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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|Campaign Ads I'd Like To See, part III|
[voiceover, with onscreen picture from Perlmutter ad showing Rick O'Donnell with President Bush] Ed Perlmutter wants you to be afraid of Rick O'Donnell's ties to President Bush.
[show picture of Ed Perlmutter] Which begs the question: whose ties to him does Ed Perlmutter NOT want you to know about?
[show split screen picture of Ed Perlmutter and Nancy Pelosi] Ed Perlmutter is the choice to represent Colorado of Nancy Pelosi.
Nancy Pelosi, who has endorsed John Murtha's plan to declare defeat in Iraq and bring the troops home immediately--an idea which the National Intelligence Estimate describes as "disastrous."
Nancy Pelosi, who voted against funding our intelligence community in a time of war--in fact, just this year.
Nancy Pelosi, who voted against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, in spite of its proven effectiveness in protecting the country against terrorism.
Nancy Pelosi, who voted against giving our intelligence community the power to listen in to al Qaeda phone calls to persons within the United States and who voted against trying terrorist suspects in a military court.
Nancy Pelosi, who even refused to condemn the public disclosure by the New York Times of tools used by our country to protect us from terrorism.
And, were Ed Perlmutter to go to Congress, he would vote to make Nancy Pelosi the person third in line to be the Commander In Chief.
Third in line.
Nancy Pelosi is a classic liberal from San Fransisco, whose view of America is one in which our men and women in uniform and the CIA pose a greater threat to Americans than terrorists.
Which may be fine for San Fransisco. But it does NOT represent the values of Colorado.
If a man is known by the company he keeps, Ed Perlmutter should get different friends.
|This Just Makes Me Ill|
And if it doesn't make everybody else out there sick, you're just not human.
The gunman has not been identified. He carried a handgun into the school about 11:30 a.m. and fired a shot into the ceiling as he took over a second floor classroom.
Authorities negotiated the release of four of the girls one by one over the course of the afternoon. An unknown number were sexually assaulted before they were released, the source said.
One of the two hostages who were not released, a 16-year-old junior, died after being shot by the attacker when police burst into the room about 3:45 p.m. to end the stalemate.
So many questions.
As a teacher, would I have had the courage to get as many kids out of the room as I could, and then refused to leave myself until all of the others got out safely?
As a martial artist, would I have been quick enough to . . . you know?
As a father, could I have stayed behind with the girls, knowing that somewhere my girls would be wondering where I was?
As a Christian, could I have been able to find the words to bring the Spirit into the room to bring the peace to this young man that apparently had escaped him on his own?
As a school administrator, could I have left the building knowing some of my children were still in there?
It's easy, I suppose, from a small distance to think you could have done something, to imagine that you would have handled it differently. In reality, I think the school staff needs to be roundly congratulated on an orderly evacuation of 454 students, and the sheriff's department needs to be congratulated on the negotiated release of 4 others, and the rescue of one.
But, of course, we're all going to dwell on the one that didn't get away.
Already the media has started the stupidity: Channel 4's Jim Benemann led off tonight's 10 o'clock with the question "why aren't our schools safer?"
Well, idiot, it's only because the rest of society isn't safer, and schools are little but a microcosm of society at large. Just think: JonBenet Ramsey, Natalee Holloway, Chandra Levy, Andrea Yates, Susan Smith--and these are just the ones that make the headlines. I'm constantly reminded that my children may one day disappear because some sick bastard decides to snap in their vicinity.
Sadly, that fear came true for one family today.
We know very little about the murderer. Early reports are that he is--was--an adult male. Great. So what was his relationship to these girls, if any? What was his affiliation with the school, if any? What was his current level of psychological and/or pharmacological care, if any?
Maybe he was just a sick adult, driven by an addiction to kiddie porn, fueled by the internet, enabled by those who refuse to regulate the internet. The sexual assaults would seem to suggest that. Maybe he was just a sick adult, lately jilted out of a relationship with a 16-year old girl, unable to cope in a society that--rightfully--condemns that action but is unwilling to condemn him for that action (pretty important distinction, that). Maybe he's A VICTIM of cruel, insensitive bullying, constantly jeered and mocked by women around him, and society has told him nothing since Columbine except that such behavior as today is explainable, though not quite excusable, and that it's really the society around him that has to change so sick bastards like him never get created again. He's just a messenger, in that unfortunate instance.
