Wednesday, May 31, 2006

On That Accident in Kabul With Americans Killing Afghans

As we know, a US military truck ran into up to 12 vehicles killing apparently 3 people in a traffic accident. What is new though is that an Afghan general witnessed the accident and also witnessed Americans firing into the crowd kiling an additional four Afghans. the good general says why the Afghans got into such a rage:

General Gozar briefed President Karzai on the episode, and said he told the president that while it was clearly an accident, the behavior of the Americans had contributed to the people's anger. Arrogant driving — driving fast or not allowing cars to overtake their convoy — irritated people, he said. People were also angered when the soldiers prevented them from approaching the crashed cars to help the injured, he said.
what hearts and minds? Certainly not the Afghans!

Insurgency In Its Last Throes?

I just reviewed the Brookings Institution's report on the "progress" in Iraq. It paints a sad story about the violence in Iraq and how poor the situation is right now. It didn't have to be this bad. In all the various charts the BI have in their report, all the numbers that should be going down are actually going up, more deaths, more violence, etc. And the most telling number is found in the number of insurgents. the latest number has them at 20,000+. the plus (+) is key, since it wasn't used before in their chart. They've estimated that as of April 2006, the insurgency is at its greatest strength. Last throes? Hardly.

What A Christian Says About Violent Video Games

in my last blog I pointed out how the Left Behind series is being made into a violent video game where one could play one of the characters in the books and go around killing "infidels" and "saving" them. Or one could play the anti-Christ and do the same. So, why, I wonder, have we not heard an outcry from Christians about this new game? I mean here is Dr. James Dobson commenting about violent video games:

QUESTION: What is your opinion of Nintendo and other kinds of video games? They've been claiming a big portion of our son's time over the past few months, and I'm getting uneasy about it. DR. DOBSON: Depending on the particular games in question, you may have a valid cause for concern. Dr. Vince Hammond, head of the National Coalition on Television Violence, has described the potentially harmful nature of video games, especially those with violent themes. Some observers have come to the conclusion that these games can become obsessive and encourage aggressive behavior. There's even evidence to suggest that children between the ages of 8 and 10 are 80 percent more likely to fight with one another after playing with them. I'd advise you to put clear limits on the amount of time your son will be allowed to spend with video games or the Internet so that he won't become obsessed with them. Insist that he avoid the violent ones altogether. With realistic guidelines, I think it's possible to keep this kind of activity under control rather than letting it control your son and your family.
I wonder what Dr. Dobson thinks about the new Left Behind video game? I want to hear from my fellow Christians out there. Should we not be protesting the creation of this game in which 13 year olds can get violent to others of a different religion?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Is This Really Christianity At Its Best?

wow.....thanks to Andrew Sullivan who watches our for Christianity run amok. Look at this game coming out this October 2006 based on the Left Behind book series that were so popular with the Christian Right. According to Talk to Action in this game you can kill anyone who is not a fully converted Christian. Is this really Christianity at its best? Is this the Gospel of Jesus Christ? How shameful!

An Excellent Point about Immigration

Mr. Cohen writes about his family immigrating to the United States, and he makes a very interesting point about the difference between immigration in the past and immigration today, that makes you wonder about how things would have been back then if the circumstances were the same today.

The non-English-speaking immigrants of the 19th and earlier centuries could not simply get on an airplane and return to the mother country for a visit. Once they came to America, they usually stayed in America. This is not necessarily true of Spanish-speakers, who can more easily visit Mexico or another Latin American country.
Today, we tend to take for granted that a flight to Italy takes only several hours, but back then, it took weeks to cross the Atlantic. How easily was it for those immigrants in those days to return back to their homeland? In regards to Mexico today, how easy is it to go back accross the border in to Mexico? Would the Italians have frequented back and forth between America and their homeland if it only took hours to travel?

On Soldiering...

" see, sir? If we can use an H-bomb--and, as you said, it's no checker game; it's real, it's war and nobody is fooling around--isn't it sort of ridiculous to go crawling around in the weeds, throwing knives and maybe getting yourself killed...and even losing the war...when you've got a real weapon you can use to win? What's the point in a whole lot of men risking their lives with obsolete weapons when one professor type can do so much more just by pushing a button?" Zim didn't answer at once, which wasn't like him at all. Then he said softly, "Are you happy in the Infantry, Hendrick? you can resign, you know." Hendrick muttered something; Zim said, "Speak up!" "I'm not itching to resign, sir. I'm going to sweat out my term." "I see. Well, the question you asked is one that a sergeant isn't really qualified to answer...and one that you shouldn't ask me. You're supposed to know the answer before you join up. Or you should. Did your school have a course in History and Moral Philosophy?" "What? Sure--yes, sir." "Then you've heard the answer. But I'll give you my own--unofficial--views on it. If you wanted to teach a baby a lesson, would you cut its head off?" ", sir!" "Of course not. You'd paddle it. There can be circumstances when it's just as foolish to hit an enemy city with an H-bomb as it would be to spank a baby with an ax. War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government's decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him...but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing...but controlled and purposeful violence. But it's not your business or mine to decide the purpose of the control. It's never a soldier's business to decide when or where or how---or why---he fights; that belongs to the statesmen and the generals. The statesmen decide why and how much; the generals take it from there and tell us where and when and how. We supply the violence; other people--'older and wiser heads,' as they say--supply the control. Which is as it should be. That's the best answer I can give you. If it doesn't satisfy you, I'll get you a chit to go talk to the regimental commander. If he can't convince you---the go home and be a civilian! Because in that case you will certainly never make a soldier."
Starship Troopers Robert A. Heinlein page 62-63

John Adams on Political Parties and Division

“There is nothing I dread so much as a division of the Republic into tow great parties, each arranged under its leader and converting measures in opposition to each other.” Yet this was exactly what had happened. The “turbulent maneuvers” of factions, he now wrote privately, could “tie the hands and destroy the influence” of every honest man with a desire to serve the public good. There was “division of sentiments over everything,” he told his son-in-law William Smith. “How few aim at the good of the whole, without aiming too much at the prosperity of the parts!” (pg. 422)
taken from pg. 422 of David McCullough's biography on John Adams.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Rumsfeld's Legacy: Torture and Death

Yes, this is what the legacy of this administration and this defense secretary will be for the rest of time and all eternity. He will not be remembered for trying to reform the Department of Defense for a 21st century, but for his efforts to undermine the goodwill and rightness of the US military's treatment of prisoners. In the future, from now on, other countries will use our actions as excuse for their torturing their prisoners. "If the Great America can torture its prisoners, so can we," will be the saying.

it is growing harder for top Pentagon officials, including Rumsfeld himself, to absolve themselves of all responsibility. Evidence is growing that the Pentagon has not been forthright on exactly when it was first warned of the alleged abuses at Abu Ghraib. U.S. officials continued to say they didn't know until mid-January. But Red Cross officials had alerted the U.S. military command in Baghdad at the start of November. The Red Cross warned explicitly of MPs' conducting "acts of humiliation such as [detainees'] being made to stand naked... with women's underwear over the head, while being laughed at by guards, including female guards, and sometimes photographed in this position."
I am saddened that more Americans, especially those professing a belief in Jesus, do not speak out more harshly about this. Have so many who profess a belief in Jesus forgotten that every single human being born on this planet is a son or daughter of God? I quote what the LDS Church has said on the subject. It is pretty all-encompassing.
The church "condemns inhumane treatment of any person under any circumstances," said church spokesman Dale Bills. "The church has not taken a position on any proposed legislative or administrative actions regarding torture."
that includes the "ticking-time-bomb" scenario that is a favorite for torturers to use as an excuse to torture. it's the only real excuse they have for torturing prisoners and detainees. Nothing else comes close as a justification. And seeing that the "ticking-time-bomb" scenario is so rare, it is no justification for the general practice of torture.

All Hail King George!

David Addington, Cheney's aide, is apparently reviewing legislation before it comes to the President's desk for approval, to review whether any piece of legislation might curb the executive powers...... I'm waiting to hear from Hastert and Pelosi about this encroachment into the legislative branch......where are you Congress?

More Examples of Losing the Hearts and Minds of the Public

a US military convoy got into an accident in Kabul that killed 3 people. a fourth died from gun shots, apparently from a US military gun. the article can only get an annonymous witness as the police in Afghanistan are not authorized to talk to the press. (typical and ironic). the last part says it all:

Afghans often complain about what they call the aggressive driving tactics of the U.S. military. Convoys often pass through crowded areas at high speeds and sometimes disregard road rules. The U.S. military says such tactics are necessary to protect the troops from attack.
The US military does not care about winning the hearts and minds of the people. They only care about themselves. They don't realize that in order to win the hearts and minds, you kinda have to make a ironic seeing that this war is so strongly supported by Christians.....

