Monday, March 31, 2003

Something to Keep you up at night: I have a feeling that I'm going to be writing more indepth about this in a few days. This story by Joshua Micah Marshallis truly scary. It also seems to worry William Raspberryof the Washington Post as well. Add the Marshall story with the latest story by Seymour Hershand a very dark picture begins to emerge: the neocons are living in a world far detached from any reality. True to their socialist roots they are trying to create a new society that is ahistorical. Also like many doctrinare communists, they don't tolerate dissent and would rather have yes men that will tell them what they want to hear. What is very disturbing is they acutally believe what they are saying.

What is also disturbing is how they seem to not bother with any sense of realityand do not seem to care about the consequences. Their morality blinds them to seeing that their plans could place our nation in peril. What's a few dead people when one can control the Middle East and bring peace? Who cares about the UN or NATO when their's is such a moral goal?

These people are not conservatives. Conservatism means respecting institutions, pragmatism and seing history as a teacher. They are radicals bent on forming their view of the world and damn anyone who gets in their way.

If someone does not challange them, we can expect more Americans sacrificed to their nightmare.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Truth Blogs:I read a fascinating article in the Guardianabout the importance of blogs during this war. I agree. Most of the network coverage is all hype and very little substance. The blogs have been the truth tellers and more power to ya. We need to spread the word that not everyone support's W. misadventure.

Friday, March 28, 2003

Eating their words:The hawks are now backing off saying that the war would ever be a "cakewalk." Salon decided to find quotes from leading hawks depecting this war as, well.....a cakewalk.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Sanitized For Your Protection: Why are we not seeing pictures of Iraqi dead and wounded on TV? American TV has chosen for the most part not to show the horrid pictures of dead solidiers as well as POWs. Other television networks around the world did show it. Why is CNN or ABC so squeamish? Yes, we should make sure that the family of the dead and captured are notified before airing such footage, but they should be aired. The supporters of war, should know that war is bloody and awful. They tried to sell us a painless war but such a thing does not exist. We need to be upset at seeing those our men and women injured as well as Iraqi civilians. I tend to think that Americans have started to think that war can be bloodless with our high-tech weapons. Sorry, even in the 21st Century war is hell. I'm ready to ask my cable company to get something like BBC America.

Whats Good for the Goose: There have been reports of American and British forces finding chemical protection suits. Aha! say those who are in favor of this misadventure. They will see this as proof that Iraq is planning on using chemical or biological weapons. Maybe. But what if this is disinformation? What if Iraq left them there to fool us? It's just a thought, but we are not dealing with idiots. They are evil but not stupid. If the US can play the whole psychological war, so can Iraq. Just a thought.

Watching the Detectives: Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a Texas case that could affect the outcomes of sodomy laws. The case involved a gay couple who were caught in an intimate encounter by police. The debate was supposedly lively between the liberal and conservative wings of the high court. The swing Jutices, Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy, were silent, probably taking it all in, I guess.

It is high time that the Court strike down sodomy laws. As a gay man myself, I find it outrageous that if I choose to be intimate with another person of the same sex, the state could deem it illegal. Whatever your views on homosexuality, such laws are odious to our society. The state should not be peeking into our bedrooms to judge what goes on. True conservatives see this is as an extreme overreach into the the private lives of citizens. There are those that say that we need these laws to maintain order, which is a conservative virtue. Yes, we need order to keep people from stealing or murdering, but should it tell people who to love? Heaven's no! Such policies are more in line with Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia than anything America. It's time to consign such laws to the dustbin of history like Jim Crow.

"Reason"able coverage: I have to give my hats off to the libertarianReason magazine. They have put out some great criticism about the war in Iraq in ways that most of media have failed to do. I also love "Hit and Run" their daily blog. It's amazing that the news media has been silent on the amount of libertarians and conservatives that were wary of this venture and are still critical of it. The "peace" movement is not just a lefty event.

