Friday, June 30, 2006

July 4th & The Declaration of Independence

This weekend we will celebrate the 230th birthday of the United States of America.
John Adams' famous letter of July 3, 1776, in which he wrote to his wife Abigail what his thoughts were about celebrating the Fourth of July is found on various web sites but is usually incorrectly quoted. Following is the exact text from his letter with his original spellings:

"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not."

On the Declarations 50th birtday, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson , the Declarations author, both died on July 4th 1826. Adams last words were "Jefferson lives." Jefferson in fact had died a few hours before.

Who needs fiction when there are true stories like this!

(For more about the Adams' family and the celebration of the 4th of July click on the title above for a link)

Five Wrong Justices

John Yoo, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and who served in the Justice Department in 2001-03 has an opinion piece in USA Today Newspaper that says in part:
By putting on hold military commissions to try terrorists for war crimes, five Supreme Court justices have made the legal system part of the problem, rather than part of the solution to the challenges of the war on terrorism. They tossed aside centuries of American history, judicial decisions of long standing, and a December 2005 law ordering them not to interfere with the military trials.
As commander in chief.

President Bush has the authority to decide on wartime tactics and strategies. Presidents Washington, Jackson, Lincoln and FDR settled on military commissions, sometimes with congressional approval and sometimes without, as the best tool to punish and deter enemy war crimes. Bush used them to solve a difficult tension: how to try terrorists fairly without blowing intelligence sources and methods....

What the justices did would have been unthinkable in prior military conflicts: Judicial intervention in the decisions of the president and Congress on how best to wage war. They replaced his wartime judgment and Congress' support with their own speculation that open trials would not run intelligence risks. Their decision to impose specific rules and override political judgments about military necessity mistakes war — inherently unpredictable, and where our government must act quickly and sometimes secretly to protect national security — for the familiarity of the criminal justice system....

To read the rest of Professor Yoo's column click on the title above for a link.....Fighting the War on Terrorism is like an alley knife fight and these are five justices who I would NOT want to cover my back. The same can be said for The New York Times and the majority of Democrats in Congress. History will remember stood and who ran.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

No Get Out of Jail Card for Islamic Fascist

From Michelle Malkin's blog about the US Supreme Court decision on military trials for Islamic Fascist.

The ACLU is popping the champagne corks.

But Andrew Cochran makes a prediction:

The decision is actually a huge political gift to President Bush, and the detainees will not be released that easily. The President and GOP leaders will propose a bill to override the decision and keep the terrorists in jail until they are securely transferred to host countries for permanent punishment. The Administration and its allies will release plenty of information on the terrorist acts committed by the detainees for which they were detained. They will also release information about those terrorist acts committed by Gitmo prisoners after they were released. They will challenge the "judicial interference with national security" and challenge dissenting Congressmen and civil libertarians to either stand with the terrorists or the American people. The Pentagon will continue to release a small number of detainees as circumstances allow. The bill will pass easily and quickly. And if the Supremes invalidate that law, we'll see another legislative response, and another, until they get it right. Just watch.


U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) today issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the Hamdan case:
"We are disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision. However, we believe the problems cited by the Court can and should be fixed.

"It is inappropriate to try terrorists in civilian courts. It threatens our national security and places the safety of jurors in danger. For those reasons and others, we believe terrorists should be tried before military commissions.

"In his opinion, Justice Breyer set forth the path to a solution of this problem. He wrote, "Nothing prevents the president from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary."

"We intend to pursue legislation in the Senate granting the Executive Branch the authority to ensure that terrorists can be tried by competent military commissions. Working together, Congress and the administration can draft a fair, suitable, and constitutionally permissible tribunal statute."

(To read the rest of Michelle Malking's blog click on the tite above for a link.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tip of the Hat to the Oregon State Beavers!

You won't see this very often on this Duck's Blog but congratulations to the Oregon State Beaver on winning the "College World Series" in Baseball! They are now "National Champs."

Monday, June 26, 2006

"The New York Times At War With America:" By Michael Barone

"Why do they hate us? No, I'm not talking about Islamofascist terrorists. We know why they hate us: because we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion, because we refuse to treat women as second-class citizens, because we do not kill homosexuals, because we are a free society.