Bush's Poodle Bowing (pun intended) to Pressure Yet Again

what is wrong with Mr. Tony Blair? does he not see how radioactive Mr. Bush is? stay away from the man, Mr. Blair. let Mr. Bush fall. we're close to taking him down. don't prop him up.

Just Don't Call It Neo-Conservatism!

yes, liberal hawks are making a comeback. But Mr. Heilbrunn wants to call them the Democrat neo-cons. uh uh! no way. Let that name (neo-cons) be forever left to history as an example of the worst kind of foreign policy possible. Let no one ever emulate what they tried. Yes, let us go back to the days when multi-lateralism with force worked, under Truman and Kennedy, but let what Bush did forever remain in history, never to be repeated!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

"Engage Your Brain Before You Engage Your Weapon."

good words of advice. Maj. Gen. James N. Mattis had exhorted his Marines back in March 2003. Unfortunately, they did not heed his advice and purposefully and intentionally killed over 20 civilians execution style! is this what Rumsfeld had in mind when he said, "stuff happens?" It is good, though, to see more military people speaking out on the wrongs of this war. It's unfortunate though that they keep waiting until they retire to speak their minds. I wonder just what will be revealed if all military generals, lieutentants, colonels, etc. were able to speak truthfully about what they've witnessed.......

You Could Only Wish....

that Congress would work this hard for the protection of regular Americans like they are for one of their own. In a dramatic event that shows just how out of touch with reality Congress is today, both the House and the Senate are working double-time to solve this little tiff with the FBI over the raid of a US Congressman's office. Hastert has been crying foul that this was against the constitutional separation of branches.....yet....where was he when Bush ordered the NSA to spy on millions of Americans, effectively saying that millions of Americans are possible terrorists? Where was Hastert when Bush snubbed his nose at Congress SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY! times! This just truly shows how corrupt our US Congress has gotten, how full of themselves they've gotten, how important they think they are. We've got to show them this November what their true worth is. Vote them all out of power!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

My response to George Will's "A Vote For English"

George Will writes for the Washington Post and in today's article argued for the usage of the English language as the national language. As I've shown earlier, our official currency has two languages on it. This is my email to Mr. Will:

I am curious if those who seek to make English the national language of America realize what needs to happen. Have you taken a look at the dollar bill lately? What other language is on that bill? Why is it okay to use a "dead language" on our official currency, but we are afraid to use a live and thriving language in our various official papers? I realize you must receive numerous emails, so if you do not reply, it is okay. I just wished someone more influential gave this a thought.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Damned Hypocrisy of American Congressmen!

Congressmen are in a huff over the FBI raiding the office of Rep. Jefferson's office. They say the raid was "unconstitutional." Oh the damn hypocrisy! Oh the blatant selfishness of these elitists! How dare they cry foul when the FBI raids their office yet when the NSA secretly invades the privacy of millions of Americans's homes they sit idly by! How long can we stand here and watch these mighty fools, these bamboozlers, these drunkards, fattening themselves up on lobby money whilst robbing future generations of a choice through the massive debt we incur?

What incentive are we giving Mexicans to let go of their own culture and join with ours?

Many people see the problem with Mexican immigrants as this. Mexicans are not wanting to let go of their culture and join with ours. So here's a question: What incentive are we giving Mexicans to let go of their own culture and join with ours?

Germany's Experiment with a Guest Worker Plan - Not Successful

the Germans experimented with a guest worker program bringing in many immigrants from far places, mostly from Turkey, as guest workers, temporary workers to help with a labor shortage. They thought that it would be effective, and most of the workers would go home. what they found though, according to this article, is that employers were reluctant to release these workers, and the workers were reluctant to go home, instead bringing their families over. Today, Germany is having very similar problems with the United States in regards to a lack of assimilation by its immigrants, who stubbornly keep to the traditions and cultures they brought from their native lands. What lesson can America learn? A guest worker program is probably only a short-term solution that will produce more problems in the long run than the problems it will solve in the short term.

The Failure to Unify Iraq

When you look at a stable thriving nation, (basically any nation in this world that is not currently fragmented within), what is it about those nations that keep its people glued together? What compels them to be loyal and united to the abstract cause of the nation? because a nation is only as real as the people support it, and this is something that is clearly evident in Iraq. Is Iraq currently a nation, or a conglomerate group of tribes that used to be unified under threat of death? What is holding Iraq's population together under the idea of an Iraqi nation? for example, in today's New York Times, an article talks about the armed groups formed originally for policing the country, guarding pipelines, etc., but who have left those duties (normally a treasonous offense in most countries), and assassinated political leaders and apparently even their own commanding officer! Can you imagine American marines doing the same? or French special forces? British commandos? There are many failures in Iraq, but the greatest of all is the failure to find something that unifies the country under the idea of Iraq. That failure occurred when America attempted to create a country FOR the Iraqis, rather than letting Iraqis form their own. Why should Iraqis hold allegiance to their country when it really isn't their own, when they have no attachment to it? This is the failure of those who think they can do nation-building without actually doing nation-building. So, what can be done now? The best case scenario at this point is to let the Iraqis duke it out, let them fight it out on their own. Let them find their allegiance and let that new group take charge. That's the best case scenario. Why is it the best-case? Because other scenarios will require America to take over the entire country for at least a generation, be the glue, the allegiance, that will hold the country together until they are truly ready to be on their own. That scenario, with America being the colonizer is not a viable politcial option, hence not the best-case scenario. Even the civil war scenario, while the best case, is not that great, as there will be a great risk of destabilizing the rest of the Middle East. Kurds in Turkey will definitely want a piece of freedom that their brothers in Kurdistan will have with a civil war in Iraq. But then again.....if you think about it, if you are really for freedom in the Middle East, do we not want the people to rise up against their totalitarian governments? Can you name me one democratic country in the Middle East that is not Israel? The most important point is that we have to let these people gain their own freedom. We cannot give it to them at the point of a gun. They will be better off in the long run if they free themselves. Let the Middle East destabilize. Let some of those governments fail. Too many of them are corrupt to the core and need a replacement. Too many of them are supported by our government---something that needs to stop. If we are truly for democracy, we will not fear a destabilized Middle East. We will welcome it warmly.

My comments on Pretty Lady's remarks

Pretty Lady's Comments pretty lady, well thank you for the compliment. yeah, i'm not going to spend as much time commenting on Mr. Day's blog anymore. you are quite correct, some of those guys there are perhaps too far gone to bring a sense of cheerfulness back into their lives. It was interesting though when I mentioned the birth of my daughter how kind they were. It was like deep in a pitched battle, blood everywhere, swords stained red, and suddenly someone shouts that they just had a baby. All the fighting stops and each gives a heartfelt congratulations to the new father amongst the fighters, and then the swords are thrust back at each other just as quickly! While I've not been to Mexico, I have lived in California and have seen some aspects of Mexican culture upfront. It sounds a lot like some European cultures, deeply held, strong in family, not giving a care about other cultures. Would you agree with that? Would Mexican culture be more like a European culture? Moreover, I am curious why the Europeans who came over to the United States over the past 200 years have been able to adapt and "assimilate"--though I hate the use of that word in regards to immigration because it tends to have a negative connotation ("resistance is futile"), and it seems to imply that the old culture must be abandoned for the new. If I recall my history correctly, it did take a lot of time for them to meld in with the rest of Americans. Do you think that Mexicans today and in future generations could do the same? And how much time could it actually take?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Another Example of How We Lose the Hearts and Minds

In Afghanistan, during the recent "operation," Americans claim they killed nearly 80 bad guys, but apparently, 16 civilians were also killed. This heavy-handed approach loses more support than any amount of killings of bad guys could ever win us. Tell me, how many Americans remember the bombing of the wedding party in Afghanistan back in 2002? Afghans remember. Americans don't. Therein lies our failure to win their hearts and minds, and our failure to make Afghanistan (and Iraq) a peaceful place.

