Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Love America"

“The more I see of our country, the more I love it.”

--Laura Ingraham in

Power to the People

This is the first line in Chapter 5 of Power to the People. I am really excited by this book and look forward to sharing it with everyone on here. When Laura talks about seeing more of the country, she isn’t talking about the landmarks or shopping malls, she is talking about the people she gets to meet outside of D.C. Laura and others have often remarked that our greatest resource is the people of this nation.

Laura also talks about making a “Love America” group. This would be to combat the “Blame America First” crowd out there. I think it may have been a passing comment in her book, but I have decided to take this idea and run with it. To that end, I am announcing that I am creating a “Love America” club starting right here.

This club is to be patriotic, and to remember our great heritage. We won’t forget the mistakes we have made as a nation (like forgetting what Amendment X of the U. S. Constitution is). Whereas people in the “blame America first” groups tend to see us as the problem, in “Love America” we will assume that the United States is probably the solution. We will promise to take the side of America first, until evidence proves that we have been wrong. We will assume that the United Nations doesn’t have America’s best interest at heart. We acknowledge that while a European Union my work for some of our allies, we aren’t part of that Union and aren’t bound by its agreements. In “Love America” we will strive to protect our nation from treaties that wish the United States to grant foreign bodies power over us.

I welcome comments as to what should be included in this club. If you want to join, feel free. Membership costs no money, but won’t be free. Many will consider this group backwards and perhaps even a bit barbaric. However, pride in ones country is nothing to be ashamed of. I am proud to live in the United States and to be an American.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Private Citizen Boycotted by NAACP

There was a time when Freedom of Speech was protected in this country, especially on private property. Sadly, that no longer appears to be the case. While newspaper organizations claim they can print national secrets under their guaranteed first amendment rights, the NAACP has decided that it gets to decide how people decorate their houses for Halloween.

In LaGrange, Georgia, the McCann family decorated their house for Halloween. The decorations included a display with three scarecrow-like figures: one was white, one was a space alien, and one was some sort of monster. Mrs. McCann likes to decorate for the holidays. During Christmas, she says you can see her decorations from miles away. However, this year, because her Halloween decorations include a noose, the local NAACP has picketed her home, and is trying to boycott her business.

Mrs. McCann has a display on her private property. This isn’t at her business, at town hall, or at the local school. She has a Halloween display that includes a noose, so the NAACP is bent out of shape. Her display doesn’t include hanging any minorities (unless you include “space alien” in that category). Mrs. McCann’s display might be offensive to certain people, but Christmas decorations are offensive to some, as are too many American Flags in a given place (like in Spiderman 3). Boycotts like this one by the NAACP are used primarily to extort money from businesses and attempt to grab any media attention the organization can get. These boycotts have little to do with the people they are boycotting or any attempt to improve society.

The McCann family is expressing their celebration of the holiday and exercising their First Amendment rights. The McCann’s have said they aren’t going to take the display down; they feel like they are within their rights to have it up. I agree. Just because a noose is involved in a display doesn’t make it offensive, no matter what the NAACP may claim to believe. The McCann’s are trying to celebrate a time of year they find exciting. I think they should be allowed to do that without having to worry about boycotts and pickets.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Saint Crispin's Day

Today is Saint Crispin’s Day. Saint Crispin’s Day was immortalized in Henry V by William Shakespeare. When I first heard the Saint Crispin’s Day speech, it really struck a cord with me. It expresses exactly what one should strive to be when the chips are really down. At the end of this I have quoted the Saint Crispin’s Day speech. In my opinion the qualities that are praised in this speech are shown by a real life hero: Lt. Michael P. “Murph” Murphy.

Navy Seal Michael Murphy was deployed in Afghanistan. He wore a New York Firehouse patch on his uniform. In June of 2005 he and three other seals were surrounded by Taliban fighters. They were outgunned and running out of ammo. They couldn’t transmit on their radio because they were in the bottom of a ravine. Lt. Murphy calmly took his cell phone to a clearing, exposing himself to fire but calling in help for his fellow soldiers. While he was calling, he was shot in the back. He picked his phone back up, and continued to make the call.