Or maybe none of this is true. Maybe he's just the one guy that nobody ever felt quite right around, that people often wondered when he was gonna crack. And that nobody did anything for.
We may never quite understand all of the reasons for today's events. My Faith drives me to believe that some good has to come from this senseless tragedy, but what the good will be is known only to God.
So, for now, I'll just hug my girls a little tighter as they go to bed, whisper an extra prayer as I go to sleep, wake up a little more alert, enter my schools a little more warily, and try to get in a good stretch every morning before work.
And look into home schooling . . .sooner rather than later.
|Well, Somebody's Taking My Advice|
Sadly, it's not somebody on my team.
The DNC has started running a new ad in the seventh Congressional District, saying, basically, Rick O'Donnell is President Bush's man.
Now, given that the RNC has, famously, five times the cash-on-hand of the DNC, I would say it's about time for the RNC to start spending some of that money in the 7th linking Ed Perlmutter to John Murtha and Howard Dean.
You know, maybe som time before the absentee ballots go home.
|Rockies Lose Again|
Not that this is news. That's been happening a lot lately.
And I understand players playing out the string. Everyone in the clubhouse knows the season is over--no point investing too much energy in any aspect of the game except making yourself look good for the next season.
But it's entirely another thing when the manager decides to manage out the string.
What do I mean? First of all, can we all just agree that the Jose Mesa experiment has failed? Secondly, tonight I'm in the car for like fifteen minutes, and this is what I hear: Aaron Cook is on the mound in the sixth, and gives up two singles in a row, followed by a fielder's choice ground ball, followed by a triple, followed by a warning track flyball out; seventh inning, Aaron Cook still on the mound, leadoff hitter hits yet another triple, next batter gets a single, game tied. At that point I was lucky enough to get out of the car before I had to listen to the inevitable next hit, and the next hit off the too-late reliever which guaranteed another loss for the Rockies.
I can understand Clint Hurdle's reluctance to go to his bullpen, given the last three months. But, come on--how many hard-hit balls in a row does it take, regardless of pitch count?
|Going the Right Direction|
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed today at its second highest level ever. It is within about 60 points of its all-time high, after a strong upward move of 93 points today.
What sparked the 93-point jump today?
Consumer Confidence numbers. In particular the Conference Board revealed that its September numbers jumped unexpectedly to 104.5, higher than the expected 103.
In other words, the average consumer is feeling better about the economy.
Combine this with falling gas prices (tonight I filled my tank at $2.47/gallon), and the wallet is starting to feel pretty good.
If it continues, this spells doom for the Democrats in November. If the GOP can figure out how to take credit for it without screwing up.
|What The GOP Should Learn From Bill Clinton|
Yes, I know--a bit out of character for me. But there's a coherent thought in here somewhere, so come along for the ride.
First, I have to say I do not understand the Clinton tirade at Chris Wallace. Start from the premise that Bill Clinton is-unquestionably-one of, if not the, most gifted politicians in modern America. Which means that he is a master manipulator of thoughts and emotions. Which, to keep going, means that it is very likely that he has very few [public] authentic emotions. And that is before we take into account Bill Clinton himself. In other words, it seems to me somewhat unlikely that he was genuinely surprised and angry at Chris Wallace.
Which leads me to wonder: what was the political calculus involved in his tirade? Certainly, he has made himself the story for the last few days, and, given what we know about Clinton, that may be enough to justify the tirade. But he has also made his attempts at getting bin Laden a big part of the story, and I think that does not serve him well at all. And it also brings to mind the overall Democratic philosophy with regards to fighting terrorism: try to get a warrant and an indictment, but don't take any serious action. Which does even more harm to his party with the mid-term elections coming up.
However, and back to my original point, notice WHO he made the enemy: Fox News. His tirade was directed at the anchor and at the news channel.
Which is what the GOP has to learn from Bill Clinton.
Take the other big story from this week, the National Intelligence Estimate. The original story, based on the leak, was that the War in Iraq was making the terrorists stronger. The real story is that the aggressive efforts of the Bush administration have severely damaged the terrorist networks worldwide.
And so, once again, you have a major media outlet--the New York Times--misrepresenting reality based on a leak from sources within the bureaucracy, becoming a thinly disguised shill for the Democratic Party. This, after the media has twice revealed programs essential to protecting the United States from terrorists.