Pitying Powell: I used to admire Collin Powell. He made me proud to be a moderate Republican. I would have voted for him had he went ahead and ran for President in 1996. He was willing to go in front of the far right in both the '96 and 2000 conventions and claimed his support for affirmative action and abortion rights. I was happy that he became Secretary of State, the first African American in that role. I had hoped having a moderate in such a position meant that moderates would have a voice. I was wrong. He has slowly become the waterboy for the neoconservatives who do not much care for him anyway. The man that grew up during Vietman and is wary of his nation going in to wars where the outcome is not certain is now backing a war that seems contrived and co! uld result in a phyrric victory. Salon wrote earlier this month that if Powell has any integrity, he should resign just like Cyrus Vance did in 1980. I agree. For him to stay would be disasterous to his credibility. The so-called "grown-up" in the Bush Administration has caved in to "children." Leave, Collin, before you make a fool of yourself.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Why I Love the Senate: The Senate reversed itself today and decided to cut the proposed Bush tax cut in half. The reason? The costs of the war. A group of Democrats and moderate Republicans seemed to have decided that now was not the time for a big tax cut. The funny thing is that the conservatives seem to always harp on spending for programs but what about tax cuts? Aren't those also fiscally irresponsible at times?

It should come as no suprise that the moderate Republicans who voted for shrinking the tax cut will be labled as traitors and maybe seem as election targets. I would write them today and thank them for being true fiscal conservatives.

Cakewalk? We Beg to Differ: I'm beginning to look forward to reading Nick Kristof's twice weekly columns in the New York Times. This one is no different. He shows us that we may not be welcomed like the liberators we think we are, or should I say, what Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz think we are.

Open Arms?Okay, so I decided to talk about the war after all. Sue me. I read two articles today that should make th Bushies sit up and take notice. The first is from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. They interview and expat that is involved in an opposition group. He gives some info that we Americans don't know about. Why haven't we heard about the injured in Baghdad? Reading his story made me want to get Al Jezeera and get more than the somewhat antispetic view we are getting from here.

The other piece is a comment found in the British newspaper, The Guardian Mr. al-Chalabi gives an interesting take on what he sees as history repeating himself. Read and Learn, folks.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Nothing to Do, But Pray:Okay, so I thought, I'd write this dramatic post about being at war, but in the end there's not much to be done. Despite all the protests and diplomacy we are at war. Those of us who are against this action lost. All we can do now is pray that this ends quickly with few deaths.

What we can do now is make sure the peace is just. Nicholas Kistof makes the case that we need to Arabize this victory. That not only makes sense, but it's good policy. Having an American viceroy is only going to feed the suspicions of many that we are staging some kind of new imperialism and as history shows, never lasts. Plus having a colony not far from the holy places of Isalm will only fan the flames of nuts like bin Laden. Will Bush and Co. listen to this advice? I doubt it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

The Sky is Not Falling...Yet: The Left has been good at taking a serious situation and blowing it out of proportion to make a point. The problem is that real life fails to live up to the nightmare and the Right then gets smug that they were right all along and miss the point that was made. This Slate story shows that the concerns that we should have are not immediate, but the effects of this invation and occupation that will take place a year, five years or ten years from now. Remember that the roots for September 11th stem back at least to the eve of the First Gulf War in 1990. I don't think that we are on the eve of World War III. The war will probably be fairly swift. But the fallout will be what happens a year from now, when Americans are still in control of Iraq. Will nations like France want to co-operate with us or will they walk away? Will the occupation foster more hatred for America that will forment new recruits for Al-Queda? If things go well, will we then head towards North Korea and Iran?

Call it Democracy: This wonderful article by Georgie Annne Gyer explains why it is foolish to assume you can create democracy at the point of a gun. When we saw the Iron Curtain crumble in 1989, it was because of the seeds of democracy in place including Lech Walesa's Soldarity movement in Poland and Vaclav Havel's movement in the Czech Republic. South Africa became a multiracial democracy because there were roots already in the African National Congress and the deeply flawed aparthied regime which did have some democracy, as long as you were white.

Democracy comes from the people. That is what it means, the people rule. It can't be imposed. What is happening here is not democracy but the resurgence of colonialism. Let's stop dressing up this pig.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Congress folds:I guess it's not a shock, but Congress has decided to "speak with one voice" now that war is imminent. Congress usually doesn't challenge the President once war has been decided, but it's sad that they decided to just give up.