Only one of Murhpy’s teammates survived. However, the bravery Murphy showed earned him the Medal of Honor. Words can’t express the admiration I have for Lt. Murphy. It is because of the bravery of men and women like Lt. Michael “Murph” Murphy that my daughter can grow up in a free country. So, when you think of St. Crispin day, remember Shakespeare’s Speech from Henry V, I think “Murph” would have approved:

Westmoreland: O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men England
That do no work to-day!

KING: What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Can We Question Patriotism?

Is it fair to question an individual’s patriotism? In today’s political arena, it is common to hear the phrase, “How dare you question my patriotism…”, or, “I don’t question his patriotism, but…” I have wondered for some time now when this became such a big taboo.

What is Patriotism? Is it simply a love of country? Or is it more complex? Perhaps patriotism is the desire to see your country be the greatest on the planet. If so, then sometimes a patriot is required to question the direction his or her countries leaders are taking the country. Questioning leadership doesn't detract from patriotism. What of those in the United States and Europe who believe their particular country should be part of a larger, “trans-national” organization. Does that factor into Patriotism? If you actively believe your country should take a backseat to decisions made by the European Union or by the United Nations, are you still wanting the best for your country?

This is a topic with no easy answers. I believe there are examples of people who were obviously lacking patriotism. Someone who commits treason should definitely have their patriotism questioned. Other emotions and feelings can be difficult to evaluate, but we can all point to examples of someone lacking that quality. Does a husband who beats his wife really love her? Does it matter what he says?

However, if patriotism can’t be questioned, that must mean that everyone is a patriot. If that is true, surely some of the logical patriotic acts should be encouraged by people from both sides of the aisle. Perhaps as a first suggestion I might offer a patriotic history class in public schools. Not one that would whitewash our mistakes as both individuals and as a nation, but one that would teach our mistakes and also celebrate our successes as a nation.

I believe there are people in the United States who will blame the United States as a knee jerk reaction to many of the problems in today’s world. While some of this comes from at least a somewhat “questionable” notion of patriotism, I think much of it comes from a lack of knowledge of our country. I think the more one studies the history of the United States, the more one sees the incredible good our country has also produced throughout its still relatively young lifespan. Have we made mistakes? Sure, but they are few and far between compared to the good things we have done.

If Patriotism is something that shouldn't be questioned, then let’s start teaching patriotism in our schools. Let’s show our children why they should be proud to be Americans, and why they should aspire to be patriots themselves.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Turkey Guilty (100 years ago)!

The Democratic leadership in the House is trying its best to disrupt our supply lines to Iraq and to alienate our largest Muslim alley in the Middle East. Why you may ask? They are doing it under the cover of addressing atrocities that are almost 100 years old.

In the early 1900’s Turkey (and much of the Middle East) was part of the Ottoman Empire. Prior to and during World War I, there was a systematic attempt to exterminate Christian Armenians by the Muslim government. Depending on the source, estimates range from 300,000 to 2 million Armenians brutally killed during this time period. Many scholars seem to take 1.5 million as the agreed upon figure. Many consider this genocide second only to the Holocaust. From 1919 to 1920, there were a series of military tribunals that sentenced many of the leaders responsible for the atrocities against the Armenians to death. Most of these sentences were reached while the defendant was in hiding and unreachable.

Currently Democrats, with some Republican help, have been trying to pass a resolution in the House condemning this activity and labeling it “Genocide”. The current government in Turkey has acknowledged that crimes were committed, but has refused to label it as genocide. Their arguments seem to be regarding the precise definition of “genocide”. Speaker Pelosi is trying to bring a House resolution to the floor for a full vote that would condemn Turkey for something that happened almost 100 years ago. Turkey has found this insulting and has recalled its’ ambassador to the United States.

