Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Senate Votes to Surrender 50- 48

The Senate voted yesterday to surrender the war if we still have troops in Iraq in March 2008. It was phrased as a troop withdrawal to begin within 120 days with 100% of troops out of Iraq by March, 2008. If our forces leave the field without any consideration for how the war is going at the time, I can only interpret this as an Unconditional Surrender. I simply can’t see any way another nation would look at this and not view it as a failure in Iraq and a surrender by the United States.

Many of the Democrats have said they want this surrender date in the bill to send a message to the President. The Congress (both House and Senate) have spent a lot of time sending and phrasing messages to the President. These messages are viewed by a much wider audience than just the President. What do our troops thing about this? What about our enemies? What about our Allies?

The message the Democrats are sending to our troops is, “Regardless of what is happening in Iraq, we are going to remove you from the field.” The Democrats don’t care if we are winning in Iraq, and they don’t care if we can win in Iraq. They simply insist that we can’t fight any longer. They have decided that any war can only last “x” number of days, and we can only continue to engage if we take less than “x” number of casualties. It doesn’t matter what is happening, what the military leaders think, or what casualties our enemies are taking.

Our enemies must view this as a victory. The politicians behind the forces they are facing have said that if our enemies are still in Iraq in March of 2008, they can have Iraq. The Democrats have said we can fight until then, but after that, we just don’t have it in us. The last thing any general wants is to give his enemy hope. However, the Democrats are sending Al-Queda and Iran vast quantities of hope.

Finally, what does this message say to our Allies? Many Democrats criticize the Iraqi government for not quelling Sunni-Shia violence. Now we have told the democratically elected government of Iraq that they have until March to get things in order and then we are going to leave them to fight their enemies, and the enemies of Democracy. Iraq has had the first transparent and free elections in the Middle East in a long, long time. The Democrats have said, “We don’t really care what you do between now and March, but we are leaving in March.” They have decided Democracy in the Middle East simply isn’t worth protecting.

If Al-Queda released a press statement saying they were going to withdraw from Iraq if America was still fighting in March, how would we view that? Would we see it as a sign of things going in our favor? Would that message be enough to give the Democrats the will to push on with the surge? Would we see it as a sign that Bin Laden was simply trying to send a message to his cell leaders, and we shouldn’t read anything into it? What message are the Democrats really sending? No one believes the Democrats agree with the President on anything right now. As I view the House and the Senate debate surrender, I wonder which the Democrats think is worse: George Bush succeeding in Iraq, or a loss by America’s military?

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Democrat in Favor of the 2nd Amendment

I thought with the weight of some of the topics discussed on here lately, and with the ongoing quest for the “magical 20th comment”, perhaps it was time for something a little more entertaining. I must warn my liberal friends and readers ahead of time, this information comes from Fox News.

An Aid to Senator Jim Webb (D-Virgina) was arrested today for taking a gun into a Senate building in Washington, DC. The aide, Phillip Thompson, was described as a long time aide and friend of the Senators. He was arrested trying to bring a loaded gun with two extra magazines (both loaded) into the Russell Senate Office Building. Thompson was stopped when the weapons were discovered at an x-ray machine. Webb's office said the Senator had given Thompson the gun earlier in the day as he left for the airport. Thompson then simply forgot he had it before he attempted to enter the Senate building.

I am pleased to see a Democrat who is openly in favor of 2nd Amendment rights. This is just a strange, strange story.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

House Democrats Try to Bribe Their Members

The House passed a bill yesterday giving the President the emergency funds he needed for the war in Iraq. The bill, HR 1591, is entitled The US Troop Readiness, Veteran’s Health, and Iraq Accountability Act 2007. The bill comes with more strings than the most complicated puppet.

Some conservative Democrats have been against placing arbitrary time tables on the war. In order to get them to vote with the rest of the Democratic Party, this bill was loaded with many, many pork barrel spending projects. I leave it to the reader to distinguish between a “pork barrel project” and an open bribe for a vote. Some of the pork in this bill shows up as follows (remember, this bill is for troop readiness, veteran’s health, and Iraq accountability):

  • $25 Million for Spinach
  • $20 Million for US Farmland damaged by freezing temperatures.
  • $283 Million to continue funding the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.
  • $24 Million for the 2007 crop of peanuts
  • $5 Million to offset losses from last years health advisory regarding imported fish
  • $60.4 Million to go to the operations, research, & facilities of the National Marine Fisheries Service
  • $100 Million for Citrus Crop relief from Hurricane Katrina and Rita

In all, there were around $20 Billion in pork projects added to the bill in order to buy conservative Democrat’s votes. These conservative Democrats have been against setting a timetable for Iraq. Now, they have put there reservations aside in order to bring pork projects back to their districts.

