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Saturday, April 25, 2009
I Blame Bush

For a large part of the in-fighting now going on in the Republican Party. Let's face it, if he had just dumped Dick Cheney from the ticket in 2004 and put somebody else in the #2 slot, that person would have been the heir apparent and gotten the nomination. He or she would have gotten crushed of course, but the tent would have held.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Earth To Andrew Sullivan

Heheh, sometimes I can't believe what a buffoon he is. He shows us this graph, showing Obama's Approve/Disapprove ratings among independents:

And then this among Republicans:

And claims that the trends are quite different. But in fact if you look at the graphs closely they are actually quite similar. Concentrate on the red lines (showing Obama's disapproval ratings), without looking at the black lines, and you'll see very similar trends with more and more people disapproving of Obama every day. Is Andrew that deluded that he can't see it?

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GOP Needs to Suck Up to Anti-Immigration Wing Or the Nazis Will Get Them

I think that's the point of this Robert Stacy McCain column.

Thus, Johnson's guilt-by-association attack on Geller highlights the real problem we face in America: If the Republican Party and the mainstream conservative movement don't recognize and respond to our own citizens' concerns about immigration and multiculturalism, then those issues will be taken over by similarly disreputable groups.

I don't know the truth about Johnson v Geller; it certainly does appear that she's going to appear at a conference hosted by a German with lots of neo-Nazi associations; that is the "guilt by association" part. Geller's response is rather surprising:

And just for the record, nazis do not hang out with Jews, even pretty ones. Ever.

Later she links to this post which supposedly proves that the neo-Nazis are pro-Israel. How can they tell?

In reality, the fact that we were invited to speak indicates in itself that Pro-Köln is not a neo-Nazi group. We are known to be pro-Israel, and if I go I would speak in defense of Israel and against neo-Nazism, Holocaust denial, etc. Outside of Charles Johnson's fantasies, no one has ever actually seen a pro-Israel neo-Nazi.

Don't those two "rebuttals" amount to the same point; that they can't be neo-Nazis because they're willing to hang out with "us" (Jews and Israel supporters)? They do link to this post at PJ Media which claims that some neo-Nazis don't support the Free Cologne Movement because they look at the Islamists as their allies against the Jews.

I'm not going to link to the Little Green Footballs post that kicked this all off because I do think that Charles is making this personal.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
About McCain's Opponent

You might want to look into Chris Simcox before you send money:

But is Simcox the right candidate for conservatives to rally around?

Is he the best conservatives can do in Arizona?

That might depend on what you think of Alan Keyes and the fundraising network that uses his name.

A few years ago, Keyes and his Declaration Alliance took over the fundraising and fund-accounting side of the Minuteman operation.

The money problems are partially discussed here:

Bill Parmley, former coordinator for Texas, quit after alleging Simcox botched the organization's financing. He also warned that some members of his Goliad, Texas, chapter, which recently was shut down, were "racists" and "wanted to go after Mexicans as a whole," not simply report undocumented immigrants to the U.S. Border Patrol.

Although Simcox denied Parmley's allegations and said the organization is financially sound, his recent pleas for donations hint at money troubles. A Minuteman Civil Defense Corps e-mail sent Friday and signed by Simcox stated that overhead for the October operation has doubled because volunteers started patrolling after Hurricane Katrina to fill in for roughly 240 U.S. Border Patrol agents dispatched to the Gulf Coast.

My buddy Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times has some more info on Simcox:

The minuteman honcho's ex-wives have also called into question Simcox's character. According to a 2005 article in the Southern Poverty Law Center's magazine Intelligence Report, Simcox's first ex-wife accused him of trying to sexually molest their 14-year-old daughter. His second ex-wife, accused Simcox in court of having a mental breakdown and of sometimes violent, erratic behavior.

"He once took a knife from the kitchen and threatened to kill himself," the second ex-wife, Kim Dunbar testified in court, according to IR. "When he was angry, he broke furniture, car windows, he banged his head against the wall repeatedly and punched things."

And the money thing comes up again:

Critics in and out of his movement have assailed MCDC's promises to build "Israeli-style" border fences on private land near the border. In 2007, Fountain Hills resident James Campbell sued MCDC in an attempt to get back $100,000 he had donated for the construction of just such a fence. Campbell, who had mortgaged his property to raise the $100K, accused Simcox and MCDC of diverting the money for other uses. According to a report last year in The Sierra Vista Herald, Campbell said that he "allowed the civil case to be dismissed because he did not want to continue to fund the litigation."

