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Saturday, December 31, 2005
The Year In Military Heroism

Riehl World View has a calendar.
More Fascism From the White House

Turns out they're "spying" on people who visit their website.

The White House said Friday its Web tracking technology is consistent with federal rules because it only counts the number of visitors anonymously and doesn't record personal information.

The White House's site uses what's known as a Web bug — a tiny graphic image that's virtually invisible — to anonymously keep track of the number and time of visits. The bug is sent by a server maintained by an outside contractor, WebTrends Inc., and lets the traffic-analysis company know that another person has visited a specific page on the site.

And I'm "spying" on my visitors as well; if you click on the sitemeter icon at the bottom of the page, you'll see stats on who's visited here, how they came, and where they're from. Another non-story from the lamestream media.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Oh Canada!

Hmmm, this is rather a grabber of an opening paragraph:

On Wednesday last week, the Supreme Court decided to legalize "swingers" clubs, where people go for orgies with consenting adults as young as 14.
A Dialogue Is Not Really What They Have In Mind

As Charlotte Hays notes:

But let's say students do want to talk about same-sex relationships or religious differences. Who wants to discuss these matters with total strangers? Let alone the kinds of strangers who would attend such sessions. One imagines that participants here are self-selected--those who plan to go on at length about various forms of oppression they may have endured and those who enjoy being on the receiving end of such flagellation. If anyone departs from either of those assigned roles, a shouting match will most likely ensue. Instead of Difficult Dialogues the Ford Foundation might have considered creating Excellent Etiquette grants to inculcate the good manners necessary for living in a diverse society.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Anecdotal Evidence Borne Out

I mentioned the other day that none of the liberals in my family were expressing outrage over the story about the government eavesdropping on international phone calls. Turns out that they're pretty typical:

Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans believe the National Security Agency (NSA) should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that just 23% disagree.

Hat Tip: Ace, via Michelle Malkin
Renditions Began Under Clinton

Actually this is not news. I covered this way back in February. Nice to see the MSM is catching up, though.

The US Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) controversial "rendition" program was launched under US president Bill Clinton, a former US counter-terrorism agent has told a German newspaper.

Michael Scheuer, a 22-year veteran of the CIA who resigned from the agency in 2004, has told Die Zeit that the US administration had been looking in the mid-1990s for a way to combat the terrorist threat and circumvent the cumbersome US legal system.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Minimal Updates Next Few Days

I'll be doing some visiting of friends and family the next couple of days; posting should return to a normal level after New Year's Day.
What Credibility on National Security?

From the Washington Times:

Some centrist Democrats say attacks by their party leaders on the Bush administration's eavesdropping on suspected terrorist conversations will further weaken the party's credibility on national security.

That concern arises from recent moves by liberal Democrats to block the extension of parts of the USA Patriot Act in the Senate and denunciations of President Bush amid concerns that these initiatives could violate the civil liberties of innocent Americans.

"I think when you suggest that civil liberties are just as much at risk today as the country is from terrorism, you've gone too far if you leave that impression. I don't believe that's true," said Michael O'Hanlon, a national-security analyst at the Brookings Institution who advises Democrats on defense issues.

Yep. I have gotten zero impression that anybody other than the usual gang of idiots is outraged over the eavesdropping issue.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
NY Times Comes Out In Favor of Not Counting the Slaves as Persons

This should get them in trouble with their PC base:

The first Constitution took for granted that enslaved people could not vote, but counted each slave as three-fifths of a person for the purpose of apportioning representation in Congress. This inflated the voting power of slaveholders and gave them much more influence in legislative matters than their actual numbers warranted. No American would knowingly tolerate such an arrangement today.

So apparently the Times thinks that slaves should not have counted as people at all?

As an aside, Captain Ed (talking mostly about the real subject of the editorial, which is that prisoners should be counted as citizens of the area where they resided when they committed their crimes, rather than citizens of the area where they are incarcerated) repeats the canard that the three-fifths compromise was somehow shameful. I don't buy it. As in most things solved by compromise, there were valid arguments on both sides. Not counting the slaves at all would have been undercounting, but counting them as complete persons would have given more power to the slaveholding states.
I've Said It Before....

Eugene Robinson, writing in the WaPo:

Even in a thought experiment, we can't forgive the way he snowed the country into believing there was some connection between Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks....

The only people who were duped into believing this are those who opposed the war.

Update: In the comments, John writes:

Are you kidding? The President cited the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force as his Congressional approval for the Iraq War (an approval required under both the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution). The AUMF authorizes the President to use force ONLY when confronting those responsible for 9.11. The connection was not only urged by the White House; it is required to make this war legal. Even the AG memos by Yoo and Delahunty recognize this.

Obviously John is not a lawyer, he just plays one on blogs. First of all, the AUMF does not ONLY authorize military force for those responsible for 9-11. Here's the passage John refers to:

That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

Harbored of course is the key phrase here. But there was also an Iraq War Powers Resolution, which cites about a dozen reasons for going to war with Iraq, only a few of which touch on 9-11:

Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;

Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;

Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;
Monday, December 26, 2005
The Chronicles of Narnia: Two Thumbs Way Up

I took my nephew to see this movie tonight and was thoroughly entertained and spellbound by the gorgeous scenery, terrific acting, and exciting plot. The children stars of the film were perfect, especially the little girl who played Lucy.

