Friday, March 31, 2006

The "tough, yet smart" Democratic strategy... pictures of Osama with a soul patch

Iowahawk... brilliant as always.

HARRY: Like millions of patriotic Americans, Nancy and I, along with our Democratic colleagues in Congress, are concerned about our rapidly deteriorating national security situation. Nearly five years after the tragic events of 9/11, not only is our country wracked by record economic misery, low teacher salaries, expensive senior prescriptions, and widespread leprosy, it also remains at risk for illegal attacks from the terrorist Osama bin Laden. Meanwhile, the Bush administration has us mired in a disastrous unrelated civil war in Iraq, consuming billions of your taxpayer dollars that could be spent on preserving Social Security and community health care block grants for America's starving teachers.

NANCY: We can better do!

HARRY: You bet we can, Nancy. That's why we've purchase space on America's abandoned and neglected websites to present the Democratic vision for a smart, yet tough new national security concept that makes a clean break with the discredited and dangerous policies of this administration. As you can see by the American flags behind us, this is a smart and tough new approach, embodied in a comprehensive plan that was developed by some of America's foremost military minds: Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger, Markos Zuniga, and former General Wesley Clarke -- the celebrated "Falcon of the Balkans." We call our plan "Operation Steel Gazelle" -- strong and tough like steel, but smart and agile like the gazelle, as it nimbly eludes its hungry predators.

NANCY: Tell, us more Harry.

HARRY: Well Nancy, the first phase of our multi-faceted plan focuses on the number one key to restoring national security: getting Osama bin Laden. Even as we speak, this dangerous fugitive is still on the loose. As the leader of a Democratic majority in Congress, I will make sure that the head Army and Navy generals get a clear and unambiguous message: "Get Osama" is "Job One."

NANCY: But it is important to do smart too!

HARRY: That's right, Nancy. That's why our tough, no-nonsense emails to the generals will include pictures of Osama bin Laden, so they will know who to get.

NANCY: But whats about disguises?

HARRY: Way ahead of you Nancy! Using state-of-the-art PhotoShop smart computers, we will create simulated pictures of Osama bin Laden wearing a mustache, soul patch, trucker hat, and so on, and these will also be included in our emails. Then, the generals will distribute the pictures to the soldiers, and they can then make a surprise attack at Pakistan and get Osama bin Laden, no matter his latest look. Imagine the looks on the terrorists' faces!

What about a mullet (the white trash Osama)? Ooh, and dreads (Rasta-Osama... cause you know he likes the ganga)... And you better do a pimply and slightly chubby one, in case he's been hitting the girl scout cookies a little hard (can you blame him? Those things are like crack)...

This is like a new kids' find Osama book, Where's Osama? A forsee a computer game too... Where in the World is Osama bin Laden.... might as well get the elementary school kids involved... at least the one's that haven't ditched class to protest securing the borders...

Jurupa High School student suspended and threatened with arrest for organizing pro-immigration reform rally

[UDPATED... scroll down]

But students who ditch class to protest against immigration reform are OK? This is sickening... where's the ACLU when someone's civil rights are really being violated?

MIRA LOMA - In response to recent student protests and walkouts against HR 4437, the House bill that proposes harsher penalties for illegal immigrants, a Jurupa Valley High School senior started making plans Monday to hold a pro-America rally on campus today.

"My original purpose was just to have a rally to support America, to wave flags and tell (the House of Representatives) that there are people out there that believe in what they're doing,'' said 17-year-old Josh Denhalter.

But Denhalter said district and school officials refused to let him hold a rally on campus and suspended him Thursday morning before school for passing out 300 fliers on campus promoting the rally. The rally is now scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon today across the street from the school.

"Now the purpose of the rally is to let everyone know in Southern California you cannot voice your opinions,'' Denhalter said.

Denhalter said despite being told that he will be arrested if he comes within 2,000 feet of the school during his suspension, he is still going to hold the protest.

"If I have to get arrested to stand up for something I believe in, then that's what's got to be done,'' Denhalter said.

This is a total crock, and the school board and superintendent are lying through their teeth. Josh was interviewed yesterday on a local LA radio station, KFI, and first the district tried to quash the rally by telling Josh since he wasn't acting on behalf of an official school club, he couldn't organize an event like this. They told him it was also because the speakers he got to come to the rally weren't accredited. So Josh moved it off campus (across the street) to be held during the school's lunch period. Then the school suspended him for something akin to promoting dangerous activity for fellow students by soliciting an event that would have them leave campus against school rules. But most students at the beginning of the year turned in parent signed passes that allow them to leave the open campus for lunch. Now we've got the excuse that the campus will be in lockdown due to all the students protesting in the LA area. The only problem with that excuse is that this school district had a grand total of 45 students walk out of classes.

He added that open forums were held at Jurupa Valley and Rubidoux high schools Tuesday to discuss the issues.

"We presented it as a better alternative to massively walking out,'' Duchon said.

But this is what Denhalter finds unfair, he said. He said the open forum was more of a one-sided argument led by MEchA, a Chicano organization on campus.

"Anyone opposed to their views felt threatened,'' Denhalter said.

Duchon said most of the views expressed at the forum were against the House legislation, and confirmed that the open mic was led by the MEchA president.

During the interview yesterday Josh said that the one student at the forum who got up to speak in favor of the legislation was jumped the next day at school and beaten by a group of students. I guess MEchA is only for openness if you spew their racist rhetoric.

This is really a disgusting violation of this student's civil rights. He jumped through every hoop the school district put in front of him to try to get this rally together, and now he's threatened with arrest if he comes within 2,000 feet of the rally he organized.

If you're in the area the protest is being held across the street from the school which is located at 10551 Bellegrave Ave., Mira Loma, CA 91752 here in Riverside County near the 15 and 60 interchange. Call the school if you like at (951) 360-2600, or the Jurupa school district at (951) 360-4100, and see what they have to say about the rally.

UPDATE @ 10:00am: Here's the Jurupa school district's email list.

UPDATE @ 11:22am: The official rally site is at (via LibertyPost). Check it out.

UPDATE @ 11:42am: The Press Enterprise has the story as well. Subscription (it is free) is required though so here's the article...

MIRA LOMA - The group Save Our State is planning a rally outside Jurupa Valley High School today to counter protests this week against immigration legislation.

The group is joining with a student, Josh Denhalter, who said he was suspended Thursday after distributing fliers on campus promoting a rally after school officials told him he could not hold it.

"They told me if I show up, I'm going to be arrested," said Denhalter, 17, a senior at Jurupa Valley High School.

He said he tried to organize an on-campus rally after a school-sanctioned one Monday on H.R. 4437, which would make illegal immigration a felony. Dozens of students spoke, most of them against the legislation.

Neither Jurupa Valley Principal Ron Shecklen nor Superintendent Elliott Duchon would confirm that Denhalter has been suspended.

Duchon, however, said students who are suspended are not allowed to come on school property or come within sight of the school and attempt to influence students.

He said he was concerned about the involvement of Save Our State, which publicized the rally and encouraged students to attend. The rally starts at 11 a.m., and the lunch period does not begin until 11:30 a.m.

"That's essentially inciting students to break school rules," he said. "It's very divisive."

Joseph Turner, executive director of Save Our State, said the group would not have become involved if the school had given equal time to the students who want to support tighter immigration rules.

Duchon and Shecklen expressed concern that tensions are high over the issue. They said rumors have circulated about possible racial violence, but Duchon also said he has found no evidence of a credible threat.