In other words, the GOP must, in my opinion, appeal to its voters based on the unholy alliance between Democrats and the media. Attack the media--discredit it, and do everything in our power to point out the falsehoods, the misrepresentations, and the outright lies coming from the Democratic moutpieces in the media, and tear down the credibility of the media in covering the election.
It was said that in 2004, the media bias was probably worth 8-10 points FOR John Kerry; I would posit that it is even worth more in this off-year election.
The Republicans had better be ready to fight on all fronts, or they may as well concede and save their money for 2008.
|As If On Cue . . . |
So, last night I complained about the lack of Republican ads on prime time. Tonight I got my answer.
Rick O'Donnell's new ad has this closing line: "I was wrong about Social Security 12 years ago; Ed Perlmutter is is wrong today"
And the new 527 ad about Bill Ritter is devestating, taking one case of a vehicular homicide involving a drunk-driver with priors which got pled down to eight months. Closing line [paraphrase]"Bill Ritter cares more for criminals than for their victims."
And the battle is joined . . .
|Campaign Ads I'd Like to See, part II |
Onscreen picture of Ed Perlmutter [voiceover] It is said "a man is known by the company he keeps." Onscreen picture slides over into splitscreen with question mark. Let's look at the company Ed Perlmutter keeps.
[splitscreen picture of Perlmutter with John Murtha] Ed Perlmutter wrote on his website that his first act as a Member of Congress will be to add [his] name to Rep. Murtha’s list of co-sponsors.
John Murtha is a highly decorated Marine, a man who served his country bravely and honorably. But John Murtha has a history of being wrong on foreign policy issues.
John Murtha said that he advised President Reagan to go a different direction in Beirut [splitscreen picture of Murtha and remains of Marine barracks], that he advised President Clinton to go a different direction in Somalia [splitscreen picture of Blackhawk Down incident], and that neither of those moves were mistakes.
Except that both of those incidents have been cited by Osama bin Laden as evidence of American weakness [splitscreen picture of Murtha and bin Laden].
[return to splitscreen picture of Murtha with Perlmutter] If giving the impression to the world's most dangerous people that America is a "paper tiger" is not a mistake, then you have to wonder what Murtha would consider a "mistake."
And you have to wonder what other foreign policy mistakes Ed Perlmutter would sign on to so quickly.
If this is the company Ed Perlmutter keeps, do Coloradans REALLY want him to represent us in Congress?
|And Speaking Of Ads . . .|
It struck me tonight, as I was watching television, that I sure did see a lot of ads for Democratic candidates on prime time. Two for Perlmutter (CD7), three for Ritter (governor), even one for Angie Paccione (CD4--northern Colorado, not Metro).
See, this struck me because I don't remember seeing even one ad for a Republican candidate.
This, even though I keep hearing what a huge money advantage the Republican National Committee has over the Democrats.
So, my question is this: where are the Republicans? I know they have ads--I've seen them. In fact, every day I get an e-mail from one of the campaigns that tells me what the candidate thinks and takes on the truthfulness of the other side's ads. But, you know, as the metaphor goes, I'm already singing, guys.
I'd hate to think the GOP gets trounced in November in Colorado because it sat on its ammo for too long. Or, perhaps, because it got trounced by superior money.
|A Game: Find the Connection Between These Quotes|
Iranian President Ahmedinijad at the U.N.: Oh, Almighty God, all men and women are your creatures and you have ordained their guidance and salvation. Bestow upon humanity that thirsts for justice, the perfect human being promised to all by you, and make us among his followers and among those who strive for his return and his cause. [let's everybody remember that Ahmedinijad is a follower of the sect of Islam that believes that the mystical 12th Imam is prophesied to return from a well in Iran to spread Islam throughout the world--by the sword]
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at the U.N.:Yesterday the devil [President Bush] was here, in this very place. It still smells like sulfur.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid: We have killed the Patriot Act
Chris Mathews, host of MSNBC's "Hardball" [as reported to me]: What's going on that the world's leaders can come to New York and disrespect America--disrespect the President?
Colorado House Candidate Ed Perlmutter: If I am elected in November, I can tell you that my first act as a Member of Congress will be to add my name to Rep. Murtha’s list of co-sponsors.
Okay, I'll admit it's a bit of an obscure game. But let me address a few obvious points.
First of all, the world is getting a bit nuttier all the time. Iran is ready to build a nuke, they just had a summit with, among others, Hugo Chavez, and Chavez is a little too close to our shores for comfort.
Let's also not forget that the Democrats are working every day to handicap the country's ability to protect itself from . . .well, nutters like Iran and Chavez.
