~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Friday, September 30, 2005

Last time I checked...

... all citizens of this country enjoyed the right to say whatever they wanted.

But, apparently, the first amendment doesn't apply to former Republican appointees. Not when he's a white male who invokes the holy demographics to prove a point in an intellectual debate. Front page stuff, that. "Republicans Hate Blacks" scream the headlines. Please, just chill for a moment and let me ask two questions.

Question #1: Which is the more deplorable circumstance? A) A white American crosses the street to avoid a black American out of an irrational fear for his safety? B) A white American avoids postulating a hypothetical for fear he will be labeled a racist?

I humbly suggest that if we can resolve B, it would go a long way towards solving for A. Political correctness is, in my opinion, stifling a much needed discussion about race in this great country.

Question #2: Seriously... What do we do about it? Frankly I'm at a loss, full of passion and ideas, aware that greater minds than mine have tackled this before and come up with squat. Any suggestions?

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Josh Rushing in USA TODAY

It's a fairly comprehensive article focused on the reservations I (and several others) hold about his decision to leave the Marines and join Al-Jezeera's English edition scheduled to go operational in the spring.

... Rushing, 33, has taken a job reporting for a new channel for Al-Jazeera. That's the Qatar-based network that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said is "perfectly willing to lie to the world" and has "a pattern of playing propaganda over and over and over again" for its 50 million viewers, most of them in the Arab world.


Another former Marine also is concerned. "I wish I could count on him to further our efforts" in the war on terrorism "rather than hinder them," says Keith Delp of Louisville. He spent five years in the Marines, leaving as a corporal in March 2004 after a seven-month tour in Iraq. Delp writes the weblog Kadnine. In an e-mail, Delp says he will "be watching Josh closely."


Rushing's response to such criticism: "I believe in America so dearly and the values that it stands for that I'm in no way threatened by the kind of information this station's going to put out.

"Besides," he explains, "once a Marine, always a Marine."
but once again, I find some of his statements troubling:

What he hopes critics will understand, Rushing says, is that he believes he's doing what a Marine officer is trained to do.

"We're taught to 'turn the map around,' " to see things from the enemy's perspective, Rushing says. He hopes he can help people around the world see America differently, and help Americans see the world in new ways.

Um... when a Marine tries to gain insight into his "enemy's perspective" it is for the purpose of defeating that enemy. I am still curious how Josh reconciles "once a Marine, always a Marine with his new duty, "helping Americans see the world in new ways."

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The conservative case for McCain in '08

It's here, and it's very persuasive.

I don't personally care for John McCain, but not for any of the reasons listed above. Rather, my reservations are based in the much more nebulous realm of "attitude." He strikes me as a pragmatist first, and conservative only as a distant second. The Republican party certainly has room for pragmatism in its wide spectrum of credes and beliefs, but with a clear majority in the House, Senate, Governorships, and the Oval Office, what sense does it make to elect a man with a reputation for brokering compromises with the minority party?

If, as president, he ordered the simultaneous invasion of NoKo and Iran, somehow gathered the support to repeal the estate tax and sign a flat tax into law, scrap Title IX and affirmative action, appointed a judge who challenged Roe v. Wade and 13 other things things I'd normally be dancing in joy over, I'd still fear that his next speech would open with the words, "Just as I helped reach across the isle in 2005 concerning judicial confirmations..."

I just don't see McCain sticking to his guns on even one hard-line issue that I'm passionate about. But, I don't own a crystal ball. I ain't sayin' nuthin'... I'm just sayin'... Y'know?

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Friday, September 23, 2005

For those Americans (such as myself) who may have gotten a tad... um, what's the word... shrill? over Katrina's political implications...

... Sugar the Dog remains unimpressed.

As hurricane Rita makes landfall in the next 24 hours, with all the destruction and grief that that entails, please heed her sleepy stare. I know that *I* certainly will.

For my part, I pledge to write constructive critiques of governmental and private responses and I will praise to the skies any and all improvements based on lessons learned from Katrina. Furthermore, I promise to direct any criticism I may have towards individuals rather than conveniently labeled groups based on ideology. In short, I promise to not lose my head this time.

(Aside: James? You are most definately an individual, and therefore fair game. Jerk.)

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross (link at top left) is accepting donations for those displaced by Katrina as well as those who will need assistance due to Rita. In fact, many of those two groups will sadly overlap. Give now.

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Why do I love Tim Blair?

Because of his elephantine memory.

Where [the Rita evacuees] end up is anyone’s guess, but many of them may be heading to Central New York.