UPDATE @ 12:38pm: KCAL 9 news was live at the protest and reports that it has been peaceful despite a counter protest by MEchA. Josh is at the protest and has yet to be arrested. KCAL promised continued reporting from the scene and an interview later with Josh.

UPDATE @ 2:36pm: The Minutemen came out to support Josh Denhalter's rally today as well.

Denhalter was joined by members of the Save Our State and Minuteman groups who carried a large number of American flags.

Members of groups identified as MEchA and Brown Berets counter-protested across the street from his group.

Denhalter was joined by about 100 people, with about 30 on the other side.

The demonstrators were relatively peaceful, chanting back and forth. One side yelled, "Racist MEchA go away" while the other chanted, "Racist hate, save our state" and "El pueblo unido, jamas sera vencido" ("The people united never will be defeated.")

[...] Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minutemen group, was joined by a handful of his group's members. He said he attended primarily to support Denhalter's First Amendment right to protest.

Denhalter said he was suspended Thursday by school officials when he passed out fliers promoting the rally.

Excellent. So far everything says Josh was not arrested. I've got a bunch of TiVo'd news at home I'll scan to make sure. He's supposed to be on KFI later today and KCAL 9 promised an interview with him as well.

UPDATE @ 11:03am 4/1: Looks like the rally went just fine. Josh was not arrested and the Southern California coverage there was good. The Save or State bulletin board has notes from local citizens who were at the rally and who've seen Josh interviewed on KTLA, ABC, and KCAL. Here's another article on the rally from the Daily Bulletin with links to a photo gallery and video of the rally.

UPDATE @ 9:56am 4/3: See new post.

Happy Blogiversary to the Hatemonger's Quarterly!

They were one of the first blogs to link me, and I am forever grateful! Go check them out and remember...

... Share the hate!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

San Francisco: The smuggiest place on earth

It's true. If you by chance did not happen to catch the latest South Park episode last night, this smug is a direct result of the prevalence of hybrid vehicles in the area. Sure these hybrid cars may reduce smog through cleaner, reduced emissions but the smug produced by the owners of said cars, as they haughtily look down their noses at you as you fly by them on the freeway, is a pollution far worse than said greenhouse gasses.

As hybrid cars replaced all regular cars in South Park, the smug cloud over Colorado gradually combines with the smug cloud from San Francisco. And finally, as the smug cloud resulting from George Clooney's Academy Awards acceptance speech joins in, the result is... the perfect storm.

The perfect storm killed thousands with ten times that left homeless, not to mention the total destruction of San Francisco. Cartman was forced to brave the storm, even though he'd sworn to never set foot in that wretched city of patchuli hippies, to rescue Kyle and his family simply to bring back the dirty Jew so he could continue to mock him.

How bad is the smug in San Francisco? Beautiful Atrocities posts some of the city's priorities through the resolutions the Board of Supervisors wastes their time with. It's truly a wonder that they get anything done at all...

Democrats try to come up with an idea, any idea, other than "Bush is bad, mkay?"

Despondent over why no one to the right of eco-commie-hippies votes for them, Democratic leadership has tried their best to come up with a strategy that will get them elected in November. Unfortunately (for them) it's pretty much the same ideas (or lack thereof) they were recycling back in 2004.

Emboldened by President Bush's declining approval ratings, Democrats unveiled a national security platform yesterday for the midterm elections that stresses renewed focus on capturing Osama bin Laden, reducing the U.S. presence in Iraq and stepped up protection at home.

And how is that different from what the Bush administration is doing? Dubya's looking for all al Qaeda leadership (remember the drone missile attack in Pakistan that was supposed to have gotten Zawahiri? Obviously we're looking), reducing US presence in Iraq (we were discussing this at the end of 2005 and for much off this year as Iraqi forces have begun to take the lead in operations), and the Republican controlled House just sent up a strict immigration reform bill including building a real wall at our border. Of course McCain (RINO) and Kennedy (flaming liberal) are taking the bill and dumbing it down...

I'm still waiting for this great, new idea they've got.

The new strategy, which comes after months of deliberations and several false starts, aims to neutralize the advantage Republicans have held on national security and terrorism issues, that Democrats acknowledge were critical in the GOP's midterm gains in 2002 and in Bush's reelection victory over Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004.

I would think to do that they'd need new ideas. Something to say other than "We're for the opposite of whatever Bush says."

Flanked by former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright and retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi vowed that Democrats could do a better job of defending the country than the administration has done since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

If they could do that, maybe they'd have picked up seats in 2002 or 2004. Apparently, the country doesn't agree.

Declaring that the administration's "dangerous incompetence has made America less safe," Reid said, "We are uniting behind a national security agenda that is tough and smart, an agenda that will provide the real security President Bush has promised, but failed to deliver."

Incompetence... they've been beating that drum everyday since 9/11. They say they'll be tough and smart, well since 9/11 they've been neither. And who really buys that they'll provide real security? As opposed to what... the fake security we have now? I'm sorry, did I miss a terrorist attack on US soil during the past 4 years? I thought they said they had something new.

Republicans immediately attacked the Democratic plan, with Vice President Cheney arguing that Democrats' "behavior has been totally inconsistent with what they're now promising they're going to do."

Uhoh. The antidote to any liberal idea... common sense. It's like pouring salt on a snail. Are they for the Terrorist Surveillance Program now? Are the for a wall at the border and strict enforcement of immigration laws? Will they actively pursue the GWOT and not just talk about it? Are they all of a sudden fans of the Patriot Act? Not likely...

Many of the items in the Democratic statement echo themes Kerry advanced in the 2004 presidential campaign, but party strategists believe that they are now in position to capitalize on public disenchantment with the war in Iraq and with declining confidence in Bush as a wartime leader.

See recycling ideas that didn't work 2 years ago, and hoping they'll work now. Isn't the definition of insanity "repeating the same action and expecting a different outcome"? Maybe they're really just trying to prove they really are crazy...

Among the proposals in the "Real Security" plan: eliminate bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorist network, implement in full the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission, and work to make 2006 a year of "significant transition" in Iraq.

Eliminate al Qaeda? Already doing that... Significant transition in Iraq? Already doing that (and if they're elected in November, how do they plan to make that a priority for 2006? Total withdrawal in December?)... Implement 9/11 commission in full. I'm pretty sure the full recommendations haven't been implemented, but I'd hazard a guess and say a good chunk of the important ones have been.

On terrorism, the Democrats call for doubling the size of U.S. Special Forces and eliminating terrorist breeding grounds by "combating the economic, social and political conditions that allow extremism to thrive."

More Special Forces are good, but pointless if you don't use them. And as for elimintating terrorist breeding grounds, did they miss the war in Afghanistan? Plus, how do they plan to combat "social conditions"? Allow the printing of Mohammed cartoons? Give them money, because poverty causes terrorism in their view?

Democrats have been badly divided over Iraq. The new strategy urges Iraqis to assume responsibility for their own security, recommends "responsible redeployment" of U.S. forces without specifying a timetable and blames the administration for poor planning and manipulating prewar intelligence.

Everything in there up to the blaming Bush part could have come directly from one of Dubya's speeches! And do we really need to get into prewar intelligence and the Iraq-al Qaeda connection again?

The statement contains language -- voiced by Pelosi, Reid and others yesterday -- that the Democrats' security agenda will be both "tough and smart" in contrast to the "dangerous incompetence" the Bush administration has shown -- language that has been tested by the Democrats in anticipation of the fall campaign.