If Mathews (et al.) were really worried about the world's "respect" of the President, maybe they would shut up a bit. Let's not forget that the world (think Libya) had plenty of respect for America and Pres. Bush after we dug Saddam out of his spider hole; it's only been since the domestic political situation has changed so much that the world feels free to start sniping at us again.
And another thing: what the hell is Mathews thinking about, as a journalist? Wouldn't a real journalist read those quotes and say "what is the short circuit in these guys' brains? How dangerous are they?" But NOOOO Mathews turns it into yet another moment to assess the weakness of the President.
And let's put a wrap on the short thoughts by reminding Mr Perlmutter that one of the arguments John Murtha has been using has been that a change of course was "the right thing to do in Beirut, and in Somalia;" and then remind Mr Perlmutter also that no less an authority on the Islamicist mindset than Osama bin Laden has cited Beirut and Somalia as evidence of American weakness and openness to attack.
So what's the answer to the big question?
The answer is that all these quotes demonstrate the following: that the world is a dangerous place, and one side (which includes most of the media) is persistently, wilfully, and stubbornly WRONG on the most important issue of the day.
Just something to think about as you send in for your absentee ballot.
|Speaking of Not Getting Excited About Polls . . . |
Some of you might be a bit dismayed about the recent results from the News4/Rocky Mountain News poll, which, among other things, show Bill Ritter holding a 17-point advantage over Bob Beauprez.
I have now read seven stories based on the results of that poll, including the one today that says Colorado voters support Domestic Partnerships by 58% but also supports a Constitutional Amendment supporting one man-one woman by only 52% (?!?!), but have not been able to--even once--find a link to the actual results of the poll.
Why do the actual results matter? Because in the actual results you see the demographic breakdown of the poll respondents. So, right now, we actual have no idea who answered the questions. It's entirely possible that the poll respondents were 50% registered Dems, 30% Independent and 20% GOP. It's possible.
So then you have to ask yourself, do the poll results smell right? Let's see--a Democrat with a 17 point lead in the Governor's race?!? Man/Woman definition of marriage at only 52%, when every other state that has had this initiative on the ballot has had a result of 65% or more?!?!
This poll does not smell right at all. And since they're not making the back story available, I think this is one poll not to get too excited about.
|Before Anybody Gets Too Excited . . . |
everybody repeat after me: it's only one poll, it's only one poll, it's only one poll . . . .
|Uniquely UNQualified to be President|
American life has a number of disqualifiers built in to it. For instance, a woman with a history of sexual abuse would never be allowed to serve on a jury in a rape trial; husbands and wives are not allowed to testify for each other; we’ve even recently witnessed where a Supreme Court Justice had to recuse himself from a case because he had already heard it and ruled on it once before.
In each instance, the underlying assumption is that the prior experiences and ties of the person involved are such that they are incapable of rendering a completely fair and impartial decision with regards to the questions in front of them.
It is just such a prior experience that I believe renders John McCain incapable of being President in a time of war such as this one.
The definitive experience of Sen. McCain’s life was his time served during the Vietnam War as a Prisoner of War. As the story goes, McCain followed military protocol and refused to go free once because other POW’s had been there longer, and as a result he spent an even longer interment.
His biography is the story of a great American, who served his country proudly and at great personal sacrifice, and who acted honorably under the most horrific circumstances.
But, if I may play junior psychologist for a moment, I also believe that this very experience makes him incapable of rendering accurate, discerning judgments with regard to the most important question before him right now, or during a presumed Presidency of 2009-2013: the question of the conduct of the War on Terror.
His recent refusal to allow the President’s Bill regarding the conduct of military tribunals is only the most recent in a series of actions intended to undermine the administration’s conduct of the war. Sen. McCain repeatedly asserts that America is in danger of “losing the war of ideas” and that we must be careful that our own soldiers will still have access to the rights guaranteed in the Geneva Convention. Of course, the Senator never seems to recognize--almost pathologically so--that the "moral high ground" didn't really do much for Daniel Pearl, or for the soldiers who were hung from a bridge in Baquba, or for his comrades in Vietnam, or for our guys at Bataan during WWII, or . . . EVER.
I submit that his strict adherence to the Geneva Convention provisions—indeed, including his extending them to non-signatories and people who clearly DO NOT qualify for protected status under the GC—is a direct result of his treatment at the hands of the VietCong. That he was not afforded any protections during his time as a POW, that he was not visited by members of the International Red Cross, that he was treated in “humiliating and degrading” ways has firmed in his mind the notion that all combatants deserve to be treated in certain ways.
