Fiscally nuts. Socially insane.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Follow Up from the Dartmouth Professor

I emailed Priya Venkatesan, the Dartmouth professor from yesterday's post. Her response email is as follows:

Date: 30 Apr 2008 17:12:13 -0400
From: "Priya Venkatesan" --Priya.Venkatesan@Dartmouth.EDU--
Subject: Re: some questions
To: "Will Conway"

Hi Will:

Thank you for your email. Right now I have no comment. I
am sorry for the negative attention directed towards me,
but that was not my intent. I was hoping that public
opinion (as reflected on the Internet as you claim) would
reserve judgment till all the facts got out. However, I
cannot control it if this is not the case.


That's My Boat

There apparently have been two 'USS Conway' destroyers named after, well, me. In a previous life, according to Wikipedia, I was an American sailor who refused to surrender the flag to rebels at Pensacola Navy Yard.

Clinton? Really?

I'll be honest; I didn't know this:

Democrats continue to favor Clinton as their party’s leader, albeit narrowly: 44 percent want her to win the nomination and 41 percent want Obama. Last month Clinton was preferred by 2 percentage points.

I was under the reverse impression. It seems, according to the article, that the Wright business and such slammed Obama's popularity.

Clinton tops McCain by just 1 point (45 percent to 44 percent), down from a 3-point advantage last month. McCain edges Obama by a narrow 3-point margin (46 percent to 43 percent), up from a 1-point lead.

Considering the margin of error, I'm getting the feeling no one really has any idea about anything.

'Code Pink' Gets a Code Red

It appears that Berkeley College Republicans are applying for the same permit privileges that the Code Pink cats are using outside Berkley's Marine recruiting station. This is, if nothing else, hilarious. 

MM: Bubble zones for thee, but not for me, eh, Berkeley?

Some First Quarter Quotes

I'm finding it quite amusing to look at the different takes on the 1st quarter's slow start.

BreitbartMany analysts were predicting that the gross domestic product (GDP) would weaken a bit more—to a pace of just 0.5 percent—in the first quarter. Earlier this year, some economists thought the economy would actually lurch into reverse during the opening quarter.

NYTThe weak performance reflected the increasingly thrifty inclinations of American consumers in the face of plummeting real estate prices, tightening credit and a deteriorating job market. Economic growth was also hampered by a continued pullback in construction and business investment.

Drudge isn't worried, as usual.

CNNThe nation's economy continued its sluggish growth in the first quarter, according to a government report Wednesday that showed a slightly better-than-expected gain in economic activity...  The most common definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters in which GDP is negative, although the official designation of an economic downturn is based on broader measures as determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Too Late

Obama broke with Wright:

"Sen. Barack Obama coolly denounced the Rev. Jeremiah Wright for his 'appalling' words and for his personal and political betrayal Tuesday, a day after Wright seized center stage in the race for the White House and six weeks after Obama said he could no more 'disown' his former pastor than he could his own grandmother."

Is grandma next?

Dartmouth Professor Goes Nuts

PJYes, really: Priya Venkatesan, who taught writing this year at Dartmouth College, sent around several emails to former students threatening to sue them under Title VII, the “anti-discrimination” portion of the 1964 Civil Rights act. 

Email is as follows:

Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2008 20:56:35 -0400 (EDT) From: Priya.Venkatesan@Dartmouth.EDU To: “WRIT.005.17.18-WI08″:;, Priya.Venkatesan@Dartmouth.EDU

Subject: WRIT.005.17.18-WI08: Possible lawsuit

Dear former class members of Science, Technology and Society: I tried to send an email through my server but got undelivered messages. I regret to inform you that I am pursuing a lawsuit in which I am accusing some of you (whom shall go unmentioned in this email) of violating Title VII of anti-federal [SIC] discrimination laws. The feeling that I am getting from the outside world is that Dartmouth is considered a bigoted place, so this may not be news and I may be successful in this lawsuit. I am also writing a book detailing my experiences as your instructor, which will “name names” so to speak. I have all of your evaluations and these will be reproduced in the book.

Have a nice day.


