Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Value of Blogs

If you have been reading blogs for a long time, as I have, you have probably learned that there is more to read than just the blogger's posts. The comments section of bloggers who allow comments can be just as illuminating as the blog. At Iraq The Model, for instance, the commenters are from all over the world, and though you have to discount the trolls, many time the commenters have found information from other sources you haven't found on your own. [Trolls, for the newby, are those ridiculous comments from what I invision as being a pimply faced nerdy adolescent who cannot arouse attention in his/her own life, and attempt to verbally incite attention from the blogger and commenters. My rule of thumb is not to feed the trolls, but instead, ignore them.]

Another reason to read the comments sections, as well as the blogs, are because many times the comments are from others in the same situation who have had similar experiences that validate the information found in the blog. In some cases, they offer opposite information, but rarely.

You'll also learn that the military is sick and dadgum tired of the lies being told by the media arm of the leftwing about them. As in the case of A Day In Iraq, a milblog [military blog] I found linked to Blackfive. Here he comments on Trudeau's lies in his comic strip, by interjecting his comments in the parantheses:

"Second box:"Trust me on this. (Yeah, trust a man with a cartoon that’s 7000 miles away from the place he speaks so confidently of) The new uparmored humvees still haven’t made it to us(We had new ones arrive months ago, and we already had enough before that). It’s strictly scrounge time here(what part of Iraq is he in?), pure road warrior."(He has no idea)"

One commenter said she'd read an editorial newsletter that her local Guard force were lacking armor. We don't know if the person or soldier writing it was correct, but another commenter who is stationed in Iraq, backed Michael's assertions that they've had armored vehicles all along. Blackfive just found another blogging service person from Afghanistan. This is a blog by a husband and wife, so it gives a perspective from both the spouse abroad, and the spouse left behind.

I urge you to check out the milblogs at this posting of Blackfive. One stunning blog, This Is Your War, shows another soldier's experiences in Iraq. I picked up the blog at what (according to the commenters) is out of the norm for this blogger. This eloquent and vivid description of what they face day by day is riveting! Obviously a talented writer, this soldier brings you pictures of his experiences that even his camera cannot capture! Another blog Blackfive links has a project put together by the military blogger, wherein state-side questions are put to his Iraqi translator, and the Iraqi's response:

"Q: Are Iraqis becoming more realistic about the time it takes the infrastructure to be re-built...or in some cases, built at all? Sometimes it seems as though it's a "what-have-you-done-for-me-today" attitude. Is that lessening as Iraqis assume more of this task?

Bob [his name for the Iraqi] replied, "We understand that it will take some time to bring Iraq out of the rubble. We are willing to work to make Iraq like Germany or Japan after the Second World War, shining examples of how a nation can be re-built. We want to make Iraq the jewel of the Middle East, better and higher than our neighbors."

To those of you who are among the liberal media who think they are talking to Americans when they publish/televise/report their trashing of our military, I suggest you pay close attention to the commenters on these posts! I have yet to read comments on any milblog or any Iraqi blog that do not include someone who tells why they have turned away from what some would term the mainstream media. I call them as I see them; the liberal media! Do you folks still wonder why no one is watching or reading your lying pap?

Who was it who said, "An informed populace is a danger to the prevailing powers"? Me? Get informed, folks. And get it from the proverbial horse's mouth!

// posted by DagneyT @ 8:37 AM

Monday, May 30, 2005

Honoring Our Heroes

I want to share a letter I read at Blackfive's blog. It illustrates the tribute that our fallen marines are shown. From Blackfive:

"I'll close with this heartfelt letter, written by Rick Kennedy, that I received via Seamus about Taylor Prazynski - a Marine who recently was buried at Arlington."

On Saturday morning May 21st I flew to Washington, D.C to meet my daughter Mary with grandchildren Calista and Lindsey, and her husband Joe Teller to drive with them to Chesterfield Virginia to attend a ballet recital for Callie that evening. Joe and Mary were in Washington for the burial services of Lance Corporal Taylor Prazynski USMC the 20 year old son of Joe’s cousin John Prazynski. Taylor was killed by enemy fire in Fallujah on May 9th while serving in combat with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment, and 2nd Marine Division. Mary and Joe, along with 50 other family members attended the burial service for Taylor on Friday at Arlington National Cemetery, and when I met them they remained emotionally overwhelmed and forever moved by the elegant display of military reverence, and efficiency at Arlington. They were deeply saddened by the loss of this young Marine.

Earlier in the week Taylor’s body arrived at the Greater Cincinnati Airport by commercial jet. All passengers were instructed to remain on the plane until Taylor’s body was removed by a contingent of Marines. A military helicopter followed the Marine vehicle as it motored to the funeral parlor. Police and fire trucks were stationed at the overpasses and along the highway and saluted at Taylor passed by. At the funeral parlor no civilian was allowed to touch the body. The Marines prepared the deceased...A Marine color guard followed by a rider less horse accompanied Taylor’s body down Ohio Highway 4 for funeral services at Fairfield High School gym. Over 1500 people were in attendance of the funeral service at the school where the young Marine graduated in 2003, and played football and ran track. Pastor Dave Workman of the Vineyard Community Church presided. He gave a sterling tribute to this fallen hero that gave his life to his country. The pastor praised Taylor for his work with the church’s youth group, and his volunteer work with a multiple-disabilities class while in high school.

At Arlington on May 20th, the seven pall bearers dressed resplendent in the Marine dress blues uniform marched with the flag draped casket with military precision. When they reached the gravesite they abruptly raised the casket above their shoulders for 30 long seconds, giving the fallen Marine salute, and then rested the casket on its conveyor belt support over the grave. The military chaplain in civilian clothes gave the last rites, and presented the family Taylor’s posthumously awarded Purple Heart Medal.

All seven Marines removed the American Flag from the casket. They raised the stars and stripes above the casket pulling the flag rigid like a drum. Then they tightly folded the flag step by step in a triangle with the ends tucked firmly in place. One of the Marines did an about face and presented the flag to the Marine Sergeant standing alone to the rear of the casket, and saluted the flag.. The Marine in charge carrying the flag proceeded to the seat of the father John Prazynski. The Marine knelt down and bowed his head and presented the flag to the grieving father as the final gesture of sympathy and appreciation by the United States Marine Corps for the brave service of this young Marine.

Seven Marines standing away from the proceedings fired their rifles in three volleys representing a 21 gun salute, and you could hear muffled screams of sorrow from the youth in attendance as a lone bugler in Marine dress blues played the sad haunting sound of “Taps’ that echoed across the green rolling plains of Arlington on to the endless stream of white stones in this section called” Iraqi Freedom”. This was the Marines way of sending a signal to God to open the gates of Heaven for the arrival of [Corporal] Prazynski who gave his life for his country and our fight against terror throughout the world."

Guess I should have warned you to grab a tissue. The respectful reverence given our fallen military is what I wanted to share, and to remind you what today is all about. I also wanted to wish you a happy and joyous Memorial Day, provided to you by the sacrifice of our fallen soldiers, sailers, marines, and airmen. Blackfive observed that they would want you to have fun, as a way to show your gratitude to them for their sacrifices. I will hoist a beer, and say a prayer for all those who have served and died for our country. Cheers!