And, to a point, I agree with him. Which is why I have little problem with the idea that detainees at Gitmo eat better than the soldiers that guard them and are allowed full access to their normal routine of prayer.
However, he has stretched that conviction into something nearing a crusade, and what he is actually accomplishing is deeply undermining the prosecution of the War on Terror. Tactics that he would have approved would have never gotten the information out of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that have stopped attacks on the United States; indeed, McCain-approved rules for interrogation would very likely never be able to get out of detainees any information of a time-critical nature. Why would that matter? Because we know al-Qaeda likes to stage multiple, near-simultaneous attacks. Were Sen. McCain to become President in two years it seems unlikely that, given his background, he would be willing to give the green light to “difficult” interrogations of prisoners, even if all intelligence were reporting an imminent attack.
And, his support for the Iraq War notwithstanding, it seems equally unlikely that he would prosecute the War on Terror in a manner that would force the terrorists to reconsider their own involvement. Consider, for instance, the case of Zarqawi: would a man who believes all terrorists deserve open hearings and all the rights of Common Article 3 be willing to pull the trigger on what some in the world called an assassination? That the question even needs to be asked makes McCain dangerous were he in that position.
I do think John McCain is a great American, and an honorable man. I’m even willing to give him the benefit of the doubt regarding his continual opposition to a number of the President’s ideas, and a number of core Republican values.
But “straight talk” and the willingness to take politically difficult positions are not enough to qualify a man to be President. I would go so far as to say that a Democrat in the office would have to take a more hard-line approach to terrorism than McCain would, lest he (or she) be branded “weak” or “soft.”
“Weak” or “soft” McCain isn’t; wrong, he is.
|Stray Sports Thoughts|
And on a lighter note . . .
BRONCOS: Let's all keep in mind that last year the Broncos lost the first one in an ugly performance, and then barely squeeked out a win in the second week. The problem is that, until the fourth quarter against Kansas City, Jake Plummer looked like, well, Jake Plummer. And I don't mean that in a good way.
ROCKIES: Just playing out the string. And not very well. This team, which looked so good up until the All-Star break, has just been abyssmal since. Seriously, you can't have a center field position with a .270 batting average with 5 home runs and 25 RBI, and hope to win much. Todd Helton is 15 points below his career batting average, with bad power numbers, and we've had about 14 starting catchers this year.
CU BUFFS: Is it possible, just possible, that Rick Neuheisel was better than we all gave him credit for? At least the talent he left behind was good enough for Gary Barnett to win two Big Twelve titles with; Barnett left behind . . . well, they lost to Montana State. And, keep in mind, for the last two years of Barnett's term he started a QB that wasn't recruited and was five years older than his teammates. But as long as they don't bring back the baby blue uniforms, I'm willing to wait this transition out.
I was curious about Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, the new offering from Aaron Sorkin and Tommie Schlamme--sure, they're hopelessly liberal, but the West Wing was the smartest thing on TV for several years there, and A Few Good Men is a must-see movie. Plus, you put Bradley Whitford and Matthew Perry on screen together, add in a few quirky side characters (Amanda Peet and that guy from Wings) and you might just have some snappy television.
So I was pretty disappointed that the entire tone of the opening episode tonight was one of the cowardice of production people who refused to put on screen a skit insulting to Christians. The further we go, the fewer veiled references we get--and the more direct references we get--to the "wackiness" of Christianity. In fact, Pat Robertson was called a bigot and the title of the skit in question was "Crazy Christians."
Now, to be fair, there is one strong character in the show around whom the Christianity theme swirls who seems smart and funny, so perhaps she'll be given equal time to represent Christians in a fair light. But if tonight's tone continues for another couple weeks, this will quickly become a "must-miss" offering.
As an aside, I wonder why Sorkin has never written anything critical of violent, extreme Islam?
No, never mind--I don't really wonder.
I'm also curious about a show whose central characters are a good writer and a good producer, one of whom has a history of drug use? Just a little autobiography going on here? Maybe?
|Campaign Ads I Would Like To See|
Onscreen picture of Ed Perlmutter [voiceover] It is said "a man is known by the company he keeps." Onscreen picture slides over into splitscreen with question mark. Let's look at the company Ed Perlmutter keeps.
