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Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Monday, July 31, 2006
Cease Fire? Yeah, Right.
by Cordeiro
Over the past few weeks Israel's two front battle against terrorists in Gaza and Lebanon has garnered scorn from around the world. Nations whose security is not threatened by incoming mortars and guided missiles are calling on Israel to cease hostilities using the time worn and ineffective vehicle of the "Cease Fire".

Cease Fire is diplomatic double speak for telling Israel to stop shooting back at the Islamofacist Murdering Thugs who are currently taking pot shots at Israeli cities while hiding behind children and Kofi Annan's skirts.

The elitist snobs covering for the Islamofacist Murdering Thug Caucus call for a negotiated settlement. Well, here are some quotes from the people Israel would have to "negotiate" with for such a settlement:

The Koran uses terms that are closer to animals than to humans only with regard to those people. Look at the bestiality they demonstrate in the destruction of the Arab, Lebanese and Palestinian people. This is why people who were given the Torah were likened to donkey carrying books. They were also likened to apes and pigs, and they are, indeed, the descendents of apes and pigs, as the Koran teaches us. - Muhammad Abd Al-Sattar, Syrian Deputy Minister of Religious Endowment

There's an open mind for you.

Chris at Day By Day sums it up nicely with this cartoon:

Israel has already tried the diplomatic negotiated cease fire method. All that resulted from that course of action was more terrorism. Hezbollah and Hamas cannot be reasoned with. They are not interested in living in peace. If they are, as current actions suggest, unwilling and therefore unable to join the civilized world, they must be destroyed and deprived of the ability to make war.

Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, July 21, 2006
These Are The People In Israel’s Neighborhood
by Cordeiro
For the majority of the people in the world, especially those Americans who have trouble finding North Dakota on the map, the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel is sometimes difficult to understand. Sometimes it helps to try and put a more local face on an issue in order that more people might understand the issues involved.

Just for fun, I’m going to attempt this strategery here.

Lebanon and Israel are geographical neighbors, much like the United States and Mexico. Sometimes neighbors get along, sometimes they don’t. If the conflict between Hezbollah – a terrorist organization which pretty much has free reign in Lebanon – and Israel were to happen between the United States and Mexico here’s what you’d have.

Agents of La Raza (a group which supports the idea that most of the southwest United States should be given back to Mexico) would come across the border in Nogales and kidnap two or more US soldiers – those currently supporting border enforcement operations along the southern border – and take them across the Mexican border. They would then demand release of several thousand Mexican nationals who are currently guests of the border states’ correctional facilities.

Then, just for fun, they’d lob missiles into US cities along the southern border – targeting not military targets, but civilian population centers. The United States, not fond of having its soldiers kidnapped by foreign terrorists, and after attempting civilized means of securing their release, would then launch a military operation into Mexico.

Much destruction would result by this action. The world press would decry the death and destruction and chastise the United States for its “disproportionate’ response. The United States would assert it was defending itself against an act of war perpetrated by a foreign terrorist organization using Mexican soil as a base of operations. In short, the bleeding hearts would be told to pound sand.

Lets get one issue straight here. Hezbollah is bunch of Isalmofacist Murdering Thugs who use Lebanon as a base of operations from which to attack Israel. For years they’ve been doing their level best to push the Israelis into the sea – banking upon the idea that civilized western nations don’t attack terrorists who launch rockets from civilian population centers.

To put it in a blunt analogy, they’ve been poking a tiger in the ass with a sharp stick. Last week that tiger turned around and started to eat the guys with the stick.

The criticism of Israel has been swift and fierce. Restraint is urged. Proportionality is called for – whatever the hell that is.

If this were to happen in the United States, calls like this would not be tolerated. The terrorists who had kidnapped US soldiers would be blasted into chunks too small to be identified.

Why then is it expected that Israel will not react in kind to this continual aggression from Hezbollah?

Oh yeah, Israel is a Jewish state. That means anyone can attack them and expect that they’ll just sit back and take it over and over and over.