// posted by DagneyT @ 5:28 AM

Sunday, May 29, 2005

As Predicted

On the 24th, I posted a fax I sent to Senator Frist. Part of it read,

"I am sure you have learned by now that you cannot make “agreements” with these people, and expect some cooperation in return. I don’t care how they make promises. They have been proven not to keep them! They only take heart that they won that argument, and continue to thwart the President’s agenda! They are laughing at the rest of the Republican party, I guarantee! They think they WON! It is (to use Dr. Dean’s expression) galling to those of us who put you folks in office, thinking you will/might go along with this ludicrous “deal”. Stop thinking you can have a win/win situation in D.C. It is not going to happen with this group! "

As predicted, they filibustered the Bolton nomination, and yet the
Republicans were "stunned"!

"Forty Democrats and one independent were able to delay a Senate vote on Mr. Bolton until after the Memorial Day recess, demanding that the White House first hand over information related to his conduct in two areas, involving an intelligence dispute over Syria and the handling of intelligence reports from the National Security Agency.

Mr. McCain was among 53 Republicans left stunned by the Democratic move, which foiled a Republican-led effort to bring the nomination to a final roll-call vote. "

Well folks, apparently we can read the donks, but our GOP representatives cannot! Stunned because they followed their normal behavior pattern of saying one thing and doing another? Or could it be something else, like McVain's presidential bid in '08?

"The senator [McCain a.k.a. "he who loves cameras" McVain] had played host at a meeting on Monday night in which seven Republicans struck a deal with seven Democrats in the Senate to avert a showdown over filibusters of judicial nominations. Three of those Democrats - Senators Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana - joined Republicans in voting to end the debate on Mr. Bolton.

Mr. McCain's comments on Friday suggested that he might once again see himself as playing a broker's role, though he did not say what he believed a compromise might entail."

See any pattern emerging? You can almost hear him proclaim, "In light of the rancor in the past eight years, I can bring the country together." Perhaps he'll ask Shrillary to be his running mate? In my opinion, that's NOT how you win Presidential elections, Senator.

// posted by DagneyT @ 5:10 AM

Friday, May 27, 2005

Keep 'em Home!

With today's technology, is there any real reason for our legislators to leave their home state? Now really, is there? Why should they be allowed to go to Washington D. C.? Telecommuting works for others, why not for them? That way we could keep an eye on them, and visit their offices. If they stray from their promised positions, we can remind them as they stand in line at the grocery store, "Hey! Why didn't you vote for cloture, so we could have John Bolton on his way to cleaning up the UN? He's just the kind of guy we need!" But no, instead we get this!

"The panel's decision -- spurred by Ohio Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich's change of heart during an emotional meeting -- came after Democrats passionately argued that senators and their aides need more time to check out new accusations against Bolton, now the undersecretary of state for arms control. Panel members said they may ask Bolton, who spent a full day testifying last week, to return for more questioning. "

Voinovich's change of heart? You mean when he blubbered like a "girlie-man"? If I lived in Ohio, I'd be embarrassed! Apparently when you reach Washington D. C., your backbone is removed if you are a Republican. Democrats who have never had a backbone before they came, i.e. the nerd-like Harry Reid, the soft-spoken Tom Daschle, etc., are given the backbones that have been removed.

I say we should keep them home. Let them use the internet technology we use every day to stay in touch. They cannot be trusted once they are infected by Washington D. C.

// posted by DagneyT @ 5:11 AM

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Free Speech Gratitude?

We may not always agree with what someone has to say, but we agree that they have the right to say it. Right? Well, not always. Especially if you are trying to read the Bible in your child's classroom. The assignment for the 6 years olds was to choose your favorite book, and ask your parents if one could come to school and read it to the class. Sounds simple enough, unless your favorite book is the Bible!

"On May 3, Donna Busch sued the Marple Newtown School District, arguing that her right to religious expression was violated. Although she was not permitted to read the Bible in class, other students were allowed to express their religious viewpoints by, among other things, making Hanukkah decorations, the suit contends.

Wesley "has a right to say who he is, what he likes, and what he's about without being made to feel negative about something that's so important a part of his life," said Busch, a business consultant and artist who lives in the Delaware County community with her husband and three sons."

The teacher offered her the choice of another book, a book on Halloween and witchcraft. How's that for brilliant teacher-think? So Mrs. Busch is taking her fight to the courts. It's still called "free speech", right?

Unless you are in Italy. There the judge can order you to stand trial if you've said something not appreciated by Islam. [Since it requires that pesky registration, I'll reprint the gist of it here.]

"ROME -- A judge has ordered best-selling author Oriana Fallaci to face trial on charges of defaming Islam in her recent book "The Strength of Reason," the writer and an attorney in the case said Wednesday.

The case arose after Muslim activist Adel Smith charged that "some of the things she said are offensive to Islam," said Smith's attorney, Matteo Nicoli. He cited a phrase from the book that refers to Islam as "a pool ... that never purifies."

Fallaci, who is in her 70s, said she is accused of violating an Italian law that prohibits "outrage to religion."

The case is proceeding even though a prosecutor who handled it previously sought dismissal of the charges on the grounds that Fallaci had a right to state her own political beliefs, Nicoli said.

"I have expressed my opinion through the written word through my books, that is all," Fallaci told The Associated Press.

No date has been set for the trial to begin in the northern town of Bergamo, he said.
Fallaci, a former resistance fighter and war correspondent who lives in New York, has often stirred controversy for her blunt publications and provocative stances. During her journalistic career, Fallaci became known for uncompromising interviews with such world leaders as former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

In the ruling obtained by the AP, the judge said that "Fallaci is addressing her hostile expressions against every manifestation of the Islamic religion and world and not only against certain extremist sectors."

Italy's Justice Minister, Roberto Castelli sided with Fallaci, telling Radio Padania that "Fallaci had the courage to say what she thinks."

Hang out with us, Ms. Fallaci. Just don't try reading the Bible in public, especially public schools.

// posted by DagneyT @ 5:56 AM

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Fax Time Again!

Sheesh! Donks gloating, RINO's being duped, and a GOP minority showing little signs of any backbone! Why doesn't McCain just change sides? RNC people, I hope you are looking for some viable replacements in state primaries for the 7 RINO dwarves!

So now what? I noticed there was one name not included on that "agreement announcement" yesterday afternoon. Senator Bill Frist. Senator Frist has an opportunity to take the lead in the '08 presidential horse race. With Rehnquist being re-hospitalized, those of us out here in Red Stateville, are sitting on pins and needles! The Constitutional option can still be used. Call their bluff, Senator Frist. The D.C. press won't like you, but they didn't elect you. We did!

As is my usual MO, I composed the following fax, and it has been sent with cc's to other influential senators:

"Senator Frist, I implore you to please ignore that ridiculous sell-out of Americans, with the agreement the RINO’s [Republicans In Name Only] and the Democrats came up with yesterday. Please force the issue! You were not a part of this stupid sell-out, so there is no reason the rest of our GOP senators should be held to it! Bring up those judicial nominees, and let them show their true colors.