Monday, March 17, 2003

The Countdown begins: Well, I watched the President's address tonight and of course, I have an opinion. First, notice that shortly after the speech we went from code Yellow to Code Orange again. I heard on CNN that there are credible sources ( though there were credible sources last time) that we can expect a major terrorist attack in the next few days. An attack where there will be killing of Arabs (read: Muslims) is seen as the perfect excuse to go and wreak havoc on the West. There had been warnings that stirring up the hornet's nest in Iraq would hurt us and it might just do so in the coming days. Al Queda may have just found it's best recruting tool in President Bush.

Then there is the talk of how soon Iraq will become some version of a Middle Eastern Sweden. Hardly. Democracy could have a chance in Iraq, but it must come from the people not be imposed. Anything that is imposed will surely crumble once we are gone because there is no foundation. All of this talk reminds me of the Jacobins as they talked about their new society during the French Revolution. Of course, their abstract idealism decended into anarchy. The Father of modern conservativsm, Edmund Burke knew this and was against public policy based on specualtion. He was much more willing to support the American Revolution that was based on more time-tested ideas. The neocons are more leftist radicals than cautious conservatives. They hope to make a new world in their image (hmmmm....sounds, godlike, no?) and may very well place this globe in chaos. The policies of this administration towards Iraq are based on fantasy and not sound judgement. American foriegn policy has changed from that of friendly, but clumsy giant to one of empire. It is a sad St. Patrick's Day.

Saints preserve us, indeed.

Quiet Revolt:It seems that somemoderate Republicans are questioning the size of the Bush Tax Cut package. They are fiscal conservatives that believe that tax cuts should be proportionate to other federal priorites such as education and the environment.

Of course, now there are some on the far right that are attacking these moderates for not going whole hog. Here's what Chuck Muth of Citizen Outreach says about these lawmakers:

>RINO Hunting
>The biggest threat to President George W. Bush's tax plan is not Tom
>or Ted Kennedy or Hillary Clinton. It comes from within the GOP!
>Six liberal Republicans in the Senate are putting the President's tax
>at risk. These RINOs (Republicans in name only) are Senators Lincoln
>of Rhode Island, George Voinovich of Ohio, Michael DeWine of Ohio,
>Collins of Maine, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of
>Please go to and read what is at stake. Here's
>America needs President Bush's tax plan, under which a family of four
>two earners and $39,000 in income will receive more than $1,100 in tax
>relief. That's real money to help pay the bills and push the economy
>forward. Yet the balance of power in the Senate is so slim that each
>every Republican must support our President's plan for it to pass.
>Action is needed quickly! You can help by signing a petition telling
>stubborn six to stop frustrating their own party's efforts to help our
>nation's economy. Then spread the news that the tax plan's biggest
>comes from inside the party. Here's where to act:

>Chuck Muth
>Citizen Outreach
P.S. The GOP's balance of power in the Senate was too hard to achieve
last November's elections for it to be negated by these liberals in
conservative clothing. Don't let all that hard work slip away! Isn't
worth a moment of your time right now not only to sign the petition
but to
direct others to follow your lead? Tell these RINOs to stop this
divisiveness and support the President's tax plan or risk the
when they next face the voters.

So, when did the Republican party start acting like the Communist Party? Are we simply to await word on high from the White House and rubber stamp it? Don't these law makers have a duty to the people who they represent and not just the party?

Mr. Muth thinks that anyone who claims to be a Republican but does not think the way he does is not really a Republican. Really. Many of these lawmakers have long histories in the party. They believe in fiscal responsibility in order that the government is able to fund federal initiatives in education, the environment and the like. This is a far cry from people like Mr. Muth who want large tax cuts and want to pay as much as we can in this upcoming war. This is not fiscal responsibility. These are also the people who think the government shouldn't make sure we have safe drinking water, but are okay spending money to maintain a country half a world a way. Hypocrites.

