Just in case some of you touch base and need a place to vent, visit or hang out. I’ll never be up to the Squawk/Matt crew, but maybe we can have some fun and anger a couple of folks.
Again, VDH has got it right, I love it. [Sorry for the drive-by posting]
President Palin’s First 100 Days
A look ahead.
By Victor Davis Hanson
EDITOR’S NOTE: In these messianic times we have slouched into an acceptance of presidential worship, and we need to be reminded from time to time that the media’s Obama standard is really no standard at all. The following is a sequel to the recent “Bush Did It.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — The first 100 days of the Palin presidency, according to a consensus of media commentators, have proven a near disaster. Perhaps it was Palin’s scant two years’ experience in a major government position that has eroded her gravitas, or maybe it was her flirty reliance on looks and informal chit-chat. In any case, the press has had a field day, and it is hard to see how President Palin can ever recover from the Quayle/potatoe syndrome. Here is a roundup of this week’s pundit mockery.
LET THEM EAT MOOSE
“Ted Stevens may have gotten off,” wrote Bob Herbert in the New York Times, “but he taught our Sarah something first — like using $100-a-pound beef for her state dinners. And what’s this $50 mil for her inauguration gala? Since when do you fly in your favorite pizza-maker from across the country on our dime? Or send the presidential 747 for a spin over the Big Apple for a third-of-a-million-dollar joyride? Does Palin think she’s still in Alaska and has to have everything flown in from the South 48 by jumbo jet?”
Also in the Times, Gail Collins weighed in on the already-tired yokelism of the new commander in chief. “What we’re getting is Wasilla chic. That’s what we’re getting. She arrives in the Oval Office, and first thing sends back Blair’s gift of the Churchill bust as if it’s a once-worn Penney’s outfit. Then she gives the Brits some unwatchable DVDs as a booby prize — as if she idled the old Yukon and ran into Target’s sale aisle. Did Sarah send Bristol into Wal-Mart back in Anchorage for that ‘engraved’ iPod for the queen? And what’s this don’t-bow-to-the-queen stuff, but curtsy for a Saudi sheik? Maybe that explains why she brags to Stephanopoulos about her ‘Muslim faith.’ So far, the best things going for her are Todd’s biceps.”
IT’S THE MATH, STUPID!
“Well,” lectured Paul Krugman, again in the Times, “we were worried that they didn’t teach math at Idaho U., and now we know for sure they don’t. Is it $1.6 trillion, $1.7 trillion, or $2 trillion in red ink this year? Are we supposed to be impressed that she offers ‘fiscal sobriety’ by cutting 0.003 percent of the budget? She gives out money to those who don’t pay taxes and calls it a tax cut. And now Queen Sarah tells us that in four years she’ll ‘halve’ the deficit, as if she hasn’t borrowed another $5 trillion in the meantime. Does she think we’re morons? How many ‘Drill, baby, drill!’ oil wells can she tap into up there in Alaska to pay for the extra $11 trillion in debt she’s saddling us with?”
WORSE THAN ‘NUCULAR’
ABC’s Katie Couric Read the rest of this entry »
I’m quickly becoming a fan of Peter Wehner from the Robinson & Long.com blog, he forwards a great read at CommentaryMagazine.com on the current BS (my term) on EITs complete with Charles Schumer quotes from 2004 when he still understood the consequences of NOT doing everything to protect America.
The issue of the Bush Administration’s enhanced interrogation techniques involve several inter-related questions.
There is, first of all, the matter of morality. Critics of enhanced interrogation techniques have taken to saying that Americans don’t torture, period – meaning in this instance that we do not engage in coercive interrogation techniques ranging from sleep deprivation to prolonged loud noise and/or bright lights to waterboarding. Anyone who holds the opposite view is a moral cretin and guilty of “arrant inhumanity.” Or so the argument goes.
But this posture begins to come apart under examination. For one thing, the issue of “torture” itself needs to be put in a moral context and on a moral continuum. Waterboarding is a very nasty technique for sure – but it is considerably different (particularly in the manner administered by the CIA) than, say, mutilation with electric drills, rape, splitting knees, or forcing a terrorist to watch his children suffer and die in order to try to elicit information from him. Waterboarding is a technique that has been routinely used in the training of some U.S. military personnel – and which the journalist Christopher Hitchens endured. I certainly wouldn’t want to undergo waterboarding – but while a very harsh technique, it is one that was applied in part because it would do far less damage to a person than other techniques. It is also surely relevant that waterboarding was not used randomly and promiscuously, but rather on three known terrorists. And of the thousands of unlawful combatants captured by the U.S., fewer than 100 were detained and questioned in the CIA program, according to Michael Hayden, President Bush’s last CIA director, and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey – and of those, fewer than one-third were subjected to any of the techniques discussed in the memos on enhanced interrogation.