On the Ground in Iraq, Things Do Not Look Good

Don't let the military propaganda lie to you. What is happening in Iraq is not positive. In Blogging Baghdad today they attempted to talk with some students at a university in Baghdad. They were herded away because apparently:

They do have a right to be nervous on campus. According to Iraq’s Association of University Lecturers, 182 professors and academics have been assassinated since the start of the war. The group says another 85 have been kidnapped or survived attempts on their lives.
One student who would not give her name for fear of her life says this:
"I hope that it will succeed, but I don't think that it will. All of the students, we don’t know if we are going to live or die under the current situation."
Things are not good in Iraq because the planners of this war and "reconstruction" were criminally inept. Their hearts were not set on actual victory in Iraq, because for total victory you needed from the start a hell of a lot more soldiers on the ground than a mere 150,000. Remember that in the Gulf War in 1991, General Powell used HALF A MILLION soldiers to simply kick Hussein out of Kuwait. Who in their right minds thought a country as large as Iraq could have been transformed into a liberal-democracy on the cheap? Only those who are criminally inept. Things can improve in Iraq, but first things first. Those responsible for the failures and the destruction and deaths must be held accountable, including Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Some Thoughts on How to Solve the Problem of Immigration

1. Secure our Borders. why, oh why is this even a question now, five years after 9/11?!?!?! Why are our borders not secure? there isn't much of a threat of a terrorist waltzing across the Mexican border when they can get across the Canadian border (as all of them had) much easier. but still, we'd have fewer problems if the laws we currently have in our books are actually enforced. We do not need more laws. just enforce the ones we currently have. 2. Help the needy. I'm a bleeding heart liberal, so I will still do what I can to help others, including those who came over illegally. They obviously risked their lives to come over, and that does not come but by desperation. The point that Mexicans coming over don't pay taxes is incorrect. They actually do pay taxes, and therefore have access to our health care. This myth is perpetuated by those who want to find any way to remove Mexicans from America. 3. Cut off the Supply by this, what I mean is what drives Mexicans over the border: Jobs. I am fine with creating stiff penalties for companies that hire illegal immigrants. the enforcement of this law is going to be tough and will require some serious dinero (pun intended) but it can be done. Dry up the supply. Make it so that there is no incentive for these immigrants to come over. If the only method for them to receive jobs in the United States is through legal means, then that's the only way they will come. 4. Change the INS policies and procedures many of the problems we are facing right now with immigration from Latin countries stems from the INS being a very unkind and harsh organization. Many of these people already attempted to come through the straight and narrow, but were turned back for one reason or another. America is just going to have to face the fact that because it is such a successful country, that millions and millions of people will want to come here. We will do better for ourselves if we stop supporting totalitarian governments abroad, (which is point 5), and we will bring more people over legally if our legal doors are kinder to them. 5. Stop supporting totalitarian governments Yes, the United States, under Bush's watch, as well as all his predecessors, have and continue to support totalitarian regimes around the world because they fear the result of the actual voice of the people. Take Egypt for example. If the US stopped its support of Mubarak, and really let the people of Egypt decide their own government, the US government fears that the ensuing government will be like a Hamas-run Palestine, with a "terrorist" organization, The Islamic Brotherhood, coming to power, and fundamentally altering the Middle East. But is that not the ironic part? Do we not want change in the Middle East? If we want change, then we must stop supporting the totalitarian regimes there, and let the people actually decide. otherwise our actions are a farce. This is why the Iraq project is failing, because in the Middle East, they are not taking the Americans seriously because America does not take democracy there seriously. Take for example what happened when Hamas won a free and fair election in Palestine (just what Bush proclaims he wanted). What was America's reaction? to stop supporting the newly democratically elected government. What a farce! If America does these things, it will turn out for the better in regards to its immigration worries.

Mormons and the Issue of Immigration in America

I've been debating with readers on Vox Day's blog regarding immigration. Some of them are pretty loony, if you ask me, not caring if immigrants crossing the border die of land mines, or being shot, or eaten by vultures, etc. Some fear that America is being "invaded" by Mexicans hellbent on destroying our culture. Mostly, I discovered that the underlying problem is that many fear the result of a mixture of American culture with that of Mexican. One commentator mentioned that America will inevitably look like a Third World country, along the likes of Indonesia. Keeping aside the silliness of such a vision, (America has always been as great as it is BECAUSE of its immigrants), it made me think hard about the problem America is facing on this issue. Also putting aside the point that this is a diversionary tactic by Republicans wanting to change the subject from Iraq to something else---anything else----just as long as it brings their poll numbers back up, let's look at this problem. The concern seems to be the lack of assimilation, the lack of the glue that keeps American culture so united despite the diversity. Many fear that Mexicans won't unite with Americans in their culture. So here's a question: why won't Mexicans unite with the rest of Americans in their culture? Before that question though, another must be asked, is it really true that Mexicans don't want to unite with the rest of America culturally speaking? And if not, is that really a problem? We get so caught up by the fiery rhetoric that we sometimes forget to just look at the facts, and look at the points rationally. So, what unites immigrants coming to America? What is it that inevitably makes them American? I came over when I was seven years old, so I was easily indoctrinated in American culture right from close to the start. I still retain some semblances of Romanian culture, but not much. My accent is completely American (though sometimes it turns Canadian---don't ask me why, as I've never lived in Canada!). But I grew up with America around me and found it to my liking. I felt drawn in and accepted (though early childhood school experiences were not too good---speaking with an accent as a kid did not bring me many friends). I hate to bring race into this, but when looking at the reasons so many Mexicans may not assimilate with the rest of Americans, I fear that race may play a key role. How can someone feel welcomed by people who look down on that person based on the way he looks? I feel that this is a key reason why Mexicans don't assimilate as easily in American culture as we would like them to. I think that some Americans find Mexican culture to be dirty, much as Jews were once looked down upon in European countries as unclean, unshaven, smelly peasants, but just not with the same passionate hatred that Europeans had for Jews. So in thinking about this, the question is: what can bring Mexicans to unite with the rest of America? In those debates on Mr. Day's blog, I brought up my religion, LDS. I actually got a hate comment based on my religious beliefs (which didn't surprise me, but just showed that hatred of religion is still alive and well in America). This church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is a worldwide church, with members in almost every country of the world. I got thinking about how Mormons are. I've travelled a bit around the world (mostly Europe) and wherever I've gone, Mormons were the same, the same smiling faces, the same kind welcomings. What is it about people in such diverse places as Korea, Mexico, South Africa, India, Japan, and America, that brings them together in unity of religion? Specifically on this topic, how do Mexican Mormons and American Mormons act and treat those around them? What is it that makes a Mormon in Mexico not that much different than a Mormon in America? And, can something like this unity happen outside the scope of religion?

Al Gore

yes, I am disappointed in what happened in 2000 and feel some of the blame lay with Mr. Gore who didn't handle himself as well as he could have during the election. Florida was lost by mere hundreds of votes, but Florida's loss came because of the Elian Gonzales fiasco. The American Prospect has a great article on the story behind Al Gore's resurgence. He is looking very strong right now going into 2008. I hope he does decide to run again. It will be a risk, but I feel he can win by simply saying, "let's try again to make the world a better place." I hope he can still keep that independent spirit that he currently has, free from politics. He has the feel of a Teddy Roosevelt, who believed more strongly in his principles than in party politics. Gore is getting help from unlikely sources who are looking into the future and trying to pre-empt his strong moves. We'll see what happens. If he does run, he has my vote.

The Failures of Policing Iraq

Two articles in the New York Times show the progress (or regress I should say) in creating and maintaining law and order in Iraq pre-war and post-war. These should show pretty clearly that in the end, the Bush adminstration talked tough in regards to their war, but their planning was the worst it could possibly be. They did not listen to experienced nation-builders, and instead, derided those who said their plan could not be done. Bush's plan for Iraq was inherently flawed to begin with. Time to make him pay for his ineptitude.

We Love Mexican Food, Just Not Mexicans

an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times that quite clearly shows the hypocrisy of some Americans's stance on immigration from Mexico. As the article is entitled, Get out! but leave the quesadilla. Vox Day shows the real reason why some are literally up in arms about Mexican immigration to the United States in his blog. He states:

And if you believe that the USA is going to maintain its Christian, Anglo-Saxon political culture, or even the trappings of it that currently survive, you would do well to read up on the way in which other migrations have altered the cultures of their final destinations.
I'm glad to see some coming out from their hiding. This is not about the legal status of immigrants, but about fear of change.

Hatred of the Dixie Chicks

The Dixie Chicks who famously said that they were ashamed of the president of the United States just days before the bombing in Iraq began, have come out with a new album. An article in the New York Times discusses their situation since that point, and their new album. One part that struck me was this little section:

"We have video footage of this lady at one of the shows protesting, holding her 2-year-old son," Ms. Maines said. The woman commanded her son to shout along with an angry chant. "And I was just like, that's it right there. That's the moment that it's taught. She just taught her 2-year-old how to hate. And that broke my heart."
how hate can begin at such an early age.....

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Religious Left is Back

a great article in today's Washington Post about the revival of religion on the political left. this is what drives the religous left:

Religious liberals say their faith compels them to emphasize such issues as poverty, affordable health care and global warming. Disillusionment with the war in Iraq and opposition to Bush administration policies on secret prisons and torture have also fueled the movement.
My question is, where are the religious Americans who care about BOTH poverty, affordable health care, global warming, AND are pro-family, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, etc.? If that party ever shows up, I'd be its first member. The Christian Right has been terrible in its actions and words, very divisive, and frankly un-Christian. The Left abandoned God in the 60s and 70s. Those are the stereotypes. Both sides need to realize that in order to be complete, they need the other. That's the real irony of the divisive politics played by both sides these days.
The Rev. Joseph W. Daniels Jr., senior pastor of Emory United Methodist Church in Northwest Washington, said a key question for him is whether the religious left will become "the polar opposite to . . . the religious right" or be "a voice in the middle." "What this country needs is strong spiritual leadership that is willing to build bridges. We don't need leaders who are lightning bolts for division and dissension," he said.
I quote again President Gordon B. Hinckley, prophet of the Lord:
Why do any of us have to be so mean and unkind to others? Why can't all of us reach out in friendship to everyone about us? Why is there so much bitterness and animosity? It is not a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Friday, May 19, 2006

On Making English the "National" Language of America

so the Senate, in a election-year maneuver, has made English the National Language of America so...... that means that we're going to have to change the dollar bill, no? look at it carefully. what language is on the dollar bill?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What's Up With Mormons in the West?!?!?!

look at this graphic, here. Only the states of Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming still have Bush approval ratings of over 50%! What the hell is wrong with you guys? Bush is no prophet of God. Bush is not called of God. Bush is not an inspired man. Why do you still support him?