I am sure you have learned by now that you cannot make “agreements” with these people, and expect some cooperation in return. I don’t care how they make promises. They have been proven not to keep them! They only take heart that they won that argument, and continue to thwart the President’s agenda! They are laughing at the rest of the Republican party, I guarantee! They think they WON! It is (to use Dr. Dean’s expression) galling to those of us who put you folks in office, thinking you will/might go along with this ludicrous “deal”. Stop thinking you can have a win/win situation in D.C. It is not going to happen with this group!

We want judges who are federalists, and who will not judge by international law. We want judges who will not strike down our duly voted on state laws. We want our kids to have the opportunity to save money in private accounts. Why should you and your federal employees have this option, but our kids do not?

Enough is enough with these crooks on the left. Their “deal” is bogus, and needs to be ignored!

Thank you, and God bless you and yours."

Imagine the rage McCain will fly into if Frist does this....in private of course. [Can't allow anyone to see his famous rages.] This little snit against Bush is going to make him as irrelevant in the '08 race as he became in the '00 primaries. Thank you, Senator McCain, for supporting our troops. Emphasize the period! His hand-in-hand tour with Shrillary is still vividly fresh in my memory.

Meanwhile, Harry Reid is appearing everywhere on any media who will have him, gloating...well, really, how can you tell with Mr. Personality? Easy. He knows they got their way. 43 donks managed to shut out Presidential nominations. Not only that, but the senile old KKKer, Byrd, added a little caveat in the agreement that from now on the President has to "confer" with this group of 14 "moderates" before he profers a nominee! It is a travesty!

That is unless Senator Frist chooses to ignore their stunt, and call each and every one of those 10 nominees to the floor. This will make the 7 dwarves choose which side they are on, and remind the obstructionists on the left who is really in the driver's seat! Show your mettle, Senator Frist.

// posted by DagneyT @ 11:26 AM

Monday, May 23, 2005

Let's Examine

Have you ever read the Communist Manifesto? Ever wonder why the left is scared to death of George W. Bush? I had read the Manifesto years ago, but more recently I make a point of it 2-3 times a year, just to check their accomplishments. Every time I see some story referring to the Donks by calling them "Democratic", I see red. They should be called by their original name, i.e., Democrats. Or more correctly, they should be called according to what they believe, i.e., Socialists or Communists, depending on the degree of leftward slant.

Let's take a look at the goals they published, and were set into the Congressional Record in 1963, my sophomore year in high school. (I may currently be a "southern lady", but it does not extend to my willingness to date myself. I have earned my "years", and am still a student at heart.) My comments will be, appropriately on two counts, in red.

[From "The Naked Communist," by Cleon Skousen]

1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war. [Our donks unfortunate choice of methods for 40+ years.]

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war. [Can you say "appeasement"?]

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength. [Hmmm....where have I heard that before? Since I was in high school, in other words, for 40 years!]

4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war. [Hmmmmm, capitalism....how did that sneak in with this bunch? Capitalism is the best way to counter their influence.]

5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites. [I'm not sure to what extent this has been accomplished, but because bureaucraps run NASA, it's probably to a large extent. Thanks to Ronaldus Maximus, a.k.a. Ronald Reagan, many of those now former satellites are now democracies.]

6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination. [rolling eyes, raising eyebrows...wishing for the government to adopt the "Excrement List" advocated by our friend Rush Limbaugh! Excrement List: If you burn our flag, denigrate us in any way, you will lose your aid. It will take 3 years of behaving yourselves and promoting democracy to get it back!]

7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N. [Oh, you mean by the China that threatens vetos of U. S. plans? That China? Check that one done.]

8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N. [All hail!! Ronaldus Maximus!!]

9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress. [All hail!! Ronaldus Maximus!!]

10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N. [They don't want to do that now, because most of the satellites are now democracies! chuckle chuckle!]

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.) [This is where the "New Media" raises its majestic head! The formerly vaunted U.N. has been outed, and WHEN Bolton gets into office, let the vermin extermination begin!]

12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party. [Fairly unlikely in a free society...much to our dismay!]

13. Do away with all loyalty oaths. [Like taking "God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance? Or is getting rid of the Pledge altogether the ACLUnatics next goal?]

14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office. [What moron allowed this to happen? IMHO, this bureaucrap needs to brought up on charges as a traitor.]

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States. [That could be called a "done deal"! Let's see....who is hailed as a hero in a Hanoi museum? They started way back then, didn't they?]

16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights. [Can anyone say "Roe v. Wade"? Have you read the ACLUnatics' Statement of Purpose? I had the link, but they apparently do not want it on the web anymore! It's main purpose as stated by its founder, was to remove all vestiges or mentions of God from America...guess they learned we're on to them!]

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks. [It took us nearly 40 years to get a handle on this problem, but the tide is beginning to turn. "Home-schooled" on a resume in 10 years, will bring the highest pay!]

18. Gain control of all student newspapers. [...and the NYT, LAT, et al. We can mark that one as "accomplished", right?]

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack. [The left's spectacle on Inauguration Day, 2004, comes to my mind. How about yours? We're on to that tactic as well.]

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policy-making positions. [Refer to #18]

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures. [Where do I begin? Michael Moore, Susan Sarandan, Barbra Streisand...for Pete's Sake, let's just mark this one as another one accomplished...oh wait! It says radio, doesn't it. Anyone care to look at Air America's numbers? Guess we won that one. And they hadn't bargained on the internet, had they?]

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms." [Does anyone remember a cross turned upside down in a beaker of urine? Or how about the one with Mary and the elephant dung?]

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art." [Outside of the L'Ouvre, or the Huntington Library in Pasadena, CA, I think we can call this one on its way to accomplished as well.]

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press. [This one I don't even need to address. We all see this happening every time we turn around!]

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV. [Refer to #24]

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy." [Have you written to your Representative or Senator to give them an incentive to push the "Defense of Marriage Act"? You aren't confused any more about why they hate George W. Bush, are you?]

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a "religious crutch." [Obviously they know very little about people of faith, do they?]

28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state." [They're still working on this one, and they've made some frightening inroads over the years, but we are starting to fight back! You aren't confused any more about why they hate George W. Bush, are you?]

29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis. [They've been invoking this lie into our schools for 40+ years. They were just beginning to add it to our cirriculum as I was graduating from high school, merely a year after this manifesto was published, so it had been in the works before Congress learned about it.]

30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man." [When I graduated in '65, they were already calling them "rich white men"!]

31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over. [History has not been a part of public schools for at least 40 years, and what has been covered was done irresponsibly and untruthfully. Can you say "home schooling"?

32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture--education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc. [Our bureaucracy has become this arm of the socialist movement. Just take a minute to talk to a "social worker", and you will know wherefrom I am speaking. You think they call them "social[ist] worker" without a reason?]

33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus. [Now ask me again why originalist judges, i.e., judges who follow the constitution, and not their own agenda, is so vitally important! We need the likes of Janice Rogers-Brown...learn about her from my post a few days ago.

34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities. [Accomplished]

35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI. [They came close. You aren't confused any more about why they hate George W. Bush, are you?]