While I agree that the genocide of the Armenians was terrible, and is something we should study to learn from, I question the motives behind the Democrats who want to bring this to the floor. Condoleezza Rice and eight other former Secretaries of State have sent a letter to the House asking for members to vote against this resolution. The Bush administration believes that Turkey may have two reactions to a condemnation by us, their ally. These reactions are in addition to the Democrats insulting our largest Muslim alley if the resolution were to pass. First, Turkey may begin sending troops into the Kurdish area of Iraq. The Bush administration has been actively working with Turkey to keep them from entering into Iraq. If Turkey were to send troops into Northern Iraq, it could hurt the success we have had in that area.

Secondly, and I think the real reason Democrats are behind this measure, Turkey may stop allowing our military to use their airspace and country as a supply route for our troops in Iraq. The Pentagon is already working on logistics in the event that happens. We currently have major supplies (including new, more heavily armed transports) coming to our troops through Turkey. If that supply route is disrupted, it wouldn’t be good for our soldiers, and for our war effort.

I can’t imagine a reason that House Democrats are pushing this issue at this time, other than to intentionally hurt our war effort. Many Republicans and Democrats have decided to vote against this issue after hearing about the repercussions. However, Speaker Pelosi and House Leader Steny Hoyer still intend to have a full vote on the measure by the end of the year. If the Democratic Leadership of the House is so committed to having this vote, are they also committed to doing whatever they can to hurt our war effort in Iraq? Do they really despise the President so much they would sacrifice our soldiers, and our nation, to simply spite the President?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hurricane Forecaster Disputes Man Made Global Warming

Today is “blog action day”. The website sponsoring this event is trying to encourage as many bloggers to post about the environment today as possible. I hadn’t planned on posting today, but the combination of this historic event and one particular news story that has been bouncing around my head lately simply won’t let me pass it up.

By now, everyone has heard that Al Gore and the IPCC are co-winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. While they join such humanitarians as Yasser Arafat and Anwar Sadat, I am guessing many of my colleagues will be posting about Al Gore and the Nobel Prize, so I can skip it. Besides, every major news agency in the world covered this, so you probably have heard all the details anyway.

What you may not have heard is the lecture that one Dr. William Gray gave at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Gray freely admits (as do I) that humans, “…might have caused a very slight amount of [global warming].” However, Dr. Gray also says, “…this warming trend is not going to keep on going. My belief is that three, four years from now, the globe will start to cool again, as it did from the middle ‘40s to the middle ‘70’s.” At the lecture in North Carolina, Dr. Gray said, “We’ll look back on all of this in 10 or 15 years and realize how foolish it was…”

This isn’t good news if you are a believer in man-made global warming. I am often challenged on this site to find someone in a local college that agrees with my viewpoint. Here is an academic who does. It turns out Dr. Gray is called “one of the worlds foremost meteorologists” (The Sydney Morning Herald) or “a pioneer in the science of forecasting hurricanes” (Wikipedia). Dr. Gray’s hurricane forecast are used by insurance companies when figuring how likely hurricanes are to hit a particular area. If that isn’t a good enough resume to make you take note of his comments, how about his diplomas. Dr. Gray received a BS in Geography from George Washington University. He received a MS in Meteorology and a PhD in Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago. If that resume doesn’t qualify him to comment on global warming, I don’t believe there is anyone alive capable of talking about global warming.

If this sounds vastly different from what you believe academics should be saying, Dr. Gray has an answer for that too. Dr. Gray has charged that many of his colleagues are intentionally lying about global warming because they need the grant money. If man-made global warming isn’t really an issue, then how does a scientist get funding to study it? Dr. Gray believes that humans simply have too small of an impact on the earth to cause a significant change in the global temperature of the planet.