I am not entirely opposed to conservatives running opposition candidate against Republicans they feel are insufficiently right wing. Pat Toomey, for example, is a solid conservative and would do a great job with Arlen Specter's seat. But Simcox is not the answer for Arizona.
Truth At the Times?

Check out this interesting paragraph in an article discussing whether the enhanced interrogation techniques were successful in stopping terrorist attacks on the United States:

For both sides, the political stakes are high, as proposals for a national commission to unravel the interrogation story appear to be gaining momentum. Mr. Obama and his allies need to discredit the techniques he has banned. Otherwise, in the event of a future terrorist attack, critics may blame his decision to rein in C.I.A. interrogators.

But if he succeeds in discrediting the techniques, maybe folks won't blame him. Yes, indeed the "political" stakes are high. Some (but not the Times) might point out that the non-political stakes are high as well.

Consider this:

Yet last week Mr. Obama overruled the advice of his CIA director, Leon Panetta, and four prior CIA directors by releasing the details of the enhanced interrogation program. Former CIA director Michael Hayden has stated clearly that declassifying the memos will make it more difficult for the CIA to defend the nation.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Christian Like Me

Or a lib goes to Liberty.

Roose had transferred to the Virginia campus from Brown University in Providence, a famously liberal member of the Ivy League. His Liberty classmates knew about the switch, but he kept something more important hidden: He planned to write a book about his experience at the school founded by fundamentalist preacher Jerry Falwell.

And surprise, surprise, he did not find the hotbed of intolerance that he expected:

He met students who use Bible class to score dates, apply to top law schools and fret about their futures, and who enjoy gossip, hip-hop and R-rated movies — albeit in a locked dorm room.

A roommate he depicts as aggressively anti-gay — all names are changed in the book — is an outcast on the hall, not a role model.

There are some oddball bits like this:

He visited a campus support group for chronic masturbators, where students were taught to curb impure thoughts.

But overall he's apparently gotten quite a bit out of the experience:

Once ambivalent about faith, Roose now prays to God regularly — for his own well-being and on behalf of others. He said he owns several translations of the Bible and has recently been rereading meditations from the letters of John on using love and compassion to solve cultural conflicts.

He's even considering joining a church.

Interesting story.
Whether It's Torture or Not, It Works

The latest headache to hit the libs:

President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.

One of the things that has always bugged me about the liberal position on advanced interrogation techniques is that they want to have it both ways. Not only do they claim the moral high ground by declaring torture wrong, but they also maintain that you don't get anything valuable out of it. Well, now we know they're wrong on the second point.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Interesting Article On Little Green Footballs

One of my fellow apostates.

“Some people at that summit in Belgium were not people we should have been associated with,” Johnson said, pointing out that since 2007 the terrorism-focused conservative bloggers have become supporters of Dutch politician Geert Wilders , who wants to outlaw Islam in his country. “Some of these people outright want to ban Islam from the United States, which I think is crazy, completely nuts. That’s not something we do in this country. These people will outright defend banning the Koran or deporting Muslims. That’s popular with the Geller/Spencer crowd.”

When they talk about Johnson today, the rest of the terrorism-focused bloggers alternate between anger and regret. He has smeared them, they say, and according to Dymphna he’s “destroyed a lot of networking that was beginning to emerge” between American and European critics of Islamic extremism. “He’s really gone off the deep end,” Geller said, pointing to Johnson’s more and more frequent criticisms of creationists, such as the attack on the anti-evolution, Glenn Beck-inspired event, which made the host angry enough to lash out at LGF on his show. “He’s a leftist blogger now.”
Obama Sucks Up to Teachers Unions, Drops Kids from Program

This stinks to high heaven. There seems to be no doubt the program was working:

What happened, according to a Department of Education study, is that after three years the voucher students scored 3.7 months higher on reading than students who remained in the D.C. schools. In addition, students who came into the D.C. voucher program when it first started had a 19 month advantage in reading after three years in private schools.

Well, you can imagine how embarrassing that result was to the public schools. So Obama's team gutted the program:

And now Secretary Duncan has applied a sly, political check-mate for the D.C. voucher plan.

With no living, breathing students profiting from the program to give it a face and stand and defend it the Congress has little political pressure to put new money into the program. The political pressure will be coming exclusively from the teacher’s unions who oppose the vouchers, just as they oppose No Child Left Behind and charter schools and every other effort at reforming public schools that continue to fail the nation’s most vulnerable young people, low income blacks and Hispanics.

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Monday, April 20, 2009
Some Great Songs You Never Heard

Carnivalito from Sky Islands by Caldera. They don't get much more obscure than this four-album latin jazz band, but nobody who bought their albums regretted it. Almost all the band members went on to have long and reasonably successful careers in the music business

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