Friday, October 13, 2006

Hang Around a War Zone, Get Killed

The mainstream media decided to come up for air from the Foley pseudo-scandal long enough to find a different needle to stick in their Bush administration voodoo dolls. It is about the Iraq War (the stand by when the scandal of the minute isn’t working out) and it comes courtesy of our friends (?) the British.

An ITN journalist who died during the beginning of the Iraq War was ruled to have been “unlawfully killed” by U.S. forces by a British coroner. This coroner, from a distance of many miles and now many years, somehow was able to determine that the journalist did nothing to contribute to his death. As a result, the National Union of Journalists and the reporter’s widow are calling for U.S. forces involved to be tried for War Crimes.

Let’s say the coroner with telescopic-time-vision is right and the reporter did nothing to contribute to his own death. That does not ipso facto make the U.S. action a war crime. It could have been, oh, a mistake. To leap to the conclusion that if he’s not responsible for his death the U.S. committed a war crime is requires Olympic triple-jump logic. One has to operate from the assumption that the U.S. forces wanted to fire on journalists in general, fire on him specifically, and ignores the very real possibility that it was an accident!

If there were some evidence that the journalist was directly targeted with intent because he was a journalist, then maybe a war crime trial would be warranted. But nothing in the report I read suggests intent, even as it puts the blame for the fatal fire on one of two U.S units in the area. But there was a war going on, and it doesn’t take Mensa level smarts to know that if you’re hanging around a war zone, there is the very real possibility that you could be killed, especially if you were not embedded, as the ITN crew was not.

ITN defended the principals and necessity of unilateral journalism, but there is a price to be paid for such detachment and sometimes death is it. There was a remark that no story is worth dying for. If they truly believe that, then they need to stop covering wars, because in wars good people, bad people, innocent people and reporters all die.

Anybody still think U.S. forces should be subject to the International Criminal Court?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Moving my pic in house

The server hosting my Lightning Man picture is going bye bye and the image server I have for auctions doesn't seem to get along with Blogger, so I am posting the picture to a blog entry in order to have Blogger host the picture themselves.

Friday, September 22, 2006

How John McCain Lost My Vote

Some of you who know me personally might find it more surprising that John McCain ever had my vote. But he did, provisionally. After Rudy Giuliani, he was easily the favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination, and since no Democrat I could vote for is even going to run on that side, I had made peace with voting for him in the event that Rudy doesn't run. He had done some things that made it seem he was getting tired of being a RINO and in the most important matter on the table today, the War on Islamofascism, he was on the "fight it" side. And then he came out for coddling terrorists.

No, he doesn't call it that. He, having been a prisoner of war, has a sensitivity to mistreatment of the captured. I accept that and understand that. But being mean to someone is not torture and coercion of someone to get information is not evil. Yes, it's not the way we choose to behave and live, but much like disciplining your kids, it something you do now to lessen chance you'll have to do worse things later, in this case putting innocent civilians in body bags.

The mark of a mature individual, a father, a teacher, a civic leader, is putting your own personal peccadilloes aside for doing what is best for that which you have charge. It does not protect the United States to allow members of Islamofascist organizations to keep their murderous secrets. If John McCain as a senator is not willing to put the country ahead of his personal well being, as George W. Bush has done, then I cannot in clear conscience vote for him.

So I sincerely hope he loses the nomination or, barring that, that the Democrats nominate someone with some sense. Or else I'm taking my ball and going home.

To Australia.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Bad Case of the Stupids

The U.S. House and Senate are having bad cases of the stupids right now and if the party in power doesn't wise up, they'll be the party out of power. The first case of the stupids comes from their reaction to William Jefferson (D - Louisiana) having all that cold hard cash. There has been a long-standing unwritten rule that congressional offices are sacrosanct. The reason given for it is separation of powers. But if followed slavishly with no exceptions, it would allow representatives to have an untouchable base from which to conduct all manner of criminal activity. Theoretically, under this gentleman's agreement, as long as the representative kept the body in a file cabinet, he could commit and get away with murder without impunity. To people out here in the real world, this is patently absurd. And yet, rather than be happy that the FBI has possibly rooted out corruption in what is supposed to be an honorable body, they're in a flap because William Jefferson's office was searched. With a subpoena. Congress, which issues subpoenas of their own like candy, wants the right to be able to ignore one. How out of touch you must be to not realize how out of touch you appear taking a stance like that. Comity of the branches be damned, it looks like you think you have the right to be better than I. Nobody else gets to ignore lawful subpoenas and neither should the offices of a representative.

The Senate is just as tone deaf with the illegal immigration bill. They're so worried about turning off a potential voter base that they are fomenting revulsion an actual voter base: law abiding citizens. Americans (including Hispanics) want the border controlled. Then and only then should the question of what to do about all the illegals in here should be addressed. Offering illegals a smorgasbord of goodies (whether or not you call it amnesty) will just motivate more illegal immigration. This is not rocket science. That is, unless you're one of the one hundred men and women trying to curry political favor instead of do the right thing.

Republicans are running scared they're going to lose in the fall elections. If they keep ignoring the regular people they will.

Monday, May 01, 2006

How Green Is My Family?

Our latest rant against wacko environmentalism started with my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law has moved in with my wife and myself for an extended basis (read: forever) and in the room that is now hers she would like a three way bulb in her lamp. Having recently discovered the virtues of replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents for people who cannot be bothered to actually turn a light off (yes, my son and wife's ears are burning), I went searching on line to see if there was a compact fluorescent replacement for the three way bulb (there is).