There are those in the community who disagree with Dr. Gray. As I have said before, I don’t believe science fully understands how our planet works, so debate is necessary. However, the next time you hear about “consensus” in global warming, remember hurricane forecaster Dr. William Gray.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New Look for Political Friends

I am going to change a few things on here over the next few weeks. As you can see, I have already made a few big changes. The rest of the changes are probably going to be small, or at least less noticeable. I want to keep the site appealing to my readers, so let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

An Inconvient Day in Court for Gore

If An Inconvenient Truth is scientific consensus at its best, then it should stand up to debate. If the science is settled beyond any reasonable shadow of a doubt, then Mr. Gore's documentary should have no trouble standing up in court. Unfortunately for those who worship at the alter of An Inconvenient Truth, that hasn't happened.

Recently the British government decided to all secondary schools in England. The Government was impressed by the message of Mr. Gore's movie. Unfortunately, its against the law in England to show a film in school that contains partisan politics without informing students that it is a political film. A school governor and a parent a student went to court to get the film banned from schools in England.

The court didn't ban the film. However, a judge ruled that there were nine errors or omissions that must be explained to students before it can be shown. First, students must be warned that An Inconvenient Truth is a political film and doesn't explain all sides of the arguments. Second, if the film is presented without addressing the nine omissions, teachers will be breaking the law. Third, the omissions pointed to by the judge must be specifically drawn out to the students.

Here is the list of errors and the judges finding:

  1. An Inconvenient Truth claims that a sea-level rise of up to 20 feet would be caused by melting ice sheets. The Judge said, "This is distinctly alarmist," and would only occur after 1,000 years.
  2. An Inconvenient Truth claims that Pacific Islands have, "...already been evacuated." There is no evidence that this has happened.
  3. Mr. Gore claims that coral reefs are dying and bleaching because of Global Warming. The Judge in England stated that there are many factors that can destroy coral and separating out individual factors is very difficult.
  4. Mr. Gore claims that polar bears were found that had drown swimming from melting ice bergs. Unfortunately for Mr. Gore's film, only four polar bears were found drown, and those drown due to a storm.
  5. An Inconvenient Truth claims that the disappearance of snow on Mount Kilimanjaro (as shown by two photos in the movie) is due to Man-Made Global Warming. The judge ruled that it can't be shown that the recession of snows is related to Global Warming.
  6. Similarly, An Inconvenient Truth claims Hurricane Katrina was caused by global warming. The judge stated that there wasn't enough evidence to prove Katrina was caused by Global Warming.
  7. Like Kilimanjaro and Hurricane Katrina, An Inconvenient Truth claims that Lake Chad is drying up due to Global Warming. Again, there isn't enough evidence to establish Lake Chad is drying up because of Global Warming.
  8. In a spectacular portion of the movie, Mr. Gore warns that the Gulf Stream will shut down. The judge stated this was "very unlikely".
  9. Mr. Gore shows in his movie that a graph of CO2 rise and temperature rise over the same period are an exact fit. The judge ruled that while there was a connection between the two, the film is misleading. The judge noted that in some cases, the CO2 rises lagged by 800 to 2000 years.

By itself, this doesn't mean man-made global warming isn't happening. It does mean that man-made global warming is still a theory. Man still hasn't been able to prove it. Two individuals in England fought to keep this film out of British schools. They failed at that. However, the film will only be shown with disclaimers explaining what it truly is: A political propaganda movie.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Dutch to Debate Free Speech

Is free speech worth protecting? What if free speech is used to criticize Islam? Newspapers have wavered back and forth on this issue in the past. Some newspapers believe it is worth protecting. Others have decided to censor themselves in order to avoid offending believers of the “Religion of Peace”. This week the Dutch government will debate if a prominent citizen of its country should be protected after criticizing Islam (and after the Dutch Government promised to protect her) or if it would be more convenient for the government to simply leave her to her own devices.