36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions. [I've blogged on this until I have finger cramps! Having grown up in a union family, with a brother who is a union leader, I know whereof I speak! This was accomplished in the '30's and has only worsened.]

37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business. [Sorry! Capitalism and communism are not a match. They only way they have gained a measure of success in this arena is the dreaded "political correctness"! PC has hamstringed business in many areas.]

38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat]. [If you don't think this has been accomplished on the left coasts, both of them, check the number of psychiatrists and compare it to the number throughout the Heartland! It is considered "vogue" or "chic" to count how many shrinks you have had over the years!]

39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals. [Refer back to #32 & #38]

40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce. [Thank you, Hollywierdos, for having accomplished this goal in some circles!]

41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents. [Can you say "Public Schools" & "Headstart"?]

42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems. [Does this mean the next time I see one of their American Communist Party organized "protests", I can bring my AK-47?]

43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government. [No wonder they want us out of Iraq NOW!]

44. Internationalize the Panama Canal. [Done.]

45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike. [This one they are still working on, with the willing participation of the judges they've seated for 30 years!]

Note: The Congressional Record back this far has not be digitized and posted on the Internet.It will probably be available at your nearest library that is a federal repository. Call them and ask them. Your college library is probably a repository. This is an excellent source of government records. Another source are your Congress Critters. They should be more than happy to help you in this matter. You will find the Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto interesting at this point.Webmaster Forest Glen Durland found the document in the library. Sources are listed below.Microfilm: California State University at San Jose Clark Library, Government Floor Phone (408)924-2770 Microfilm Call Number: J 11.R5Congressional Record, Vol. 109 88th Congress, 1st Session Appendix Pages A1-A2842 Jan. 9-May 7, 1963 Reel 12

I hope I have disspelled any questions as to why the left is imploding. Though they have made many inroads, I believe the tide is turning, and because of the internet, we are ON TO THEM!

// posted by DagneyT @ 8:42 AM
Hypocrisy Who?

From the party who advocates killing babies in wombs, but not murderers on death row, comes this latest:

"Hypocrisy is a value that I think has been embraced by the Republican Party," Mr. Dean told NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday. "We get lectured by people all day long about moral values by people who have their own moral shortcomings."

He of course, is referring to Rush Limbaugh, who became addicted to pain pills due to a painful condition in his back.

Does Dean realize how most Americans hear that statement? Does he not realize that we are reeling with the Democrap's myriad of hypocrisies? Abortion/death penalty issues not withstanding, we wonder how the donks' presidential candidates can freely visit churches, yet insist on a separation of church and state. We marvel at how they can screech about "minority rights" in the Senate, but only since they've been in the minority. Every time we turn around the Democrat party contradicts itself, yet according to the screaming Dean, the Republican party is "embracing" hypocrisy.

// posted by DagneyT @ 4:58 AM

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Homespun Blogger Question XXI

Major Dad has taken over collection and maintenance of the blogger questions at Homespun, and this week he has posed a question upon which I have done considerable reading. You read right, "reading" not thinking about the Saddam Insane pictures. Here's the question asked by Major Dad:

"What do you think about "The Sun" publishing the pictures of Saddam? While I haven't seen all the pictures, the one everyone seems to be talking about is the one of the former dictator in his "tighty whities."Will this event further fan the flames of Islamic hatred for the West and the occupiers of the Coalition? Or will this blow over? Abu-Grab it's not in my book. "

I found the whole episode to be more disgusting than anything, from a female perspective. Who wants to look at an old guy in skivvies? I have been reading some of the Middle East bloggers, and here is what Omar at Iraq The Model had to say about it:

"By the way, I'd like to say a few words about the Saddam in Knickers thing. I actually don't think Saddam would mind being seen this way at all; back in the 1990s he appeared on the state TV wearing a swim suit smaller than the underwear he was wearing in the recent photos. And not only that, he was dancing in that "out fit"!

So if it was okay for him to appear half naked on TV when he was in power, I don't think he would mind being seen the same way when he's a prisoner and I really don't understand the frenzy of his Jordanian attorney who described taking the photos as a crime!"

He makes a pretty logical point, backed up by Saddam's history. However GM at The Big Pharoah had a different take in this post "Another Blow to America":

"Now, the bigger problem is not with the Sun because those pics could have been published in any tabloid around the world. The bigger and most serious problem lies in this question: how much control does the Department of Defence has over its soldiers????? From the abuses in Abu Ghraib and Gitmo to taking pictures of Saddam in his underwear, it seems that the DoD has very very minimum control over how thousands of soldiers act around the world. One soldier can bring shame to 300 million Americans and damage the entire policy of the country."

He later went on to say that Donald Rumsfeld should be fired or quit for his inability to keep his troops in line. That got to me, so I answered him in his comments section,

"GM, This statement is simply ignorant; "inability to control the behavior of 2 or 3 American soldiers". Are you really that disingenuous? Do you realize how many men and women are in the U.S. Army? That one man can have control over the behavior of all of them would suggest a regime akin to Saddam's! We are a free people, GM. If a picture of SH's in his skivvies is such a big deal, perhaps you should rethink your desire for a freer society."

I was not the only commenter with that take on his attitude, so he attempted to clarify his position in a later post.

"I would just like to point out that I was very angry at what the Sun and the New York Post did because of 2 things. First, I am sure you know by now that I do support the US' efforts in Iraq. Showing Saddam's pictures in his underwear might put a smile on the face of a Kurd in Irbil but it will definitely play out negatively in some parts of the Sunni triangle and this is bad news for everyone. Second, showing those pictures was wrong period. I am sure many agree with me. So this coming after the abuse scandal and the Quran story will only tarnish the US' image one more time and paint Americans with labels such as "disrespectful, obscene, etc". This is the reason why the US military was quick in denouncing what happened.

I can hear someone yelling "where is the uproar regarding the daily massacre of Iraqis?" Very valid question and I have touched upon this issue before. I will write more about this in the future. I the mean time read this and this (read They Said Terrorists)"

[Off Topic: Reading GM is a venture into the land of the Pharoahs, btw, which gives on a pretty good feel for their political situation, not to mention an overall feel for the Middle East.]

Will it blow over, is a part of the question that is the most interesting. Has Abu Ghraib blown over? Hell no! In fact the first thing out of most media loud mouths was "Abu Ghraib" when the whitie tighties pictures showed up! Every chance the left-wing media (my new name for them, since they are anything but mainstream!) gets to slam America, they are going to take it. It's bad enough to be at war with a bunch of looney Islamofascists, but to be back-stabbed by people in your own country for being in battle is just INSANE! Ask Tony Blair, The Sun has had its way with him often enough!

You can read other responses at:


Major Dad

// posted by DagneyT @ 12:30 PM

Saturday, May 21, 2005

This Is a Must Read!

I have been cooling off this afternoon by reading some of my favorite bloggers. It's been 97 degrees here, so the A/C feels great. I ran across this from Varifrank and decided it was too enlightening not to share;

"Hello, my name is Fabrizio Quattrocchi. I was captured by Muslim holy warriors and tortured before cameras, just for their sport. In the end, they set aside of any respect for international law common, human decency or even the restraint of their own religious doctrine and beheaded me. I shouldn’t have expected any special treatment as this is a common act that they perform even among their own people. However, you won’t see the video of my beheading because I died like a man rather than the sniveling coward they wanted me to be.