Here is one of the discrimination evaluations:

Aside from the fact that I learnt nothing of value in this class besides the repeated use of the word “postmodernism” in all contexts (whether appropriate or not) and the fact that Professor Venkatesan is the most confusing/nonsensical lecturer ever, the main problem with this class is the personal attacks launched in class. Almost every member of the class was personally attacked in some form in the class by either intimidation or ignoring your questions/comments/concerns. If you decide to take this class, prepare to NOT be allowed to express your own opinions in class because you have “yet to obtain your Ph.D/masters/bachelors degree”. We were forced to write an in-class essay on “respect” (and how we lacked it) because we expressed our views on controversial topics and some did not agree with the views of “established scholars” who have their degrees.


Also, IvyGate notes that Ph.D. Priya cancelled class for a week after a class broke out in applause a student who contradicted her views on post-modernism.

IvyGate: Spontaneous applause during a class on literary criticism? Obviously, there is something very wrong with this picture, so outrageously shocking as to shake Venkatesan to her very core: In a class at an Ivy League university, students were paying attention. Worse: They were engaged, and they cared.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Thoughts on Reverend Wright

I have been in debate with one of my loyal readers on the thread from this post a few days ago. We have been talking about Reverend Wright and... well read it for yourself, my bias will shine through too much. But most recently, he said this:

If it is the case that you believe that someone is a better American if she doesn't find fault with "The Trail of Tears," or slavery, or the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent during WWII, or jim crow, we'll have to agree to disagree, I guess.

For starters, I never said that. It is obviously important to look back and realize those terrible faults in American history. But it only proves useful to examine those faults with the hope of improving them and eliminating them from our culture. Looking back on them and claiming that it proves some sort of moral fault in the modern  American people as a whole is incorrect and unjustified (especially when Obama himself believes so strongly in the decency of the American people). 
To say "God damn America," so passionately as Reverend Wright did, he obviously hasn't travelled much. I just returned from a service trip to Ecuador as I'm sure you've read, where I found a lifestyle so dismal and so impoverished that I literally teared up multiple times a day. Their unethical, completely corrupt government is robbing and destroying the people instead of helping them. 1/3 of Ecuador lives on a dollar - a DOLLAR - a day per person, and all those except the wealthiest 6% live on less than $3 a day. A family of four will live in a home the size of the room I am typing in now (which isn't that big). I went to two masses while I was down there, both in open air churches; one parish couldn't afford to finish putting in flooring, so it was only half covered. But nonetheless, they sing praise to their God and are joyful for what they have. Reverend Wright preaches from his gorgeous air-conditioned Church and oak-wood pulpit, wallowing in self-pity and anguish of a crime now largely nonexistent.

Yeah, God, damn America.

Scrappleface and NYT Bush Deal...


Meanwhile, New York Times reporters and editors would get the following incentives aimed at increasing the value of their product, to inspire more subscriptions and to boost ad rates.
  • 90-percent reduction of cleverly-veiled bias in news stories
  • 120-day moratorium on unnamed sources who disparage people who have names
  • Immediate halt to public revelation of national security secrets
  • Strict rationing of adjectives and adverbs
  • Creation of an entirely new category of factual news story, to be called “good news”
  • Quadrupling “positive” coverage of efforts by U.S. troops to bring security and comfort to former victims of tyranny. Such stories shall now comprise at least one percent of the daily “news budget”
I haven't decided if I like Scrappleface or IMAO better, but my highly prestigious endorsement is surely on its way, you can count on that.

Wright at the NPC

Wright spoke at the National Press Club; New York Times article is here:

...Mr. Wright said that political opponents of Senator Obama were exploiting the fact that the style of prayer and preaching in black churches was different from European church traditions...

Althouse brings up the obvious: "As if the problems are all a matter of form and not content."

And dayum... he said something peaceful: “And we recognize that for the first time in modern history, in the West, that the other who stands before us with a different color of skin, a different texture of hair, different music, different preaching styles and different dance moves; that other is one of God’s children just as we are, no better, no worse, prone to error and in need of forgiveness just as we are.”

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Captive Daughter in Austria

God, these stories are getting weirder and weirder. A woman in Austria was trapped by her father in the basement of an apartment complex for twenty-three years. He sexually molested her repeatedly from the time she was eleven, and she gave birth to six children. One of the children died after a few days, and the father burned its body.

Not only that, but also: "Authorities said that the father may have told acquaintances and relatives that his daughter had joined a cult and disappeared."

What?! It's like something out of South Park, except worse.

Read the whole story here at your own risk.