The issue is whether or not Ayaan Hirsi Ali deserves to have government provided security. Ms. Ali has been in hiding since the 2004 murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gough. Mr. Van Gough was killed because he had produced an 11 minute film critical of how women are treated in Islam. Ms. Ali wrote the script for that movie. A man stepped from the shadows and attacked Van Gough on his way to work one morning. Van Gough’s attacker shot him and almost cut his head off before stabbing a five page letter to his chest addressed to Hirsi Ali. She has been in protective custody since that time. The man who killed Van Gough was acting on a fatwa that had been issued against Van Gough. Many Muslims also want Ali killed for her part in the making of the film.

If you aren’t familiar with Ms. Ali, I have a short review of her latest book, Infidel. In her book, Ms. Ali describes what life was like growing up as a Muslim in Africa and the Middle East. After suffering an assortment of abuses (including female genital mutilation) she fled to the Netherlands and adopted that country as her new home. Hirsi Ali became a critic of Islam and how women are treated in its name. She has stated she no longer believes in God. This alone earns a death sentence under Islamic law. However, she has taken great pains to shine a light on the injustices done to women in the name of Islam. That has earned her a life of bodyguards and 24 hour a day protection. Protection that was promised to her when government officials asked her to enter politics.

However, some in the Netherlands still believe that fanatical Muslims can be appeased. These individuals believe that if they withdraw their protection of Hirsi Ali, then maybe fanatical Muslims will leave their nation alone. There are people in the Netherlands and Europe who have clamored to have her protection removed. There are also those who have tried to get to her before, and those who hope someone gets her. Her critics say she is too critical of Islam. If she has to have 24 hour a day protection, I would ask if she is being as critical as she could be. Some have said she has brought these troubles on herself. Individuals such as Ms. Ali should be able to say what they wish in a Western nation without fear of being stabbed in the streets.

Many on the left in our country wish our laws were as liberal as those in the Netherlands. The Dutch government is trying to hide it’s cowardice behind the financial cost imposed on them by protecting Ali. I find it hard to believe that the cost to protect her is more expensive than the cost free speech and open debate will suffer in the West if some harm should come to her because the Dutch government is worried about offending some of the people within their country. The Dutch are often shown as the model of a free, liberal, Western Government. They now have the opportunity to show they know how to do the right thing when a courageous womans life may will hang in the balance.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

If I Had to Live one Day Over and Over

This is a going to be a different post. I am part of a mystery blog challenge. We were given a topic to write about and everyone has to post on Oct. 6th. Here is my contribution to the challenge. If you are looking for something political today, go check some of my links, or read my book review on Why We Fight. If you are willing to read something I have written that has nothing to do with politics, then sit back and take a look at this one. Let me know what you think. You can also read the other submissions, and vote for the best one here.

The last winner of this challenge picked an unusual topic. We are to write on, “"If your life were like Bill Murray's in Groundhog Day (where he lives one day over and over), which day would you want to re-live forever, and why?"

I have been thinking over this topic for the last couple of weeks. It would be a pretty difficult choice to make. I started thinking, “What day or event would I like to relive?” My daughter’s birth sounded like an interesting choice, but I am sure my wife wouldn’t want to live that day over and over and over. My wedding day was another one that jumped to mind, but the day leading up to the ceremony was actually pretty normal.

Maybe I should relive a specific birthday or Christmas. That sounded interesting, but besides getting the same presents every day, I thought it might get boring pretty fast. I could imagine a scene where by the 100th time I had opened the same present, I just started crying. That wouldn’t go over well with the giver of said present.

So I started thinking along a different line. What day would I like to relive something I did, or something I did with someone? As sappy as it sounds, I really enjoy being around my wife. Any day I have to relive over and over has got to include her in it. “So,” my thinking went, “what day have I spent with my wife that I would want to live over and over?”

And then it hit me. When we got married, we were living in Georgia. None of our family or close friends lived in Georgia. We decided to get married where my wife grew up, and our high school friends flew in for the wedding. The day after our wedding, instead of going away on a honeymoon (which we would do a few months later), we got up, and drove back to town to be with our friends. We spent the entire day surrounded by people we love who we never get to see.

