work to begin for another two years.

The powers that be are making an assumption that 'Mother Nature' will lay dormant during this time, hoping that another earthquake won't occur before they finally get around to doing something about this disaster waiting to happen, and we all should know what happens when you assume, right?

An earthquake could happen today, and if it did, a lot of the estimated 110,000 vehicles that use the road on a daily basis would be in for a nasty surprise, similar to what happened to the elevated freeway in California that had a catastrophic collapse during one of their earthquakes.

It is not a question of IF there will be another earthquake, but WHEN. We need a solution to this situation NOW that will last for more than 30 years, not more studies.

Note to the powers that be: it is beyond time to fish or cut bait. Doing another study does not get us closer to a solution.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Prof quits to protest Rice invite

As reported here, Boston College adjunct professor of English Steve Almond, in an open letter to Boston College President William Leahy that was published in the Boston Globe newspaper, has resigned his position to protest Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice being chosen as the commencement speaker at the Jesuit institution, calling Rice 'a liar'.

Almond bases his accusations against Sec. Rice on
this document (PDF format), prepared by Dem staffers for Henry Waxman, asserting in his letter that "... during the build-up to the war, Rice "made 29 false or misleading public statements concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and links to al-Qaida ..."", quoting directly from the document as 'proof' that she is a liar.

I don't know Sec. Rice personally (but wish I did), but from my observations of her during her time as National Security Advisor, and now as the Secretary of State, I highly doubt that Sec. Rice could even remotely be considered to be 'a liar'. From what I have observed, she is eminently qualified for her current position due to her high moral integrity, honesty, and forthrightness, which also makes her eminently qualified to be commencement speaker at Boston College.

Mr. Almond, on the other hand ... well, suffice it to say that I am personally glad that I do not know him (and I don't want to, either), and that he is no longer in a position of influence over impressionable minds.

New Traces of Weapons-Grade Uranium Found in Iran

As reported here, inspectors from the IAEA have found new traces of highly enriched uranium at a facility linked to the Iranian military. Although they say that the tests are preliminary, and that more tests need to be done, the initial results show that the uranium has been enriched to, and possibly beyond, that needed for a nuclear weapon.

I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it: Iran does not need to develop nuclear facilities to generate electricity, considering their vast oil and natural gas resources! Despite what they claim to the contrary, their ultimate goal in developing nuclear technology is to possess nuclear weapons.

And then we have
this ludicrous statement coming from the head of the IAEA himself, Mohamed ElBaradei, saying "Friday that the world should be more worried about nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists than about Iran's nuclear program.

Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said there is no military solution to the standoff with Iran over its determination to continue its uranium enrichment program.

But ElBaradei said the risk terrorists could acquire a nuclear weapon was of greater concern.

"Terrorists are a different thing," he told a Dutch television program. "The fear of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons is much more, in my view ... than a country acquiring nuclear weapons right now.""

Mr. ElBaradei, just who do you think is the greatest state sponsor of terrorists? Malta, perhaps? NO, you imbecilic idiot! It's IRAN! Don't you think that once the Iranians possess nuclear weapons that they would happily hand off a small nuclear device to one of their cohorts to use in a terrorist attack against, say, the US?

Geez, Louise, get your head out of your ... the sand.

State culls 55,000 names from voter database

As reported here, "About 55,000 voter registrations have been scrubbed from the state's new elections database after investigators found duplicate entries and dead voters on the rolls, Secretary of State Sam Reed said Friday.

The purge of illegal registrations is the result of months of work by county and state elections officials, who began combing the new statewide voter database after its launch in January."

This is a start, which is encouraging, but it isn't enough in my opinion. For one thing, they aren't culling the names of felons who have not had their voting rights restored, as they are waiting on the appeal by AG McKenna to the ludicrous ruling handed down by a judge saying that felons can't be denied their 'right' to vote, simply because they haven't paid all of their fines and fees, which I posted about here, and here.