Boomer Presidents and 30s Presidentless

Althouse brings up the Baby Boomers' lack of Presidents:

I had been thinking that if Obama wins, it will mean that we are done with Baby Boomer Presidents, after having only 2 — young Bush and male Clinton. I thought that was rather pathetic for this big, famous generation of mine.

She also noted that if McCain doesn't win, it means no President will have ever been born in the '30s - unimportant, but mildly entertaining.
Columbia and US biofuel deal. I haven't actually read the article, it just kinda... looks important.

Hillary is Still in It!

Thank you Sustainable Democracy.

Iran is Now 'Officially' Badass

Read it:

The hostages were handed over to the Revolutionary Guards by their Iraqi kidnappers last November, the sources believe. One of the sources said they were being held in the western Iranian city of Hamadan.

If confirmed, the involvement of Revolutionary Guards would be seen as evidence that senior figures in the Iranian government had backed the decision to hold them in the country.

And now the hostilities are real. The Iranian government actually officially pissed someone off now.

Sharpton and such

Sharpton is at it again.

Hundreds of angry people marched through Harlem on Saturday after the Rev. Al Sharpton promised to "close this city down" to protest the acquittals of three police detectives in the 50-shot barrage that killed a groom on his wedding day and wounded two friends.

Friday, April 25, 2008

'You Don't Screw With the Tax Man'

Dan Riehl on Wesley Snipes: I'm not suggesting Snipes isn't guilty, or shouldn't go to jail, but you never hear a peep from the supposed freedom loving liberals when it comes to how government taxes and spends, thereby controlling our lives, as well as our livelihoods.

You can peace march all you want, try to persecute telco's for providing information to the government, and stage all the faux torture events you want in protest of government actions.

But what's perfectly clear in America today is one thing - you don't screw with the tax man. Never let it be said that our government doesn't know from whence its power springs.

Shut Up, Al-Sadr

Al-Sadr:"If we have threatened an open war until liberation, we meant a war against the occupier."

Oh, well I suppose that's good. Oh wait, we are the occupier. My fault; totally bad. Completely, totally bad.

Yeah, Something Like That, Keith

It didn't make sense; he just said that a superdelegate could take Clinton into a room and... murder her? God, I hope he was talking about murder, the other possibilities are, uh, more disturbing. But in context, just don't see where he was going. A superdelegate asks a question that results in Hillary's figurative death? Sure, I guess.

How History Really Happened

Rod Williams posted a chain email he received, informing its readers of how history really happened. I must say, it is quite accurate. Recommend the read.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"I Seek Daily to Imitate His Faith"

Obama in 2007“I constantly remember Rev. Wright as the shepherd who guided me to my commitment to Christ one Sunday morning at Trinity. I often consider, as I work in the Senate how he lives his life-a life of service to Trinity, Chicago and the nation; his activism on behalf of causes that few would champion and his dogged commitment to the first principles of love for God and fellow man. And in my personal walk, I seek daily to imitate his faith.”

Gateway Pundit: "Now- is it OK to tie Barack Obama to his pastor, mentor and father figure, Jeremiah Wright?"

Bawk Bawk Chickenhawk

What happened to all the crazy chicken hawkers? They went extinct, according to John Hawkins:

Note that you haven't been hearing much about "chickenhawks" since the GOP selected John McCain, a Vietnam vet and POW as our nominee, to run against noted chickenhawks, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Now, you might say, "John, it's unfair to call Obama and Clinton chickenhawks!" Really? Well, aren't they both chickenhawks by the exact same standards that the Left used in 2004? defines:

chicken hawk
  1. Any of various hawks that prey on or have the reputation of preying on chickens. 
  2. often chick·en·hawk (chĭk'ən-hôk') Informal. A person who favors military force or action to carry out a foreign policy but has never served in the military.
  3. Vulgar Slang - A man who seeks out boys or young men as his sexual partners.
Obama? I'll give him the first two. Clinton is 3 for 3. I guess they are still around.

Pictures Daily Flopped...

...what else is new?

It really didn't last long. Maybe I'll start it up again at some point... then again, maybe I'll run for President. Hey, ya never know.

And I got a new look, as I'm sure you can tell.

McCain Running on Respect

A video of McCain condemning this GOP ad against Obama in North Carolina as disrespectful:

I'm thinking respect, in all its forms; respectful campaigning, respect for the soldiers, respect for McCain's patriotic past, will be McCain's platform in the general election. Looking at it now, I think it will be hard for Obama to fight that battle, coming off his pretty disrespectful run against Clinton (or vice versa, if Clinton pulls off an upset).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Petraeus in Charge

"I am honored to be nominated for this position and to have an opportunity to continue to serve with America's soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and civilians."