No, the "they" I'm referring to are the editors of The New York Times. And do they hate us? Well, that may be stretching it. But at the least they have gotten into the habit of acting in reckless disregard of our safety....." To read the rest of Mr Barone's column click on the title above for a link. Mr Barone is the editor of the Almanac of American Politics and is an editor for US News and World Report magazine.

TONY SNOW: 'The New York Times and other news organizations ought to think long and hard about whether a public's right to know in some cases might override somebody's right to live.' (Tony Snow is President Bush's Press Secretary)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: "In the decade prior to 9/11, we spent more than $2 trillion on national security. Yet we lost nearly 3,000 Americans at the hands of 19 men armed with box cutters and airline tickets. In the case of al Qaeda we are not dealing with large armies that we can track, or uniforms we can see, or men with territory of their own to defend. Their preferred tactic, which they boldly proclaim, is to slip into countries, blend in among the innocent, and kill without mercy and without restraint. They have intelligence and counterintelligence operations of their own. They are using the most sophisticated communications technology they can get their hands on.

"In pursuit of their objectives, they have carried out a number of attacks since 9/11 Â? in Casablanca, Jakarta, Mombassa, Bali, Riyadh, Baghdad, Istanbul, Madrid, London, Sharm al-Sheikh, and elsewhere. Here in the U.S., we have not had another 9/11. Obviously, no one can guarantee that we won't be hit again. But the relative safety of these past nearly five years now did not come about by accident. We've been protected by sensible policy decisions by the President, by decisive action at home and abroad, and by round-the-clock efforts on the part of the people in our armed forces, law enforcement, intelligence, and homeland security.

"Some in the press, in particular The New York Times, have made the job of defending against further terrorist attacks more difficult by insisting on publishing detailed information about vital national security programs.

"The first was the terrorist surveillance program. Sometimes the press calls it domestic surveillance, it is not domestic surveillance. It's a program aimed at the communications that are international in nature - at least one end of the communication has to be outside the United States, and one end has to be affiliated with or associated with al Qaeda.

"The second program that The New York Times has now disclosed is the terrorist financial tracking program, just within about the last week or so. These are both good programs. They provide valuable intelligence. They are very carefully managed to safeguard the civil liberties of the American people. They have been successful in helping break up terrorist plots. They are done in accordance with the Constitution, and there has in both cases - both programs have been properly notified to the appropriate officials in the United States Congress.

"The New York Times has now twice - two separate occasions - disclosed programs; both times they had been asked not to publish those stories by senior administration officials. They went ahead anyway. The leaks to The New York Times and the publishing of those leaks is very damaging. The ability to intercept al Qaeda communications and to track their sources of financing are essential if we're going to successfully prosecute the global war on terror. Our capabilities in these areas help explain why we have been so successful in preventing further attacks like 9/11. The New York Times has now made it more difficult for us to prevent attacks in the future. Publishing this highly classified information about our sources and methods for collecting intelligence will enable the terrorists to look for ways to defeat our efforts. These kinds of stories also adversely affect our relationships with people who work with us against the terrorists. In the future, they will be less likely to cooperate if they think the United States is incapable of keeping a secret.

"What is doubly disturbing for me is that not only have they gone forward with these stories, but they've been rewarded for it, for example, in the case of the terrorist surveillance program, by being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for outstanding journalism. I think that is a disgrace."
attacked as "disgraceful" the public disclosure of a secret government program to monitor international finances and track down terrorist funding.

"Congress was briefed, and what we did was fully authorized under the law. and the disclosure of this program is disgraceful," Bush told reporters in the wake of last week's revelations of the roughly five-year-old program.

"We're at war with a bunch of people who want to hurt the United States of America. And for people to leak that program, and for a newspaper to publish it, does great harm to the United States of America," he said.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

105 Degrees in Medford Oregon

Good thing I did my outside painting early as it hit 105 today and we are still more than a week from the 4th of July. It must be global warming.... maybe Al Gore is right......Not.