Moussaoui Begins Serving Life Sentence

As reported here, convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui was transferred from a detention facility in Virginia to the 'Supermax' prison in Colorado, to begin serving his life, without the possibility of parole, sentence.

Welcome to Colorado, you swine. I hope you like snow.

NSA telephone call database "deeply disturbing"

In this opinion piece in the New York Sun regarding the NSA database of telephone calls, they make mention that Sen. H.R. Clinton (D-NY) is 'deeply disturbed' by this 'revelation'.

Why are the Dems all up in arms about this, when then-President Bill Clinton signed into law the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Apparently the Dems, who were in control of the House, Senate and White House, thought it was a prudent measure to enact this law, but now that they are the minority party in both the House and Senate, and do not control the White House, it is not prudent for President Bush to use this law to actually protect America from its' enemies. And why isn't it prudent for President Bush to use this law to protect America? Because he's not a Dem.

Sen. Clinton needs to talk to her husband, and ask him why he signed that bill into law, so that she isn't so 'deeply disturbed'.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Iran Threatens to Quit Nuclear Treaty

As reported here, the Iranian parliament has threatened to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if pressure by the US on Iran to stop nuclear enrichment doesn't stop.

Big deal. They have already decided to not follow the NPT anyway, including, and especially the Additional Protocol to the NPT, which allows countries to bar surprise inspections by the IAEA, which they have discontinued allowing since January.

"Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi insisted Sunday that there was nothing the international community could do to force Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, declaring that "intervention by the Security Council in this issue is completely illegal."

"Intervention by the U.N. Security Council would change the path of cooperation to confrontation. We recommend they do not do this," Asefi said."

What cooperation? The Iranian government has been involved in lies and obfuscation for decades regarding their nuclear ambitions, and they have already bragged about it, and continue to this day! If they want to avoid confrontation, they need to come clean on this issue, stop the confrontational rhetoric, and stop enriching uranium.

But it's obvious that they won't stop the confrontational rhetoric, or the lies, or the enriching of uranium, as they want nuclear weapons, and a confrontation with the West so they can use those weapons, to show how big and tough they are. Well, I have news for the lunatic "in charge" of Iran - you aren't the biggest dog in the yard.

I think it's beyond time that they be reminded of that.

Arab distrust of Iran gains momentum

As reported here, Gulf Arabs are becoming more anxious about what the lunatic in Iran is doing regarding the enrichment of uranium, fearing pollution and radioactive fallout should there be a nuclear meltdown.

Even some editorialists are getting anxious enough, as "... the unease showed itself in a front-page editorial this week in Kuwait's Al-Siyassah daily. Iran, it said, was engaged in a "boyish politics." The newspaper further declared that the Americans have the right to "guarantee the security of the (region's) oil fields... and oil's export routes."". This is in response to Iran's "Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi warn[ing that] his nation had "control over the biggest and most sensitive energy route of the world.""

It's heartening to know that even Arabs are becoming distressed over what the Iranians are doing, but as the silence remains from the Arab world in the greater war on global terrorism, as Abdul Khaleq Abdullah, of Emirates University, asks, ""Where is Gulf diplomacy? Why are they shying away?""

Why, indeed?

Howard Dean to Fight Voter ID Statute

As reported here, DNC Chairman Howard Dean is joining with the Indiana Democratic Party in a fight against Indiana's law requiring people have a photo ID before they can vote, saying that the law will prevent some people from voting, while "Indiana Democratic Party executive director Mike Edmonson says it's important to appeal the ruling to make sure every voter gets a chance to cast a ballot."

How ludicrous! What is so hard about getting a photo ID? If someone wants to vote badly enough, if they care about the political process enough, they will find a way to obtain valid photo ID. It's just that simple. But the Dems don't want people to be made to prove who they really are, as they know that the vast majority of those who want to commit voter fraud, vote for them, and they know they need all the votes they can get, whether those votes are legitimate or not.