The Issue of Illegal Immigration: A Purposeful Distraction?

I've been reading a lot of hubbub about the issue of illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico over the past several years. I'm trying to see how this jumped to the front and center of political discussions today. After all, it isn't as if suddenly there was a huge mass crossing that our border guards were so overwhelmed to deal with. Why suddenly the big talk about immigration? Forgive me for being a pessimist, but this smells of a distraction. Upon seeing their Iraq policy failing miserably in their faces, conservatives jumped to change the subject to something they feel they could succeed on. With Americans having such a damnably short attention span, with their attention span floating as a leave blown by the wind, it is no surprise that the subject has changed so quickly.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Deporting Immigrants: The Wisdom of Men vs The Wisdom of the Lord

Vox Day, a very polemic blogger and writer for the World Net Daily has suggested we look at the effeciency in the German removal of Jews from German society as an example that such removal actually can work for the 12 to 20 million "illegal" immigrants to the United States. He states:

And he will be lying, again, just as he lied when he said: "Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic – it's just not going to work." Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society.
While he may be a member of Mensa (so was Tarek on the Apprentice, but that apparently really didn't help him in practical matters), he apparently didn't think more clearly about why the Germans were effective at removing the Jews. I've read his blog (which I won't link to here---full of hate and vitriol that is undeserving of advertisement), and seen the responses he has given those who have criticized him. He berates those who can't see his view (typical of those who think they are smarter than the other 98%), yet he doesn't seem to realize that the reason Germans were so effective in removing Jews from Germany is because the Germans used killings and murder to instigate enough fear in the Jews that the Jews would be willing to move. The question Mr. Day does not ask is this: were the Jews willing to move? Did the Jews want to give up their possessions and lands to the Germans who showed clear hatred of them? What would happen today if the Germans attempted again to remove Jews from Germany today? What did Germans have then that Jews did not have? How many guns did Jews have? What kind of political protection did Jews have? Would Americans be willing to go that kind of distance to remove "illegal" immigrants from America today? Would "illegal" immigrants be as willing, or as submissive as the Jews were in Germany to move? Most likely not. No offense meant to the Jews of the time, but they didn't have much choice as there was no recourse, no method for them to stand up for themselves at that time. Today is a vastly different world. What Mr. Day (and others like him) propone is impossible unless you are willing to get into killing people. And well, the moment someone dies, is the moment you lost. Yes, on the front of what Mr. Day says, it is possible to move several million people from one location to another. But realistically speaking, Mr. Day is only proving that Mensa is losing more and more credibility as to having the best and the brightest. It is frankly speaking pretty dumb to make such a comparison (the disturbing aspects of thinking there is something positive to learn from the deportation of Jews from Germany aside), because it does not look at all the facts and ignores glaring points that undermine the point. Germans succeeded in removing Jews from proper Germany and into concentration camps because Germans killed Jews who did not go. The fear amongst Jews was palpable. If they did not go, they would certainly die. Now, compare what Mr. Day and his friends at the World Net Daily believe with what a Prophet of the Lord has said:
Throughout my service as a member of the First Presidency, I have recognized and spoken a number of times on the diversity we see in our society. It is all about us, and we must make an effort to accommodate that diversity. Let us all recognize that each of us is a son or daughter of our Father in Heaven, who loves all of His children. Brethren, there is no basis for racial hatred among the priesthood of this Church. If any within the sound of my voice is inclined to indulge in this, then let him go before the Lord and ask for forgiveness and be no more involved in such.
The conflict with immigration today is not about "illegals" but about whites being afraid of "espanol" of the culture of Mexicans creeping into American culture and turning it from a white-ruled control into a mixture of white and Mexican. All the major immigration conflicts of the past in American history have dealth with the mixture of culture, and not whether they came legally or illegally. Before 1918, there was no "illegal" immigrant, but there were many conflicts. They arose out of fear of mixing cultures and from nothing else. America has not learned from history, and a "Mensa" member apparently has not learned either. Such a shame. But then again:
O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Politics is all about TIMING

Consider the fact that since the 2004 election, how many "orange alerts" have we had? Did terrorists suddenly no longer feel it was necessary to threaten America now that the election was completed? Notice from that list that the very last raising of the alert happened in September 2004.....two months before the national election..... Politics is about timing. This is why the War in Iraq was fought at the time it was fought. 2003 was a non-election year. March was a cool month in the desert. Now today, the Pentagon has released the video of the plane crashing into the Pentagon. Now, why did it take so long for the Pentagon to release this tape? Was something secret on them? no. The timing is interesting. Bush's numbers are at his lowest. The Pentagon also just released the names of the Gitmo detainees. What better way to distract the public from the withering criticism that in reality the Pentagon was holding mere foot soldiers for five years at Gitmo, and it held none of the top terrorist leaders there, even though that is what Bush has been claiming. Politics is about timing. Political and military leaders know that the public has a short attention span. For example, who can remember this little snippet from Colin Powell from February 2001 in Egypt?

We had a good discussion, the Foreign Minister and I and the President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions -- the fact that the sanctions exist -- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq...
Notice of course that the State Department's website no longer has that page but it has been preserved by The Memory Hole here. So was the Secretary of State wrong? No one came out to correct him. But people forget, very easily too. The Pentagon hopes that Americans will forget that they released the names of Gitmo detainees and that no significant terrorist is on that list, but all foot soldiers. The way they will ensure Americans forget is by distracting them with video of the carnage of 9/11. And you know what? Sadly, Americans will fall for it.

Kissinger's Thoughts on Diplomacy with Iran

I'm normally not a fan of Henry Kissinger, this hardliner who was involved in the CIA overthrow of the democratically elected Chilean government in the 70s and the placement of a puppet dictator in Pinochet. That aside, he speaks wise words in his op-ed in the Washington Post today called, A Nuclear Test for Diplomacy. I quote an important part:

The diplomacy appropriate to denuclearization is comparable to the containment policy that helped win the Cold War: no preemptive challenge to the external security of the adversary, but firm resistance to attempts to project its power abroad and reliance on domestic forces to bring about internal change. It was precisely such a nuanced policy that caused President Ronald Reagan to invite Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev to a dialogue within weeks of labeling the Soviet Union as the evil empire. ........ Parallel considerations apply to the case of Iran. The current negotiating forum is highly dysfunctional. Three European countries in close coordination with the United States are acting partly as America's surrogate. China and Russia do not participate in the negotiations but are involved when their consequences go before the U.N. Security Council -- a procedure enabling Iran to play off the nuclear powers against each other. A more coherent forum for negotiation would combine the three European nations with the United States, China and Russia as the countries most directly affected and in the best position to act jointly in the Security Council. This could be set up after the passage of the Security Council resolution now under discussion. It would permit elaboration of the one hopeful scheme that has emerged in Iranian diplomacy. Put forward by Russia, it is to move certain enrichment operations out of Iran into Russia, thereby preventing clandestine weaponization. The new, broader forum could be used to establish an international enrichment program applicable to future nuclear technologies to curb the looming specter of unchecked proliferation.
Can those who salivate for more death handle such wise thinking? Can those who sit back in their comfy chairs and dream of bombs dropping on Iran possibly envision something better?

Mayan Discoveries.....More evidence of Nephite Times

This New York Times article shows evidence of earlier Mayan civilization cultures than previously discovered, back to at least 100 B.C. Mormons know this period from the Book of Mormon very well, as most of the Book of Mormon was written of this period. It will be fascinating to see where this goes, but yes, this is further evidence of the Nephites and Lamanites.