Please write a note of thanks to the Representatives for their hard work and their integrity. They need to hear from other "RINOs."

Friday, March 14, 2003

Guttless Democrats, Dumb-Ass Republicans: Here in Minnesota, the latest flap is about state representative Arlon Lindner. By some accident of democracy, this idiot was elected to represent a far flung corner of the Twin Cities metro area. This Republican denounced the visit of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dali Lama, and more recently has introduced a bill that would remove GLBT protections from the state's human rights amendment.

But wait, it gets better. In a recent speech, Lindler said that teaching about gays and lesbians in school would cause HIV cases to rise and would resemble the African continent. He also said no gays were killed during the Holcaust and that the Nazi Party was full of gays.

It's not surprising that there is alot of furor and I am glad. It is sad that someone so backward is making law and that there has not been enough outrage from Republicans. I am happy that the head of Log Cabin Republicans, Pat Guerrero spoke out against Lindner. It shows some real courage to speak out against one of your own.

What is bothersome is how Democrats love to jump on these issues. They will call news conferences and talk about tolerance and acceptance. All well and good, but are they willing to speak out when its one of their own? It is easy to harrangue the evil Republicans. You can get some political points in being all caring. But Democrats seem to be silent when a fellow Dem says a racist, sexist or homophobic remark let alone do something that restricts the rights of gays or persons of color. They were rather silent when Clinton kept the federal standards that allowed people found in possesion of crack cocaine longer sentences than those found with powder cocaine. Blacks tend to use crack cocaine, while whites use power cocaine. There was hope that the laws would be equalized since they are on the face racist. Nope. And we did not hear a peep from Dems. Then came the signing of the Defense of Marriage Act by President Clinton in 1996. Clinton gained a lot of support from gays in 1992 and then turns around during his re-election by signing a law that restricts our rights to marry. Again, not a peep. In Minnesota, the late Paul Wellstone, in his race for re-election also in '96 said he was against gay marriage because it went afoul to centuries of Jewish teaching. Nothing.

I have nothing against beating up on Lindler. He's a bigot who hides behind the Bible and he deserves the heat that he's getting. But I think it is really easy for Democrats to get up and denounce Republicans. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They are in different parties and it looks good to the voters. But their decision is political and not moral. The moral choice is to speak out when it is dangerous to do so. I am reminded of Fanny Lou Hamer demanding to be seated in place of the all-white Mississippi at the 1964 Democratic Convention. When Democrats are willing to place their political lives on the line for the sake of truth and justice, I will applaud.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

More Conservatives against War:Check out the Cato Institute. It seems many Libertarians are against the coming war as well. Cato has some great resources.

On the Contrary:Here's a wonderful postby Representative John Duncan of Tennesee. Happy Reading.

From the "Let me get this Straight" Department:This storyfrom today's Washinton Post, is quite amazing. Bush is planning tax cuts, the deficit is looming, and yet we are planning to pay the salaries of Iraqi bureacrats? So much for the right wing and their "foriegn aid is throwing money down a ratehole" line.

What is troubling is that they assume that these workers will just happily work for their new masters. How do they know this? What's equally disturbing is that the US Agency for International Development is awarding lucrative contracts to companies to rebuild post-Saddam Iraq. In this article it explains that one of the companies that will stand to make some money is Halliburton, the company headed by Vice President Dick Cheney in the late 90s.

Good grief, maybe the Left was right.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Conservatives Against War: No, the antiwar movement is not made up just of radical lefties. If you are conservative/libertarian, there is now a site for you. Go to Americans Against Bombing website.

Stand Up and Be Counted: The right wing ideologues are at it again. Anyone that does not subscribe to their far-right agenda is considered suspect and must be purged. (Sounds Stalinist, no?) Pat Toomey, a GOP congresman from Pennsylvania has decided to compete against incumbent Senator Alren Specter in next year Senate primary? What is Specter's sin? Among many sins, he is pro-choice. The Republican MainstreetThe Republican Mainstreet Partnership, a group of moderate Republicans, is standing up to Toomey and his cohorts in the Club for Growth, a far right group. Click the link for Mainstreet to read more.