Tough and smart? The Democrats? That's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one...

So basically the Democrats' strategy? Same shit, different day.

UPDATE @2:05pm: As for the smart part of all this, Expose the Left has this priceless pic. She's holding her "Real Security" sign upsidedown.


Jill Carroll freed

And fortunately she was released unharmed and healthy.

BAGHDAD -- Jill Carroll, the idealistic 28-year-old American reporter kidnapped by gunmen nearly three months ago, has been released unharmed by her captors today in a rare moment of cheer during one of post-invasion Iraq's bleakest stretches.

"I was treated very well," said Carroll, wearing a light-colored headscarf during an interview broadcast on the television channel of the Iraqi Islamic Party, the country's main Sunni Arab political organization. "They never hit me. They never even threatened to hit me. I'm just happy to be free and want to be with my family."

We are all happy for you and your family Jill. Congratulations.

If you're a fan of Lost, like me, this will blow your mind...

I was chatting with the other CoD, and he sent me this link after last night's crazy episode. The Hatch went into lockdown and a apparently a food drop occurred during that time. Sayed turns grave robber and digs up a body that turns out to be Henry Gale (the other CoD also points out this was Dorothy's uncle in The Wizard of Oz), so the guy they been torturing is one of the Others. And craziest of all while the hatch goes into lockdown and Locke is trapped under the blast door, he sees a map, visible only under blacklight. Didn't get a good look at it? Here's the link.

This is crazy, weird stuff. I love that show.

UPDATE @ 10:49am: The other CoD prefers to be referred to as Chad, so henceforth he will be referred to as Chad, or perhaps Chad from the other CoD.

UPDATE @ 10:27am 3/31: Here's another great site for Lost fans...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Anti-immigration reform protestors put native country ahead of US citizenship

Old Glory flown upside down and below the Mexican flag by protestersSo why should we give amnesty to them if they would rather fly the Mexican flag instead of Old Glory? (Thanks to Michelle and Publius Rendezvous for the pic)

At this point these protests have lost all meaning because they've devolved into kids just looking for an excuse to ditch school. It's just an oppurtunity to thumb their noses at authority, jump around and shout, and generally wreak havoc on their respective cities. Disturbing the peace isn't a right. It's a crime. And I'm glad to see LA mayor Villarigosa at least paying lip service to that idea. And even if he doesn't act to quell these rioters (and they are very close to taking what could be a legitimate protest and turning it into violence and destruction) I'm sure that Baca and Bratton will. Villarigosa's stance and final actions with regards to these kids dancing in the streets protests, could make or break his legacy.

He got that opportunity Monday afternoon, when he told students he shared their opposition to an immigration bill pending in Congress but wanted them to go back to school; they booed, refused to leave and chanted in defiance. "Hell no, we won't go," they called out, yelling over the mayor's attempts to speak.

Still, Villaraigosa had his moment.

"Somebody's got to be a grown-up," he said Tuesday, reflecting on the turn of events that had placed him on the receiving end of an angry student group even though Villaraigosa himself participated in a historic student walkout in 1968. "As a father, I would want my kids to go back to school."

What purpose does it serve to shut down a freeway? To desecrate the image of the country that you want to join so badly? Hopefully someone will be the grownup for these children (and they are children) acting out in an pointless, juvenile orgy of misplaced idealism.

If they want their ideas respected they should behave in a manner that warrants that respect. If they want citizenship, they should demonstrate their love for this country. By acting this way they only make it more difficult for the majority of the country to sympathize with their cause. Mainstream America won't suuport lawless hooligans engaged in dangerous frivolity.

UPDATE @2:04pm: Thanks to the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler for the link to this site dedicated to dispelling the myths spewed by racist groups like La Raza, Mecha, and LULAC: We Hate Gringos. They've got some great stuff on the protests going on in LA.

Josh Bolten replaces Andy Card as Chief of Staff

We gave a quick blurb about Andy Card yesterday when his resignation was announced and said that those who felt the resignation was part of a shake up in the administration were wistfully ignorant (Thanks to Real Clear Politics for the link. I haven't had this much traffic since I put up a pic of Jessica Simpson in Daisy Dukes back when they were shooting Dukes of Hazzard).

Now MSNBC has a nice little hatchet job on Bush/biography of Josh Bolten, which paints him to be just as big a part of Dubya's inner circle as Card, if not more so. Ignore the lame analogies to a frat house and the mob

Bolten had a sterling pedigree. His father had worked at the CIA, which Bush the Elder had once run. He’d worked on the Hill for the Senate Finance Committee, the cockpit of Republican economics. A young staffer in the Bush One administration, Bolten had impressed all the right people -– especially fellow Princeton alumnus (and lifelong Bush Family advisor) James A. Baker. Then Bolten had bolted: jetting off to London to make a pile at Goldman Sachs.

Now Bolten was ready for the Job With Big Potential, and Bush, on the advice of his father‘s circle as well as his own inner circle, was reaching out to him. On paper, all well and good. But would the two men hit it off? Bush wouldn’t want a tutor/advisor he couldn’t stand.

It was a late-night walk through the street of Austin, Texas, that secured the job. The night before his job interview, Bolten had dinner, and then, to get some air and his bearings, had gone out for a stroll -– and eventually found himself (as is easy to do in Austin) in a rough part of town. He ended up having coffee at a diner with down-on-their-luck types, listening to their stories and encouraged them to try to get their personal acts together.

Bolten recounted his itinerary the next day to Bush, who was charmed by the Victorian earnestness -– and innocence -– of the story. Now here, Bush evidently thought, was the guy to devise the mechanics of the “compassionate conservative” principles around which he and Rove were building the campaign.

Bolten at that moment became a Made Man in the Bush Family, and has been one ever since. Ironically (Bush’s critics would say, not surprisingly), as Budget Director Bolten has presided over the production of some of the biggest federal deficits in history, and Bush has tried to put the clamps on social-welfare spending in ways that most Democrats find less than compassionate.

And all along Bolten has been just what Bush wanted: loyal, discreet, self-effacing -– and funny and cool: a guy who plays in a rock band, who has a penchant for motor cycles, and who doesn’t mind being seen at dinner parties with movie stars.

Though he has a taste for show biz, Bolten hasn’t been eager for the spotlight. Now he will be in the glare full time. He is going to have to bring in new staff -– a new director of the OMB, for starters. Some will call it all a “shakeup.”

Infantile jabs aside, it paints a familiar picture. "Loyal, discreet, self-effacing -– and funny and cool" could describe Dick Cheney (cool in the Texas likes to go hunting way), Condi Rice (come on, she wants to be NFL commissioner), and even the President himself. I'm sure I'll get some of the wackos out there hammering me for calling the president cool, but when you see him talking with a freindly crowd like the one last week in West Virginia, he comes off like a guy you'd like to have a drink with even if he doesn't drink anymore. He has a charming, off the cuff attitude in a friendly atmosphere.

So Bolten seems cut of the same cloth as many in the administration. If you like the direction Bush is going that's a good thing, which might just mean a very bright future in politics for the lad.

Newsflash: Small animals run away from bigger ones

Are researchers really this bored that they waste their time doing a study to determine that harbor seals are scared of cruise ships? Or are they stupid?

