Saturday, November 19, 2005

And Again

I love this man.

House Democrats Vote NOT to Leave Iraq

Or "They were for withdrawal before they were against it."

Captain Ed liveblogged on this vote yesterday, but it's worth looking at a few things.

First, the total lack of civility: As Ed describes it, the floor of the House was reduced to screaming at some points. Did we elect children to office? I can't believe how much whining I've heard that the national discourse has become bitter and divided, and yet when given an opportunity to actually use their rhetoric face to face, some of these people resort to debate tactics that even high school students understand as signifying that you've lost the argument.

Second, the complete hypocrisy: Look at the vote record. They voted 403-3 against this measure. Murtha, the one who was on TV two days ago saying that we should withdraw immediately, voted against immediate withdrawal! The whole thing is absurd. I realize that, for all the rhetoric spouted to the media (intended to be consumed by the far-left base), when the votes come around they ultimately vote for the safest position, and the one which won't completely destroy another country and our troops for the sake of integrity. I just have to ask: Whose side are they ultimately on?
I guess the answer is, "their own."

Dafydd over at Big Lizards has an excellent post analyzing this issue. He's absolutely right, too (for whatever that's worth, coming from me).

Update 2
Tom over at Real Clear Politics also has a very good analysis of the event.

Adrian Rogers Passes

I hadn't heard until I read it on Dr. Mohler's blog: Adrian Rogers has gone to be with the Lord.

I used to listen to him on the radio. He was a phenomenal preacher, every bit of what a preacher ought to be.

Dr. Mohler can eulogize him much better than I. In the meantime, pray for his family and for Pastor Steve Gaines who steps up to take his place.
Dr. Rogers was a lion in our midst -- the man God used to serve as leader and voice for a great resurgence of biblical Christianity. He was a man of tremendous gifts, whose booming voice was matched by a gift for words and a powerful delivery. He dominated the pulpit as few men ever have, preaching the Word and calling sinners to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He was a modern-day "Prince of Preachers" whose personal example served to encourage thousands of others to greater faithfulness in preaching the Word of God.

Adrian Rogers was a man of courage and conviction. He defended truth with verve and vigor. His personal defense of biblical inerrancy and the great truths of the Gospel awakened a generation of Southern Baptists to a crisis in our midst -- and he put his own ministry and reputation on the line for the sake of a denominational recovery and reformation. He matched his defense of the truth with a deep personal respect for the Word of God. To know him was to sense his living faith, his abiding conviction, and his deep love for the Lord.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Holy Freakin' Crap!

Yikes! Thanks to Bryan Preston linking me near the top at Michelle Malkin's blog (Welcome readers!), I've received more hits today than I do in a regular week!

I need to send that man a gift basket. Muffins, maybe?

(By the way, visitors: Take time to read through my archives. I'd like to think I've written some good stuff in the past, and not all of it is just commentary on the news.)

Aaaaaaand this whole thing put my blog over the 3000 hits mark. That man is definitely getting a muffin basket.

Incidentally, I'll just remind you newcomers that I have an exam and two assignments on Monday (ah, grad school), so I can't say there will be much blogging the rest of the weekend. However, if you come back after Monday morning, I can definitely promise some new posts. (And now I shall sacrifice a goat to the blog-gods so that you all will return).

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Evangelism in the 21st Century

. . . yeah . . . Jesus would definitely wear this.

This Vote Stinks

Not much to say about the recent "measure" passed in the Senate. Other people have very excellent criticisms (Hugh, Captain Ed, Michelle Malkin & co.). However, this little bit catches my eye:
That's the line across which next year's mids will be fought. The Democrats, including "moderate" Hillary Clinton, voted en masse to withdraw by the end of 2006, no matter what's going on in Iraq at the time. Clinton's vote was a reversal of her previous stand, which was explicitly against setting out any withdrawal timetables. The Republicans explicitly rejected setting any such timetable in place, as they have consistently done in public statements.

C'mon, you guys. Even Tom Daschle isn't so irresponsible as to think that's realistic (as I reported on here). His take:
The most important part of the speech, I suppose, was the soon to be released plan Daschle will help present as to the future of the troops in Iraq. He calls it, “Strategic Redeployment.” In short, the plan calls for a draw down of 80,000 troops from Iraq beginning in January; this would include all of the guard and reserve forces, who would be completely out by the end of 2006. Twenty thousand of these troops would be sent to Afghanistan to help the fighting there, stop the flow of drugs out of the country, and to find Bin Laden. Finally, the remaining 70,000 troops in Iraq would be augmented by international support and would be completely absent from Iraq by the end of 2007.