That's where I ran into an article about replacing the incandescent bulb with the fluorescent. No problem, there, as it is really smart thing to do. The problem is that instead of just advocating people do this, it was arguing that people should be mandated to make the change, with a punitive tax on incandescent bulbs. This is why the very changes and reforms greens supposedly want to happen are so slow in happening or do not happen at all.

Using a reel mower to mow a small yard or replacing incandescents with fluorescents are good ideas (both of which this Right Wing Arch Conservative actually does). But no one wants an idea, no matter how good, shoved down their throats. And most people resist people who think they know better than you do what's best for you. And that's where the green movement goes so horribly wrong.

It's okay to believe that people should replace their light bulbs, but why not help them see it to be in their own best interest rather than just trying to force them or tax them into the behavior you want? Taking the proselytizing approach is the route that the right tends to follow more often and it seems to have paid off.

So if you really want to change the way people interact with their environment, why not try it one person at a time.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

How to get oneself a fatwa.

Announcer: It's time for 'Life With the Islamofascist Family' Today's Episode: Over Your Dead Body

Kalila: Mo, I'm worried about Leila.

Mo: Did I give you permission to worry? You must do as I say or--

Kalila: Death!!! Yeah, I know. Anyway, she's hardly been eating, hasn't kept her mind on her studies. I think she is in love.

Mo: Is she pregnant? If she has defiled the family--

Kalila: Death!!! Yeah, right. Anyway, I think you should talk to her.

Mo: Why should I talk to her?

Kalila: Because the last time I tried to talk to her instead of you, you threatened me with...Death!!!

Mo: Oh, yeah. That's right.

Leila: Bye mom, bye pop. I'll see you later.

Mo: Wait just a minute young lady! Where do you think you're going with that dress a full inch off the ground? You know the punishment for going out half naked!

Leila: Death!!! Yeah. I know.

Kalila: What is his name dear?

Leila: Whose name?

Kalila: The boy.

Leila: Sssh.

Mo: Is there a boy? If he so much as looks at you--

Leila: Death!!! Yeah. Got it. His name is Kadim.

Mo: I do not approve!

Leila: But dad, you'd like him. He's planning to be a suicide bomber!

Mo: So when can I get to meet this Kadim?

Announcer: Join us again next time for 'Life with the Islamofascist Family'

Mo: Or else it's Death!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Dome Decree

With the bombing of the golden domed mosque in Iraq, even more people are losing their resolve and declaring Iraq a failure. The sad thing is that it is a harbinger of success. We're winning and the only way we're going to lose is if we let the images confuse us from the facts.

Several analysts have noted that the act of blowing up the mosque (and thereby trying to incite civil war) is from a tactical standpoint an incredibly risky maneuver, on par with the "Hail Mary" pass at the end of a football game (if I may mix religions for a second.) A civil war might mean the USA won't get the democracy from Iraq they might want, but if one fails to ignite it would give the populace even more incentive to coalesce around an Iraqi identity. Moreover, it could further turn the people away from the Wahabist / Islamofascist interest and toward the USA.

24 March 2006:
I wrote the above immediately after the bombing but never finished it in a timely manner. But I came across the draft today and decided to finish it now. Civil war isn't happening. Considering how much the media would love to report a true Civil War, the things they are reporting happening don't rise to that level. The fact that the US and UK forces haven't had to mobilize to retake the country says to me that the country, while still as chaotic as has marked the end of the war, is not fighting itself.

And while I am on that subject, let me remind everyone talking about us losing the Iraq War: we won the Iraq War long ago. What's going on right now is the fight for the peace. Saddam Hussein is no longer in power and if we wanted to control any particular region of the country we could. What we are going through is the dead end nastiness that people seem to forget goes on even after you win. No one would dispute that the Union won the U.S. Civil War (that is to say the War of Northern Aggression; I live in the south now), and yet some Booth fellow still managed to shoot Lincoln.

Assuming they embrace republican democracy, peace will come to Iraq eventually, and the dome destruction could be the first sign that our boys and girls will be coming home.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

See You In The Funny Pages

As a religious man, I can appreciate how you might find a cartoon about your religion unfunny, even inflammatory and blasphemous. But as a man with reason and sense, if I truly felt moved enough to do something about it, I would direct my wrath at the perpetrator, not people unrelated to the source of my offense.

Which is why I have a problem with the Cartoon Riots. Muslims who do not like the Danish cartoons have every right to be offended, but no right, none, to destroy the Danish embassy in Lebanon, no right to destroy property and assault people during their protest marches. None.

Adding to my disgust with the situation is the fact that Danish imams have chosen to exacerbate the situation by adding cartoons not from the Danish paper. This is orchestrated and is using the cover of religious outrage for another purpose.

I have been skulling over what the purpose might be and I have an idea: Al Qaeda and Islamofascism are losing. It's getting harder and harder to recruit gullible young Muslims into blowing themselves up. So what better to re-stoke your fervor than an insult to your religion? Get 'em riled up, get 'em blowing up.

But as with just about everything, there are unintended consequences. Europe is wakening to the menace many have called Eurabia for years. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority will find themselves even more isolated from the world. And disparate nations like France, Russia, and the US may finally combine to confront Iran.

Whether or not my theory as to why this was done is right, it is clear that the Muslim world understands the American part of the western world even less than we understand them. To turn a common phrase, they should be careful what they protest about; they might just get it.