If that statement makes sense to you, then you are truly an intellectual cul-de-sac.

Israel is a sovereign nation with a right to exist and defend herself despite claims to the contrary by world luminaries such as Iran, Syria, Kofi Annan, and Hezbollah. Attempts have been made to push her into the sea and thus far every attempt has ended in a bloody failure on the part of the aggressors. You won’t find Egypt in this fight, nor any other Arab nation with any sense. They’ve gone down that valley once already.

Terrorism, specifically the Islamic flavor, must be opposed. Opposing terrorism is a lonely endeavor, which is probably why you see only one nation at Israel’s side during this latest violent episode. Hezbollah cannot be negotiated with. It must be destroyed by any and all means necessary.

That’s life in Israel’s neighborhood.

Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Disproportionate Memory
by Bonjo
One American citizen, being evacuated from Lebanon, was quoted as follows by the AP:

Exhausted and shaken, the Americans stood in line at the harbor in Larnaca ... as they waited to be told where they would sleep and when they might leave.

"This war is unfair. It's unfair if you see buildings fall and there are people inside," said Mona Kharbouche, a mother of two who said she had left behind her mother, two sisters and a brother.
Ms. Kharbouche, as an American citizen, I know exactly what it feels like to watch "buildings fall [while] there are people inside." That is precisely why I fully support Israel's right to defend itself as a sovereign nation.

With that I return to my adventures in capitalism.
Disproportionate Disbelief
by Bonjo
Last night I watched an hour of CNN's Middle East coverage. The entire hour was spent detailing the damage inflicted upon Lebanon by Israel. I kept waiting for the correspondent "south of the border" to cover damage done by Hezbollah rockets, or show video of injured Israeli citizens from Haifa.

While I waited, I browsed some news sites, and found a 100+ photo collection on the page of a national news syndication service. Each picture depicted protests against the Israeli government, or pictures of injured Lebanese civilians. I assumed, in vain, that the "next picture" would be of the damaged Israeli rail terminal, or a burning Israeli home.

I finally turned off the TV when one Palestinian man stated, "Israel has been violently attacking civilians without any provocation."

I may not be an expert on the politics of the Middle East. But if memory serves, I have spent years listening to reports of bombings and attacks--on ISRAEL--by its neighbors. It would appear that Hezbollah's "get out of retaliation free" card has expired. Hezbollah is the definition of "provocation".

For balance in this story, I refer you to some of my blogosphere associates, and other interesting parties:

Paul Kujawsky explains the situation with disproportionate intelligence and style, courtesy of our pals The Hedgehogs.

Josh Gellers, expresses his frustration at the disproportionate bias in Middle East reporting

AbbaGav, writing from Israel, responds with a disproportionate roundup of his humorous writings on the subject

Cox and Forkum, with their usual comedic flair, illustrate the absurdity of the situation: "Notice that no one cried 'disproportionate response' when Hamas demanded 1,200 prisoners in exchange for one Israeli hostage. Hamas and Hezbollah aren't playing a game of proportions, why should Israel?"
Monday, July 17, 2006
Even Governments Must Live Within Budgets
by Bonjo
Boston University's Professor Laurence Kotlikoff published a paper stating that the US Federal Government is headed towards bankruptcy.

Some people are shocked. Me? I'm glad someone sees things the way I do.

An article in the UK's Telegraph discusses the issue. The following quote from Paul Ashworth tells us exactly where the problem lies:

"...the expected deterioration in the Federal budget ... can be contained if the political will is there. Similarly, the expected increase in social security spending can be controlled by reducing the growth rate of benefits. Expecting a fix now is probably asking too much of short-sighted politicians who have no incentives to do so. But a fix, or at least a succession of patches, will come when the problem becomes more pressing."
The sooner we fix the problem the better. But, unfortunately, I agree with Mr. Ashworth. We won't see any real action until it is too late.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Friday Quick Hits
by Cordeiro
Karl Rove Runs The New York Times

RealClearPolitics.com's Bill Smith pens an alleged "satire" piece claiming that Karl "Sith Lord" Rove has secretly run the New York Times news and editorial operations for nearly four years.