So General Patraeus was just named the next commander of U.S. Central Command. While the title isn't exactly catchy, and possibly slightly repetitive, it's a promotion. Promotions are always nice. In the mean time, Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno will replace Petraeus in Baghdad according to the yahoo article where I got all my information.

Raping the Most Holy Woman in the World: Hell-Worthy? Yes, Probably

One of his conclusions deals with the fact that Jesus was probably the son of Mary and a Roman soldier who raped her during the Jewish uprising in Galilee. Verhoeven also claims that Christ was not betrayed by Judas Iscariot.

Ummm... read it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Meaning of 'Regarding Liberty'

Okay, so this will be a morphing post, simply because the name of my blog changes on almost a daily basis.

For those of you who were around this long (and there's not many of you), the title was originally meant to look like an email subject line, appearing as "Re: Liberty". While it was creative, that also meant the title of my blog was "Re: Liberty", and to be honest, no one really Googles "Re:" that often. Desperate for readers (as I still am, quite unfortunately), I changed it to "Regarding Liberty," That comma just looked stupid though, and I got rid of it. So that's the actual origin of the title.

Regarding Liberty itself originally was titled after my blindly libertarian views which I have since renounced (or, if I haven't done formally, I am doing now). In a political debate with several friends, I just couldn't justify somewhere in the range of 50% of my thoughts. Needless to say, that sent me back to the drawing board, where I looked back at my former "drank the punch" conservative self. (As much as I wish I did, I didn't actually originally call myself a "drank the punch" conservative... that came from a now nonextinct blogger over here). Anyway... I revamped my whole politic again, meeting somewhere in the middle of my blind libertarianism and exceptionally extreme hard-ass Republican bullshit. I now call myself a moderate conservative with a weird little twist I'll explain at a later date. For now though, Regarding Liberty means that the blog is dedicated to the understanding of how liberty was constitutionally intended to be the key element in our society, how it does and doesn't fill that role that now, and how I am liberated, ironically, from libertarianism. You now know the reason for the title. Throw a party.


Ugh... just enough to keep Clinton in the race without a hell of a lot of complaining.

Update: "Superdelegates will have a lot to ponder tomorrow about who can better beat McCain."