I just want you all to know that I find all Muslims who decry to horrors of “George Bush and abu-ghraib” and now this desecration of the Koran to be a bit, shall we say “shallow” in light of the fact that the same “abu-ghraib” that you decry under Bush was a charnel house under Saddam, and yet you said nothing since it was a fellow Muslim doing the killing Oh, and I tell you, the International Red Cross coming out for concern over “civilian deaths in iraq” now that Saddam is gone is rich, real rich. Where was all the concern when the Kurds were being gassed? Where was all the concern for the marsh arabs then, eh? Where’s all the indignity when the supposedly holy kingdom of Saudi Arabia works so hard at killing and subjugating so many of the worlds Muslims. See any Christians in Arabia? No, Golly why is that? "

To the Italian people: Be proud of such a man. He must make you as proud of him, as our Thomas Hamill made us! Thank you, Italy, for standing by us. We know it was not popular, but we can see by this man's life and death, that we chose our friends well.

// posted by DagneyT @ 2:42 PM

Friday, May 20, 2005

RNC Hint....shhhh

The RNC called me with one of their many surveys, always ending with the caller asking for money. The ploy they used this time is the "threat" of Howard Dean, and his efforts. Now I can understand that they might think that I'm utterly clueless about what Howard and his Deaniacs are up to, but they are wrong:

"In language strikingly similar to Republican rhetoric, Democratic Party leader Howard Dean said Wednesday in Phoenix that Democrats are the party of "moral values," "individual freedom," "personal responsibility" and "fiscal conservatives."

"I am tired of being lectured to about moral values by a corrupt party," the former Vermont governor and 2004 presidential candidate told a cheering assembly of 300 members of the Young Democrats of Arizona."

Alrighty then. He's using our issues to energize his base. How's that working?

"What it's doing to the rest of the party is another matter: Fund-raising is down under Dean; in the first quarter of '05, the DNC raised only half as much as its GOP counterpart."

More recent estimates say it is between 1/3 to even a quarter of GOP fund raising. Get my drift, RNC? Ken Mehlman, et al, seem to have a handle on what needs to be done.

"Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, is courting black and Hispanic voters on a regular basis. Beyond the usual run of speeches, fundraisers and meetings with donors, he has visited Latino neighborhoods and historically black campuses. "

Ouch! That must hurt.

"Some Democrats are frustrated by the contrast between the two approaches, even as they praise Dean's efforts to revitalize flagging state parties. "Democrats should be stirring things up, roiling the waters on (the GOP) side the way Mehlman is on ours. He's playing in our sandbox," says Steve Rosenthal, CEO of America Coming Together, a group formed to energize and turn out Democratic voters."

The next question we might ask is how are the Dean-stated goals of making inroads into local politics working? Or NOT working?

"The candidate is Otto Banks, a 33-year-old African-American and the biggest vote-getter in Harrisburg, a predominantly black and overwhelmingly Democratic city where a Republican hasn't been elected to the city council in nearly 20 years.

Like everyone else on the all-black city council, Mr. Banks was a Democrat -- that is, until this March when he announced he had become disenchanted and was joining the Republicans. "

Hint to the RNC fund-raising chairman: Howard Dean is not a really good incentive for your efforts. As I told the caller from the state RNC, "He's the gift that keeps on giving." Rumors have it that he may not last a year in the position. Instead of calling me, which by this time your callers dread, perhaps you should start making phone calls to your own Senate leadership, and tell them to get off the stick! That would work for me!

Off Topic: If you have not read Janice Rogers-Brown's speech in my previous post, please do. She is the Paul Revere of our time! Read and heed.

// posted by DagneyT @ 1:55 PM
Thank You, Senator Cornyn

As I finished brewing the coffee yesterday, and was throwing a load of wash in the dryer, I'm listening to Fox & Friends. Our own Texas senator, John Cornyn, is shown in a clip speaking on the floor of the Senate yesterday saying that (I'll try verbatim) "There comes a time when patience ceases to be a virtue." [blogger.com lost this yesterday, it was mysteriously back this morning!]

Thank you, Senator, for putting into words what a great many of us have been feeling as we watch the Senate's torturous journey toward judicial nominee action. As we listen to all the reports about moderates trying in "closed doors meetings" to "cut a deal", I am reminded of the ever so wise question posed by Rush Limbaugh, "Have you ever heard of a famous moderate?" I am so sick of this lame "minority rights" nonsense. They don't want an up or down for one reason, they will lose. They want us to give up "a couple" of nominees.

Let me introduce you to one of the ones they do not want confirmed, Janice Rogers-Brown, via her own words in a speech to The Federalist Society, April 20th, 2000:

"A Whiter Shade of Pale": Sense and Nonsense —
The Pursuit of Perfection in Law and Politics
Speech of Janice Rogers Brown,
Associate Justice, California Supreme Court
The Federalist Society
University of Chicago Law School
April 20, 2000, Thursday
12:15 p.m.

Thank you. I want to thank Mr. Schlangen (fondly known as Charlie to my secretary) for
extending the invitation and the Federalist Society both for giving me my first opportunity to visit the City of Chicago and for being, as Mr. Schlangen assured me in his letter of invitation, "a rare bastion (nay beacon) of conservative and libertarian thought." That latter notion made yourinvitation well-nigh irresistible. There are so few true conservatives left in America that we probably should be included on the endangered species list. That would serve two purposes: Demonstrating the great compassion of our government and relegating us to some remote wetlands habitat where — out of sight and out of mind — we will cease being a dissonance in collectivist concerto of the liberal body politic.

In truth, they need not banish us to the gulag. We are not much of a threat, lacking even a
coherent language in which to state our premise. [I should pause here to explain the source of the title to this discussion. Unless you are a very old law student, you probably never heard of "A Whiter Shade of Pale."] "A Whiter Shade of Pale" is an old (circa 1967) Procol Harum song, full of nonsensical lyrics, but powerfully evocative nonetheless.
Here's a sample:
"We skipped the light fandango
turned cartwheels cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
but the crowd called out for more.
The room was humming harder
as the ceiling flew away.
When we called out for another drink
the waiter brought a tray."

There is something about this that forcibly reminds me of our current political circus. The last verse is even better.

"If music be the food of love
then laughter is its queen
and likewise if behind is in front
then dirt in truth is clean...."

Sound familiar? Of course Procol Harum had an excuse. These were the 60's after all, and the lyrics were probably drug induced. What's our excuse?