Two years ago the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachussetts overruled the State Legislature and mandated that the state create a system for granting gay marriages in that state. [splitscreen picture of man/man or woman/woman wedding] The driving force behind that ruling? The American Civil Liberties Union.
Three years ago the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it was illegal for the words "Under God" to be included in the Pledge of Allegiance. [splitscreen picture of students with hands over hearts] The driving force behind that ruling? The American Civil Liberties Union.
Two months ago a judge in Illinois ruled that the National Security Agency must stop trying to track the activities of al Qaeda terrorists by listening to their international phone calls to contacts in the United States. [splitscreen picture of bin Laden/terrorist training camps] The driving force behind that ruling? The American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU has also sued to have terrorist prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay and to have landmark shrines taken down all over the United States. [splitscreen picture of Mount Soledad Cross]
The American Civil Liberties Union has endorsed Ed Perlmutter for Congress, and through its local affiliate donated sizable money to the Perlmutter campaign. [splitscreen shows simply "ACLU"]
If this is the company Ed Perlmutter keeps, do Coloradans REALLY want him to represent us in Congress?
|If It Walks Like A Duck and Quacks Like A Duck . . .|
It might just be a Democrat.
The Democrats are all having a nutty today over the President's speech on Monday night. A sample of the reaction:
Harry Reid: “By focusing on Iraq in the manner he did, the President engaged in an all too familiar Administration tactic: conflate and blur the war in Iraq with the response to 9/11.
“Despite definitive and repeated findings that there were no ties between Iraq and al Qaeda a finding most recently echoed by the Republican controlled Senate Intelligence Committee the President continued to deliberately lump and blur al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Iraq and 9/11 together.
“This was a political move, designed to tap the overwhelming public sentiment to destroy al Qaeda as a way to bolster sagging public support for the war in Iraq.
Nancy Pelosi: "Rather than try to defend their own failed record, Republicans have resorted to the desperation politics of fear. It is long past time for Republicans to be honest with American people and stop questioning the patriotism of those who recognize that the president's Iraq policy has not worked, is making us less safe and must be changed."
Hillary Clinton: strangely, no apparent statement on the issue.
I, for one, was also a little surprised at the full-thoated defense of the Iraq War that the President posed on Monday night. But, upon reflection, I think it was exactly correct.
If, as the President believes, and I also believe, (and, by the way, Osama bin Laden also believes) that the War in Iraq is the central current battle of the War on Terror, than to not talk about it in relation to 9/11 would have been inadequate and foolish. To not talk about it would have been admit doubt about the policy, and that is just not the truth. Follow the logic:
9/11 changed the way we view the world (or it should have). Pre-9/11, containment was a reasonable approach to a person who had waged continual war in his neighbors and who had committed several acts of war against the United States. Pre-9/11, containment was a reasonable approach to a regime which had used chemical weapons before, which believed it had weapons of mass destruction, and which refused to show eveidence that it had destroyed its WMD stockpiles and capabilities. Pre-9/11, containment was a reasonable approach to a regime which thumbed its nose at the United Nations, which ignored 17--SEVENTEEN--resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, and which was assessed by every intelligence service in the world as a threat.
Pre-9/11, we were deluded into believing that we could afford to sit and watch as threats gathered and grew.
THAT is what changed on 9/11.
The real question of the Democrats is not "why do you not support the war?"; the real question is "why do you insist on looking at the world as though 9/11 did not happen?"
Why do you insist on tying the hands of the government with regards to gathering intelligence against known terrorists?
Why do you insist on revealing to the world methods and sources of American intelligence gathering on terrorist threats?
Why do you insist on affording known terrorists all the same rights and protections as our own citizens with respect to criminal prosecution?
Why do you insist on ceasing the prosecution of war against some of the most evil, vile actors on the world scene, who have conveniently decided to all gather in the same country?
If you don't want to be called an appeaser, stop appeasing; if you wish to not be accused of being weak, don't be weak.
I agree that the President should not have given a political speech on Monday night, and he didn't. What makes every utterance a political one in the current climate is HOW WRONG THE Democrats are on every issue. It's impossible not to be political when the contrasts are so stark between the two parties.
|My 9/11 Memory|
At about 7am on the morning of September 11th, 2001 I was busy trying to get my kids ready for their day. Most mornings back then, it involved yelling down the hallway at one of them to eat their breakfast while changing the diaper of the other and frantically pushing arms into sleeves and stuff. Typically, FoxNews was on in the background, and my eyes would be continually searching for a clock that would tell me that I wasn't going to be late if I could just get out in three minutes.