Looking back, I don’t remember many of the things we did that day. However, I can recite the entire list of people who were with us. I think back on that day, and I remember how happy both my wife and I were. To be able to spend a day with our closest friends was an incredible joy for us. Now the choice seems easy.

If I have to pick a day to spend the rest of my life reliving, a day with my wife and my friends sounds perfect.

Check out some of the other posts on the Mystery Topic Challenge. If you want to vote for one of the posts, you can comment here and cast your vote.

Political Friends: Readp Post
Ghostworks: Read Post
Zybron: Read Post
lifeasme66: Read Post
SomeGoSoftly: Read Post
Mr President: Read Post
jml918 (jean): Read Post
jayne d'Arcy: Read Post

After reading all the entries, please vote for your favorite: HERE. Please note: You do not have to sign up at the MTC forum to vote. You can post a comment there or here to vote. Voting closes on Oct. 8th at midnight PST.

I hope you enjoy all the posts!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Book Review: Why We Fight

I posted the dedication fromWhy We Fight: Moral Clarity and the War on Terrorism a few days ago. I thought the opening dedication was very moving, and was equally impressed with the rest of the book. I just finished the book and immediately sat down to write this review. It is a short book (less than 200 pages in the paperback edition), however many of the points are very powerful and are very powerfully made.

This is not a book for someone who believes America is no better or worse than any other nation on the planet, and doesn't want to hear anything to the contrary. Dr. Bennett writes of patriotism, right and wrong, and the undeniable truth that some things really are worth fighting for.

The original edition of this book was released in 2002. The paperback edition that I stumbled across at a used bookstore is an updated version. It includes a new introduction entitled “Blaming America First”. Dr. Bennett explains why this mentality is so deadly to our country. The original introduction (“A Moment of Clarity”) is also included in the paperback edition.

I thought many of Dr. Bennett's arguments were well laid out and hard to counter. Dr. Bennett uses this book to discuss patriotism and the anti-America movement since September 11th. He examines the pacifist movement. This book is also interesting because it makes a case for our action in Afghanistan and Iraq before we entered Iraq. Don't open this book expecting to see a lot of talk about WMD's. Many forget there were other reasons to go into Iraq. The epilogue should be required reading. Dr. Bennett uses it to lay out the case for removal of Saddam Hussein.

On a larger scale, Why We Fight seeks to shine a light on the anti-America movement that has been in this country since the 1930’s. It also argues why Patriotism is something we should be instilling in our children along with a fundamental understating of what it means to be an American. How can we hope to survive when reports look at our government with suspicion, but take petty dictators and tyrants at their word? Dr. Bennett makes the case for Israel and our continued support of that nation.

This book should be required reading for high school students, and for anyone who thinks patriotism is something to be avoided. For those of us who believe being a patriot is a good thing, this book is a welcome reinforcement of that belief.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Senate Reaches New Low

The actions by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, John Kerry, Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama, and other Democratic Senators over the last 24 hours have reached a new low point for American politics. These 40 Democratic Senators, who suddenly develop outrage whenever their patriotism is questioned, have attacked Rush Limbaughs “unpatriotic and indefensible comments”. On the Senate floor, they disparaged Rush, and impugned his reputation. Remember, Rush Limbaugh is a private citizen. He is not an elected official. Rush would not be able to say the same thing about these Senators in Senate chambers as they said about him.

Agree with Rush Limbaugh or disagree with him, if you don’t like what he says, don’t listen. I disagree with the New York Times for running the Moveon.org ad. Therefore, I have no intention of buying the New York Times. Rush is a citizen of the United States. The U.S. Constitution, Amendment number One, which most liberals claim to cherish, guarantees Rush the ability to say whatever he wants on his own radio station. People can choose to listen to what he says or not.

As I said in a previous post, no one who objectively listens to the segment that Rush has been miss-quoted from can possibly come away with the impression that he was talking about soldiers who served in Iraq. There were stories about phony soldiers in other news outlets leading up to Rush’s comments. Senator Reid, Senator Clinton, and the other signatories of the letter to Mark Mays of Clear Channel or either not doing their homework, or are intentionally misleading the public. Either way, they have now publically embarrassed themselves and the U.S. Senate.