Inside Ecuador

This past week, I went on an eight day Christian (no, I'm not religious) service trip to Ecuador. Our twelve man group left almost two weeks after the Ecuadorian-Venezuelan-Columbian triangular conflict hit the news, so to be honest, I was a bit worried. I never really thought Ecuadorians would be dumb enough to kidnap Americans on a poverty immersion trip, but I didn't put it past Chavez and the Venezuelan government.
I soon realized I had nothing to worry about. As I assumed, the Ecuadorian people have no problem with Americans. In fact, they welcome us into their homes with open arms. Most of them wish they were American, considering their state of poverty.
What I didn't count on, though, was the absolute lack of interest from the Ecuadorian government in our location, Duran. Duran is a suburb of the city of Guayaquil, and its residents live in a horrific form of poverty; most live on a dollar or slightly more a day. Located geographically opposite and politically unimportant to Quito, the government simply doesn't care. The current president, Raphael Correa, ran on the platform of reforms for the poor, but has largely ignored them since his election. So my outlandish kidnapping and death concerns were dispelled quickly.
We were welcomed into the Rostro de Cristo mission (excellent organization) in this urban-ish area, and it was here where we spent the week. The idea of their organization is building relationships with the people of Ecuador, so we spent our immersion week playing soccer, getting absolutely crushed in Ecuadorian checkers, playing cards with patients at the Padre Damien foundation for Hansen's Disease (leprosy; yes, it's still around, and still terrible), and learning all we could from these people about the government from their perspective.
Considering almost the entire country is in poverty despite the very, very elite, and education and health care systems are dismal at best, socialism seems to be the common strategy of the people. They all want better schools; they all want to, well, not die when they get sick (at this point, both those things are slightly unrealistic). 
I understand a lot of things about Ecuador now. I mean really understand it; grasp it. The country is corrupt; presidents typically don't last a year before overthrow (Correa being an exception) and no crime is priceless. The medical system is in shambles. A third of Ecuadorians live on a dollar a day (I lived on two while down there, it's hard). I learned how much of the world lives like this. I mean really learned it, and really lived it.
But most importantly, I think, was the understanding that there is a major difference between poor and poverty. Poverty is a state physically impossible to overcome from the inside. Without structural changes to government, it is not actually possible for these people to move their way up economically. A man in Ecuador named Daniel (they all have very American names, which struck me as funny) was given the rare opportunity to live and study in America. His flight was paid for. His schooling was paid for. He attended Gateway Community College (not due to unintelligence, due to money) and received his Associates degree in medical technology, and he went back to Ecuador to live with his family. With one of the better resumes in the country, he began the job search. How is he now, five years later? Living on nothing, in the same floorless tin-roof house he grew up in. 
That is poverty.
See, the people who come from Duran are broken down into a few groups, educationally. The lowest group never tries high school. They didn't have money to buy school supplies, their family needed them to get a job. They probably make up 10% of the people I met. Another 50% are those who dropped out of high school because they ran out of money. Another 30%-40% finished high school. They next 10% started college and, again, ran out of money. The last 5%? They finished college, got a job in downtown Guayaquil, got fired because they could afford the 18¢ for the ten minute bus ride into the city, and wound up selling fried plantains on the corner for a dime the rest of their life. That is a state physically impossible to overcome. That is poverty.
There are parts of Duran known as land invasions. These are typically swampy areas taken over by people so poor that they actually travelled to Duran for work. These people settled on government land and built themselves beautiful 6x6 sugarcane and tin homes on stilts so they would be out of the disturbingly stagnant and disease infested water. Since it was government land, though, the government showed up with bulldozers. They knocked every home down, giving people just enough time to retrieve only themselves. They usually left behind the small amount of stuff they actually owned. Then the government left, and the people rebuilt. The government came back and did it all again. And they rebuilt. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. "This happens all the time, all around Ecuador," A Rostro volunteer, Nate said. "It goes on until either the government or the people give up. "In this case," he said, pointing behind him into the never ending swampland mess, "the people won." It is called Veintiocho de Augusto (Twentieth of August), after the day the government gave up and handed over a deed to the land. The people live on twice-picked garbage dumped their by lazy garbage men who don't want to drive another twelve miles to the garbage dump.
That is poverty.
No one in America is in poverty. That statement, made by a politician, would get him or her never, ever, ever elected again. Ever. But after those last three paragraphs, I hope to God you agree. McCain was in the Appalachia area this week. Yes, these people are very poor. Their life sucks. But it is possible, with a little elbow grease (okay, okay, a lot of elbow grease), to get out. That is America, that is the dream that this country was founded on. But most of the world doesn't live like that, and that sad realization is something I found myself forced to come to this week.
So I find myself driven to go back. I want to go back and help these people. The personal relationships I formed with so many have honestly changed me. Oswaldo, Roxy, Maria, Brian, Aide, Diana, Gabriel. They are no longer faces on "Adopt a Child" commercials. I understand that they are real people, living real lives, and they need help.
Maybe some day you'll get down there yourself; my words just don't suffice.
Kind of creepy. Read.

Clinton in PA

Hillary Clinton faces the toughest test yet of her struggle to capture the Democratic nomination in today's Pennsylvania primary: Not only must she score an expected win, she must beat Barack Obama by a large enough margin to convince party leaders that she would be the stronger nominee in the fall.

And that is what it comes down to.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sweet. A Map.

State size is proportional to journalistic (MSM, not blogosphere) references to that state. I was expecting a little more from California, as it appears to be comparable to Pennsylvania, but other than that, no major surprises.

Got the map here.

A Comment That Doesn't Matter

Obama said today, ""You have a real choice in this election. Either Democrat would be better than John McCain. And all three of us would be better than George Bush."

No big deal, right?

Hell yes, it is. Later in the same article, I was informed by Clinton that Obama was actually cheering on McCain. The exact words, in fact, were, "We need a nominee who will take on John McCain, not cheer on John McCain."

Somehow, backhanded compliments served on the golden platter that is the media don't tend to count as "cheering on" in my book, but that's just me. Clinton obviously reads a better book.