Once a Terrorist, Always a Terrorist?

apparently not to the Bush Administration, which is why they are letting Lybia and Kadafi off the hook and normalizing relations with them. Remember that Kadafi is still a dictator, and in the Arab world. Mark one more on the side of dictators in America's relations with the Arabs. Some are thinking this is a move towards war with Iran.... Let us not forget what Kadafi did. One grieving mother reminds us:

HOW WOULD YOU feel if the man who murdered your child was forgiven — and embraced — by your government? That's what happened to me Monday when the State Department announced that Moammar Kadafi's Libya was being taken off the list of state sponsors of terrorism and that the United States would establish full and friendly relations with the regime. Libya, you may recall, was the country that blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988. The blast killed 270 people, 189 of them Americans. It was the worst terrorist attack on American civilians before 9/11. My daughter, Theodora — everyone called her Theo — was a Syracuse University drama student returning home from a semester in Britain on the flight. She was our only child, and her killing shattered our lives. I know national policy cannot be influenced by the personal grief and rage of a single family. But the Bush administration has dishonored our country. The excuse the administration gives for its actions is that Libya has changed: It has given up its weapons of mass destruction. But Libya never really had weapons of mass destruction. Yes, it had materials bought from Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan's nuclear supermarket, and maybe Kadafi was nuts enough to believe that he could build nuclear weapons someday. But he didn't actually have any, and his program had been completely compromised long before he magnanimously agreed to give it up. Libya had no biological weapons either, apart from some World War I-era mustard gas. The truth is, Kadafi gave up nothing of value. It's hard to see how his example will inspire North Korea or Iran, countries that really do have nuclear weapons or the means to make them. The message they will take away is that the United States can be rolled. Has Libya embraced democracy? Not according to human rights groups, which say that Kadafi remains a brutal and unstable dictator. So much for President Bush's doctrine of spreading democracy. The message here is that the U.S. doesn't really mind doing business with tyrants. Has Libya helped the U.S. in its fight against terrorism? Yes, the Kadafi government has ratted out some of its former associates. But the Islamists have been trying to kill Kadafi for years. We are helping him get rid of his own enemies.
Using Bush's own black and white rule, either you with us or against us. Either you are for democracy or not for democracy. But see the problem is that Bush doesn't actually care about democracy. That's not his main goal in the realm of foreign policy. He's only worried about his political losses back home. When will Republicans have the balls to impeach this treasonous president!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Paying for Intentional Wars

I've been debating on several blogs with those who favor war with Iran. On The Belgravia Dispatch one J Thomas lists off the various options America has in bombing Iran. Yet, in talking all about the various bombs we could use, the various ships we could send in, the various troop deployments we could move in, not once was discussed the cost of these various options. It costs a lot of money to actually use our multitudes of weapons. The war in Iraq right now costs us almost $6 billion PER MONTH! or $195 million PER DAY! If you are a nation that was attacked by another, it would be understandable to ask your people to make a sacrifice, to put aside their spending and give a little to the government to pay for the war to defend the nation, but what do you do when you are the one instigating the attack? What do you do if you are the one who wants to start the war? Can you go to your people and ask them to fork over the money for your war? If you cannot, what do you do? Do you get a loan and pay for the war through a loan, thereby 1) forcing your nation to pay for the war without asking them if they wanted to pay for the war, and 2) increasing the overall payment due to interest rates on the loan you procured? Do you make future generations pay for your war? If you do, what choice to you give them in your war? I'm trying to remember here who was the last American leader to actually ask Americans to make a sacrifice and pay for a war upfront. Franklin Roosevelt is the only name that comes to mind. Can a modern American leader have the balls, the courage, the real statesman leadership to ask his generation to pay for his war? Our children are going to hate us for what we are doing right now. What freedom are we giving them if what we give them is our debts? What choices are they going to have in paying our debts off for us? Maybe they could be sly and deceitful like we are and shove those debts down on their children too. Is that really the American way?

Conservative Christians Warn They Will Stay Home in November

yes, please do stay home. Let's get back to an America that was actually kind and, ironically, more Christian one to another. Since the Christian Right has come to power, what I've seen is a divisive and hateful America, hardly what the Savior had in mind, especially when he said, "if ye are not one, ye are not mine." The divisiveness that has so ripped America apart originates with Conservative Christians who drew lines in the sand and disassociated themselves from their brethren, even if those brethren were among their very own religions. Among Mormons, how often had I heard comments about the worthiness of members who voted Democratic, jokes about having their temple recommends revoked, etc. So please, do us all a favor, Christian Conservatives, stay home. Bitch and moan from home from now on. Stay out of politics. Don't taint Christianity the way you've done.

Vatican Culture Minister: Da Vinci Book "Shows Mass Ignorance"

the Vatican's culture minister, Cardinal Paul Poupard says that the Da Vinci Code book is an indication of the mass ignorance found in the world. He says:

"This is a shocking and worrying cultural phenomenon that reflects, on the one hand, the ignorance of millions of people and, on the other, the voluptuous pleasure the media take in promoting products that have nothing to do with the truth," the French-born cardinal, 75, told the Paris radio station.
gee, Your Excellency.....perhaps if the Catholic Church were a bit more open with the facts then, perhaps if the Vatican were more willing to let its secrets out.... what are you afraid of? doesn't the truth set you free?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

What To Do About Iran....from the Belgravia Dispatch

Finally, someone is talking realistically about Iran. Over on the Belgravia Dispatch, Gregory Djerejian asks what to do about Iran. I think it is worth the read for everybody. Those who want war need to realistically look at the consequences. Iran is no Iraq. Iran can actually harm the US if attacked.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

US Military to Afghan: Don't Talk to the Press

what an interesting message to send to those we are trying to help. take a look at this story about an Afghan who saved a Navy SEAL, and later gets interrogated by the military for what sure looks like his communications with Newsweek. What is happening to America? This is the kind of stuff that normally happens in like the Soviet Union or in Nazi Germany!

Sex Offender Registry - - - the Yellow Ticket of Leave

We should just give them yellow cards to present to everybody whenever they go public. After all this sex offender registry does nothing more than just that, mark them for criminals after they've apparently paid for the crimes they've committed. But here in the United States, we do not believe some people have paid enough for their crimes, so we introduce the draconian registry. We give them a false hope that they are free, when they are in a probably worse position than if they were to just stay in jail for the rest of their lives. and now we see evidence of mistaken identities where the life of an innocent man is ruined because of "vigillance" against registered sex offenders. As the lady who began the incident says, she's gotta protect her own. This article also shows that in Maine, two registered sex offenders were shot to death by an unknown gunman. It is quite simple really. If we don't feel someone has paid for their crimes, i.e. have reformed themselves so they don't go committing the same crime again, then isn't the punishment we inflict not enough? punishment should work as a deterrent as well as a consequence. Punishment should be severe enough so that possible offenders take a moment to weigh the outcomes. I believe that sex offenders are worse than any others out there with the exception of murderers. Once they get a taste of it, like with murder, it will be more enticing to go at it again. I believe the punishment for sex offenses should be much more severe. The most important thing about sex offenders is that they are not given a false hope of freedom. Do not let them back into society if we do not trust they will act right. If we do let them back in, mark them, they will never be free, and will be targets of "vigilantes" Les Miserables all over again.

State Secrets

wow, does this not sound like a government out of control? what people are in control of this government? who does this government answer to? apparently no one!

Only the United States is in a position to protect against the disclosure of information over which it has asserted the state secrets privilege, and the United States is the only entity properly positioned to explain why continued litigation of the matter threatens the national security," said the motion, dated May 12.

Why Polygamists in Utah Are Not Prosecuted.....

This is pretty shameful of Utah officials, but apparently this is why that sect in Southern Utah continues to get away with the crimes they do:

It is rare for polygamists to be prosecuted in Utah. State authorities consider it impractical to prosecute its estimated 20,000 polygamists, though the practice is a felony in Utah. "Everything we have done we had to push them on," Petersen said of state and local authorities. "They were all chicken because they feel they will lose their whole careers if they go after this. "They keep saying it's a religious freedom issue," Petersen complained. "I keep saying it is not a religious freedom issue, it's about sleeping with children."
Mormons in Utah should be speaking out more loudly about this polygamist group than they do about illegal immigration. Do illegal immigrants sodomize 5 year old boys? Eh, then again, these polygamists are white, and illegal immigrants are Mexican.....

Friday, May 12, 2006

In Defense of Barry Bonds

Mark Starr writes about Barry Bonds and is none too kind. So I wrote a letter to him. Yes, I am defending Barry Bonds. But see, the devil is in the details, and the numbers just don't add up. People can hate the man if they want, but please, let's look at the numbers and see just how the add up.