The Left loves to talk about how the Bush Administration are buddies with Big Business. However, it seems that on some issues Big Business is not in the pocket of the Bushies. In today's Washington Post, David Broder talks about how some in Corporate America think that the proposed White House economic plan which has tax cuts as it's main theme is not such a good idea after all.

Just like affirmative action, the business community is showing more leadership than the President. Will the President listen to Big Business? I doubt it. The Administraiton does not have the ear of the business community, but it does have the ear of a tiny,vocal,ideological minority that think that government is evil and would like to propose the law of the jungle.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Up and Running again.ModerateRepublican.netis back up again. Check it out.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Conservative Quote of the Day, Part Two:What is the essence of Rockefeller Republicanism? An affirmative role for government. A deference to the corporate sector. A strong national defense. Support for civil rights.

From theProject for Conservative Reformblog, 02/28/01.

Conservative Quote of the Day, Part One: "What is conservatism? There is good conservatism and bad conservatism. Or, if you like, there is true conservatism and false conservatism. The difference depends on what you set out to conserve. And this difference is the difference between ends and means.

True conservatism aims to preserve and foster the great ultimate ideals and values of our country and civilization, utilizing in any era the mechanism that will best serve that purpose, and changing and adapting these mechanism to the times wherever necessary to accomplish the main object.

False conservatism guards and cherishes the mechanisms of the past and abhors new mechanisms, while ignoring in the meantime what happens to our traditional ideals and values. It worships the shell of the past and lets the living substance die."

-Arthur Larson from his book, "A Republican Looks at His Party."

Of "Surrender Monkeys and Warmongers:" How the Left and Right ignore the current world scene, Part One

When it comes to how to deal with violence in our world today, both the left and right are stuck in approaches that at their base are non-intellectual. They are reflexive and can be used in any all situations. Foreign policy become tab a goes to slot b.

But that is not how the world works. We can't pour our theories into any and all situations. Life is not that mechanistic.

But for the partisans of left and right, it is. And that is dangerous.

After September 11, there were calls from the left that we should do things such as aplogize to the world's poor, change our stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The left looked at such people as binLaden and thought September 11 was a political problem. The poor of the world are speaking up and wanting a place at the table to make things right. The left for the most part, abhorred the ensuing conflict in Afghanistan seeming to fixate more on the deaths we cause than the outrageous human rights abuses the Taliban committed inlcuding the subjegation of women. The left holds to the view that war is always wrong, and the US is usally a bad character on the world scene. Many on the left think that the West is full of imperialists while the developping world are full of gentle well-meaning people that are always getting jacked by the West.

However, this views fails to understand Al Queda and fails to read the world. In the 70s and 80s, terrorism was done for political purposes. Croations, Palestinians, radical leftists, all waged war to get the world to listen to them. The left seemes to think that Al Queda is just like one of those groups circa 1975 fighting for some just cause. If the US would simply act justly, then they will leave us alone. But Al Queda is not about negotiation. They are not motivated by politics, but by a twisted form of religion. They have decided that the West is lazy and corrupt and revel in mass slaughter to punish the infidel. The 19 hijackers were willing to take their lives and the lives of 3,000 others because they believed their faith asked them to kill.

The Left should not be seeing Al Queda as the Palestinian terrorists of yore, but more like 21st century fascists. Christopher Hitchens coined the term Isamofascists and it makes sense. These so-called "freedom fighters" want nothing more than to wipe the US off the map. They are against the freedoms that we have.

What this means is that there are times when the Left must see that they are fates worse than the United States. They can't be consoled by negotiations. Sadly there are times when the sword must be raised and when a group threatens the very existence of world order, then raise it we must.

Part two soon to follow....

What happened to all the voices on the right that were wary of a war in Iraq? Last summer the voices of caution were coming from people like Brent Scowcroft. Now, those voices are silent. What happened? Were they bought off? Did they change their minds?

Maybe not. An article from Sunday's New York Timesthat reveals that there still might be some dissention from the Right. It seems like Daddy Bush is quite subtly saying that going alone is not a good idea.

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