I don't know how they do things in Indiana, but in Washington State, you can obtain valid state photo ID in two ways. Either you can apply, and pass the tests, for a drivers license, or, you can pay a nominal fee to have a state photo ID card (after providing proof of who you are). It isn't hard to get either of those two forms of valid, state recognized, photo IDs here, and unless the state of Indiana has enormously difficult laws in place preventing some people from obtaining valid, state recognized, photo Ids, I simply don't understand what the problem with this law is.

As "supporters of the new law, including Indiana Republican Party Chairman Murray Clark, say the state's voter identification law will help secure elections in Indiana." What's wrong with that?

Oh, wait. Silly me. What was I thinking? A clean election does not favor the Dems.

Executive Pleads Guilty to Bribing Congressman's Family

As reported here, "The chief executive of a high-tech company in Kentucky pleaded guilty Wednesday to paying more than $400,000 in bribes to the family of Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.), a prominent Africa trade expert in the House who remains under investigation for allegedly taking the payoffs.", and if this scheme hadn't been discovered, that sum could have been much, much higher.

Although Rep. Jefferson has not been indicted yet, and we presume someone is innocent until proven guilty in this country, this does not look good for Rep. Jefferson, at all as, "Federal law enforcement officials said Jefferson could be indicted as early as next month, and that others were likely to be snared in the investigation." A former aide to Rep. Jefferson has already pled guilty in this scheme.

Now, just what was it the Dems were saying about a "culture of corruption"?

Iranian leader plans to spread wealth

As reported here, the lunatic running Iran may be pushing his country into economic ruin, as he proposes spending billions "to help the poor", as critics of his proposed budget worry that the budget relies too heavily on oil profits.

"Signs that some see as troubling have already emerged. After Ahmadinejad lowered interest rates this month in a bid to decrease inflation, Iranians pulled their money from banks, rushing to buy gold coins. And while he is offering loans to encourage small business ventures in the hope of creating jobs, investor confidence seems to be wobbling, which could lead to a reluctance to invest in local industries.

Last summer, after news that Iran had resumed nuclear work prompted international concern, investors withdrew from the market and stock prices plummeted. They have rebounded only slightly since reaching their lowest levels to date in October, and persistent inflation and unemployment have fanned domestic discontent.

"The government has reached the conclusion that it needs to spend large sums of money immediately to keep its allies and the masses of people happy," Muhammad Sadeq Jannansefat, an economic analyst, wrote in the reformist daily Shargh last month as Parliament battled over the budget. He suggested that Ahmadinejad, who came to power in June on a populist mandate, was using the oil money to placate his supporters.

The government, Jannansefat wrote, "wants to distribute money and create jobs, no matter what the consequences are or what kind of jobs it is creating."

Ismail Jabarzadeh, an opposition member of Parliament, predicted that Ahmadinejad's policies could lead to an inflation rate of 20 percent in a country where inflation stands at about 14 percent, according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund. "But political upheavals, such as the pressures on our nuclear program, can increase the 20 percent," he said in a recent interview.
Ahmadinejad defended his economic performance at a news conference this week, saying that his government had started to distribute "justice shares" of government industries among the poor in four provinces. Years of mismanagement, however, have left most state-run industries in disarray, and the shares were of little value.

The president also said unemployment has fallen in the eight months since he took office, but a report by the International Monetary Fund in March stated that the figure has continued to hover at around 11 percent."

So, the lunatic is doling out funds that his country cannot afford, to placate the masses, and has begun to distribute worthless "justice shares" in government run industries to the poor.
That sure looks like Soviet-style policies to me, and we all know what happened to the Soviet Union, don't we?

All I can say to the lunatic is, keep it up. Your days in power will dwindle, the more you do this this, as the common people of Iran will eventually tire of the high inflation and unemployment rates, and (hopefully) will take matters into their own hands.