There will be supporters of the Democratic Party that will paint this as a step in the right direction. They will say that the Democrats are correct and that we have already lost in Iraq, or we are in the middle of a civil war we can’t hope to win. There is an excellent article today in the Weekly Standard looking at the arguments the Democrats have laid out for why we should get out of Iraq. The main arguments the Democrats have put forth just don’t hold water.

If the American people as a whole thought we should get out of Iraq, Congress would be able to simply cut funding to the war. Instead, they are forced to add $20 Billion in pork to get conservative Democrats to agree to timetables around the war. The President accused the Democrats of “Political theatrics”. When the Congress puts $20 Billion into a bill that the President has vowed to veto, and probably won’t survive intact in the Senate, I am afraid the President is correct. House Democrats have decided to stage a tragedy, and they are using money the troops need as a simple prop in their play.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The President picks a fight with Dems ?

For most of President Bush’s term, I have been a supporter of his foreign policy. I have agreed with his decision to go into both Afghanistan and Iraq. On the domestic side, I have found some issues I supported him in, and others I thought he was wrong in. One issue I have been sorely disappointed with is his lack of an apparent fighting spirit against the Democrats.

Too many times over the Bush Presidency I wanted the President to be very vocal about problems I felt the Democrats were the root cause of. Too many times I thought Democrats said things that the President could easily refute that he wouldn’t talk about. I think one thing that contributed to the loss in November was the fact that the President didn’t go on the offensive enough when he had a Republican majority.

Drudge has a large headline on his site currently proclaiming, “Bush Vows to Block Subpoenas; Warns Dems No ‘Show Trials’”. The link is to a story on Breitbart from the AP. I want to quote the first paragraph from the story:

“WASHINGTON (AP) - A defiant President Bush warned Democrats Tuesday to accept his offer to have top aides testify about the firings of federal prosecutors only privately and not under oath or risk a constitutional showdown from which he would not back down.”

I hope the President is really willing to see this one all the way through. It looks like there is now no way to avoid prolonged exposure to this story. I think many of the issues that Brandon, Familyman, and Matthew brought out in previous comments will be answered one way or the other in the coming weeks.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Scandal? What Scandal?

All reports seem to indicate that things are improving in Iraq. The on the ground reports and many of the media seem to think there are initial victories. A poll released in the Times UK on the 18th says that most Iraqis now believe that life is better in Iraq under Prime Minister al-Maliki than under Saddam. While a lasting victory is probably still a long ways away, these early signs show every reason to hope for success.

However, the Democrats have placed their party on the side of failure in Iraq. If we win the war, they will be the party that has fought tooth and nail against any sort of victory in Iraq. They will be on the record fighting every suggestion the President has made in the war. They demanded the President change course in Iraq. President Bush outlined a new way forward. It wasn’t withdrawal, so the Democratic Party wasn’t happy with it.

As things improve in Iraq, the Democrats will become more and more desperate for political cover. They know that any victory in Iraq doesn’t look good for their party. They will do anything in their power to divert voter attention away from victories in Iraq, even if it means manufacturing scandals.

The latest attempt to fool the voters has come with the “US Attorney Scandal”. The Democrats claim to be mystified that the President would fire any US Attorney. As Newsweek and many other news sources have reported, every US Attorney serves at the pleasure of the President. Politicians have traditionally cleaned house when they come to office. In the President’s case, he didn’t do that with the US Attorneys. However, it looks like he decided it might be worth considering at some point after he was in office.

What the Democrats don’t want the average citizen to know is that President Bush can fire any US Attorney at any time for any reason. President Clinton fired every US Attorney out there when he was President. All 93 were given a pink slip and sent packing. In this case, the Democrats were angry that President Bush fired less than ten US Attorneys.

President Clinton’s had the ability to fire any US Attorney he saw fit to, and as President, President Bush has the same ability. Our new President may fire some, all, or none of the US Attorneys when he or she comes into office in January of 2009. The President gets to decide who works for him or her. The President may decide to fire the Attorney’s for poor job performance or just to get some political allies in office. Regardless, it’s the Presidents decision to make. Anything else is simply an attempt to trick the public.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

2007: The High-Water Mark of Global Warming

Could 2007 be the last year we are bombarded with articles on the coming Global Warming Apocalypse? Prominent scientists have questioned the man made global warming “consensus” for some time now. This year seems to have changed in that these scientists are beginning to be heard in main stream media, and no one is threatening to burn them at the stake.

