Sunday, November 27, 2005

Christmas With The Kranks

OK, its an older movie, but I just watched this on DVD. I love christmas and decorating, so it was interesting to watch a show about NOT decorating for Christmas.

And while there were parts of the movie that were a bit out there, I enjoyed the theme of community and reaching out to help others, even if they don't seem to deserve it.

Sadly, most places where people live today don't have that sense of community. Even in sheltered, association-bound communities there is such a turnover of homeowners, and people's lives are so hectic, that it is rare to have relationships within the community, much less an actual "community".

I remember a movie with Chevy Chase, "Funny Farm", where Chevy and his wife move out to the country. At some point he bribes the town to do an authentic country christmas, like in the Norman Rockwell pictures. They do a great job, and it always saddens me when I see it to realise it's just a fake (I mean, even in the movie, which of course is fake, the christmas itself is faked).

I wish I lived in a neighborhood which had garden competitions, or blocks all decorated for christmas.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Random comments about the War in Iraq

I answered a comment in another blog, and decided my answer was involved enough that I would include it here. The blog/post in question was TooConservative - This Is What Happens

An anonymous poster tried to hijack the thread to spread anti-war lies. So I answered him. Here are my answers in more of a question-answer format. I've edited them as well.

Isn't it true that there were no Al Qaeda in Iraq until we invaded?

There were al Qaeda in Iraq prior to the spring of 2003. Don't believe everything you read either in left-wing blogs, e-mails from democrat elected leaders, or the newspapers who refuse to actually do their jobs anymore. Before the democrats jumped on the "bush lied us into war" excuse, they had another attack -- that Bush had the information necessary to get Al Qaeda leader Zarqawi while he was in Iraq in 2002, but failed to do so. We ALREADY know that, when Afghanistan fell, Al Qaeda fled to several neighboring countries, including Iran, Pakistan, and Iraq.Further, we know that some Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda "affiliate" groups were already in Iraq, mostly in the north, supported by Iran. Probably in the next month or so, information will be made available which will include records from Saddam's government detailing multiple Al Qaeda/Iraq connections, some going back years. The career people in government are dragging their feet freeing up this information for our consumption, and for obvious reasons the democrats are not pushing their civil service friends to expedite the request.

But the administration cherry-picked the intelligence that the congress saw.

You can't make a case, serious or otherwise, that the administration "cherry-picked" intelligence. First, the White House didn't filter the intelligence presented to congress, that was the CIA/DIA and other agencies. I've learned that the CIA employee that briefed Jay Rockefeller about the 2002 NIE report BEFORE his vote is steamed because he KNOWS he verbally presented the facts, including the dissenting intelligence. And in the Senate, the democrats were in charge, and had subpeona power, so they could have gotten any information they wanted. They didn't ask for it, because they already "knew" there were WMD, and that Saddam was trying to build nuclear capability -- President Clinton convinced them of that fact years ago. The reason there is so little pre-war discussion about WMD is because few people expressed ANY doubts on the subject.

But the congress didn't have the same intelligence as the President.
If you listen to democrats complaining that they didn't have the "same intelligence" that the administration had, you will find out that have two points. First, there is a large amount of intelligence that NOBODY saw outside the agencies. So the congress didn't have it, but neither did the president. The democrats are not "technically" lying because the "administration" includes the intelligence agencies.

The second point is that the president got specific briefings not shared with congress. If you hear them DESCRIBE the briefings though, or read the 9/11 report, you find that these briefings were decidedly MORE alarmist than what they congress got. And because these were the briefings given directly to the president, the more accurate statement would be that the CIA and other agencies "cherry-picked" what they told the President, and that the President, not Congress, was given the more dire and "absolutist" assessments of what was going on.

Remember that while CIA briefers were meeting with congressional committees giving percentages and possibilities, Tenet himself was in the office with Bush telling him the case for WMD was a "slam dunk". Of course, Tenet was a democrat so we don't accuse him of "cherry-picking" or "lying about" the intelligence.

Ambassador Wilson proved the administration was lying, and the went after him and his wife.

Ambassador Joe Wilson lied about his trip in public, lied about his wife's involvement, lied about the VP office sending him, lied about briefing the VP, lied about the conclusions reached based on his trip, and lied about having seen the forged documents. This is all part of the public record, and documented in newspapers and in the intelligence committee reports.

When a person working for the Democrat Presidential candidate tells the world that the Vice President sent him to get information, that he provided it to the VP, and then the VP ignored it -- and when that is completely false -- it is not only expected, but REQUIRED, that the VP correct the record. Explaining who exactly GOT him the job is part of that explanation. If you want to hide a "secret" operative, you take her advice to send her husband on a trip he isn't qualified for -- it raises too many questions.