Mr. Starr, Just a couple of quick questions that I wish sportswriters would actually talk about in regards to Barry Bonds. Your dislike of the man is quite clear, which is fine. You don't have to like a guy to appreciate his play. Here are some questions that, it seems, no one is really pondering on. Let's say Barry Bonds took steroids. The devil is in the details. 1. Was it against any baseball rules prior to the year 2003? This is not to say that what he did, if he indeed took them, was ethical, but this is to point out that the real problem pre-2003 was not the players, but the owners of baseball and the players' union, which turned a blind eye. 2. Since 2002, when the BALCO investigations began, all eyes were on Bonds. What kind of seasons did Bonds have in 2002, 2003, and 2004? Did he get tested in those years? Do you think with all the attention focused solely on him he would do anything to get caught? What were his numbers in those three years? Were they not consistent? Did he not hit on average 45 home runs per year at age 38, 39, and 40? What was his batting average? What was his walks? If you make his walk total equal to, say, Albert Puljols and average out the home run total with the extra at bats, would not his home run average be closer to 60? the only reason Barry Bonds did not stay consistent with the higher numbers of home runs like his 73 home run total of 2001 was because he never had the opportunity to have an equal amount of at bats! 3. Last year he had knee surgery. He comes back this year, a year when baseball is supposedly "getting tough" on steroids, and he seems to be hitting pretty decently for an almost-42 year old. What other 42 year old has hit as well as he has? Has he been tested this year? All eyes are on him, remember. 4. If you look at the numbers of all other players who either are suspected of using steroids or who were caught or come clean, how have their numbers played out? Giambi's numbers dropped considerably. Sosa's numbers dropped. Big Mac's numbers dropped. Canseco's numbers dropped. Ken Caminiti's numbers dropped. Palmeiro's numbers dropped. Have any players's numbers who we suspect on steroids remained consistent? 5. Out of all the players suspected of taking steroids, what are the work ethics of each of those players? Are any comparable to the work ethic of Barry Bonds? Do any of the others train like he does? 6. How much do steroids actually help someone hit a ball better? Does it really help the hand-eye coordination? Does it help you see the ball better out of a pitcher's hand? If Bonds truly used steroids, that really does not explain his explosion of home runs, because it does not matter how strong you are. If you cannot see the ball, you'll never hit it, and you'll strike out worse than Cecil Fielder. 7. Finally, where is the line really being drawn? What is out of bounds in regards to what is put inside a human's body to help enhance performance? Like I said, you can hate the guy if you want. I don't care for his personality, but when it comes to playing baseball, he's the best. Dan

What I Would Have Done Post-9/11: Bush in Power

The planes strike the two towers bringing them down, killing almost three thousand. A third plane strikes the Pentagon, killing over hundred. A fourth plane crashes in Pennsylvania, killing several hundred more. America was hit by the most successful and most devastating terrorist attack in the history of the world. There is a huge outpouring of support from all over the world, and only two places where people cheered, or did not provide an outpouring of support. In Palestine, men, women, and children cheered seeing America attacked. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein smiled and laughed. Every other nation provided some kind of supporting comment. The President gets 90% approval rating at home. Full support. The Bush Administration could do what it liked with that. So what is the plan? What needs to happen? What do you do with that kind of support?

Bush came into office in 2000 promising to be a "uniter, not a divider". He also promised to bring integrity back to the White House, after the debacle of Clinton. Could that be done if we got divisive with the Democrats? Morally speaking, the Democrats held policies of disrepute, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage. With a 90% approval rating, could we go after the Democrats's position and totally obliterate them from the political world? It would be risky. But if we are divisive, our political enemies will bring up how we promised to be uniters not dividers.

Internationally, after 9/11, we had the best support America was ever going to get. All knew it. How could this political capital be used for the longest time?

The first and most important thing that needs to be done is to capture or kill those who attacked us. We suspect it was Al-Qaida, a group that had been bugging the Clinton Administration with small attacks here and there, and one major attack in Kenya and Tanzania. We knew at some point we would be confronting them again. Some might ask why we didn't do anything about them since we got into office in January, when Richard Clarke has been telling us over and over that Al-Qaida is our number one priority internationally.

We have a chance probably no other administration in the history of the world will ever have. We can unite the whole world behind us like never before. No country would want that kind of attack on their soil. So let us get them all behind us. Our enemy is housed in Afghanistan, the most backwards country in the world. They are protected by the Taliban, the weakest regime in the world. They are in a country that has been torn by war and civil war since the Soviets invaded the country in the early 80s. Let us unite the world into forever changing Afghanistan from the opium producing war torn country it is, into something more stable. Let us take that country and introduce a world-wide Marshall Plan into it. Create a UN mandated operation funded by a mixture of countries, including Saudi Arabia and other Arabian countries (so they will feel like they are helping some of their own), Japan (in return for subsidies and other economic rewards), and Europeans (who will have a wonderful time doing what they keep claiming the world should do--help the poor). Let us see the Europeans in action. Let most of the forces be American, as we want to retain control of military operations, so as to not let any of the terrorists hiding there escape. Let it be clear that this will not be an inexpensive operation, but that it will require sacrifice. Flood Afghanistan with American troops under a UN umbrella, funded by the world. Change Afghanistan. Crush the Taliban. Let that name be lost to history. Let no Taliban remain in Afghanistan to foment trouble in the future. Destroy Al-Qaida's abilities in Afghanistan completely. Let the world know the price of such actions.

Let it be shown by our actions that we mean what we say. Let it be shown clearly and completely that if attacked, America will respond back with lethal force against their attackers, and their attackers will not survive. Subsidize Afghanistan. Flood it with money. Nation-build like it has not been done since the 1940s.

In the meanwhile, let it be known to nations that harbor terrorists, that what was done to the Taliban will be done to them if terrorist groups connected to them create any havoc anywhere.

At home, our successes in Afghanistan will provide a buffer to the inevitable drop in support, as Democrats will start to wonder why they are in such full support of a man they disagree with completely. Success abroad will keep the poll numbers hovering around 60% though, much like Clinton's.

There will be very mad Americans who will want to lower our standards, claiming "terrorists" do not have the rights like regular people. As an adviser to Bush, I would remind him that he is the leader. Direct the people away from anger. Show them the folly in such thinking. We lower out standards and we lose what we are fighting for. These terrorists are cave dwellers. They cannot bring down our nation. Don't hype them to be any stronger than they are. In fact, minimize their strength in public communications. Let the world know that these terrorists have no strength. Their true strength comes from how we react to their barbaric acts.

I would remind the president to stick to his conservative principles. He came into power with the desire to make the government smaller. Stick to it. Strengthen the defense, but force Congress to stop spending so much money. Say no more often than yes. It will be effective with the public.

There will be some who will attempt to create wedge issues in the upcoming 2002 congressional elections, and then in the 2004 general election. Stay above that fray. Remind the public that you are a uniter, rather than a divider. A wedge issue by nature divides.

Now, many will say it is now time to do something about Iraq. Coming into power, we've been wanting to find a way to finish Saddam for good. It's not about daddy. It's not about oil. It's about finally closing the chapter on a nuissance. It's about making sure that Saddam is out for good, and will no longer have the ability to create WMDs, that he has been craving for for the longest time.

Some will want to try and tie Iraq to 9/11. The evidence is flimsy. It will not be good to try and tie the two together when later on the evidence will prove us wrong. Our long term goals will be compromised. Those long term goals include keeping Republicans in power for at least 50 years, removing Social Security, starving the beast. If we are discredited by our own mistakes, we will lose the strength we can create with the gift that 9/11 gave us: full support.

Also, let's be honest and open with our constituents. For some reason previous administrations felt as if, if they tell the hard truth, for some reason, their constituents will be mad at them, and vote them out.

Howerver, it seems that in regards to Iraq, the only real way to win full support, or enough support is to lie. We want to go to Iraq to change the Middle East. There will not be enough support for such an action, because at the core, America may speak selflessly, America is truly self-interested. If there is no threat to America, America will not act. So we must lie. We must tell Americans that Iraq is an "imminent" threat. We must tell them that 9/11 changed everything, changed the whole way we need to look at the world, and that rogue nations that were once just a nuissance, now were a serious threat. This will drop our support down from the 70s and 80s to the 50s and 60s as the debate will turn partisan. The lie will be that Iraq is a threat because they have WMDs and ties to terrorists. No one in their right mind is going to defend the pathetic evil Saddam, so it's the perfect place to attack. We'll try to get the UN involved, but we don't really care if they act or not. We will act unilaterally if we need to. This will certainly shore up our base among conservatives who hate the UN. It might drive our numbers even lower, but if executed well, it won't matter.

Now, here's the to execute this well.

First off, it has to be done in a period other than the summer. We cannot have our soldiers fighting in the desert in the summer. so January or February is the most opportune time. We also do not want a war during an election year, so the fighting must be done in an odd-numbered year. 2003 will be the year of our war with Iraq.

Secondly, Rumsfeld thinks this can be done on the cheap. He's loony. I don't know why Bush thinks he's a great defense secretary. Nation-building is not cheap, and will require a huge load of troops to quell any possible insurgency. In 1991, Powell used half a million soldiers just to kick Hussein out of Kuwait. We've just used 100,000 in Afghanistan, and in one year's time, Afghanistan is free of Taliban influence, and is turning around rapidly, a free and safe country that is joining the modern world. It is doing this so quickly and so well because we actually cared, and we actually pumped the necessary money into this project.