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - When large cruise ships get too close to harbor seals, the animals become distressed, according to a new federal study.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report Monday on seal behavior in Disenchantment Bay, a Southeast fjord that cruise ships frequent for a view of the Hubbard Glacier.

The study, which was a cooperative effort involving NOAA, the cruise industry and the Yakutat Tlingits, found that when the large ships got closer than 1,600 feet, seals were more likely to jump off the ice floes they haul out on.

The closer the ships got, the more likely the seals were to dive into the water, according to the Anchorage Daily News. When a ship was about 300 feet away, a seal was 25 times more likely to jump into the water than when the ship was 1,600 feet way, the study found.

The researchers said one concern is that if seals are routinely disturbed, it will drain their energy reserves, possibly resulting in lower reproduction or reduced survival.

Thank you Captain Obvious. Who'd of thunk? Little seal scaredof big boat. Go figure. Next thing you know they'll be saying that if the seal sees a scrumptious little fish swim by, it'll try to eat it. That's just crazy talk.

So I think as long as the cruise ships aren't collaborating with killer whales or polar bears to get harbor seals eaten, I think the universe just might survive this shocker.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Andrew Card resigns as Chief of Staff

Andrew Card informs President Bush of the 9/11 terrorist attacksAdios Andy. Many will remember you and blame you for mishandling events around Harriet Miers, Katrina, Dick Cheney's lawyer hunt, and the Dubai ports deal. What those people will miss is that you held your position longer than any Chief of Staff since Sherman Adams for Dwight Eisenhower. Oh and that the media frenzy surrounding those events was their creation, not yours.

Or you could be remembered as the man who had to inform the President of the United States that the country was under attack on September 11th, in what would be the worst terrorist attack on US soil ever.

Good luck Andy. And godspeed.

The Catholic Church is supporting illegal immigration

I hadn't commented yet on the numerous illegal immigration rallies that took place around the country over the past few days, mainly because it was being covered so well all over the blogosphere by bloggers who counter-protested or at least were present at some of the various rallies. I'm sure most of the 2 of you who stop by regularly have figured out that I'm opposed to illegal immigration, opposed to giving rights designated for US citizens to illegal immigrants, opposed to amnesty, and pro increased border security whether that means more guards, detention facilities, or a wall.

But being against amnesty we've got to figure out what to do with the millions of illegal immigrants currently in the country. They broke the law (and continue to break the law everyday) by not entering the country legally, but what do we do about it? Do we just start rounding all illegals up by the busload and start deporting them? At what cost, both in financial terms and world image terms? Do we only deport some and let others stay? Then how do we decide who stays and who goes? By how long they've been in the country? Family already legally in the country? Children who having been born in the country are automatic citizens. Work history, if that can even be determined since many illegals often work for cash under the table? These are tough questions, and realistically we can't deport them all. Some will have stay.

But what inspired me to post on this is this article in the Washington Times, about how the Catholic Church is not just supporting illegal immigration, but actively opposing current legislation being debated that would (hopefully) help stem illegal immigration and begin making the tough choices as to who stays and who goes when it comes to people currently in the country illegally. And as a Catholic, I'm apalled by the Church's stance.

The Catholic Church has played a key role in opposing legislation to restrict immigration and rallying protesters.

"As we've been able to reach more and more people, they're waking up to the ills of the proposals made to date and seeing the need to be vocal about the kinds of reforms that would be more acceptable," said Mark D. Franken, executive director of migration and refugee services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The bishops conference in May began "Justice for Immigrants," a campaign focused on activating a network of grass-roots movements against punitive immigration-reform legislation.

Mr. Franken said all the nation's 197 Catholic dioceses are in some way backing the campaign, with more than 70 being particularly active. Disseminating pamphlets and networking, community-level groups tied to the campaign are operating "in churches and everywhere they can gain access," he said.

I understand the Church's role and mission to show compassion to all; that would definitely include illegal immigrants, especially since many illegals are Catholics who are from Cental and South America. But this issue has far reaching consequences beyond citizenship. How much money does the government lose in tax revenue as many illegals get paid cash, under the table? How much money does the government waste giving illegals access to welfare, food stamps, health care programs, and free education? How much does our economy lose when many illegals send much of their hard earned money back to their family in their native country? And on the security side, how much of a risk to we pose to ourselves by not regulating our borders, both Mexican and Canadian? In the post 9/11 era can we really afford to be so lax with our security?

We've seen scirmishes at the Mexican border where US police and border patrol have been exchanged fire with Mexican military escorting drug runners across the border. We've discovered extensive tunnels criscrossing the border used for smuggling drugs. And there's Tom Clancy who poses a simple scenario (a premonition akin to enemies flying planes into government buildings?) in one of his last novels where terrorists are smuggled across the border with the assistance of Mexican drug cartels to carry out simple attacks on innocent US citizens.

These issues directly affect the welfare of all Americans, not just Catholics, and the US Conference of Bishops has lost sight of the greater good in its zeal to assist a minority. The Catholic Church can still assist the impoverished with soup suppers, shelter, and clothing and food drives. They can still carry out their missions of hope and home building volunteer trips to the ghettos of Tijuana. And they can help all Americans by staying out of the illegal immigration issues that the government is facing. Speak out and battle for injustice.

Amnesty and open borders isn't justice.

UPDATE @ 2:27pm: Cox & Forkum play "hot tamale" with immigration reform...

Mexican restaurants really do bake the hell out of their plates...

OK, OK... so maybe Audrey Raines isn't a traitor...

Kate MaraThough she's still being held in suspicion since her nose is still a suspect.

Anyway, Jack pulls another Mission Impossible moment out of nowhere as he interrogates the hot Russian hooker/spy. "Russian hooker, you've never seen me very upset. Don't dis Scientology again, you glib SOB." So Jack threatens the hot Russian hooker/spy and smacks around the US Marshall to get to her. Jack really has a big set of brass ones, I tell you. Seriously. Don't piss Jack off. He doesn't care who you are; he'll shoot first and ask questions later.

In other happenings Truffle Shuffle's replacement shows up, and she's a wakling sexual harassment suit. But at least she's hot; a definite step up from Truffle Shuffle. So I think we ought to call her "Jail Bait". It's not that she's underage, you just can't talk to her without her slapping you with a sexual harassment suit. I mean Chiggy Killer is hardly trying to feel her up when he patted her on the shoulder congratulating her on a job well done. Thank God she took Chemistry 101 at her local JC before getting hired as a temp at CTU.

Jack Bauer Kill CounterAnd when Jack and Coke got to the natural gas plant, the shit really hits the fan, and the kill counter takes a big leap. 12 body bags were needed this episode. And the best part is, the only way to stop the gas was to blow up the plant. Sweet. Cut to typical good guy running, trying to escape, as successive large explosions get closer and closer.

So Jack drags Bierko into the cop car to save them both (insert bad Brokeback joke here. I don't mock Jack. I don't want to die).

And now your Jack Bauer Moments of ZenTM:

Chuck Norris Jack Bauer once passed a kidney stone the size of a baseball. The stone is on display as a moon rock at NASA.

Chuck Norris Jack Bauer is the first black man to have white skin and red hair.

Chuck Norris' Jack Bauer's urine can burn through steel.

Monday, March 27, 2006

I've got to get this t-shirt...

Michelle always finds the best stuff...

You can get the shirt from T-Shirt Hell.

Now in more important news... Scarlett Johansson #1 on FHM's "Sexiest Woman" poll

Can you blame us?