Wilson came back and verified that Saddam had attempted to by Uranium from Niger in 1999 -- which mirrors the claims Bush made in his State of the Union speech.

Opinion polls show people don't trust the administration.
They also show that a majority of the people still think Saddam was personally involved in 9/11.

The reason the people don't believe Bush now is that the people can't imagine that a political party would deliberately and repeatedly lie to regain power. But the democrats are doing exactly that. Wilson purposely lied to get Kerry elected, but it failed because he was bad at it.

The people also incorrectly assume that, if the democrats were lying, the press would explain it. They don't understand that most of the press reports "quotes" as the news, rather than actually finding the truth. But that is how it works. "Democrats say", "Republicans counter", that's almost all we get any more. When they do try to get more basic, they usually just repeaat mistakes from the past.

Our invasion of Iraq has created a haven for terrorists, and is the source of the terrorist threat.

We didn't create terrorists in 2003. There were plenty around in 2001, although some have forgotten that. There were plenty around in the 70s, in the 80s, and in the 90s as well. What we have created is a place where our military can confront the enemy on the field of battle, so our civilians don't die in horrific attacks.The democrats would rather hide the military away, and let the citizens of our country fend for themselves in the hopes that the terrorists would now "leave us alone".

As I write this, the Senate democrats have proposed and largely voted for an amendment which would impose a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, showing that the goal now is not victory but retreat (fortunately, the senate republicans, with some democrat help, defeated that measure). Not to be outdone, the ranking member of the armed services house committee, Cong. Murtha (D-Pa) delivered a tearful press conference today declaring his surrender to the terrorists, and calling for an immediate removal of our troops from Iraq. When asked why, he said our military simply could NOT defeat the terrorists.

That is the new face of the democrat party. They claim they were tricked into voting for war. They say they didn't have time to read the intelligence presented, didn't understand how intelligence was just probability and not fact. They say they didn't understand what power they were giving the president. They say that if they could do it again, they would not vote the same way. Now they want to pull out and let Iraq fend for itself.

And they believe that, having declared ignorance, ineptitude, and gullibility, they should be rewarded by being given majority status.

The american people have to wake up. The democrats have shown themselves now. Our troops are already writing back about the demoralization they feel from the democrat capitulation in the Senate, and there is no doubt the enemy is encouraged to see half our country's politicians ready to give them the victory if they can only kill a few more marines.

The democrats have to be punished, so they can get out from under the thumb, and get back to the business of participating in the governance of our country.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Funniest claims in the election campaign

In no particular order:
  • Bruce Roemmelt (D), challenger in the 13th district. He has a "plan" to fix transportation. His whole campaign is "if I were your delegate, you'd be home now". I don't think he means he would destroy the economy and get you laid off. Anyway, he has sent me at least 6 different mailers. Each says he has a plan, but it is too big to fit in the flier. So I went ahead and looked up the plan on the web site. It was only 392 words long. That is half a column, and would easily fit on a flier. Guess Roemmelt is an underachiever. If he can't fit 392 words on a flier, how's he going to get thousands more cars moving on the roads? His plan isn't worth 392 words either -- I think that's why he won't actually send it out, he's counting on people to NOT read his plan.
  • Bruce Roemmelt (D). None of his fliers seems to say he is a democrat. However, they are all sponsored by the Democrat Party of Virginia, so I guess we can figure it out.
  • Hilda Barg (D), challenger in the 52nd district: Attacks her opponent for claiming veteran status, because he "only served" for 7 months.
  • HB : Having only debated her opponent one time, her web site referenced two previous "debates" she said she won -- except they were simply events where the two candidates spoke at separate times.
  • HB : Claimed her opponent voted to allow illegal immigrants into colleges, when he in fact voted against them twice.
  • Jeff Frederick (R), Delegate 52nd district: In a flier where he said he was "independent", had a dictionary with the word "independent" circled. Only if you look closely the word circled isn't "independent", it doesn't even start with an "i". Oops.
  • HB: (she's full of them) - At the one debate, we find out why she didn't want to debate, as she seems to say she had no choice but to vote for excessive development because she was told she had to. The reporters feel so bad for her they give her a do-over, where she can explain she meant that the lawyers said they had to honor decades-old zoning.
  • Speaking of do-overs, the reporter still felt bad about HB even with his help, so having published an article about the debate in the Potomac News on page A3, he came back two days later with a front-page article on the same race, with the same issues -- only with answers gleaned from multiple sources, where he could try to make Hilda look like she knew something.
  • Kaine (D), Lt. Governor, candidate for Governor: "I only pretended to break my promise to show how desperate Kilgore is to show that I would break my promise". OK, he didn't quite say that. But that's what it sounded like.