Iraq will cost a hell of a lot more than Afghanistan, and we must prepare the American people for the cost of this venture. We must be prepared to tell them that this is about more than just the WMDs. This is really to reshape the Middle East. Of course, we're still telling them the lie, that the real reason is because Iraq is a threat. But we have to be ready for the day when the WMDs are not found. What do we tell Americans then? We tell them that we went there to change the Middle East, not about the WMDs. We drop references to mushroom clouds, and talk about democracy. Americans have a short attention span. They will not remember. Our numbers will start to go lower, but again this doesn't matter. As long as we execute correctly, we will survive the drop.

We must tell Americans that this venture in Iraq will cost, that Americans will be required to make a sacrifice. This way, we drive at patriotism. What American does not want to sacrifice for his nation? Oh there will be a few, but those loony leftists are unimportant. We'll get enough of the Democrats to see they want to sacrifice for the good of the country, because most Democrats do want to sacrifice for the good of the country, whatever Anne Coulter says to the contrary. She's loonier than Rumsfeld and the loony leftists combined, so she's dismissed.

Americans will be willing to make a sacrifice for their nation. Let's get access to this sacrifice. Let us tell Americans that their sacrifice is that this generation needs to pay for this war in Iraq. We cannot let future generations pay for our wars. It must be paid for now. They will be willing to do it.

Do all these things, and I promise you, Mr. President, you cannot fail. More importantly, you will be remembered as one of the best presidents, because you took action, because you asked for a sacrifice, because you did not let the responsibility fall to future generations. This is the hallmark of a great leader.


That would have been my advice to President Bush. Of course, Bush took a drastically different course, and now he is considered one of the worst presidents in US history, has an approval rating of 29% and might actually end up being impeached before his term is over. Sucks to be him. He shouldn't have been divisive, and he should have stuck to his principles.

Utah/Arizona Polygamists....Like the Zoramites of Old?

What should be done about these polygamists in the Utah/Arizona area? I mean, these guys are bringing into focus the wrong things about Mormonism. More importantly, these children are being abused, both the girls and the boys.

Among sect members, girls as young as 13 are forced into marriage, sexual abuse is rampant, rape is covered up and child molesters are shielded by religious authorities and law enforcement. Boys are thrown out of town, abandoned like unwanted pets by the side of the road and forcibly ostracized from their families to reduce competition among the men for multiple wives. Children routinely leave school at age 11 or 12 to work at hazardous construction jobs. Boys can be seen piloting dump trucks, backhoes, forklifts and other heavy equipment. Girls work at home, trying to keep order in enormous families with multiple mothers and dozens of children who often eat in shifts around picnic tables. Wives are threatened with mental institutions if they fail to "keep sweet," or obedient, for their husbands.
Is there an Alma to go teach these modern day Zoramites about the real faith again?

Bush Approval Rating Drops Below 30%

Yes, that is correct, according to a poll done by Harris, part of the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Bush's approval rating is now down to 29%. Can it go lower? Sure, but not much. Now you are getting to those fools who will stick with Bush through thick and thin, no matter how terrible he is, like those fools who still cling to the South winning the Civil War, even 150 years later.

American Debt

So why are Americans getting into so much debt? According to a recent study, it is not because Americans are buying up the plasma tvs, but rather due to education, health and housing. in other words, just to live regular life, Americans have to go into debt. What does this say about the quality of life in America today?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Rove's Strategy for '06: Fear

Rove's Strategy That's what it will turn out to be. It won't be about a strong foreign policy vision (as that is a failure); it won't be fiscal restraint (as that is also a failure); there is no vision that Rove can bring to the table in November '06 to keep conservatives at the polls, except fear of what the other side will do..... Ironically, Rove excoriated Democrats in 2004 for their policy of being anti-Bush, and now Rove's strategy is simply anti-Democrat. Are conservatives that stupid to fall for this strategy? Do they not see that other than "the other side is evil, vote for us," Rove and the Republicans have no strategy to win 2006?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What I Would Have Done Post-9/11: Intro

It has been argued that Democrats did not have a vision about what to do with the change that came with 9/11. This argument was made by Republicans who were in power, who controlled the government, who were supposed to lead; an argument made against the minority party, the party not in charge of the government. It is a rather weak charge to make by those who were forcing the issues and claiming that any who did not agree with their views were somehow anti-American or helping terrorists.

"To those who pit Americans against immigrants, citizens against non-citizens, to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve," Ashcroft told the Senate Judiciary Committee. "They give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's friends. They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil.
So what I am going to do is do a several part section on what I would have done after 9/11 if I were an adviser to the president. I'm even going to show what I would have recommended were Gore to have been president (he really was, but thanks to the Supreme Court--unelected officials--Bush was placed as president---but this is for another discussion). I will also give my recommendations for what to do now, today, based on Bush's choices with, 1. Bush still in power and in the current situation he is in, and 2. if a Democrat were suddenly in power right now and had to fix the mess. I will also give my thoughts on what vision Democrats should give Americans as a counter-vision to the failed Republican visions. After all, Rove's strategy for November is not policy driven, but rather a scare tactic. There are other, better, visions than those of neo-conservatives. I'm glad to see Fukuyama (one of the founders of modern neo-conservatism) seeing the light. So hang on to your hats. RHMD

American Troop Casualties Near 20,000

"Life and Death Everywhere" American troop casualties are as follows right now: 2500 dead and about 17,500 wounded severely enough that in previous wars they would have died. In other words, the casualty rate in Iraq today does indeed mirror that of Vietnam 40 years ago, with the exception that today, fewer Americans have died due to better equipment, better training, and better medical technology. What does that still say about how many American soldiers are affected by this war? The other huge difference between then and now is that these soldiers today volunteered to serve in the armed forces, unlike 40 years ago when they were conscripts. Still....what is the objective in Iraq? Was it to simply remove a dictator from power? Was it to find the WMDs? Was it to reshape the Middle East into a flowering democracy? In what shape? As a Western-style democracy, even though the west is hated there? 1. We removed Saddam from power. So what are we still doing there? 2. There were no WMDs there in 2003, because the UN Inspectors actually removed them from 1991-1998. 3. the Middle East is being reshaped. Hamas wins elections in Palestine, and Hesbollah wins elections in Lebannon. Is that what neo-cons had in mind? This gets back then to the all-important question: what the hell was it all about?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Catching a fish vs catching Bin Laden

Well put, Mr. Marshall!

Reuters: "President Bush told a German newspaper his best moment in more than five years in office was catching a big perch in his own lake." bin Laden still at large; fish rolled up in rod-n-reel sting op. -- Josh Marshall

Monday, May 08, 2006

Using Christianity as a Political Tool

I agree with Andrew Sullivan in that I am very tired of my faith in Jesus Christ being used by some as a barometer of my political beliefs. There was a time in America's history when one's religious belief did not matter in regards to one's political beliefs. That changed in the 50s with modern conservatism. It is divisive, and therefore not of God, ironically. The Savior has said, "I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine." Divisive politics have no place in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So why are right-wing Christians so divisive? I remind again what President Gordon B. Hinckley said:

Why do any of us have to be so mean and unkind to others? Why can't all of us reach out in friendship to everyone about us? Why is there so much bitterness and animosity? It is not a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We can disagree politically. We can even criticize political leaders. But we cannot use another person's religious or political beliefs against them for political points. It is not a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

More on the Irresponsibility and Lack of Accountability of President Bush and the Republicans

great editorial in the Washington Post entitled "An Irresponsible President." As I quoted earlier, Bush feels that the problems that now plague him should be dealt with by future presidents, future Congresses and future generations of Americans, rather than him, this congress and this generation. More evidence is shown in this editorial from the Washington Post, which I quote in its entirety here:

SHEER COINCIDENCE: Last Monday, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual depressing report. On Tuesday, congressional negotiators handed President Bush a "victory" -- his assessment -- in agreeing to extend his capital gains and dividend tax cuts. Mr. Bush and his fellow tax-cuts-above-all proponents would like you to believe that the two events are unrelated. But taken together they underscore the terrible fiscal predicament that Mr. Bush has chosen to bequeath to his successor. According to the new estimates, the Social Security trust fund will be depleted in 2040, one year closer than last year's projection, while Medicare's will run out in 2018 -- two years sooner than last year's projection and 12 years earlier than estimated when Mr. Bush took office. These dates may still sound remote, but the problem is more imminent than the customary focus on insolvency suggests. Far earlier than the insolvency date, the programs will be spending more than they take in, in payroll taxes in the case of Social Security, in payroll taxes and premiums in the case of some parts of Medicare. Because of higher-than-anticipated hospital costs, the price of Medicare hospital benefits will exceed tax collections and other dedicated revenue this year -- a situation that will persist and worsen rapidly after 2010. And every year of procrastination makes the eventual solution more painful. But the best Mr. Bush can come up with is a bipartisan commission -- yes, another one -- to study the problem. And even that seems to be only make-believe. He mentioned a commission in his State of the Union address but hasn't bothered to appoint members. He proposed minimal Medicare cuts in his latest budget and then emitted nary a peep of protest when Congress proceeded to ignore him. When it comes to ensuring the permanence of his tax cuts, though, Mr. Bush is a lot more energetic. Last Tuesday, after he summoned Republican leaders to the White House, they agreed to extend Mr. Bush's cuts on capital gains and dividends, now set to expire in 2008, through the end of 2010. This means that all the tax cuts Mr. Bush has presided over are now set to expire on the same date, Jan. 1, 2011 -- draining the treasury of needed revenue until then and setting the stage for a difficult decision at that time. Allowing all the tax cuts to expire simultaneously is politically unthinkable and economically unwise. Yet this is also the time when strains on the budget from the retirement of the baby boomers will begin their unsustainable upward path. The breathtaking irresponsibility of this won't become totally clear until Mr. Bush is back on the ranch. But history's verdict is predictable: bad enough to squander a chance to improve the nation's health while there was still time; unforgivable to make it so much worse.