NEW YORK - Scarlett Johansson tops a lovely list of the "100 Sexiest Women in the World," in a poll of readers by FHM magazine.

"One of the best things for a woman to hear is that she is sexy," the 21-year-old actress, star of "Match Point" and "Lost in Translation," said in a statement. "I'd like to thank FHM's readers for the huge compliment."

Angelina Jolie is No. 2 on the list, followed by Jessica Alba, Jessica Simpson, Keira Knightley, Halle Berry, Jenny McCarthy, Maria Sharapova, Carmen Electra and Teri Hatcher.
Johansson ranked ninth on last year's list. Jolie was No. 1.

I went nutso over that picture to the left from the Golden Globes where she got felt up by Isaac Mizrahi. She's got a classic, all-natural, blonde bombshell body. Even the fetching Mrs. Wookie thinks she's incredible.

And on top of that she can actually act.

Go figure.

Dubai ports fiasco, round 2

Will everyone get their knickers in a bunch about this as well? (via Counterterrorism Blog)

Dubai International Capital, an investment company owned by the emirate's ruling al-Maktoum family, inked a deal last year to acquire a privately held British aerospace company called Doncasters Group, Ltd. The company owns nine plants in the United States, and makes parts for U.S. tanks and military planes, including for the Joint Strike Fighter -- currently at the center of a transatlantic row about contracts and technology sharing.

After senators questioned officials about the Doncasters deal earlier this month, the secretive inter-agency panel known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, which is responsible for assessing such takeovers, announced that it was launching a special 45-day national security review of the purchase. The attention led Dubai International Capital to announce last week it was postponing the $1.2 billion takeover for two months while the CFIUS review went ahead.

Certainly they can't think this is worse than the DP World transaction that would have given them control over operations at several US ports. On the other hand, everyone just about went apoplectic over the ports deal (an overreaction in my opinion), so I'm not going to even try to speculate on what they're going to think about this one.

Please, please, please don't kill this deal just because it's the UAE.

So can we execute Moussaoui now, or do we still need to wait for this trial thing to finish?

Cause he just testified that he and Richard "Shoe Bomber" Reid were supposed to hijack a fifth plane on September 11th and fly it into the White House.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 27 (Reuters) - Zacarias Moussaoui said on Monday he was supposed to fly a fifth airplane into the White House as part of the Sept. 11 plot and he knew that two planes were to fly into the World Trade Center in New York.

Taking the stand at his death penalty trial, Moussaoui -- the only person charged in the United States in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks -- said "shoebomber" Richard Reid was to join him as part of the crew in the suicide mission.

Shoe Bomber was in on it, huh? Wasn't his dad on a Cindy Sheehan-esque tour trying to drum up sympathy for his son? Ooops. Doesn't look like that's gonna happen now.

Woman sentenced to 16 life terms for role in Hamas terrorist attack says Hamas will never recognize Israel

She killed 15 when she drove the suicide bomber to the pizzeria, and now thinks she's a Hamas spokesperson. At the very least she seems to echo Hamas' opinions.

"Hamas has principles in connection with discussion with Israel," she said. "Hamas wants to reach accomplishments without giving up on Palestine. I'm not sorry for what I did. I will get out of prison and I refuse to recognize Israel's existence. Discussions will only take place after Israel recognizes that this is Islamic land. Despite the fact that I'm sentenced to 16 life sentences I know that we will become free from Israeli occupation and then I will also be free from the prison," she said.

Enjoy your time in prison. You'll never be getting out.

Just like Kramer, I'm out.

UConn sealed my fate by not being able to beat George Mason. I officially don't have a single team left in the Tourney. Unbelievable.

New movie... Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West

Dennis Prager was discussing this movie briefly this morning. Check out the trailer.

Looks good.

Some marines don't want extra body armor

This is exactly what we were talking about when Senator Clinton went on her last rant about our troops not having enough body armor after Bob Woodruff was injured by an explosion in Iraq. As it turned out at the time his life had been saved by the body armor he was wearing. I suggested at the time, that if that's not enough body armor for Senator Clinton, perhaps she ought to pony up the money to get each soldier their own Bradley if she really wants to protect them. Turns out the troops agree.

HUSAYBAH, Iraq ---- Extra body armor ---- the lack of which caused a political storm in the United States ---- has flooded in to Iraq, but many Marines here promptly stuck it in lockers or under bunks. Too heavy and cumbersome, many say.

Marines already carry loads as heavy as 70 pounds when they patrol the dangerous streets in towns and villages in restive Anbar province. The new armor plates, while only about five pounds per set, are not worth carrying for the additional safety they are said to provide, some say.

"We have to climb over walls and go through windows," said Sgt. Justin Shank of Greencastle, Pa. "I understand the more armor, the safer you are. But it makes you slower. People don't understand that this is combat and people are going to die."

Staff Sgt. Thomas Bain of Buffalo, N.Y., shared concerns about the extra pounds.

"Before you know it, they're going to get us injured because we're hauling too much weight and don't have enough mobility to maneuver in a fight from house to house," said Bain, who is assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. "I think we're starting to go overboard on the armor."

Exactly. Everybody loves a good talking point, and if you're a moronic Senator saying our troops need to be safe, you sound like a hero. Too bad those critics, like Hillary, haven't got a friggin' clue what they're talking about.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Krauthammer puts the "Iraq becoming a civil war" meme into context

It is really the profundity of a simple truth, and Charles Krauthammer says it so clearly and succinctly.

This whole debate about civil war is surreal. What is the insurgency if not a war supported by one (minority) part of Iraqi society fighting to prevent the birth of the new Iraqi state supported by another (majority) part of Iraqi society?

By definition that is civil war, and there's nothing new about it. As I noted here in November 2004: "People keep warning about the danger of civil war. This is absurd. There already is a civil war. It is raging before our eyes. Problem is, only one side" -- the Sunni insurgency -- "is fighting it."

Indeed, until very recently that has been the case: ex-Baathist insurgents (aided by the foreign jihadists) fighting on one side, with the United States fighting back in defense of a new Iraq dominated by Shiites and Kurds.

Now all of a sudden everyone is shocked to find Iraqis going after Iraqis. But is it not our entire counterinsurgency strategy to get Iraqis who believe in the new Iraq to fight Iraqis who want to restore Baathism or impose Taliban-like rule? Does not everyone who wishes us well support the strategy of standing up the Iraqis so we can stand down? And does that not mean getting the Iraqis to fight the civil war themselves?

Hence the gradual transfer of war-making responsibility. Hence the decline of American casualties. Hence the rise of Iraqi casualties.

It's true. Isn't this the point we've been trying to get Iraq as a country to? A point where we can hand over more control over to the Iraqis themselves? As that handover slowly progresses, that doesn't mean the fighting will cease, it just means different parties will be doing the fighting as the Iraqi military takes the place of coalition troops against the insurgency. And God bless them for it.

The NCAA Tourney just ripped my heart out, stomped on it, and put it through a blender for good measure

Damn you UCLA. Damn you LSU. Actually I'd argue that LSU and UCLA didn't win, but Duke and Gonzaga lost those games. Hell, they practically gave them away. Duke gives up three offensive rebounds off of free throws in the last minute of the game. The last one was the killer. Already up by five, LSU took all their guys and put them back on defense. The only LSU player on that half of the court was the guy shooting the free throws and inbetween 4 Duke players, he gets the rebound. WTF. Does anybody block out anymore?