This morning was different.
If my memory is right, one side of the diaper was strapped on when I heard the FoxNews Alert music and glanced up. It turns out, just in time to see a plane slam into the second tower. I remember being shocked--stunned, really, before it occurred to me that of course it wasn't an accident. It was an act of war.
I remember calling my wife from the car on the way to my destinations, telling her "we're at war--turn on the TV." At that point, she was in the office already, and knew nothing about what was going on.
I remember listening to the radio, craving news, and getting little in the way of good information, even from Hugh Hewitt. I suppose it was less that HH wasn't getting good info out as that NOBODY was getting good information.
I remember arriving at my brother-in-law's house to drop off my oldest, because our kids went to school together and he was nice enough to watch mine in the morning. He knew about the attacks and was pressing me for information, of which I had precious little. See, I'm a bit of the geek in the family, the only one that follows world events obsessively, so I think he thought I had answers. Of course, I didn't. Nobody did. All the information I had was that the Trade Centers had 50,000 workers in the building at peak time. 50,000.
I seem to remember it was a beautiful morning, one of those "only in Colorado" mornings where the sun was up and warm but the air still carried a chill as of a mountain shadow. And the blue of the Colorado sky in the autumn is unique to my experience and in a wonderful way--a roommate once describe it as "Salvador Dali" blue.
I remember being a little ticked off when i got in the car because in the time it took me to drop off my kids KNUS had dropped the national feed from Hugh Hewitt and was covering the attacks live from the KNUS studios. As if they could get any better information.
And then I got school and was stunned--STUNNED--and outraged to find that the order for the day was "proceed as normal." I realize that I'm dealing with an elementary school, and there's no way those kids can quite understand what was going on, but it was beyond comprehension that we would act as if nothing was going on.
I was still teaching when the Towers fell. It wasn't until lunchtime that I was able to get the update on the status of the Towers, as well as the Pentagon and Flight 93. The news that the towers fell was so horrific as to be unimaginable.
And through it all was the clear conviction that we were at war, and that the "sleeping dragon" Yamamoto feared would rouse itself again. My first thought was that there would soon be a really large black piece of glass on all the new maps, atlases and globes. It was clear to me that the world had learned to count on American "moderation" and accomodation, and that that had cost us.
I penned a piece in the aftermath about what I call "Civis Americanus." The basic gist is that America must adopt a philosophy of DISproportionate response to attacks on American citizens anywhere in the world; that only when the world learns to fear the reprisal for messing with an American--ANY American--anywhere in the world will Americans be safe.
I remember being ashamed that it took me until late in the afternoon to think to hang out the American flag. I hasn't been down since.
And then the horror of the numbers started trickling out: nearly 3000 dead on American soil in one day.
Other images remain: the President at Ground Zero; the Congress and "God Bless America"; and a few days home with my family to try to digest it all. In a wierd way, I thought it might work out for the better: the unity, the singleminded belief in the rightness and fundamental goodness of America seemed to be genuine and capable of lasting [Guess I was wrong about that]
In the aftermath I started blogging, as much for the historical record for my kids as for the desire to spew my opinions. My resolve was to get involved and to not remain on the sidelines any more. And so here I am now.
My world changed after 9/11, though its hard to tell from my day-to-day activities. Unfortunately, the unity I observed after 9/11 has disappeared. Each side blames the other for that splintering, but I don't really care.
But what scares me most is that it seems a LARGE part of the country has forgotten that we are at war. 9/11 should serve as a reminder that our enemy is bold, determined and murderous. And August should remind us that they're still out there, and they're coming for us.
I hope the aftermath of this anniversary is a wake-up call to stop dithering about the tools this President wants to fight with, and to get serious about killing the enemy.
But I doubt it. Its election season.
I don't remember any election ever leaving the pit in my stomach that 9/11 did. Let's keep our eyes on the ball, okay, folks?
|First Thoughts: The Path to 9/11, Night One|
Several thoughts, somewhat disjointed, and coming out stream-of-consciousness:
:I note that, based on the onscreen TV guide and the actual length of tonight's show, "Path" will be about 4 hours and 17 minutes in length, not the 5 hours advertised. Does this mean that 43 minutes found their way to the editing room floor in the last five days? Only someone who has seen the press release version knows that; stay tuned for links . . .