Morality also involves balancing ends and means. It is therefore relevant to take into account the possible benefits from the act of coercive interrogation techniques. Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, during a 2004 hearing on the subject of torture, put it this way. “There are times when we all get into high dudgeon” on this matter, Schumer said, but that we “ought to be reasonable about this.” He then added this:
I think there are probably very few people in this [Congressional hearing] room or in America who would say that torture should never, ever be used, particularly if thousands of lives are at stake. Take the hypothetical: if we knew that there was a nuclear bomb hidden in an American Read the rest of this entry »
As I sit here watching Illya’s life fade, though, he is still hanging in there; I find I have to believe that there’s room in Heaven for our furrfriends; and those that know me personally, will remember this belief from when Bonzo passed last fall.
At our house we call them furrkids, because they aren’t pets, they are members of our family. Ours, now, are all adopted from rescue organizations, and most recently one here in the DFW area, the North Texas Samoyed Rescue, from which we adopted Illya 8+ years ago (and have taken care of his medical bills through this trial, our eternal thanks to Lynn and all), with his pal, Mikhi (who passed Sept of ’07), and most recently, Natalya, a young lady just over a year old, and still quite a puppy.
I got involved with Samoyeds in the mid-80s, eventually going into show and breeding (once), and have taken in the rescues since my early Sammies passed away, so since around ’95. All of these guys & gals have become integral to our lives and deeply embedded in our hearts and souls; which is for our good if not theirs.
My wife has never had children of her own, physically, but she is the best mother any one could want or need. She whole-heartily loves my sons, our skinkids, and helped me finish raising my youngest when we were granted custody of him when he was 13. Today, he’d tell you she was one of his best friends those years at home, and to this day he talks to her about things he won’t with me. The main thing about my beloved, Marsha, is she has so much heart and love that anyone or animal that she cares about will know a rich life, myself the most fortunate. Our furrkids are the ones to most benefit (outside of me, of course), in that these really are her kids and if we weren’t restricted on numbers, we’d probably have a hundred. So as we face losing another in such a short time, our 5th in 2 years, we mourn our loss and wish we had more time, but God granted us another month that we didn’t think we had. And we won’t be adding any more to our family until my economic situation vastly improves.
We are bi-animal folks as well, both cats and dogs, and all adopted, as I’ve said. How anyone can say that these kids don’t have individual characters is beyond me and if they do, then they’ve either never grown close to one or have never had one–and their life is sorely empty of that love and pain.
So, do all dogs go to Heaven? My belief is yes, and cats too for those that are dog-biased, and I believe the reason why is the piece of our souls that we give to them in return for the love that we receive from them. In my world, a Heaven bereft of those we’ve nurtured and loved would be an emptier place without them and no Heaven at all. Aren’t we guaranteed by our faith that we’ll see our loved ones again? Then why wouldn’t they be there to jump up, lick our faces and mill around our feet, as we are met by our other loved ones that greet us? More would be the shame if not; they were part of our lives just as our friends and families are and were, if not more so in some unfortunate circumstances.
From our family there is already a group waiting to greet Illya, Mihki, of course; Timber, who he played slobber-baby with; his kitties, Sheba (She-Who-Would-Not-Ignored) and Bonzo (Guard Cat [see picture below] and Honorary Sammie, after spending a whole day in a crate with Vina), ; and new friends for him, Vina and Boris (Marsha’s first dog ever), my early Sammies; and Sassy, one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever known. They’re all there to say, “Howdy!” (they’re all Texans, ya’ know), and to show him around and off to those that await us.
We will miss our beloved Sergeant Major; he was always alert and on guard looking out from his posts and giving out alerts when errant dogs were loose (or being walked for that matter); I even know of one false alert where I swear I caught him snickering when the other two took off into the backyard to see what was up. If there ever was a fellow that should have been a Marine, it was Illya, from his “high and tight” when he was groomed, to his compact musculature (he’s part Chow, but have never held it against him) and his ferocity when needed, and his mirth when at play — he was one to admire.
It might be presumptuous of me, especially being a bubblehead squid (Navy submariner, for you landlubbers), but I would say Semper Fi to my friend and worthy furrson, Illya, until we meet again, play hard and know we love you, and Semper Fi.
For those that are interested or care, an Update on my Monday Post—
I completed my day and a half, 725 mile interview tour to Houston & Austin, and although I won’t know the results until the end of next week, I think that I have a pretty good shot at both opportunities, and probably better with the Austin position. Again, the unfortunate issue is the requirement to move (I’ve always said, I’d rather be beat to death than move, as when you’re done you feel about the same) for either job; the fortunate, if the latter position, then I’ll be living much closer to my father in the Lake Hill Country of Texas. I’m one of those guilty sons that always wanted to spend more time with his father, but because of jobs have never had much opportunity. Now with his advancing age (85) and health issues (treatable– at this point– congestive heart failure) I am well aware that time is running out, so the thought of living within 50 miles (the closest since I was 18) vs. the nearest since, 245 (currently) miles, is a real boon and exciting. I spent Tuesday night with him and my step-mother and they were hopeful that the opportunity will work out.