Many of the reviews have focused on the Christian subtext. Let me say that it was not obvious except for one sequence, and not overbearing even there.
Good News

Today's soldiers are being treated better than the Vietnam generation.

There's a diner called Peggy Sue's about eight miles outside of Barstow, and as hard as Lt. Col. Kenneth Parks tries, he can never seem to pay his bill.

He orders a burger and a chocolate shake. But before he's finished, the waitress informs him the tab has been taken care of by yet another stranger who prefers to remain anonymous but who wants to do something for a soldier in uniform.


I was lucky on Veteran's Day. A friend of mine and I went out golfing and got paired up with a former Navy guy who'd been in Vietnam. We invited him out for a quick beer after our round and I was pleased to treat.
Here's a Novel Thought

There are two common arguments that liberals make in the war on terror: First, that there is no shared sacrifice; that is, that our armed forces sacrifice a great deal, so the rest of us should sacrifice something as well. They usually have higher taxes in mind.

The second argument usually takes the form of Ben Franklin's nostrum:

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Here's the thought: Perhaps we could share the sacrifice by giving up a little of our non-essential liberty? Do I really need to be free to make international phone calls without fear of government eavesdropping? No, so it's a non-essential liberty. In fact, it's a sacrifice I'm happy to make.

This post was inspired by this one.
Occasional Christian

Cenk Uygur does the "turn the other cheek bit":

It doesn’t take courage to throw a punch. It takes courage to take a punch.

We got hit on September 11th. And what was our reaction? Courage under fire? Grace through trying times? No, blind, angry, purposeless vengeance. Not just at our enemy, but at ourselves.

Of course, for Cenk's purposes, it helps to completely ignore Afghanistan, and so there is no mention of that aspect of the war, which Leftists have just about convinced themselves that they supported all along.

What would have taken courage is a measured, just response. What took easy cowardice was fire in all directions. For the love of God, we attacked the wrong Middle Eastern country – and we’re not even sorry.

Can you imagine the reaction from the Cenks of the world if we had attacked the "right" Middle Eastern country? We'll assume that's Saudi Arabia; the response would have been that we were creating more jihadis (which would be true), that the government of Saudi Arabia was not anti-American (which would be largely true), and, of course, that it was a war for oil (which would be false).
Teach the Children

Jamie Allman posts a wonderful Christmas email (link will probably expire tomorrow):

"Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven." He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. "Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise."
Barone on the Intercepts

The dean of American politics:

Earlier this month, a Newsweek cover story depicted George W. Bush as living inside a bubble, isolated from knowledge of the real world. Many of the news stories about the NSA intercepts show that it is mainstream media that are living inside a bubble, carefully insulating themselves and their readers and viewers from knowledge of applicable law and recent historical precedent, determined to pursue an agenda of undermining the Bush administration regardless of any damage to national security.

This is just anecdotal, obiously, but my family includes some pretty liberal people, and nobody over the holidays has been up in arms over the story. The reaction seems to be that if Americans have known ties to Al Qaeda, the government should be monitoring their phone calls.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Has He Considered the South of France?

Kos is looking for a new place to live. He's not picky:

Lots of sun. At least 60% of the year.

Mild winters. No more than a couple of weeks below freezing

Lots of culture. Great non-chain restaurants, theater, local arts community, etc.

Near hub airport. I travel a lot. The more direct flights I can take to places around the country, the better my life.

Near hilly/mountainous terrain.

Away from hurricane paths.

Easy access to outdoor activities -- hiking, mountain and road biking, canoing, etc.

Some additional bonus considerations:

Bearable summers. I hate 100 degree weather. Even the "dry heat" kind.

Good public transportation.

Ethnically and raciall (sic) diverse.

Phoenix would qualify without the summers; San Diego is probably the closest climate-wise, but the public transportation and hub airport probably rules it out.
Moron the Lying Student

Instapundit wonders, as I did, why the student's identity is still being withheld. And get this from the professor who pushed the story into the newspapers:

''I feel as if I was lied to, and I have no idea why," said Williams, an associate professor of Islamic history.

As if? Professor, you were lied to.
Merrrrrrryyyyyy Christmas!

Got good loot again this year, although regrettably no Red Ryder BB-guns with the compass in the stock and this thing that tells time. Ah, well, something to hope for next time.

Hat Tip: Our old buddy Tom the River Rat.


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Contact Me: pcurley (at) cdwebs (dot) com

Brainster in the Media

Howard Kurtz's Media Notes: May 27, 2005

Slate Today's Blogs:

March 16, 2005

May 9, 2005

June 3, 2005

Cited for Breaking the Christmas in Cambodia story (at Kerry Haters):

Hugh Hewitt: KerryHaters was on this story a long time ago. How could the elite media not have asked these questions before now?

Ankle-Biting Pundits: Our friends Pat and Kitty at Kerry Haters deserve the blog equivalent of a Pulitzer for their coverage of Kerry's intricate web of lies regarding Vietnam.

The Weekly Standard

Les Kinsolving

Greatest Hits

What If the Rest of the Fantastic Four Were Peaceniks?

Lefty Bloggers on Gay Witchhunt (linked by 16 blogs including Instapundit)

Kitty Myers Breaks Christmas in Cambodia

Brainster Shows Brinkley Says No Christmas in Cambodia

Explanation of the Blog's Name

Power Ratings Explained

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