Evidence of Big Oil's Price Gouging?

I was reading this article from Dateline about ethanol, a possibly easier solution to the problems at the pump. On the second page of this article, the entrepreneur who is pushing strongly for the use of ethanol says something very profound:

Phillips: Do you believe oil companies would deliberately drop the price of oil? Khosla: Absolutely. A senior executive of a major oil company came up to me and said, “Be careful.” In a very warning tone he said, “Be careful, we can drop the price of gasoline.”
Anyone who doesn't think Big Oil cannot drop the price of oil, especially after Exxon's massive record historic huge gigantic profits recently..... And who pays the politicians? Who funds them the most? Take a look (two thirds of the way down the page):
Major Oil Company Lobbying Expenditures in 2005 4/26/2006 The top ten oil companies reported spending $33,173,092 lobbying the Congress and the Executive branches in 2005. Use PoliticalMoneyLine’s Lobby databases to search financial figures going back to 1998. * ChevronTexaco $8,550,000 * ExxonMobil $7,140,000 * ConocoPhillips $5,098,084 * Marathon $4,290,000 * BP $2,880,000 * Occidental $2,042,177 * Shell $1,478,831 * Ashland $904,000 * Sunoco $540,000 * Anadarko $250,000
Take a look here also. Notice who gets the most money from oil company lobbyists. Yes, President George W. Bush
When it came to tapping the oil industry for campaign dollars, no one has come close to former Texas oilman George W. Bush. The president has received $1.7 million in campaign cash from the oil and gas industry. That was more than three times the amount given to the next biggest recipient of the industry's largesse, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman and fellow Texan Joe Barton, who collected $574,000. Next came another Texas Republican, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who took in just under $500,000.

'06 Election Republican Strategy: Scare Tactics and Fear

Rove Is Using Threat of Loss to Stir Republicans heh, So Republicans's new strategy to "win" in 2006, to keep their seats and their power, is to threaten and scare Americans. That's as good as they can do. All their other policies have failed or don't have any traction among Americans. Perhaps America is wisening up. All that Rove has left is scare tactics. Take for example this letter by Elizabeth Dole:

The head of the Senate Republican committee paints a dire picture of Democratic congressional control, warning that the opposition party would "put the war on terrorism on the back-burner" and maybe even impeach President Bush. In a fundraising appeal this week, Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., asks for immediate financial help "to prevent the most left-wing Democrat Party in history from seizing control of the United States Senate" in the November elections. Democrats dismissed the letter as hyperbole. "Senate Republicans are in panic mode, making accusations that are so hysterical they're actually making the case for electing more Democrats to the Senate," said Phil Singer, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Senate Democrats have maintained a 2-to-1 advantage over Dole's campaign committee in money raised for the midterm contests. Senate Democrats have $32.1 million cash on hand and the National Republican Senatorial Committee has $16.5 million, according to the most recent filings. In the fundraising letter, Dole rails against liberal Democrats in the Senate and warns that if they prevail, "our worst fears" will be realized. She argues that empowered Democrats would "increase your taxes, call for endless investigations, congressional censure and maybe even impeachment of President Bush, put the war on terrorism on the back-burner" and "Take over the White House in 2008!" She assured the recipients of the fundraising letter that she was working around the clock "to help our country avoid this disaster."
What are Republicans afraid of? If they are truly standing on correct principles, what are they afraid of? Did not John say:
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

The Orwellian Administration

Dick Polman says it best on his blog just how Orwellian this administration really is. It should shock Americans that such double-speak and revising history. But then again, in 1984 nobody was shocked at the doublespeak and revision of history going on so blatantly. In fact, everyone participated in it..... In fact, take a look at this article which shows the following:

Career appointees at the Department of Agriculture were stunned last week to receive e-mailed instructions that include Bush administration "talking points" -- saying things such as "President Bush has a clear strategy for victory in Iraq" -- in every speech they give for the department. "The President has requested that all members of his cabinet and sub-cabinet incorporate message points on the Global War on Terror into speeches, including specific examples of what each agency is doing to aid the reconstruction of Iraq," the May 2 e-mail from USDA speechwriter Heather Vaughn began.
Has America gone "past feeling" so much, desensitized so much, that they no longer care? Evil people are running this nation today. We are moving in a wrong direction, America.

Politician Bought By The Defense Industry

Who does Curt Weldon represent? The people who elect him, or the people who give him money?

Facing perhaps his toughest campaign in two decades, U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon is drawing on his close ties with the defense industry to help finance his reelection bid and retain his powerful committee position. Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has reported raising $724,285 since last year for his campaign. Of that, at least $292,000 - about 40 percent of his total - has come from defense interests, according to an Inquirer review of Federal Election Commission reports. The donations include more than $137,000 from officials and relatives of officials at companies with military contracts, and $112,500 from political committees associated with defense companies, including General Dynamics, Raytheon and Textron, each of which has given $10,000. They also include $42,500 from 32 lobbyists and their family members, or from lobbying firms, some of which made donations at the Charlie Palmer steak house on March 7 in Washington at an event billed as a defense industry reception.
It seems that the more important constituents to Mr. Weldon are defense industry lobbyists.....

A Little History Lesson on Immigration

As usual, many Americans today lack a clear knowledge of history, even some who were close to presidents lack this knowledge. Well an article has come out in the Washington Post today that should clear some things up about immigration in the past. It is an excellent article, worthy of a read for anybody who has any question or feeling about this great immigration debate we are in today. It highlights the real problems America faces in regards to immigration. the money quote:

Advocates of stricter enforcement argue that those who came a century ago were different because they arrived legally. Movies and novels depict customs agents at New York's Ellis Island -- that keyhole through which 16 million immigrants passed from 1882 to 1922 -- examining immigrants and their papers with a capricious eye toward shipping back laggards. Peggy Noonan, a former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, wrote about her Irish forebears in a Wall Street Journal column: "They waited in line. They passed the tests. They had to get permission to come. . . . They had to get through Ellis Island . . . get questioned and eyeballed by a bureaucrat with a badge." But these accounts are flawed, historians say. Until 1918, the United States did not require passports; the term "illegal immigrant" had no meaning. New arrivals were required only to prove their identity and find a relative or friend who could vouch for them.
So all those immigrants that flowed into the United States before 1918 were neither legal nor illegal. They just were. This article also states that the border between Mexico and the United States was hardly guarded and travel between the two was free. If anyone does not think our current debate on immigration is not race related, take a look at the following: In Texas, two white boys attacked and sodomized a hispanic boy for looking at a white girl recently. Some groups have declared "open season" on Hispanics. A game on the internet has the viewer shooting at mexicans crossing over the border. I quote again what President Hinckley has to say about racial hatred (and hatred in general):
I have wondered why there is so much hatred in the world. We are involved in terrible wars with lives lost and many crippling wounds. Coming closer to home, there is so much of jealousy, pride, arrogance, and carping criticism; fathers who rise in anger over small, inconsequential things and make wives weep and children fear. Racial strife still lifts its ugly head. I am advised that even right here among us there is some of this. I cannot understand how it can be. It seemed to me that we all rejoiced in the 1978 revelation given President Kimball. I was there in the temple at the time that that happened. There was no doubt in my mind or in the minds of my associates that what was revealed was the mind and the will of the Lord. Now I am told that racial slurs and denigrating remarks are sometimes heard among us. I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ. How can any man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood arrogantly assume that he is eligible for the priesthood whereas another who lives a righteous life but whose skin is of a different color is ineligible? Throughout my service as a member of the First Presidency, I have recognized and spoken a number of times on the diversity we see in our society. It is all about us, and we must make an effort to accommodate that diversity. Let us all recognize that each of us is a son or daughter of our Father in Heaven, who loves all of His children. Brethren, there is no basis for racial hatred among the priesthood of this Church. If any within the sound of my voice is inclined to indulge in this, then let him go before the Lord and ask for forgiveness and be no more involved in such.
President Hinckley continues:
Why do any of us have to be so mean and unkind to others? Why can't all of us reach out in friendship to everyone about us? Why is there so much bitterness and animosity? It is not a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.