I will be working the next two days editing the last chapter of my novel (Dragonet: Allah’s Instrument) for submission to my acqauintance for her to pass on her boss for his input next week.
On to Illya, after dropping him off at the vet on Monday morning for the fluid treatment, I went on with a number of errands, but less than 2 hours later they called for me to return and pick him up. They ran his blood tests again and they were much much worse and had decided that the treatment would kill him outright (more or less drown him) and that we could only continue with what meds we were already giving and make him comfortable. That was Monday noon, and he’s still the same, bouncy and alert, but I have noticed he seems to be resting/sleeping more. But, again, when he’s up, there doesn’t seem to be any change. This is slowly killing my wife, she feels that this is happening every couple of months (it isn’t really that frequent), but then four in less than two years is way too much for a heart such as hers.
Now, as Life DOES go on & on, a friend sends me a reality check on my sadness of the impending loss a beloved pet while she is having to close the “doors” on her 35 year old drug-addicted daughter. They tried an intervention a couple of weeks ago (on her birthday) and this on-going hell for her has come to the tough love (as we called it in the 70s) requirement. My pain is real, I love this animal, but what is my pain to hers — nothing. I have been fortunate and blessed that of five children (four sons and one step-daughter), they’re all well, healthy and successful. One son was on this same path in high school but God’s providence allowed him to meet a young lady (on the same path as well) and in their meeting and joining they changed their path, part of which was in giving their lives’ to Christ. Now they’ve been married 5 years, have successful careers, are integral to their church’s growth, and have a lovely home and we are hoping they’ll become parents and pass their love on to those children.
But, how do I express my pain for my friend when I haven’t had to make that choice with a child? Our children are our love personified and when they hurt we hurt, but when the seem to want to hurt, how do we take that away? Can we heal them or must we let nature take it’s course? We can only do so much for them and then it’s up to them. My friend has fought this addiction for her child and I’m sure she feels she has failed, but she hasn’t, she’s loved, supported and sacrificed to save her and the child doesn’t want saving. The problem is the child has not fought the addiction — the child has failed, not the mother. So, as I sit here worried for my wife and the pain to come for our loss of a loved furrkid, my pain is nowhere in the same realm that my friend is experiencing at this same moment.
I pray that God will intervene and save this child as he intervened and saved mine, but the child has to allow that option — she has to recognize the rescue when it shows itself–it is solely up to her. My friend should and will, I’m sure, continue to pray, as I will for her strength, and continue the love for her daughter she shows by closing the doors.
UPDATE (138 PM cdt): From my friend:
After a couple nights in her car, [Xxx] managed to get into a rehab. First she has to go to a detox facility, then to the rehab. This will be her third time in rehab. Maybe the third time will be the charm?
It does seem that tough love works, as does God’s will; perhaps He has gotten her attention. kb
A quick posting before I head out for my interview trip.
I love Dennis because of his clarity which is really what his daily radio show is all about–clarity. Now, I would add that our Dear Leader, the Messiah, His Royal Obamaness is imbecilic if he thinks that banning and removing all nuclear weapons from the world will work. Has he never heard the NRA slogan that, ‘If all the guns are banned, then only outlaws will have guns!’?
Does he not understand that this is exactly what will happen if he were to succeed? Does he really believe that those few (double handful) enlightened countries agree to give up the deterrent that has kept the world safe since WWII, that the bad actors (NoKor & Iran) will give up their plans and desires to achieve a nuclear weapon; and if they succeed, then they’ll give them up? To think that, he truly is naive, but I think only an imbecile would give them the opportunity; not to mention the idea that the United Nations will step up as the world’s policeman when the United States steps down as we are right now with Obama’s liberal mindset.
Here’s Dennis’ excellent take:
America Has a Naive President
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
“The basic bargain is sound: countries with nuclear weapons will move toward disarmament, countries without nuclear weapons will not acquire them.” — President Barack Obama, Prague, April 6, 2009
As far as nuclear weapons are concerned, the President of the United States wants America to disarm: “Countries with nuclear weapons will move toward disarmament.”
It is hard to imagine a more destructive goal. A nuclear disarmed America would lead to massive and widespread killing, more genocide, and very possibly the nuclear holocaust worldwide nuclear disarmament is meant to prevent.
There is nothing moral, let alone realistic, about this goal.
Here is an analogy. Read the rest of this entry »