Tony Snow denies this claim in rare Tony form:

Karl Rove has a whole planet to run. He doesn't have the time or inclination to run a parochial newspaper with a declining stock price and diminishing readership.
More truth is seldom spoken about the Old Gray Lady.

Israel to Hezbollah - "No Deal"

Eloquently illustrated by Cox & Forkum - as usual.

Katie Couric Not Ready For The Bloglight?

Katie Couric is on a national tour before she gets strapped into the CBS anchor chair recently vacated by Dan Rather. Most anybody can show up, unless you happen to have a blog. So much for "Katie - Unfiltered".

And finally, Wilson/Plame Try To Extend 15 Minutes

No evidence? No indictment? No Problem. Clueless Joe Wilson and his super-secret wife Valerie Plame have filed suit in US District Court against "Big Time" Cheney, "Scooter" Libby, and of course, "Sith Lord" Rove.

I guess this un-power couple takes legal advice and strategy from Jason Leopold.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Wildfires In Santa Fe
by Cordeiro
This just in from Santa Fe:

Earlier today a possible wild fire was reported in the historic district of downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico. Fire Department and other First Responder elements arrived on the scene and snapped this picture:

Upon further investigation and after the smoke dissipated somewhat, this picture was taken:

Reports indicate the candles were lit to commemorate the 39th birthday of one Dean Barnett, principal author of Soxblog. Mr. Barnett was warned about unauthorized flame usage and was released on his own recognicance with the requirement that he disclose any and all details of his encounter with Mother Justice, AKA Janet Reno.

Happy Birthday, Old Man.
Dan Rather Still A Stranger To Reality
by Cordeiro
For those of you who just can't get enough of the former CBS News Anchor Dan Rather, the legend in his own mind surfaced yesterday on the only show aired by CNN which gathers any quantifiable ratings - Larry King Live.

Newsbusters has video of the event #1 here and #2 here.

Let's get one thing straight here. Rather didn't retire of his own volition. He was unceremoniously canned by CBS. Why? Because of his stalwart defense of the W Air National Guard story which was entirely based on documents proven to be forgeries less than 10 minutes after they were made public. The fact of the forgeries is not in dispute by anyone other than Dan Rather and his co-conspirator in the form of former CBS producer Mary Mapes.

Wisdom from Rather:

Rather: I meant every word of it. In that the, we had a lot, a lot of corroboration, of what we broadcast about President Bush's military record. It wasn't just the documents. But it's a very old technique used, that when those who don't like what you're reporting believe it can be hurtful, then they look for the weakest spot and attack it, which is fair enough. It's a diversionary technique.

King: You're saying that was a fair report, I mean that was -- you believe that report to this day?

Rather: Do I believe the truth of the story? Absolutely.
Sure Dan. Part of my lineage can be traced through Missouri. Show me. Oh yeah, if you could have done that, Lurch Kerry would be president and you'd still be anchoring the CBS Evening News.

Add a little bit of former CBS News producer Mary Mapes from a HuffPo piece last month:

Page Six restates the conservative canard that our report "was found to be based on forged documents." That is just not true, no matter how many times Page Six or the Washington Times or some bitter conservative blogger repeats it.
Both Rather and Mapes share one common trait - they are both strangers to the reality in which most of us have to live and function.

Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Jason Leopold In Free Fall
by Cordeiro
Unfazed by the fact most everyone who pays attention to current events knows Jason Leopold is a stranger to reality, Leopold has again appeared in the Blogosphere. To his credit, he avoids his normal Rove inspired rants and takes aim at the W Administration's policy of informing the public about possible terrorist attacks on the United States.

Leopold's wisdom includes this gem:

Don't buy it. The latest threats aren't real. The data doesn't lie.
For the record, Jason Leopold wouldn't know factual data if it came up and smacked him in the head with a 2x4.