You. Must. Be. Joking. That was the worst 2 minutes of basketball that Duke had played all year. That's probably the worst 2 minutes of basketball by any college team this year. That is, of course, until I heard about the Gonzaga loss.

I was so pissed about the Duke game, I changed the channel, going back for an update on the remaining games every so often. When I saw Gonzaga winning with a large double digit lead in the second half, I thought I was safe. But no. I didn't see any of it, but I read about UCLA scoring the final 11 points of the game as Gonzaga, like Duke, went into meltdown mode.

And that pretty much throws my bracket right into the toilet. There were four games yesterday. I picked zero correctly. I'm absolutely, totally, majorly, 100% screwed. It will take a miracle of enormous proportions to keep me from finishing last in the family pool. I've got a good chance of losing to my 4 year old cousins who probably picked their teams by the jersey colors.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuke!! Noooooooooooooooo!!

WTF!! Not to LSU!! Nooooooooooooo!!

Saddam approved meetings with Osama bin Laden

Man don't you just hate it when facts get in the way of perfectly good conspiracy theories? I can hear them sputtering now... "But... but... Bush is the real terrorist!"

A newly released pre-war Iraqi document indicates that an official representative of Saddam Hussein's government met with Osama bin Laden in Sudan on February 19, 1995 after approval by Saddam Hussein. Bin Laden asked that Iraq broadcast the lectures of Suleiman al Ouda, a radical Saudi preacher, and suggested "carrying out joint operations against foreign forces" in Saudi Arabia. According to the document, Saddam's presidency was informed of the details of the meeting on March 4, 1995 and Saddam agreed to dedicate a program for them on the radio. The document states that further "development of the relationship and cooperation between the two parties to be left according to what's open (in the future) based on dialogue and agreement on other ways of cooperation." The Sudanese were informed about the agreement to dedicate the program on the radio.

I knew releasing those documents would yield some great results.

Hat tip to Army Lawyer.

The Return of Chef!

They brought Chef back and let it rip!

It starts showing how Chef left town to search for meaning in this horrible life by joining the Super Adventure Club Scientology. Months later when he returns the kids notice something's kinda weird about Chef. First they spliced old Chef dialogue together to form new sentences, so he's speaking all choppy. And secondly, all he wants to do now is "make sweet love to you children."

That's right, they turned him into a pedophile. Of course the school officials and cops get involved and the kids go on a mission to save Chef. They're convinced that he's been brainwashed. So they trek to the Super Adventure Club Scientology headquarters and confront the leader who admits everything. Parker and Stone then satirize themsleves and the Scientology episode they did that had the tagline at the bottom that said "This is what Scientologists actually believe" with one that said "This is what the Super Adventure Club actually believes" and proceeded to explain their long history of abusing kids because they believed they got energy from the kids that made them live forever.

They return to South Park, and take Chef to a shrink to un-brainwash him. The recommended treatment? Strip Club. That snaps Chef back into lovin' the ladies until the Super Adventure Club Scientology freaks hit him with a tranquilizer dart and take him back to their compound to re-brainwash him.

But it's the kids to the rescue! They break in and rescue Chef but as they leaving and crossing the rope bridge to leave the compund, lightning strikes and the bridge collapses. Chef plunges 100s of feet to the bottom of the ravine where he is promptly torn to shreds by a mountain lion and grizzly bear.

To mourn the loss of their friend, Chef, South Park has a memorial where Stan gives the eulogy.

We're all here today because Chef was such an important part of our lives. A lot of us don't agree with the choices Chef has made in the past few days. Some of us feel hurt and confused that he seemed to turn his back on us. But we can't let the events of the last week take away the memories of how chef made us smile. I'm gonna remember Chef as the jolly old guy who always broke into song. I'm gonna remember chef as the guy who gave us advice to live by. So you see we shouldn't be mad at chef for leaving us, we should be mad at that fruity little club for scrambling his brain.

Truer words have never been spoken... by a 8 year old cartoon character at least.

Adios Chef! We will miss you!

But no! That's not the end! The Super Adventure Club Scientology freaks take Chef's body at put him back together. They put him together as Darth Chef!

I wonder if they got James Earl Jones to do the voice?

Is the glass half empty or half full? Drugs cure/don't cure depression in half of all patients

I guess it really does come down to whether you're an optimist or a pessimist.

Antidepressants fail to cure the symptoms of major depression in half of all patients with the disease even if they receive the best possible care, according to a definitive government study released yesterday.

Significant numbers of patients continue to experience symptoms such as sadness, low energy and hopelessness after intensive treatment, even as about an equal number report an end to such problems -- a result that quickly lent itself to interpretations that the glass was either half empty or half full.

The $35 million taxpayer-funded study was the largest trial of its kind ever conducted. It provided what industry-sponsored trials have rarely captured: Rather than merely ask whether patients are getting better, the study asked what patients most care about -- whether depression can be made to disappear altogether.

This is really the Fetching Mrs. Wookie's area of expertise, and she suggested I note that different meds get different results. So just because you may not be getting the result you want out of your current anti-depressant, there are other to chose from that operate by a different mechanism of action that may work for you instead.

On a separate note, why was this funded by the government? I mean, I know researches get grants from the government, but they can get them from the pharmaceutical companies too.

As far as the glass half full vs half empty... for full accuracy I'd want to know what's the glass filled with? If it's water then it's half full. But if it's beer then it's definitely half empty and you'd better hurry the hell up and buy me another round.

After dam burst in Hawaii, I'm still waiting for the "Bush hates Hawaiians" crowd to start

Where are they? I'm sure he hates the Hawaiian people just as much as the blacks affected by Katrina...

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) -- More than a week after a dam burst on the island of Kauai, rescue teams called off a search for the four people who remain missing.

The Kaloko dam burst on March 14 after days of heavy rains. It unleashed 300 million gallons of water that destroyed at least two homes. Three people were confirmed dead.

"We have done, and are 120 percent sure, they have covered (all) that they can," Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste told the Kauai Garden Island News.

State leaders have submitted a preliminary damage assessment to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is the first step toward receiving federal monetary help, said Ed Teixeira, vice director of the state Civil Defense Agency.

I'm expecting the Mayor to come out with a Nagin-like statement. "We're the Samoan island! Dark Samoan chocolate drizzled on top of white cocnut and crispy white cookie. Stick us in the heat to bake and you've got a tasty Girl Scout treat!"

In the irony of ironies, peace makers rescued by troops

I just like saying that... peace activists rescued by troops acting on intelligence from an captured insurgent... rescued in a miltary operation. Big guys... with guns... willing to kill to free innocent people... putting their lives on the line...

BAGHDAD -- Acting on a tip from an Iraqi prisoner, a British-led military operation today rescued three Western peace activists whose abductors had held them hostage since November, killed their American colleague and finally left them tied up in an empty house.

No shots were fired and no kidnappers were present when a combined force of British, U.S. and Canadian troops found the three men "in good condition" in western Baghdad, said Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a U.S. military spokesman.

The peace activists — Norman Kember, 74, of Britain, James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, both of Canada — were seized in Baghdad on Nov. 26 along with the American, Tom Fox, 54, by gunmen who later demanded the release of all Iraqi prisoners.

Fox's body was found March 9. He had been tortured by his captors, shot several times in the head and chest, and dumped on a trash heap near a railway line in the western part of the capital.