Vice President Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” was released last year to praise and accolades by many in the press. It seemed impossible to find a media personality who didn’t think the movie was the most important work of our time. The media reported that the Vice President was more popular now than he was as Vice President. Mr. Gore seemed set to take in awards, and maybe even a Presidential nomination. In February, the Boston Globe compared global warming deniers with holocaust deniers. Since them, it would appear that the climate is changing, but not as Mr. Gore or the Boston Globe might have predicted.

Channel 4 in the UK recently aired a special entitled, “The Great Global Warming Swindle.” In it, Channel 4 shows a group of prominent scientist condemning the Global Warming theories. The program features nine scientists that are prominent experts in the fields of climatology, oceanography, meteorology, biogeography, and paleoclimatology. To the best of my knowledge, the program has not aired in the US yet, but with the talk it has generated, it probably won’t be long before it is available outside of the UK.

Yesterday, the New York Times ran an article quoting many of Al Gore’s critics and their complaints with “An Inconvenient Truth”. For Example, Don Easterbrook specifically pointed out that Mr. Gore’s movie has some inaccuracies. The emeritus professor said, “…there are a lot of inaccuracies in the statements we are seeing, and we have to temper that with real data.” Mr. Gore’s response to his critics for the Times article stated that while some of the “nuances and distinctions” were missing from his movie, it conveyed the “…most important points”.

As the New York Times and other media outlets began showcasing respected critics of man made global warming, the current “consensus” will change. While a debate on the points of global warming has been long overdue, I believe 2007 will show just how little we as humans really understand about the Earth and its climate.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Into the Belly of the Beast

David Scott, Democratic Representative from Georgia, had a town hall meeting this past Saturday. Representative Scott is also my representative in Congress. I have called my representative before, and decided to attend the Town Hall meeting.

I went to the meeting with a few ideas in my head of what I might face. I expected a very high percentage of Democrats at the meeting, and I wasn’t disappointed in that regards. I also expected a lot of talk about Iraq and President Bush. I was wrong in that regard.

The meeting was very heavily Democratic in its turn out. The Representative spent a few minutes welcoming everyone to the meeting and then opened the floor for questions. I grouped the number of questions into a few very broad categories below:


Number of Questions









Illegal Immigration




The eleven questions on “other” topics were so diverse I couldn’t group them into any unifying topic. The number of questions is also not directly related to the amount of time spent on each topic. The Representative spent the vast majority of his time talking about the Fair Tax Act (HR 25) and Illegal Immigration. There was actually only a little time spent on the war in Iraq. About half the people present were for the war, and half were against the war.

Representative Scott is a supporter of the Fair Tax Act. He stated he is working on getting the bill a hearing in Congress so that some of the fine points of the bill could be worked out. Mr. Scott believes that our tax system is incredibly flawed and must be replaced. As I said, most of the people at this meeting were Democrats, but a lot of them were talking about the Fair Tax Act as well. A lot of the questions would end with something along the lines of, “…and I am also a supporter of the Fair Tax.” At one point Rep. Scott stopped the discussion and said that he can’t do a town hall meeting without talking about the Fair Tax Act.

Mr. Scott also wants to control Illegal Immigration by immediately moving 25,000 troops to the borders. Once the borders are secure he would next go after businesses that employ illegal immigrants.

I would encourage anyone reading this article to get in touch with your representative regardless of their political party. While you may not agree with your elected official, they are still there to represent you. The one thing I took from this meeting is that many of my neighbors feel the same way I do, even with a Democratic Representative.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Iraq the Model

I wanted to drop a quick note in here about a new blog I stumbled across. I saw an article from a site called Iraq the Model on Real Clear Politics. This blog is run by two brothers from Baghdad. In addition to numerous articles, the site contains many links to other Iraqi and Middle Eastern blogs. I have found the blog very interesting because it contains well thought out articles written about Iraq from the Iraqi point of view. Anyone interested in how the Iraqi’s view what is happening in Iraq, or want an unfiltered opinion of what is really happening in Iraq should check out Iraq the Model.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Rape Victim to be Punished under Islamic Law

Fox News is reporting that a rape victim in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 90 lashes for being alone in a car with a man that wasn’t related to her. MSNBC and a few other sites have also run this article. The 19 year old girl is referred to as “G” in most of the articles to protect her identity. According to her story, she was seeing a man without her parent’s knowledge. The man threatened to reveal this to her parents unless she met him somewhere. Once she agreed to meet him, he convinced her to ride in his car with him where they were forced to the side of the road by another car with additional men.