If we wish to be charitable and grant they haven’t done their homework, then all 40 members who signed this letter should resign from office in disgrace. To think that a U.S. Senator would ask a media agency to, “…publicly repudiate these comments…,” without doing his or her homework is beyond belief. This action comes very close to censoring a media outlet. Surely a Senator would do his homework before embarking on such a course. If he or she hasn’t, the Senator should be asked to leave office.

If, as is more likely, these 40 Democratic Senators are intentionally misleading the public, we should still demand they resign. A U.S. Senator is a public servant. Many Senators (both Republican and Democratic) have forgotten that. If they are going to go to the floor of the U.S. Senate and intentionally lie as a matter of cheap theatrics, we don’t need them in office. Surely intelligent adults from both sides of the political spectrum can agree that this debate was a colossal waste of time and public money. Do the Democrats who control the Senate believe this is the most pressing issue of the day?

Either these 40 Senators are too lazy to seek the truth in this matter, or they prefer to intentionally mislead the public with regards to Rush. These Senators owe Rush a formal apology from the floor of the Senate. Of course, that would require these Senators have some sort of honor. I seriously question that after seeing this letter.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I Support Rush!

I wasn’t planning on writing about the “Rush Scandal”. In case you haven’t been following this, some media outlets and uniformed bloggers are attacking Rush Limbaugh for calling soldiers who oppose the war “phony soldiers”. However, I have already received one comment on it from a reader, so I thought I would comment where everyone can see my response. The comment was posted in one of the older links, so you might not have seen it. The Anonymous comment I received asked:

“So, Andy, will you denounce Rush, now that he's publicly called soldiers--including some who have been killed in action--'phony soldiers'? Or is it actually OK to trash the patriotism of soldiers you don't agree with?”

My response is beyond a shadow of a doubt, and in no uncertain terms, “No”. Why you ask? Because this story is being manipulated and Rush’s words are being reported out of context. I am a Rush fan, and as such, I am also a 24 hour subscriber to his site. One of the advantages I have as a subscriber is complete access to his library of shows. On the particular day in question, Rush wasn’t referring to a soldier who disagreed with the war. He was instead referring to people who claim to be soldiers, or who claim to have been decorated soldiers, but who are not.

In Rush’s case, he was referring to “corporal” Jesse MacBeth. As Rush has pointed out on his show, “corporal” MacBeth became a hero to many anti-war groups. In a scene reminiscent of John Kerry during Vietnam, MacBeth told the press about the abuses and travesties he and other U.S. soldiers did in Iraq. He claimed to have witnessed soldiers killing hundreds of men, women, and children. As Rush said on his show, “In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, Army Ranger Jesse MacBeth describes the horrors this way: ‘We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque.’”

The problem with “corporal” MacBeth is that it was all made up. Jesse MacBeth was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record. Turns out he washed out of boot camp. No service. No corporal.

Rush isn’t the only one who has reported on these phony soldiers. The Weekly Standard has been reporting on Scott Thomas Beauchamp. He is an actual soldier. However, he also made up stories about atrocities committed in Iraq that were never committed. His stories have been reported by the New Republic, only to have Mr. Beauchamp say he no longer stands by his stories. ABC News has even done stories covering the rash of people claiming to be soldiers who weren’t. On the coverage, Charles Gibson even used the phrase “phony soldiers”. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Gibson isn’t facing the kind of hatred Rush is facing right now.

What this story is really about is left wing political groups who are trying to take comments out of context to generate bad press for Rush and other conservatives. They hope no one will do their home work to see what Rush actually said. Many on the left have bought these stories hook line and sinker. There are many issues you may disagree with Rush on. However, if you are going to disagree with him, at least get your facts straight and disagree with something he said, and not something someone wants you to think he said.