If they get all the way to Manhattan, they can stay with James Wolcott.

I'd completely forgotten about James "I root for hurricanes" Wolcott. In fact, I'd forgotten why I chose to blot Wolcott from my memory all together. Seems I was onto something in my amnesia. What a creep.

(See also Warren Bell for more evidence Wolcott has lost his ever-lovin', tree-huggin', SMITE-THE-INDUSTRIALISTS! mind.)

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Quack links

Duck, duck, duck... GOOSE!

Plus: New Michael Yon report:

[B]efore posting Battle for Mosul IV, I wanted to give this update, along with an explanation about the fate of a very sick little Iraqi girl named Rhma, who is mentioned in Battle for Mosul III. As much as I would like to say that this little girl’s case has met a happy ending, so far that has not happened.

And: Ex-Marine takes job at Al-Jazeera.

Here's what I think about that.

It is only fitting that former Captain Josh Rushing resigned from the Corps. Upon receiving his commission, he did NOT solemnly swear " to be a source of global information" but rather to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

If that seems overly "nationalized" to him, I question whether he fully understood the meaning of the words when he put his hand in the air and spoke them. But as an officer, Josh was undoubtedly given access to sensitive information that could assist our enemies. I worry that now he apparently finds serving "global information" more rewarding than serving the Constitution, and may consider that intelligence fair game for dissemination. Don't you dare get any Marines killed, Josh. I'm warning you.

Kadnine (Formerly CPL Kadnine, USMC, OIF Vet and Arabic Linguist)

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Don't laugh!

Well, at least try not to laugh.

Picketers for Hire: The strange business of protesting jobs that may be better than yours

[...]They're not union members; they're temp workers employed through Allied Forces/Labor Express by the union—United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). They're making $6 an hour, with no benefits; it's 104 F, and they're protesting the working conditions inside the new Wal-Mart grocery store.

[...]In Dyson's [Walmart] market, the air-conditioning is cool, business on this day seems brisk, and the employees seem not so miserable; two checkers chat it up as they ring up customers.

This is not lost on the picketers outside.

It's okay. I laughed, too.

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

It's officially the appocalypse

I tried to warn you. Look at this! They're teaching it in classrooms now!

That sound you hear is not music, it is the breaking of the final seal. The four horsemen are mounting up, as we speak.

Previous coverage of this vile meanace here and here.

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Politicizing Katrina: Part 2

Okay. When will we get though the boneheadedness of the claim that Republicans killed New Orleans?

Why do the Democrat Mayor and Democrat Governor get a media pass?

Seriously, where can I get some of that anti-criticism democrat-brand deoderant? It apparently works like a charm.

Guy Who Knows What He's Talking About UPDATE: GreatBlueWhale at Cardinal Coalition was director of Disaster and Emergency Services for a small county in south east KY for about 4 years:

"It's everyone's fault but mine!!"

It was, and remains, the responsibility of local government, first the cities, then the county, then the state to respond to disasters. When those resources are exhausted or obviously overtaxed, the Feds step in and bat cleanup, usually at the request of the Governor. It's the same in all states, in all localities...

I'm not saying the Fed's couldn't have done better. However, it's obvious to me that the whining, crying, and finger pointing coming from local and state officials is primarily selfishly motivated because they screwed the pooch, and want to divert the attention away from themselves.

Likewise, and I defer to GBW as being infinitly better informed than myself, I am open to legitimate criticism of the the Bush administration on this thing, but to the folks out there who believe Bush controls the Universe down to the tiniest detail.... take a moment and think about how ridiculous that sounds. OK?

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Michael Yon has a new look to his blog

And it looks pretty snazzy. Can't wait for his next dispatch.

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Two can play this game

From the johnkerry.com dispatch that just landed in my inbox:

What can they be thinking? Why haven't President Bush, Senator Frist and Speaker Hastert taken off the table the outrageous notion of bestowing more tax cuts on the wealthy at a time like this? How long will it be before they start telling us that tax cuts for the wealthy can provide just the stimulus we need to get the Gulf Coast economy moving again?

Going forward with the GOP's next round of tax cuts for the wealthy would be a bitter betrayal -- a slap in the face to the hundreds of thousands of Katrina survivors struggling to put their lives back together. It's time for the President and his Republican colleagues to send a clear, unambiguous message that they understand the situation our nation is facing. The American people want to hear from them now -- and, until they back off of their tax cuts for the wealthy, we'll make sure they hear from us.