"Our hearts are filled with joy" over the men's release, said a statement by their Chicago and Toronto-based organization, Christian Peacemaker Teams. "Our gladness today is made bittersweet by the fact that Tom is not alive to join in the celebration."

No word on whether or not the the peace activists refused to be rescued by the warmongering puppets...

I'm glad your hearts are filled with joy and all, and I'm glad that you're safe now. I wouldn't wish any harm on these (misguided) activists. But perhaps a word of thanks is in order. I mean you thanked people for their "prayers and support," but not a word for the troops who freed you.

"Thank you to the troops." It's just five little words; it's not that hard. It's the Christian thing to do.

UPDATE @ 9:35am: The closest thing I've found to a thank you is this:

"We also thank everyone who has worked so hard for him to be set free. We request that our privacy be respected at this time."

Totally non-specific and not adequate.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bush continues to rally support for the war

This is the exact kind of thing Bush needs to continue to do. Get out in public, openly discuss the war, Q&A with the public, and generally be his normal funny, charming self. It puts most Americans at ease (at least those who don't suffer from Bush Derangement Syndrome).

WHEELING, W.Va. – Whether he's before a friendly West Virginia audience, a Cleveland club proud of its interrogation skills or a White House news conference, President Bush is drawing on his plainspoken manner in freewheeling venues to defend his Iraq strategy.
Alternately serious and joking, charming and disarming in this war anniversary week, Bush is trying to counter election-year critics and reverse an approval ratings slide.

In Wheeling on Wednesday, the fifth day in a row Bush devoted his remarks to Iraq, the president bantered with the locals, his shoulders bouncing up and down as they do when he's pleased with his own jokes. Then he brought down the house with his trademark I-won't-back-down pledge.

And then he gets to chat with someone you might think is your nextdoor neighbor. Unless your a liberal. Cause when she talks about praying to God, a military husband, and the liberal bias in the MSM she lose 'em real quick (via Expose the Left)

And right before her, is a man who thanks God everyday that Dubya is the president for this war on terror.

Amen to that, my friend. Amen.

UPDATE: You hear that? Bush likes blogs... Go Dubya!

God says you should read my blog more...

Hey, I wouldn't make something like that up... (Thanks to Ace)

I'm so gonna burn in hell for this...

South Park tonight: the 1st new episode since Chef quit

Do Parker and Stone have something special up their sleeves tonight?

Tonight's episode is called "The Return of Chef," and apparently was written and created after Hayes' departure. In it, potty-mouthed fourth-graders Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman realize there's something odd about their ol' buddy, Chef, who has returned from a vacation. Gather 'round, children.

Comedy Central confirms the new episode as does Parker and Stone's South Park Studios. We can only guess at the comedy genius that will skewer... what? Isaac Hayes? Scientology?

I can't wait to find out...

Why is the MSM stuck on stupid?

I know, I know... It's one of those questions like why is the sky blue, or why does Jack Bauer kick so much ass. It just is.

Still you'd think they'd have enough common sense to realize that headlines like "Bush: Troops will remain in Iraq for years" or "No end in sight to Iraq war, Bush admits" really make them sound pretty stupid. My response to crap like that in general is "Gee... Ya' think? Morons."

It's like saying after WWII, troops will be in Germany for years after the war is done. Wow. That's brilliant. How many of you reporters did it take to figure that one out. Maybe, just maybe, it's because we've got a military base there. I could be nuts, but to me that suggests years, nay decades, of presence in the country. I'm gonna bet that we set up a base in Iraq similar to our base in Saudi Arabia. That kind of implies that troops will be in Iraq for years. Iraq will be a strong ally in the GWOT for years especially since their survival as a democracy is so closely tied to success in the GWOT. A US military base there makes sense. They'll be back up for Iraqi forces and a jumping off point for other operations in the region.

The key point is how many troops will remain and for how long. We're still on schedule to have a major troop reduction in Iraq within a year. It's not like we're going to have 130,000 troops there permanently, and as Iraqi forces to continue replacing the coalition forces, our forces will slowly be drawn down. And those Iraqi forces are becoming increasingly capable and confident.

It's not rocket science, guys. You just continue to expose your biases with headlines likes these...

For US and Iraqi forces the best defense is a good offense

Iraqi and US forces capture 50 insurgents as they attacked a police station.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents attacked a police station Wednesday for a second day in a row, but U.S. and Iraqi forces captured 50 of them after a two-hour gunbattle.

About 60 gunmen attacked the police station in Madain, south of Baghdad, with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles, said police Lt. Col. Falah al-Mohammadawi. U.S. troops and a special Iraqi police unit responded, catching the insurgents in crossfire, he said.

Four police were killed, including the commander of the special unit, and five were wounded, al-Mohammadawi said. None of the attackers died, and among the captives was a Syrian.

A swift response prevented what was in all likelihood an attack that was designed similarly to the attack on a police station yesterday that resulted in the escape of 30 some prisoners from an Iraqi jail. This is an excellent example of professional military out-thinking and out-maneuvering untrained terrorists. The Iraqi forces have come a long way.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Since Iraq is on everyone's mind today...

... especially since the president has been out travelling, speaking, and doing Q&A's with the press and the American people. In that vein, Walid Phares at FDD has 7 results of the war in Iraq. Some are obvious, and some are really worth talking about.

With Lebanon slowly emerging from decades of Syrian occupation, a new balance of power is in the making in that small but strategic country: Hizbollah is not the sole power anymore. With the Syrian forces out, the Iran-dominated terror organization has to keep an eye on its rear-guard pressed by the one million marchers of the Cedars Revolution. Thus, without the change in Iraq, that revolution wasn’t expected to happen soon, or even to happen at all bloodlessly. The weight of US presence in Iraq, freed the energies of another civil society in the region: Lebanon

Freedom can really spread like wildfire. Dr. Phares also mentions Iraq as a future GWOT ally, how the Iraq war helped force Syria to leave Lebanon, how the French have come more into the fold, freedom surrounding and pressuring Iran, Gaddafi gave up his nukes, and the generally improved human rights in the region.

But the Sheehan, anti-war left would have you ignore all that... the war was based on lies since Saddam wasn't found hiding amid his billions of WMDs, nothing good will come of it since it's uncontrollably spiralling into civil war, and the government hasn't been solidified 3 months post-elections.

Rome wasn't built in a day people. And I'm pretty sure it took longer than 3 years too...

What to do about Iran?

Cox & Forkum make their point in their own ineffable style...

Bush's press conference this morning

Dubya gave an exceptional statement and followed that up with a great round of Q & A with the reporters. He exchanged barbs with Helen Thomas who charged him with lying about everything related to the war and he shot back, listen you old hag, Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan training and being protected by the Taliban. So we went in after them, removed the Taliban and set them on the road to democracy, then went to the UN over Iraq and got unanimous support for resolution 1441, disarm or else. Saddam shose or else.

I think your premise, in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist _ that I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect. [...]

No president wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true.

My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. When we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people.

Our foreign policy changed on that day. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life.

And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people, that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.

Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy, and that's why I went into Iraq.

He made 2 gridiron comments with Helen... was he suggesting the ol' battering ram could be the new middle linebacker for the Redskins? We'll just have to wait and see if that happens. The president gave another excellent response to a question asking how he reacts to people who support him but are losing faith in the war because of the frequency of bombings constantly in the news. The reporter set himself up for this one, and Dubya gave the press in general a nice jab right on the jaw.