One response might be that we are living in a world where words have lost their meaning. This is certainly not a new phenomenon. It seems to be an inevitable artifact of cultural disintegration. Thucydides lamented the great changes in language and life that succeeded the Pelopennesian War; Clarendon and Burke expressed similar concerns about the political transformations of their own time. It is always a disorienting experience for a member of the old guard when the entire understanding of the old world is uprooted.
As James Boyd White expresses it: "In this world no one would see what he sees, respond as he responds, speak as he speaks," and living in that world means surrender to the near certainty of central and fundamental changes within the self. "One cannot maintain forever one's language and judgment against the pressures of a world that
works in different ways," for we are shaped by the world in which we live. This is a fascinating subject which we do not have time to explore more thoroughly. Suffice it to
say that this phenomenon accounts for much of the near hysterical tone of current political discourse.
Our problems, however, seem to go even deeper. It is not simply that the same words don't have the same meanings; in our lifetime, words are ceasing to have any meaning. The culture of the word is being extinguished by the culture of the camera. Politicians no longer have positions they have photo-ops. To be or not to be is no longer the question. The question is: how do you feel?

Writing 50 years ago, F.A. Hayek warned us that a centrally planned economy is "The Road to Serfdom." He was right, of course; but the intervening years have shown us that there are many other roads to serfdom. In fact, it now appears that human nature is so constituted that, as in the days of empire all roads led to Rome; in the heyday of liberal democracy, all roads lead to slavery. And we no longer find slavery abhorrent. We embrace it. We demand more. Big government is not just the opiate of the masses. It is the opiate.
The drug of choice for multinational corporations and single moms; for regulated industries and rugged Midwestern farmers and militant senior citizens. It is my thesis today that the sheer tenacity of the collectivist impulse — whether you call it
socialism or communism or altruism — has changed not only the meaning of our words, but the meaning of the Constitution, and the character of our people.

Government is the only enterprise in the world which expands in size when its failures increase. Aaron Wildavsky gives a credible account of this dynamic. Wildavsky notes that the Madisonian world has gone "topsy turvy" as factions, defined as groups "activated by some common interest adverse to the rights of other citizens or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community, have been transformed into sectors of public policy. "Indeed," says Wildavsky, "government now pays citizens to organize, lawyers to sue, and politicians to run for office. Soon enough, if current trends continue, government will become self-contained, generating (apparently spontaneously) the forces to which it responds. That explains how, but not why. And certainly not why we are so comfortable with that result.

America's Constitution provided an 18th Century answer to the question of what to do about the status of the individual and the mode of government. Though the founders set out to establish good government "from reflection and choice," they also acknowledged the "limits of reason as applied to constitutional design," and wisely did not seek to invent the world anew on the basis of abstract principle; instead, they chose to rely on habits, customs, and principles derived from human experience and authenticated by tradition.
The Framers understood that the self-interest which in the private sphere contributes to welfare of society — both in the sense of material well-being and in the social unity engendered by commerce — makes man a knave in the public sphere, the sphere of politics and group action. It is self-interest that leads individuals to form factions to try to expropriate the wealth of others through government and that constantly threatens social harmony."

Collectivism sought to answer a different question: how to achieve cosmic justice — sometimes referred to as social justice — a world of social and economic equality. Such an ambitious proposal sees no limit to man's capacity to reason. It presupposes a community can consciously design not only improved political, economic, and social systems but new and improved human beings as well.

The great innovation of this millennium was equality before the law. The greatest fiasco — the attempt to guarantee equal outcomes for all people. Tom Bethell notes that the security of property — a security our Constitution sought to ensure — had to be devalued in order for collectivism to come of age. The founders viewed private property as "the guardian of every other right. But, by 1890 we find Alfred Marshall, the teacher of John Maynard Keynes making the astounding claim that the need for private property reaches no deeper than the qualities of human nature. A hundred years later came Milton Friedman's laconic reply: " 'I would say that goes pretty deep.' "
In between, came the reign of socialism. "Starting with the formation of the Fabian Society and ending with the fall of the Berlin Wall, its ambitious project was the reformation of human nature. Intellectuals visualized a planned life without private property, mediated by the New Man. He never arrived. As John McGinnis persuasively argues: "There is simply a mismatch between collectivism on any large and enduring scale and our evolved nature. As Edward O. Wilson, the world's foremost expert on ants, remarked about Marxism, 'Wonderful theory. Wrong species.'

Ayn Rand similarly attributes the collectivist impulse to what she calls the "tribal view of man." She notes, "the American philosophy of the Rights of Man was never fully grasped by European intellectuals. Europe's predominant idea of emancipation consisted of changing the concept of man as a slave to the absolute state embodied by the king, to the concept of man as the slave of the absolute state as embodied by 'the people' — i.e., switching from slavery to a tribal chieftain into slavery to the tribe."

Democracy and capitalism seem to have triumphed. But, appearances can be deceiving. Instead of celebrating capitalism's virtues, we offer it grudging acceptance, contemptuous tolerance but only for its capacity to feed the insatiable maw of socialism. We do not conclude that socialism suffers from a fundamental and profound flaw. We conclude instead that its ends are worthy of any sacrifice — including our freedom. Revel notes that Marxism has been "shamed and ridiculed everywhere except American universities" but only after totalitarian systems "reached the limits of their wickedness. Socialism concentrated all the wealth in the hands of an oligarchy in the name of social justice, reduced peoples to misery in the name of shared resources, to ignorance in the name of science. It created the modern world's most inegalitarian societies in the name of equality, the most vast network of concentration camps ever built [for] the defense of liberty.

Revel warns: "The totalitarian mind can reappear in some new and unexpected and seemingly innocuous and indeed virtuous form. It ... will [probably] put itself forward under the cover of a generous doctrine, humanitarian, inspired by a concern for giving the disadvantaged their fair share, against corruption, and pollution, and 'exclusion.'
Of course, given the vision of the American Revolution just outlined, you might think none of that can happen here. I have news for you. It already has. The revolution is over. What started in the 1920's; became manifest in 1937; was consolidated in the 1960's; is now either building to a crescendo or getting ready to end with a whimper. At this moment, it seems likely leviathan will continue to lumber along, picking up ballast and
momentum, crushing everything in its path. Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates, and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible.
[My emphasis! Sound familiar?]

But what if anything does this have to do with law? Quite a lot, I think. In America, the national conversation will probably always include rhetoric about the rule of law. I have argued that collectivism was (and is) fundamentally incompatible with the vision that undergirded this country's founding. The New Deal, however, inoculated the federal Constitution with a kind of underground collectivist mentality. The Constitution itself was transmuted into a significantly different document. In his famous, all too famous, dissent in Lochner, Justice Holmes wrote that the "constitution is not intended to embody a particular economic theory, whether of paternalism and the organic relation of the citizen to the State or of laissez faire. Yes, one of the greatest (certainly one of the most quotable) jurists this nation has ever produced; but in this case, he was simply wrong.
That Lochner dissent has troubled me — has annoyed me — for a long time and finally I understand why. It's because the framers did draft the Constitution with a surrounding sense of a particular polity in mind, one based on a definite conception of humanity. In fact as Professor Richard Epstein has said, Holmes's contention is "not true of our Constitution, which was organized upon very explicit principles of political theory. It could be characterized as a plan for humanity "after the fall."
There is nothing new, of course, in the idea that the framers did not buy into the notion of human perfectibility. And the document they drafted and the nation adopted in 1789 is shot through with provisions that can only be understood against the supposition that humanity's capacity for evil and tyranny is quite as real and quite as great as its capacity for reason and altruism. Indeed, as noted earlier, in politics, the framers may have envisioned the former tendency as the stronger, especially in the wake of the country's experience under the Articles of Confederation. The fear of "factions," of an "encroaching tyranny"; the need for ambition to counter ambition"; all of these concerns identified in the Federalist Papers have stratagems designed to defend against them in the constitution itself. We needed them, the framers were convinced, because "angels do not govern"; men do.