You'll notice Leopold's latest rant is dated July 10, 2006. As Leopold is an avid reader of this blog, I'll take it upon myself to advise him of the latest terrorist attack on July 11, 2006. Read about Mumbai. Better yet, take a look.

Does terrorism influence public opinion and therefore elections?

Damn straight it does. The political left would like to bury their collective heads in the sand and pretend terrorism doesn't exist. This strategy worked well during the Clinton (Sorry Excuse For) Administration. The fact remains, however, that a strategy of "punt" can only work for so long. Keep giving your opponent the ball and eventually he'll score.

Perhaps Leopold should ask himself why terror warnings work against people with his ideology. It could be the fact the political left has no viable strategy for dealing with terrorism in general and terrorists specifically. Terrorism is real. Leopold has trouble dealing with reality.

Mumbai is yet another wake up call. If I may be so bold as to quote a one sentence teaser advertisement heard on Los Angeles radio station KFI in the aftermath of September 11th,

It could have just as easily happened here.
Chew on that for awhile, Jason. You decry terrorism warnings one day before more bombs go off. Timing, Jason. Timing.

Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
North Korea Celebrates 4th of July
by Cordeiro
In an attempt to out do the United States' fireworks display as a part of her 230th birthday, Kim Jong "Mentally" Ill launched six missiles into the Sea of Japan.

Five of these rocket propelled projectiles were SCUDs - meaning they have about as much guidance as does today's Democratic party - however one of the missiles was the much hyped Taepodong-2 ballistic missile. This is the missile that allegedly has the capability to strike targets someplace in Alaska. A third-stage missile of the same type would have the capability of striking targets within the Continental United States.

The SCUDs splashed down in the Sea of Japan because that was where they were pointed. The Taepodong-2 "malfunctioned" some 40 seconds into its test flight.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I am fully prepared to believe the Taepodong-2 missile exploded due to the poor technology and manufacturing capabilities of North Korea.

That said, I'd really like to believe the Taepodong-2 fell victim to an intercept missile fired from one of the two Ageis class destroyers cruising off North Korea's coastline.

Whatever the truth may be, Kim Jong "Mentally" Ill now knows he's not ready to play ball in the big leagues.

Here endeth the lesson.
W's 4th of July Quote
by Cordeiro
Add this to the W quote gallery. W celebrated the 4th of July with the troops in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. In a rousing address - covered sparsely by the MSM - he commented on the recent violent death of Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

Here is one of the best quotes you'll find on Zarqawi's ticket to meeting Allah:

A few weeks ago, I had a chance to visit Baghdad and visit with some of Fort Bragg's finest soldiers, the special operation forces who helped bring justice to the terrorist Zarqawi. (Applause.)

They were the first coalition forces to arrive on the scene after the bombing of Zarqawi's safe house. They administered compassionate medical care to a man who showed no compassion to his victims. And when this brutal terrorist took his final breath, one of the last things he saw was the face of an American soldier from Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Justice comes in many forms.

Here endeth the lesson.
Boldly Going...
by Cordeiro
To paraphrase Jim Lovell, "That, ladies and gentlemen, is how we do that."

Thanks to the brave crew of Discovery and the Rocket Scientists at NASA for the 4th of July fireworks.
July 4th - 230 Years Later
by Cordeiro
Yes, dear reader, it was 230 years ago that 56 men - then British Subjects - convened in a sweltering room in Philadelphia's Independence Hall and committed High Treason.

This crime they committed would - given a few different historical twists - have resulted in their own executions and most likely the executions of most if not all of their family members. The British looked on American independence in a very unfavorable manner.

Never the less, they made the decision to "hang together", if for no other reason than, as one signer put it, they would surely "hang separately". What they did took courage. It took guts. It is all together fitting and proper that we as a nation should celebrate this day.

I can find no better words to cite on Independence Day than those words originally put to paper by Thomas Jefferson during that sweltering hot and humid summer of 1776. Many Americans have never read the Declaration of Independence. If you're one of these, may I take this opportunity to remedy this situation now. Read, and learn. Any emphasis is mine.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

- John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
Here endeth the lesson.

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