:how funny that ABC News' Nightline found a way to sneak into the fifteen extra minutes after tonight's broadcast. I have to say, however, that the reporting was surprisingly balanced, reminding, with all the weight of ABC News, that there has not been a confirmed sighting of bin Laden or another opportunity to kill him since the failed missile attack depicted in "Path."
:it strikes me as remarkable that we did not suffer more attacks; "Path" reminds us that the vigilance of a border security agent prevented one attack, and Ramsi Yousef was unable to pull off the big pan-Pacific attack he was hoping for
:at its core, I think "Path" is little more than a reminder that for many years we had a lethal, creative, committed (somewhat incompetent, but improving) enemy which we were far too late to recognize and far too unwilling to kill
:CIA agent "Kirk" and Harvey Keitel's O'Neill put it best: "How can you win a law and orderly war?" "You can't."
I'll chime back in after seeing more reaction elsewhere.
:RedState has the missing footage. I'm not sure it really amounts to much--it certainly does not substantially change the central narrative
:unable to deal with the facts, the left has resorted to criticizing the acting, the folly of the critical press, and minor copy editing. Were they responsible--as they hope to be in November, the Left would simply acknowledge the mistakes of the past, say "we, along with EVERYBODY else, did not understand the magnitude of the threat. Of course, this is an illusion we no longer suffer with, and we will be very agressive in future pursuit of terrorist eradication." It seems to me that that would just about clear the slate. Instead they raise howls of protest over a TV movie and run to the lawyers. Sad, really. I'd bet if they'd just waited until tomorrow they'd see the Bush admin look just as bad in the run up, but, as usual, the Left is finding a way to make THEM the story.
|Re: Path to 9/11|
It would seem to me, in the face of the concerted efforts of the Democratic party, that it's almost inevitable that key portions of "Path" will be altered.
So the real challenge would be for someone who take the unedited version and make the deleted scenes available to the public with citations from the 9/11 Commission Report or other sourcework to corroborate.
Two things MUST be demonstrated: 1. the failures of the Clinton administration leading up to 9/11 and b. the willingness/ability of the Left to censor what is unfavorable to it.
|But They Claim To Be Serious About National Security|
You can tell alot about a person or a group by what gets them riled up. Today, five top Democratic Senators--including numbers 1,2,and 3--got riled up about a television show.
Indeed, they were so riled up that they wrote a letter . . . with some very thinly veiled threats against the Disney Corporation and ABC.
. . . .Frankly, that ABC and Disney would consider airing a program that could be construed as right-wing political propaganda on such a grave and important event involving the security of our nation is a discredit both to the Disney brand and to the legacy of honesty built at ABC by honorable individuals from David Brinkley to Peter Jennings. Furthermore, that Disney would seek to use Scholastic to promote this misguided programming to American children as a substitute for factual information is a disgrace.
As 9/11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick said, “It is critically important to the safety of our nation that our citizens, and particularly our school children, understand what actually happened and why – so that we can proceed from a common understanding of what went wrong and act with unity to make our country safer.”
Should Disney allow this programming to proceed as planned, the factual record, millions of viewers, countless schoolchildren, and the reputation of Disney as a corporation worthy of the trust of the American people and the United States Congress will be deeply damaged. We urge you, after full consideration of the facts, to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program. We look forward to hearing back from you soon.
Yep. A TV show--a "docu-drama"--gets the whole Democratic leadership up in arms.
Which would be one thing if they got really up in arms about the revelation of important things, current things, things which affect our future and our current safety and security concerns.
Things like the publishing of facts about top-secret intelligence and counter-terrorism programs. Things like the NSA terrorist phone intercept program and the data-mining program.
But, since the Dems couldn't summon the outrage to threaten people who worked to expose Americans to greater danger now, I guess it's only reasonable that they would get worked up about a TV show about events five to ten years ago.
And to think that they get accused of not being serious . . .
|But Just For a Little Dose Of Reality . . .|
I suppose just to prove that there are those in the Republican caucus equally (or more) capable of petulant legislative behavior . . .
Sen. Lincoln Chafee has pulled the plug on a push by his fellow Republicans to confirm John Bolton as U.N. ambassador, saying he had more questions that needed to be answered.
What a piece of work. Would somebody PLEASE tell me why this guy bothers to vote to organize with the GOP? I mean, sure, I'm glad he does, I suppose, but at least with the Dems you know the daggers are coming from in front of you.