Speaking of books... I am reading The Audacity of Hope just to confirm my discontent with Obama. After every incoherent paragraph his ghost writer whipped together, he throws in a quick mention of patriotic black men to regain my attention. I became immune to this dirty trick by chapter seven, simply entitled Race, when he upped the paragraph-to-use of the phrase "patriotic black men" ratio to 1:2. Needless to say, my discontent has been confirmed.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Back from Ecuador

Hey all. I'm back from Ecuador, so the posting absence is over. A long post on my trip is coming (as well, I'm sure, as an article in the Minuteman), but in the meantime, I will say it was a life changing experience. 

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kutting Katie

"These sources say the network's top executives believe Couric is doing an excellent job on the "CBS Evening News," but that both sides have grown frustrated with a situation in which she seems mired in third place and unable to use the range of talents that made her a superstar in morning television. They stress that a final decision won't be made until late summer at the earliest."

And down she goes.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Looking Back on an Old Comment

"I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother..."

I recently reread this old Obama comment (via Althouse) regarding Reverend Wright. Not to mention Wright's own racist comments, Obama seems to be a racist in and of himself. Imagine if McCain said the following:

"I can no more disown him than I can disown the white community. I can no more disown him than I can my black grandmother..."

Racist? A little. The double standard here is a little ridiculous. 

American Airlines and Ecuador

I may have trouble getting to Ecuador on Friday if planes aren't flying. Hate to disappoint, but I'd much rather be here than crashing over Chavez territory due to wiring problems.

"AMR is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings in two weeks, and analysts are forecasting a loss of more than $300 million, according to a survey by Thomson Financial."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Email from McCain on Iraq

I knew this email would be coming, that's why I haven't spoken about Petraeus yet. Anyway, here is an email I got from the McCain people regarding Iraq:

My Friends,

Today, I had the privilege to hear from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker on the current state of the war in Iraq and the progress that has been made there. We owe these two patriotic Americans a debt of gratitude for their selfless service to our country.

At the beginning of last year, we were engaged in a great debate about what to do in Iraq. Four years of mismanaged war had brought us almost to the point of no return. Sectarian violence in Iraq was spiraling out of control, life had become a struggle for survival, and a full-scale civil war seemed almost unavoidable. Al Qaeda in Iraq was on the offensive and entire Iraqi provinces were under the control of extremists.

However, rather than retreat from Iraq and face the terrible consequences that would ensue, we chose to change strategies and turn things around. I was proud to be an outspoken advocate for this change in strategy and endured much criticism from members of both parties. As I've said time and time again, I'd rather lose a campaign than lose a war.

"Never despair," Winston Churchill once said. And we did not despair. We were tested, and we rose to the challenge. Some political leaders close their eyes to the progress that the surge has made possible, and want only to argue about the past.

But the question for the next president is not about the past, but about the future and how to secure it.

While the job of bringing security to Iraq is not finished - as the recent fighting in Basra and elsewhere vividly demonstrated - we are no longer staring into the abyss of defeat, and we can now look ahead to the genuine prospect of success. Success - the establishment of a peaceful, stable, prosperous, democratic state that poses no threat to its neighbors and contributes to the defeat of terrorists - this success is within reach.

Should the United States choose to withdraw from Iraq as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama wish to do; before adequate security is established, we will exchange for this victory a defeat that is terrible and long lasting. Al Qaeda in Iraq would proclaim victory and increase its efforts to provoke sectarian tensions, pushing for a full scale civil war that could descend into genocide and destabilize the Middle East. Iraq would become a failed state that could become a haven for terrorists to train and plan their operations.

We cannot allow this to happen.

The American people deserve the truth from their leaders. Doing the right thing in the heat of a political campaign is not always the easiest thing. But when 4,000 Americans have given their lives so that America does not suffer the worst consequences of our failure in Iraq, it is a necessary thing. In such a grave matter, we must put the nation's interests before our own ambitions.

My opponents' calls for an immediate withdraw, regardless of the consequences, is a reckless and dangerous move that would threaten the long term security of our country. Leadership is not about bowing to the political pressures, it is about thinking through the consequences and having the experience and judgment to make the tough decisions.

Senators Clinton and Obama will surely echo the sentiments of their extreme liberal supporters and call for a pre-emptive withdrawal from Iraq. The American people deserve better. I encourage both candidates to move beyond empty and destructive rhetoric and elevate the debate to a level that the country deserves. There are tough decisions ahead and America deserves leaders that are up to the challenge.

As president, I will ensure that our troops come home victorious in this war that is part of the larger struggle against radical Islamic extremism and will continue to make keeping our nation secure my highest priority.