A "slap in the face"? Repealing the estate tax is a "slap in the face" for POOR BLACK VICTIMS? How dare you assume that none of those POOR BLACK AMERICANS will die fifty years from now with MORE MONEY THAN GOD!! Are you not even willing to entertain the possibility of future millionaires among the victims of Katrina?

Dems to victims: "Vote for us! We'll keep you poor!" Sheesh...

The "I Never Thought I'd Say This But GOD BLESS SEAN PENN" Update: Howard Dean is a freaking DOCTOR! But apparently only actors buy boats and go down and try to rescue future millionaires.

Let The Healing Begin UPDATE:

HOUSTON (Reuters) - In the last week, Joseph Brant lost his apartment, walked by scores of dead in the streets, traversed pools of toxic water and endured an arduous journey to escape the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in his hometown New Orleans.

On Sunday, he was praising the Lord, saying the ordeal was a test that ended up dispelling his lifelong distrust of white people and setting his life on a new course. He said he hitched a ride on Friday in a van driven by a group of white folks.

"Before this whole thing I had a complex about white people; this thing changed me forever," said Brant, 36, a truck driver who, like many of the refugees receiving public assistance in Houston, Texas, is black.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Site to watch

Chuck Simmins is tracking the total dollars donated by private individuals and companies to Katrina relief. As of right now it's nearly a half billion dollars.

Thanks Chuck.

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Good Bleat today

There's even an appearance of the dreaded Perry Head.

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Politicizing Katrina

I'm with Ace. Left leaning Bush haters are winning the blame game that they morally shouldn't have started in the first place. It's time to fight back.

Reasonable voices are suggesting we not play the blame game. There are, after all, more important matters to attend to at the moment.

Well, that's a nice sentiment, but Mayor Nagin, Governor Blanco, Jesse Jackson and Michael Moore started the blame game within hours of the storm's landfall, and they, along with their cheerleaders in the liberal spirit squad in the mainstream media, have run up the score in this game 37-0 before conservatives even had their helmets on.

The blame game is already in the third quarter. If we're going to correct the lies and distortions of the liberal legacy media, we'd better start playing too.

Start with David Frum:

Is there not something bizarre about their willingness to fire off accusation after accusation, each contradicting the last? The disaster was caused by the Bush administration's failure to protect the environment from global warming .... no, no, it was caused by the administration's refusal to manipulate the environment by funding more levees to control the Mississippi River .... it's Iraq, no it's budget cuts, no it's wetlands, and on and on and on.

Good God, what is wrong with these people? Will they ever learn to see somebody else's misfortune as something more than their political opportunity?

It's just atrocious the way anti-Bush types have glommed onto Katrina to score "gotcha" points.

See also here, here, and here. And if you haven't read it yet, go right now to Bill Wittle's place and read "Tribes."

UPDATE: Are the Bush bashers winning the blame game? Only 13% of polled Americans blame Bush. I'm no longer sure. The Bush haters have certainly been the loudest critics during the past week, perhaps that led to my belief they were leading the spin race.

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

In which I throw the full weight of my support to Jeff Goldstein

Bring it on.

You people are celebrating the fact that this guy made the claim that Bush “doesn’t care” about Blacks?


A lot of us “wingnuts”—who you are going to find out are really classical liberals—are itching for this fight.

Turning a hurricane into a “racist” event is just what this country needs to have the conversation it’s been too afraid to have for 30 years.

Bring it on.

Hurricane Katrina may turn out to be the catalyst that drags the previously untouchable debate over the dangers of identity politics into the harsh, cleansing light of day. Seriously, how sad is that? It takes the largest and most costly natural disaster (in terms of both American lives and property loss) of the last hundred years before it's OK to put rational discussion of race relations in America on the table?

I'll start the debate with a question:

What is up with the surname Robertson? Does the name itself suggest a tendency towards hyperbole?

First Pat makes an ass of himself calling for the assasination of Hugo Chavez.

Now Randall is claiming that black residents of New Orleans are canabilizing the corpses of flood victims?

See also Dean, and especially Bill.

UPDATE: Randall has retracted his claim of canabilism, but says, "I stand behind everything else I wrote without reservation." The eating human corpses after just three days thing was pretty sensationalist, and it was that claim that drew my attention, but the "everything else" was the really objectionable part. Apparently he still stands by it.

UPDATE: Don't miss this. "American racism in pictures"

Some people this week are saying Katrina has uncovered the underbelly of institutional racism in this country. Bring it on. I'm loaded for bear in this debate. It's high time that we stop the "soft bigotry of low expectations" leveled at minority Americans by liberal, con artist power-mongers. Damnit.

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