It was a quite opposite notion of humanity, of its fundamental nature and capacities, that
animated the great concurrent event in the West in 1789 — the revolution in France. Out of that revolutionary holocaust — intellectually an improbable melding of Rousseau with Descartes — the powerful notion of abstract human rights was born. At the risk of being skewered by historians of ideas, I want to suggest that the belief in and the impulse toward human perfection, at least in the political life of a nation, is an idea whose arc can be traced from the Enlightenment, through the Terror, to Marx and Engels, to the evolutions of 1917 and 1937. The latter date marks the triumph of our own socialist revolution. All of these events were manifestations of a particularly skewed view of human nature and the nature of human reason. To the extent the Enlightenment sought to substitute the paradigm of reason for faith, custom or tradition, it failed to provide rational explanation of the significance of human life. It thus led, in a sort of ultimate
irony, to the repudiation of reason and to a full-fledged flight from truth — what Revel describes as "an almost pathological indifference to the truth."
There were obviously urgent economic and social reasons driving not only the political culture but the constitutional culture in the mid-1930's — though it was actually the mistakes of governments (closed borders, high tariffs, and other protectionist measures) that transformed a "momentary breakdown into an international cataclysm."22 The climate of opinion favoring collectivist social and political solutions had a worldwide dimension.

Politically, the belief in human perfectibility is another way of asserting that differences between the few and the many can, over time, be erased. That creed is a critical philosophical proposition underlying the New Deal. What is extraordinary is the way that thesis infiltrated and effected American constitutionalism over the next three-quarters of a century. Its effect was not simply to repudiate, both philosophically and in legal doctrine, the framers' conception of humanity, but to cut away the very ground on which the Constitution rests. Because the only way to come to terms with an enduring Constitution is to believe that the human condition is itself enduring.

For complex reasons, attempts to impose a collectivist political solution in the United States failed. But, the political failure was of little practical concern, in a way that is oddly unappreciated, that same impulse succeeded within the judiciary, especially in the federal high court. The idea of abstract rights, government entitlements as the most significant form of property, is well suited to conditions of economic distress and the emergence of a propertyless class. But the economic convulsions of the late 1920's and early 1930's passed away; the doctrinal underpinnings of West Coast Hotel and the "switch in time" did not.
Indeed, over the next half century it consumed much of the classical conception of the Constitution. So secure were the intellectual underpinnings of the constitutional revolution, so self-evident the ambient cultural values of the policy elite who administered it, that the object of the high court's jurisprudence was largely devoted to the construction of a system for ranking the constitutional weight to be given contending social interests.

In the New Deal/Great Society era, a rule that was the polar opposite of the classical era of
American law reigned. A judicial subjectivity whose very purpose was to do away with objective gauges of constitutionality, with universal principles, the better to give the judicial priesthood a free hand to remake the Constitution. After a handful of gross divisions reflecting the hierarchy of the elite's political values had been drawn (personal vs. economic rights, for example), the task was to construct a theoretical system, not of social or cultural norms, but of abstract constitutional weight a given interest merits — strict or rational basis scrutiny. The rest, the identification of underlying, extraconstitutional values, consisted of judicial tropes and a fortified rhetoric.

Protection of property was a major casualty of the Revolution of 1937. The paradigmatic case, written by that premiere constitutional operative, William O. Douglas, is Williamson v. Lee Optical. The court drew a line between personal rights and property rights or economic interests, and applied two different constitutional tests. Rights were reordered and property acquired a second class status.24 If the right asserted was economic, the court held the Legislature could do anything it pleased. Judicial review for alleged constitutional infirmities under the due process clause was virtually nonexistent. On the other hand, if the right was personal and "fundamental," review was intolerably strict. "From the Progressive era to the New Deal, property was by degrees ostracized from the company of rights. Something new, called economic rights, began to supplant the old property rights. This change, which occurred with remarkably little fanfare, was staggeringly significant. With the advent of "economic rights," the original meaning of rights was effectively destroyed. These new "rights" imposed obligations, not limits, on the state.

It thus became government's job not to protect property but, rather, to regulate and redistribute it. And, the epic proportions of the disaster which has befallen millions of people during the ensuing decades has not altered our fervent commitment to statism. The words of Judge Alex Kozinski, written in 1991, are not very encouraging.' What we have learned from the experience of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union ... is that you need capitalism to make socialism work.' In other words, capitalism must produce what socialism is to distribute.
Are the signs and portents any better at the beginning of a new century? Has the constitutional Zeitgeist that has reigned in the United States since the beginning of the Progressive Era come to its conclusion? And if it has, what will replace it? I wish I knew the answer to these questions. It is true — in the words of another old song: "There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear. The oracles point in all directions at once. Political polls suggest voters no longer desire tax cuts. But, taxpayers who pay the largest proportion of taxes are now a minority of all voters. On the other hand, until last term the Supreme Court held out the promising possibility of a revival of what might be called Lochnerism-lite in a trio of cases — Nollan, Dolan, and Lucas, Those cases
offered a principled but pragmatic means-end standard of scrutiny under the takings clause.

But there are even deeper movements afoot. Tectonic plates are shifting and the resulting cataclysm may make 1937 look tame. Lionel Tiger, in a provocative new book called The Decline of Males, posits a brilliant and disturbing new paradigm. He notes we used to think of a family as a man, a woman, and a child. Now, a remarkable new family pattern has emerged which he labels "bureaugamy." A new trinity: a woman, a child, and a bureaucrat." Professor Tiger contends that most, if not all, of the gender gap that elected Bill Clinton to a second term in 1996 is explained by this phenomenon. According
to Tiger, women moved in overwhelming numbers to the Democratic party as the party most likely to implement policies and programs which will support these new reproductive strategies. Professor Tiger is not critical of these strategies. He views this trend as the triumph of reproduction over production; the triumph of Darwinism over Marxism; and he advocates broad political changes to accommodate it.

Others do not see these changes as quite so benign or culturally neutral. Jacques Barzan finds the Central Western notion of emancipation has been devalued. It has now come to mean that "nothing stands in the way of every wish." The result is a decadent age — an era in which "there are no clear lines of advance"; "when people accept futility and the absurd as normal, the culture is decadent."

Stanley Rosen defines "our present crisis as a fatigue induced by ... accumulated decisions of so many revolutions. He finds us, in the spirit of Pascal, knowing "too much to be ignorant and too little to be wise."