John McCain

I have no comment, make of it what you wish.

What Experience?

Obama: "Foreign policy is the area where I am probably most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Senator Clinton or Senator McCain.”

He understands foreign policy better than a man who spent six years in a North Vietnamese POW camp. But that's not giving him enough credit. He actually understands foreign policy better than that same man, who also spent 22 years in the Senate and another four in the House. Where did a young man such as himself get all this experience? When he was six, he lived in Indonesia.

Are you smoking?


CBS and CNN contract in the works.

CBS, the home of the most celebrated news division in broadcasting, has been in discussions with Time Warner about a deal to outsource some of its news-gathering operations to CNN, two executives briefed on the matter said Monday.

Over the last decade, CNN has held intermittent talks with both ABC News and CBS News about various joint ventures. But during the last several months, talks with CBS have been revived and lately intensified, according to the executives who asked for anonymity because of the confidential nature of the negotiations.

Monday, April 7, 2008


I'm leaving for Ecuador on Friday. Let the countdown begin...

Hillary and a Video

This video has been causing a stir... Althouse and TalkLeft are all over it.

Ann makes a valid point:

"It's part of progress. Males are savaged too. It means they're taken seriously."

It takes time to get these things done. Buddy, we have a woman running for president. I'm happy.

Oh, That Crazy Texas Underage Polygamy...

What a strange cult...

Authorities said Monday they have taken legal custody of 401 children who lived on an isolated West Texas polygamist retreat built by imprisoned "prophet" Warren Jeffs.

And some highlights from the story, in no particular order:
  • On March 31, a 16-year-old called and reported physical and sexual abuse on the ranch, authorities said.She said she was married to a 50-year-old man. Authorities are looking for evidence the girl had a child at the age of 15.
  • Jeffs was sentenced in November to two terms of 5 years to life for being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl who said she was forced to marry her cousin.
  • Barlow was sentenced to jail last year after pleading no contest to conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.
  • Investigators said they believe more children will be found at the ranch, but Mange stopped short of saying they were being hidden.

Hmm... Rice

A Fox blurb on Rice's VP bid:

New speculation that Condoleezza Rice is lobbying for the vice presidential seat has sparked denials from the State Department as well as non-comment from John McCain.

I find myself enthusiastically indecisive. On the one hand, her name on bumper stickers will tag McCain as Bush repeat. The 70% will come charging, and McCain will be, in effect, screwed. On the other hand, however, Rice is black. Yeah, that's all I got for the upside so far, I'll let you know when I have more.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tibet and Picture Blogging

More Tibet stuff: now they're going after the torch. And I have a cool blog over here, too. Check it out. If you're not a big reader, you may enjoy it.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sportsmen for McCain

–noun, plural -men.
1. a man who engages in sports, esp. in some open-air sport, as hunting, fishing, racing, etc.
2. a person who exhibits qualities especially esteemed in those who engage in sports, as fairness, courtesy, good temper, etc.

Is that an odd bumper sticker?

Praise from Dr. H

Quite random, but thank you to Dr. Helen's (ancient) post, linking to my (ancient) blog that, quite deservingly, no longer exists.

It was a long time ago, but that doesn't mean I can't brag.

Minuteman Article

I wrote another article for the Minuteman. Trivial for non-Fairfielders, read at your own risk.