As crazy as the Republicans have been acting lately, this just confirms to me why the Democrats remain unable to win elections.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Impending Doom

Now, California is normally known for being somewhat kooky.

I know, I know, stop the presses.

But in this case, I think the inevitable collapse into anarchy is approaching quickly.

What next? A supervillain for Governor? How about a former Enron executive for Senator?


Some of you may be familiar with Jay Rockefeller's appearance on Fox to say that it's not his fault he voted for Iraq and actually thought that Saddam was a threat. However, Captain Ed notices this unusual remark:
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: No. The – I mean, this question is asked a thousand times and I'll be happy to answer it a thousand times. I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq – that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.

This looks really bad for Sen. Rockefeller. He could wind up with a charge of Treason on his hands. As Ed notes:
Now, what the hell was Rockefeller doing revealing his analysis of American foreign policy and the direction of war strategy to Bashar Assad??

If this is true, Rockefeller should get ejected from the Senate and possibly stand trial for treason. In 2002, we were at war against Islamofascist terrorists, and Syria has long been listed by the US State Department as a terrorist-supporting state. What Rockefeller admitted was conspiring with the enemy during a state of war -- and he should be held accountable, especially considering his admission of the act on national television.

UPDATE: One of the readers that pointed out this passage to me, Mark H., notes that Rockefeller's conversation with Bashar Assad may have given Saddam Hussein 14 months to collude on the transfer of WMD to Syria, rather than the 6 we assumed he got when Bush wasted five months trying to get the UN to enforce its own resolutions. Another reader, Jay Tea from Wizbang!, suggests a prosecution under the Logan Act.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Quiz Time?

Great. I'm one of those people who puts a silly quiz in his blog.


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

No matter. At least I have a freakin' awesome beard and giant axe.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


So, here's a look at my schedule in the coming weeks:

I have an inorganic exam. It is on the 21st.

I have a quantum assignment. It is due on the 21st.

I have a kinetics assignment. It is due on the 21st.

Hmm . . . looks like it will be a busy week.

More SiteMeter Antics

Wow. So far today (11/10/05) I've had some very explorative visitors. When a person shows up, it's a "visit." If they browse through more pages in my blog, each page they load is a "page view."

Well, in the course of today I've had guests with 26 and 17 page views in one visit (a total of 73 page views altogether today). That's a lot, which tells me I have people doing some intense reading here (not that I mind at all!).

So, if you haven't left any comments, why don't you do so? I'd love to hear from people who seem to appreciate the site.

WMDs in Iraq!

So, the BBC is reporting:

The US has revealed that it removed more than 1.7 metric tons of radioactive material from Iraq in a secret operation last month.
Oh really? Nuclear material? In Iraq?


Hat Tip: Ace, who notes:

And oh yeah-- rockets capable of delivering liquid payloads were also discovered in Iraq. Nothing to do with chemical weapons, though. Saddam just wanted to fill them with water and use them to explosively irrigate the deserts.

Jerry Costello - Total Tool

It's so true.

I contacted Mr. Costello by email after I learned that he voted against the Online Freedom of Speech Act (the bill that would have prevented the government from regulating political speech on the web). I asked him why he voted against it and how he was planning to protect my right to free speech through the internet. Here is the "response" I received from "him":
-----Original Message-----
From: Congressman Jerry F. Costello []
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2005 11:01 AM
Subject: Re: WriteRep Responses

November 10, 2005

Dear Harold:

I wanted to drop you a note to let you know I received your message regarding H.R. 1606, the Online Freedom of Speech Act.

Thank you for sharing your comments with me. As you may know, the House failed to pass H.R. 1606 by a 2/3 majority. I opposed the bill because it would allow unlimited, unregulated soft money into the political process through the Internet. In the past, I supported the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) in 2002 and I am
concerned H.R. 1606 would destroy the progress made under the BCRA bill. Although we do not agree on this issue, I am sure there are other issues concerning our area in which we would agree.

If I can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Jerry F. Costello
Member of Congress

Yeah. What a complete non-answer. If BCRA is the bill I think it is (McCain-Feingold), then that too was a disaster.