I will close with a story I like a lot. It's a true story. It happened on June 10, 1990. A British
Airways jet bound for Malaga, Spain, took off from Birmingham, England. It was expected to be a routine flight. As the jet climbed through the 23,000-foot level, there was a loud bang; the cockpit windshield directly in front of the captain blew out. The sudden decompression sucked Captain Lancaster out of his seatbelt and into the hole left by the windscreen. A steward who happened to be in the cockpit managed to snag the captain's feet as he hurtled past. Another steward rushed onto the flight deck, strapped himself into the captain's chair and, helped by other members of the crew, clung with all his strength to the captain. The slipstream was so fierce, they were unable to drag the pilot back into the plane. His clothing was ripped from his body. With Lancaster plastered against the nose of the jet, the co-pilot donned an oxygen mask and flew the plane to Southampton —approximately 15 minutes away — and landed safely. The captain had a fractured elbow, wrist and thumb; a mild case of frostbite, but was otherwise unharmed.
We find ourselves, like the captain, in a situation that is hopeless but not yet desperate. The arcs of history, culture, philosophy, and science all seem to be converging on this temporal instant. Familiar arrangements are coming apart; valuable things are torn from our hands, snatched away by the decompression of our fragile ark of culture. But, it is too soon to despair. The collapse of the old system may be the crucible of a new vision. We must get a grip on what we can and hold on. Hold on with all the energy and imagination and ferocity we possess. Hold on even while we accept the darkness. We know not what miracles may happen; what heroic possibilities exist. We may be only moments away from a new dawn.
Any questions why they are terrified of this woman? Not only does she epitomize all that a black woman can achieve in this country, but her extraordinary grasp of what they are "up to". In her pointing out of Revel's quote that I highlighted in red, this is exactly where we are at, and what we are up against! Dear Lord keep this woman safe. We desparately need her! And any others like her that we can find!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Doing The Media's Job

I received this today from a friend, and must share this story. Check it out on Snopes if you wish. If you are wearing a shirt/blouse with buttons, duck. It's going to pop them all off! And ladies, if you're like me, grab a tissue:

"Maybe you'd like to hear about a real American, somebody who honored the uniform he wears. Meet Brian Chontosh. Churchville-Chili Central School class of 1991. Proud graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology. Husband and about-to-be father. First lieutenant (now Captain) in the United States Marine Corps. And a genuine hero.

The secretary of the Navy said so yesterday. At 29 Palms in California Brian Chontosh was presented with the Navy Cross, the second highest award for combat bravery the United States can bestow. That's a big deal. But you won't see it on the network news tonight, and all you read in Brian's hometown newspaper was two paragraphs of nothing.

The odd fact about the American media in this war is that it's not covering the American military. The most plugged-in nation in the world is receiving virtually no true information about what its warriors are doing. Oh, sure, there's a body count. We know how many Americans have fallen. And we see those same casket pictures day in and day out. And we're almost on a first-name basis with the jerks who abused the Iraqi prisoners. And we know all about improvised explosive devices and how we lost Fallujah and what Arab public-opinion polls say about us and how the world hates us. We get a non-stop feed of gloom and doom. But we don't hear about the heroes. The incredibly brave GI's who honorably do their duty. The ones our grandparents would have carried on their shoulders down Fifth Avenue. The ones we completely ignore. Like Brian Chontosh.

It was a year ago on the march into Baghdad. Brian Chontosh was a platoon leader rolling up Highway 1 in a humvee. When all hell broke loose. Ambush city. The young Marines were being cut to ribbons. Mortars, machine guns, rocket propelled grenades. And the kid out of Churchville was in charge. It was do or die and it was up to him. So he moved to the side of his column, looking for a way to lead his men to safety. As he tried to poke a hole through the Iraqi line his humvee came under direct enemy machine gun fire. It was fish in a barrel and the Marines were the fish. And Brian Chontosh gave the order to attack. He told his driver to floor the humvee directly at the machine gun emplacement that was firing at them And he had the guy on top with the .50 cal unload on them. Within moments there were Iraqis slumped across the machine gun and Chontosh was still advancing, ordering his driver now to take the humvee directly into the Iraqi trench that was attacking his Marines.

Over into the battlement the humvee went and out the door Brian Chontosh bailed, carrying an M 16 and a Beretta and 228 years of Marine Corps pride. And he ran down the trench. With its mortars and riflemen, machine guns and grenadiers. And he killed them all. He fought with the M 16 until it was out of ammo. Then he fought with the Beretta until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up a dead man's AK 47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up another dead man's AK 47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo. At one point he even fired a discarded Iraqi RPG into an enemy cluster, sending attackers flying with its grenade explosion.

When he was done Brian Chontosh had cleared 200 yards of entrenched Iraqis from his platoon's flank. He had killed more than 20 and wounded at least as many more. But that's probably not how he would tell it. He would probably merely say that his Marines were in trouble, and he got them out of trouble.

Hoo-ah, and drive on.

"By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, 1st Lt. Chontosh reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service." That's what the citation says. And that's what nobody will hear. That's what doesn't seem to be making the evening news. Accounts of American valor are dismissed by the press as propaganda, yet accounts of American difficulties are heralded as objectivity. It makes you wonder if the role of the media is to inform or to depress - to report or to deride To tell the truth, or to feed us lies. But I guess it doesn't matter.

We're going to turn out all right. As long as men like Brian Chontosh wear our uniform."

What's to add to that? Amen. Let it be so.

// posted by DagneyT @ 1:55 PM
Proof The Press/Media Has No CLUE!

Now here's an exchange that will curl your hair;

Q With respect, who made you the editor of Newsweek? Do you think it's appropriate for you, at that podium, speaking with the authority of the President of the United States, to tell an American magazine what they should print?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not telling them. I'm saying that we would encourage them to help --

Q You're pressuring them.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I'm saying that we would encourage them --

Q It's not pressure?

MR. McCLELLAN: Look, this report caused serious damage to the image of the United States abroad. And Newsweek has said that they got it wrong. I think Newsweek recognizes the responsibility they have. We appreciate the step that they took by retracting the story. Now we would encourage them to move forward and do all that they can to help repair the damage that has been done by this report. And that's all I'm saying. But, no, you're absolutely right, it's not my position to get into telling people what they can and cannot report....

Q Are you asking them to write a story about how great the American military is; is that what you're saying here?"

Instead of scrutinizing one of their own, the media's White House press corps kept up this ridiculous line of questioning through several days' worth of briefings! Do these people have a clue? What is it with the left that they actually believe that anything that goes array is the fault of the Bush Administration? Do they realize how petty and pathetic they sound? How many times must we suffer their attempt to sabotage the war against the Islamofascists, and put our military in more danger? And all because they want to thwart George W. Bush's agenda.

Hellllllooooooooo!!! Media types!!! Pay Attention! You will continue to lose viewership & readership until you at least make an attempt to repair your soiled anti-American reputations! The cancelling of 60 Minutes II is just the start! It all goes downhill from there!

Meanwhile, Priscilla Owens' candidacy comes up for the judiciary on the Senate floor today, and the moderates apparently have failed in their quest for a cowardly compromise! Let us see who are truly Republicans, or merely RINOs! It is time this issue comes to the acid test. Will they or won't they? Can the donks pull it off? Or will the GOP back down?

I sent in another of those RNC survey's masquerading as a request for money today. I filled out the question section, and when it got to the part asking for money I wrote "you can keep sending these, and keep asking for money, but until I see the GOP Senators grow a backbone, you won't get another dime from me!"

// posted by DagneyT @ 9:17 AM

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