The Town of Fairfield received a $450,000 grant this week from the Connecticut Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP). The money will be used for the beautification and cultural enrichment of downtown Fairfield.
The money will be split between the design and renewal of the upstairs room of the publicly owned Fairfield Theater Company building and the refurbishing of a triangular piece of land marked by Unquowa Road, Sherman Green, and Sanford Street. This section of town is often considered the commercial and social hub of Fairfield by those familiar with the area.
STEAP is dedicated to providing economic assistance to local governments, keeping the concept of public betterment in mind.
Fairfield was added to the list of towns eligible for STEAP funding two years ago. "Their program only gave out a few grants this year, so we are very happy they chose us," First Selectman Ken Flatto said.
He went on to cite Trumbull as the only other local town to receive funding this year.
The use of the money is flexible, Flatto pointed out on Tuesday, saying, "We are trying to get these main projects taken care of, but as long as we use the money in some sort of a similarly focused way, we have a little freedom with it."
The main goals of the project will remain the same regardless, and achieving downtown Fairfield as a center of beauty and culture is the intention.
An abandoned little room above the Fairfield Theater Company on Sanford Street puts a smile on the face of Mr. Flatto. Estimated by the First Selectman himself to be approximately 2000 square feet, he sees potential for the space as a future center for the arts.
"We would like to get a [Certificate of Occupancy] on that room, and hopefully be able to rent it out to a non-profit arts program," he said, adding, "Right now, the room is bare bones. [It has] old concrete floors and a dated leaking roof; it's just not safe."
The original grant request, sent to STEAP in February, called for $300,000 specifically for the design and improvement of this space.
The other $150,000 is to be spent on upgrades to the popular downtown area of Fairfield.
Flatto pointed out specifically what he would like touched on. A small footbridge connecting Unquowa Road with the Fairfield Theater Company building tops the list. The bridge is in disrepair, and unsafe for public use. "Rebuilding that defunct bridge would certainly be positive for downtown foot traffic," Flatto remarked.
He also hopes to use the money to replace a chain link fence on the corner of Sanford Street and Carter Henry Drive, which has proven to be an "eyesore," according to the original grant proposal.
Other minor changes will also be possible as budget provides, including planting shrubs and trees, replacing old curbs, and constructing new public benches on the sidewalks.
"This is kind of exciting," Flatto said. He thanked the state government for fighting for approval of the grant, "The help of so many state leaders has really been helpful. People like Senator [John] McKinney have helped so much to get this grant. It has really been a team effort."
Work on the project is expected to begin after the project budget has been planned. This phase of the project is expected to take approximately six months.
The design and labor phases of the project, including construction, are expected to last a year.
Bush spoke to Putin today. Is it just me, or was Bush opening his mouth earlier not the best of ideas?

More in Zimbabwe

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai stopped short of threatening a boycott but said a runoff was unnecessary. His party claims he won 50.3 percent of the vote in last weekend's election, but official results have not been released.

Read it.
This is why I like McCain.

He wasn't a 4.0 student. He wasn't perfect. He knows that, we know that. But perfection isn't a necessity in a politician. McCain is a politician, and a good one.

Over at Stumped

What an excellent post over at Stumped:

To your point, coming under fire and being briefed about potential dangers are not the same. I was warned about street crime in Rio de Janeiro before I went there, but wasn't mugged. If I told you I'd been shot at while there, and then took it back, saying I misspoke because I was tired and had been told Rio wasn't safe, what would you make of me? Would you hire me as your babysitter? Accountant? Lawyer? President?

Would you then want me picking up that phone at 3 a.m.? I wouldn't.

And the slaughter is complete.

Friday, April 4, 2008

First Counsel

I just finished reading The First Counsel. Excellent book until the last fifty or so pages. I recommend reading it, assuming you can deal with the slap in the face you may or may not feel upon it's ending.

McCain and the SS... not that SS, idiot

McCain has said previously he does not want Secret Service protection, fearing it would interfere with his brand of intimate campaigning with voters. McCain also has said he'll try to last as long as he can without it.

Read it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Zem Bob Way

Zimbabwe’s official election commission has confirmed that the Zimbabwe Africa National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), the party which has ruled the country for nearly 30 years, has lost its parliamentary majority, news agencies report.

Overpaid. Way Overpaid.

At $28 million a year, A-Rod makes much more than the 33-member Marlins opening day squad (a total that includes its disabled list), which will take home a relatively shallow pool of $21.8 million in 2008.


Global What?

Wired: Yet motorists in Los Angeles County might be paying an extra 9 cents per gallon at the gas pump -- or an additional $90 on their vehicle registration fees. The purpose? It would help fight global warming.

We all realize global warming doesn't actually exist, right? I thought we put the kabosh on the global warming paranoia in February with the discovery of this.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

USA Today & Two Mean Machines

Frank J. and Jonah Goldberg's column in USA Today this morning was disappointing. They weren't their usual hilarious selves. I guess the pressure got to 'em...

And I'm reading The First Counsel by Brad Meltzer. Good. Very good.


I just realized that in my last post, GB may appear to be referring to George Bush. I meant Great Britain. Bush might too, though, you never really know.

GB Thinks We're In a Depression

We knew things were bad on Wall Street, but on Main Street it may be worse. Startling official statistics show that as a new economic recession stalks the United States, a record number of Americans will shortly be depending on food stamps just to feed themselves and their families.

Read it.