Over the next several hours, she was abducted and raped 14 times by multiple people. One of the rapists took pictures of her naked and used that to keep her quiet. She stayed quiet, and even tried to commit suicide. At some point, the police found out, and quickly arrested the guys involved. The rapists were sentenced to between 10 months and 5 years of jail time, while the victim and her original companion were each sentenced to 90 lashes. The rape victim has appealed to the King of Saudi Arabia to intervene.

The Saudi ministry said the rape could not be proven under Islamic law. In order for rape to be proven, there must be two male witnesses who testify that they saw the actual rape. Because the victim had also broken Islamic law, she was sentenced to 90 lashes that will most likely be administered over two days.

This is not the first story I have seen like this. Unfortunately, I don’t believe it is the last I will see either. I have taken some criticism on this site and others for being critical of Islam. This story is an example as to why I am so critical. I have trouble believing a “Religion of Peace” would allow a young girl who was raped 14 times to be punished for it. If Islam is as progressive as its defenders say it is, why does a rape have to be witnessed by two men before it can be called a rape? In today’s world, rape can be proven without eye witnesses. According to Islamic law, not even the testimony of a woman who may have witnessed the event is suitable for a conviction. Why would any civilized society punish the victim of a terrible crime like this? The answer is simple: Islam, as practiced by many people all over the world, is not the religion of peace it claims to be. I challenge anyone who believes differently to justify the punishment “G” will be forced to endure after already being raped 14 times.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Should States Require HPV Vaccine?

Over the last few weeks many State Governments have debated if girls entering the sixth grade should be vaccinated against a particular sexually transmitted disease. The specific STD in this case is the human papiloma virus, or HPV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV can lead to cervical cancer in some women. Gardasil is a new vaccine designed to protect against four of the HPV strains that account for 70 % of cervical cancer cases and 90 % of genital warts.

There are eight states currently debating if the state should require girls 11-12 years old get vaccinated for HPV before they can enter the sixth grade. The states are California, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia. Over the last few years, Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, has tested the vaccine in girls 9-26 years in age and have not noted any harmful side effects. However, this debate has led some to question if these state governments are overstepping their authority.

Many critics of the HPV vaccine question the wisdom of having an 11 year old girl vaccinated for a STD. The American College of Pediatricians has commended Merck for its ground breaking research, but is against any legislation requiring the vaccine. The organization believes the vaccine should be made available, but that patients and their parents (in the case of young girls) should be made aware of the limits of the knowledge of this vaccine. While there are no known harmful side effects from the vaccine, no one is certain how long the vaccine is good for. There is the possibility that booster shots could be required after the initial three shot series. The American College of Pediatricians argues that it makes more sense to give the vaccine when a girl is closer to sexual activity. When is that? For each girl that is a unique age that should be taken into account. The vaccine appears to work best in subjects within the first two years after receiving it. If a girl decides not to be sexually active until later in life, she might want to wait to get the vaccine until then when it can be most effective.

Because HPV is not a communicable disease, I don’t think the states have the right to force all girls to get this shot. If there is a compelling reason to protect the other students in the class, then I could be convinced to side with the states that want to require the shot. Currently, many kids are required to be vaccinated for Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and other highly communicable diseases. However, HPV is only transmitted though sex. For states to require a STD vaccine prior to entering the sixth grade or any other grade would be a precedent setting decision. If a state requires the STD vaccine, should it require other vaccines, such as Hepatitis? Will states start requiring children submit to a STD screening process before they can attend school each year?

I think this decision is best left to the individual doctors, parents, and girls. There are risks with any vaccine, and there is still more research that needs to be done on this one. Parents should have the flexibility to evaluate their children and decide when it is appropriate to give this shot to their children. I have a three year old daughter. One day, she will probably be vaccinated for HPV. But that should be at a time that my wife and I decide to have her vaccinated based on her doctors recommendation and her own maturity. Girls mature differently and families have different values. To require this “one size fits all” solution doesn’t accommodate different families with different values.