Thirdly, in spite of the bad news on television _ and there is bad news; you brought it up. You said, How do I react to a bombing that took place yesterday? It's precisely what the enemy understands is possible to do. I'm not suggesting you shouldn't talk about it.

I'm certainly not being _ please don't take that as criticism. But it also is a realistic assessment of the enemy's capability to affect the debate, and they know that.

They're capable of blowing up innocent life so it ends up on your TV show. And, therefore, it affects the woman in Cleveland you were talking to.

And I can understand how Americans are worried about whether or not we can win. I think most Americans understand we need to win. But they're concerned about whether or not we can win.

So one of the reasons I go around the country to Cleveland is to explain why I think we can win.

Basically America thinks the war is going horribly because that's all you show on TV. That's why I've got to constantly get out there and tell them it's not as bad as they see on TV 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When you think about it, the rpess has made his job twice as difficult. How much time has he had to waste combatting a press that's hostile to his agenda? Think of the hundreds of things he could be focusing and concentrating on if he didn't have to battle the press every step of the way.

Audrey Raines is a traitor!!!

You had to know with a nose that big out of whack she was bound to be trouble... Now Jack will have to torture and kill her. And with nearly half of CTU dead, the Kill Counter hits triple digits.

And Tony is officially dead, much to the chagrin of the B4B guys. The only way to bring him back now is for Jack to go armwrestle God for Tony's soul. You know Jack would win, but he's got terrorists to stop. Even if it means giving the greasy German undercover agent sleeping with the hooker/intelligence broker/terrorist aide our "Wet List" on a memory card that's cleverly set to self-destruct. When did turn into Mission Impossible? Is Jack going to get the NOC list next for Max?

And I'm not a fan of the Homeland Security chick, who we'll call Hillary. What a bitch... Did she really think Jack would allow the greasy German undercover agent to have the NOC list? Please... And then there her little gopher boy that Chloe spilled coffee on; dontcha just wanna smack him? He should be referred to as coffee boy or perhaps Weasel II.

Then there was the random reappearance of President Palmer's little brother. After knowing less than zilch in the first couple episodes right after his brother was shot, he all of a sudden has critical info that he can only give to Agent Pierce. Ooookkaaaaayy... WTF? I dig Whiskey Pierce and all, but why not take the critical info to Jack? And then random hooded people shoot out little bro's tires and he runs off into the woods. The only thing I can think of that explains where 24 is going with this new subplot is info about the VP who made his sudden reappearance a couple episodes ago after getting a tour of Hollywood Blvd. while President Weasel brokered a huge Russia-US deal. I don't think he's working with the terrorists, I think he's making a power play to perhaps get President Weasel thrown out of office, so he can take over.

We'll have to wait and see... In the mean time your Jack Bauer Moments of Zen and a shameless pic of Kim...

Chuck Norris Jack Bauer is one of three people who actually KNOWS the 11 secret herbs and spices in Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Chuck Norris Jack Bauer CAN be everywhere at once.

Chuck Norris Jack Bauer had sex with a Mack truck once, the result was Optimus Prime.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Playing good cop/bad cop with the Iran Freedom Support Act

Peter Brookes has an interesting take on the bill soon come before Congress that has huge bipartisan support. Apparently Dubya isn't too thrilled with the bill because of the sanctions section in it. Brookes gives his reasons why that doesn't necessarily mean Dubya ought to kill the bill.

What the critics overlook is that the mere consideration of the Iran Freedom Support Act, including all of the congressional drama that accompanies it, serves the Bush administration's efforts in dealing with Tehran - and others.

How? First, by dropping the longstanding economic sanctions against Libya (because Tripoli has ended its quest for WMDs and its support for terrorism), Congress shows Tehran a potential upside to ending its hostile relationship with the Washington.

Second, legislative threats are often as effective as signing a bill into law. For instance, congressional chest-beating by itself could deter investment in Iran's energy sector, penalizing the highly centralized Iranian economy, which is heavily dependent on oil/gas exports (i.e., 20 percent of GNP). (A falloff in foreign investment would have the added benefit of limiting Tehran's spending on its own expensive nuclear infrastructure - slowing the mullahs' quest for atomic weapons.)

Third, the bill gives the U.S. negotiating leverage. The president can warn our always-reluctant-to-get-tough European "allies" and our even-less-supportive "friends" in Moscow and Beijing that, even if he thinks the legislation is ill-advised, he will have no choice but to sign the wildly popular bill if the mullahs don't make some serious concessions soon. Call this one: the "Mad Congress" defense.

Alternatively, if major players like Russia and China come into line with the U.S.-European position at the U.N. Security Council, Bush could promise to do everything possible to kill the bill, or, at a minimum, promise to invoke the waiver.

Now, it's completely understandable that the executive branch doesn't like the legislative branch playing in its foreign-policy sandbox. But the Bush administration doesn't have to view the bill as undermining its effort to deal with Iran.

In fact, if it's smart, our foreign policy team will see the abundant opportunities in skillfully playing the administration's "good cop" off the Congress' "bad cop" in advancing American interests on Iran.

That's the ticket... make Congress the bad cop. They've got worse poll numbers than you do Dubya, and the bill would probably restore the public's confidence in you and the rest of the administration after the DPWorld ports debacle. Why let yourself get clobbered in the public eye again?

See the Sceintology episode Comedy Central pulled

The episode Isaac Hayes, the voice of chef, quit over. The episode that Tom Cruise supposedly torpedoed, either because it offended his religious/cult beliefs or because it insinuated he's gay. Take your pick.


Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for Earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!

-- Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu
Watch the whole episode, Parker and Stone permitted the posting of the episode.

(Thanks to Ace)

Jordan doesn't want Palestinian refugees from Iraq

I found it interesting, but I have no idea what it means...

AMMAN, March 20 (Reuters) - Jordan has closed its border with Iraq to prevent the entry of Palestinians fleeing persecution and sectarian violence in its eastern neighbour, witnesses said on Monday.

They said Jordanian authorities, fearful of a large influx from among the 34,000 Palestinian refugees estimated to be living in Iraq, closed the border on Sunday after a busload of Palestinians arrived.

Apparently, these Palestinians emmigrated to Iraq after Israel was created in 1948, and the "persecution" they fear is being caught in anti-insurgent military sweeps. If they haven't done anything, I don't think they have anything to fear, but who knows...

The 3rd anniversary of Iraq's freedom from tyranny

3 years of freedom for Iraqis has not been easy, but democracy isn't easy. You've got to fight everyday to keep it on the right path. In America it takes speeches and public appearances and repitition. In Iraq it takes lots of heavily armed men. But whatever it takes to keep them on the path of freedom.

Instead of celebrating the success of their Iraq venture, Washington and its allies have been on the defensive, insisting that Operation Iraqi Freedom launched three years ago to the day will end in victory, although when is less certain than ever.

"Transiting from tyranny to democracy is never smooth or easy," said Australian Prime Minister John Howard, one of America's main allies in the war.

Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said: "We have suffered during the past year ... The road ahead will be tough."

But in the article in the Washington Post, he added: "The world should not falter at such a crucial stage in history."

This is still a democracy in its infancy, and I can't strees that enough. 3 years is not nearly enough time to judge whether or not this Iraqi democracy is a success or a failure. Have faith in man's determination to be free, and be willing to stand up and speak in support of their fight for freedom. Everyone deserves the chance to be free. If you give them the choice, do you really think they'd choose to be under the thumb of a dictator like Saddam again? Or under a strict Islamic theocracy like Iran?