Jerry Costello, let me make one thing clear to you: The government can have my right to express myself online, politically or otherwise, when they pry it from my cold, dead hands. If the day should ever come when the government begins regulating political speech on the internet, you will receive a personal visit from me, and I hope you will have a good explanation for allowing the government to trod on our constitutional rights.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

On College Students

If you know (or are) a college student, then this is a must read piece.
(Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt)

Dahr Jamail at Northwestern

So, my busy schedule unfortunately did not allow me to attend Dahr Jamail's lecture here at Northwestern.

According to this far too brief article, I didn't miss much. However . . .

On the one hand, I should give some of the things he says a bit more credence because he was IN Iraq. On the other hand, conservative journalists and soldier return from Iraq telling completely opposite stories from him. Does he have any incentive to lie or stretch the truth? Good question. I suppose it's worth noting that he does submit his writings to some rather odd publications, including The Nation and Islam Online.

Here's what I'm really curious about, though:
Audience members were able to offer their opinions and gain additional information during the question-and-answer period of the presentation. A North Chicago woman drew applause with her strong criticism of the mainstream media, while a comment from Chicago resident Jay Jackson defending U.S. actions brought angry responses from some audience members.

Man, now I really wish I had been there. Angry responses from audience members? I'm quite curious how that turned out.

If it's anything like certain liberal reactions to conservative freedom of speech I've seen before, it can't have been pretty.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Christians and the Environment

So, Megan asked me to comment on this article. Yeah, it's behind the NYT's free-subscription wall, but that's why I have Bug-Me-Not in the link bar over there. Fantastic thing, really.

Anyhow, the article.

Perhaps it is a certain paranoia for being a conservative Christian, but it seems like whenever the NYT writes about Christians, it is either to (a) describe how hypocritical and wrong we are for society, or (b) to use some Christian group's approval of a liberal platform as a weapon against Republicans. I get that vibe from this piece, but again, perhaps it is just paranoia.

In any case, there isn't really anything remarkable about the article. Christians who care about the environment? Big stinkin' deal. That's nothing new. And that's not a bad thing.

It's not outside of the Christian ethic to care about the environment. Good stewards of God's blessings won't let the things they've been given charge of go to rot.

However, the things that I would draw attention to in this article:

1) This is an effort being pushed by the leadership of this group. It is not a grassroots movement, and sometimes leadership is just not in touch with what their membership wants (especially in large "religious" organizations).

2) Christians can (and do!) disagree about the best way to take care of the environment (among other things). Mandatory controls on carbon emissions isn't necessarily the best of plans.

So, what do I think about the article, Megan? Eh. I've seen more interesting stuff lately. But thanks for reading and keeping an interest here. If you see anything else that piques your interest, send it my way and I'll be glad to snarkily critique it comment on it.

On French "Riots"

So, I've thought about writing about the French intifada riots so far, but instead I shall recommend you check out any of the blogs in my blogroll (any of them will do, really; they've all written some bang-up work on it). Also, I shall sum up my perspective on it so far with this:

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Computer Problems? No Problem!

Ha ha! Eat that, forces of evil! I fixed my computer (no thanks tech support)!

Er, um, ahem.

Regular* blogging schedule to commence.

*"Regular" may not actually meet any real definition of "regular."

Tom Daschle at Northwestern University

Last night, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a speech given by former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. This post will be a recounting of his speech (paraphrasing only, no transcript), as well as my own thoughts and reactions to his comments.

On a sidenote: Before the speech began, a large section was left vacant, filled with signs saying "reserved seating." I asked a friend, "Why are so many seats empty? Does Daschle come with a huge entourage or something?" To which my friend responds, "Yeah, I bet he has this huge posse like MC Hammer."

And suddenly, the best moment of the evening was my vision of Tom Daschle walking up to the podium in a huge pair of shiny parachute pants.

In any event, the title of Daschle's speech was "The American Journey: New Paths and Opportunities in a Changing World." To be honest, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the event. Daschle is obviously a charismatic person, and some parts of the speech I found his statements to be good. Though he did have some criticisms of the government and the role of America in the world right now, some of his concerns were fair and justified.

Unfortunately, he couldn't hide partisan colors all night, and when certain issues came up, he was talking directly out of the liberal talking points/propaganda list.

The main point of the speech was the highlight the state of American foreign policy as juxtaposed with America's image in the world today. His image wasn’t entirely negative; he did mention some of the better roles of America in the world, and actually told a very inspiring story of meeting Hamid Karzai.

Apparently just after coming into power, he met with Karzai when the Afghan government was still small and struggling. However, despite the setbacks and limitations facing the new government, Karzai said that they were motivated by something greater than all of that: “We want to be like you.”

However, as Daschle pointed out, because America is such a beacon of hope, our failures and shame is even more visible to the world. This is a fair point, but I think that it actually works more towards the media that grabs onto any little event in an attempt to turn it into a scandal for the Bush administration; and it works towards the politicians (especially the Democrats) who take every opportunity to let partisan politics dictate the politically motivated stunts they pull in front of the eyes of the world.

I was glad that Daschle had the fortitude to say that there are people who want to attack America regardless of the example it sets for the world. I think that there are just too few Democrats these days who will admit that. Bin Laden was bombing our soldiers even when Clinton was in office; Paris burns with the flames of Islamic radicalism at this very moment (Update: Apparently Dafydd ab Hugh is skeptical of this), despite their opposition to the Iraq War and support of Palestinian violence.

Of course, his solutions to such problems seem simplistic and naïve. At one point, he said that we should go after Bin Laden, regardless of the feathers we ruffle in doing so. While I’m not intimately familiar with the military intelligence on Bin Laden’s whereabouts or strategies on apprehending him, I can guess that most military commanders would not recommend sending 10,000 marines across the Pakistani border in search of Bin Laden. As much as we may want him, Pakistan has been a somewhat helpful ally in the war on terror, and there is no need to tick off a nuclear power just yet. If we find that the government is willfully hiding him, then we’ll talk about that option.

The topic of Iraq would inevitably come up. Daschle accused the President of misusing intelligence, failing to plan for the aftermath of the war, and being dishonest with the American people over the commitment this war would require. He said we need to get politics out of the intelligence community.

On the last point, I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately for Daschle, Joe Wilson currently makes that point for him, but in the opposite direction from where he wants to take it. Additionally, since the Senate Intelligence Committee found that prewar intelligence was not manipulated by the Bush administration and none of it was altered due to administration pressure, Daschle’s talking points come off as dishonest.

The most important part of the speech, I suppose, was the soon to be released plan Daschle will help present as to the future of the troops in Iraq. He calls it, “Strategic Redeployment.” In short, the plan calls for a draw down of 80,000 troops from Iraq beginning in January; this would include all of the guard and reserve forces, who would be completely out by the end of 2006. Twenty thousand of these troops would be sent to Afghanistan to help the fighting there, stop the flow of drugs out of the country, and to find Bin Laden. Finally, the remaining 70,000 troops in Iraq would be augmented by international support and would be completely absent from Iraq by the end of 2007.

Again, Daschle’s plans strike me as being naïve. The problems of Afghanistan aren’t about a lack of troops. In fact, a large contingent of troops like that entering the region could make things there even more difficult. Daschle constantly complained that America has become isolated in the world (a strange thing to say when he mentioned several times how much good work the US is doing in the world, how “responsive” it is to global problems), and yet he wants an international coalition of troops in Iraq? Don’t we have that already? Oh, right; Daschle doesn’t think that the contributions of nation such as England, Poland, Albania, or Japan “count.” They’re not really international support. I didn’t get to ask him a question, but if I could have, it would have been, “Who are we lacking in our so-disdained ‘coalition of the willing’?”

Furthermore, Daschle commented that we should allow Iraq to decide its own destiny. Again, I’m well in agreement with this. That’s why we freed the country, and that’s why we still have troops there. Or didn’t you realize that the democratically elected government has desperately requested that troops remain in Iraq for a few more years?

Those were the most important aspects of the speech. A few other highlights included the question and answer session, where a few predictable liberal canards came out. My favorite questions included a man asking, “Why don’t we turn Iraq over to the UN and use the oil proceeds to feed the world the way we should have done with Kuwait?” and a woman commenting that the media doesn’t cover anti-Bush, anti-War rallies and demonstrations. Yeah, because we heard nothing in the news about the 2000th death of a soldier or anything.

My favorite responses of his to questions included his statement that, after hearing from Harry Reid about his invocation of “Rule 21,” that he would have done the very same thing if he were there now (Thank you, Senator Thune). Also, he mentioned that the nomination of Alito to the SCOTUS has left him very concerned, as he is obviously a man who will take the court out of the mainstream (i.e. the liberal framework) and take it far, far to the right.

All in all, it was an interesting speech. I’m glad I was able to attend, but former Senator Daschle demonstrated that, once again, there is absolutely nothing that cannot be overcome by petty, partisan politics.

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