Summer Weekend

This weekend was very productive. On Friday night I re stained the fence between our house and the neighbors on the driveway side. On Saturday it go over 100 degrees in the Rogue Valley. I got out early Saturday morning and did my yard work. In the afternoon I performed three wedding ceremonies . One at 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00. All were at peoples homes. One was in Medford, the second was in Talent out in the country and the third was in Central Point. Each was different but all were nice folks. I love doing weddings. However when it's 100 degrees outside it is very hot in a shirt and tie with a sports coat out in someone's back yard. After the weddings I did some housework and we ordered pizza delivered. My son and I then ended the day watching a DVD of John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn. I then re watched it with the "commentary on" by a biographer of John Fords. Sunday I got up early and painted the outside of house on the south side where it gets lots of sun. Now I think I will take it easy the rest of the weekend.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Summer & Football Magazines

One of the fun things about Summer is that football magazines hit the news stands. My favorites are Athlon's Pac-10 College Football and Lindy's Pac-10 College Football which feature the college teams of the Pac-10 conference which of course includes my Oregon Ducks. The magazine companies have regional and even state specific covers so an Oregon Duck football player is usually featured on the magazines cover that are sold here in Oregon. Before the internet I used to buy between 5 and 8 magazines each Summer. However so much information is now available on the internet I usually limit myself to the two magazines described above and maybe one Pro Football magazine. Every Summer hope springs eternal for the college football fan thinking of the fall season and dreaming of bowl games for the holidays.

Summer is here!

It's finally Summer. I love it and the best part of Summer is the few weeks between June 21 and the 4th of July. It's the time when the entire summer is before you . There are always three mile posts on the march to summer; Memorial Day, school letting out with graduations and finally June 21 the official beginning of the season. Other than Christmas the 4th of July is my favorite holiday. Almost every year we go to Ahland, Oregon for their old fashioned parade and band concert in the park. The concert is always preceded by the reading of the Declaration of Independence. I then go home and play my DVD of the musical movie 1776, a home BBQ and then fireworks. Picture is of Crater Lake National Park here in Oregon on a Summer day.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

500 WMD Found In Iraq

WASHINGTON: The United States has found 500 chemical weapons in Iraq since 2003, and more weapons of mass destruction are likely to be uncovered, two Republican lawmakers said Wednesday. Click on the title above for a link to the Associated Press (AP) News story.

Fast Ships in Harm's Way

For the first time in over 20 some odd years, three carrier strike groups got together in formation for a great photo op. From left to right are the aircraft carriers, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, KITTY HAWK, and RONALD REAGAN. We even had Air Force planes fly-over, see the B-2 Stealth Bomber. USS RONALD REAGAN......I like the sound of that name.

Defeatist Democrats Lose

The United States Senate today voted against setting a deadline to withdraw troops from Iraq. The vote was 60 to 39 with 6 Democrats voting with the Republicans to not cut and run. "Surrender is not a solution," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Click on the title above for a link to the news story.

Barbaric Acts Against GI's Have No Equivalent !

The following is today's editorial from the Arizona Republic:
Enough with Abu Ghraib. Enough with the self-loathing hand-wringing over the killers harbored in comfort at Guantanamo Bay. Enough with the still-unproved condemnations of U.S. Marines at Haditha.

Two U.S. Army soldiers, Pfc. Kristian Menchaca of Houston and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker of Madras, Ore., have been found dead at the hands of the still-potent terrorist insurgency in Iraq.

Not just dead, but tortured, we are told. Their unrecognizable bodies dumped at a roadside that had been wired with bombs. According to an Iraqi military spokesman, the soldiers "were killed in a barbaric way."

The two young soldiers - both had been in Iraq but a few months - had been captured at a checkpoint on June 16 in an attack that killed a third comrade, Spc. David J. Babineau of Springfield, Mass.

If we are to properly understand - and fairly condemn - the revolting moral equivalencies that have sprung up regarding "violence begetting violence" in Iraq, the shocking deaths of Pfcs. Menchaca and Tucker would seem a proper place to start.

It is not the policy of the U.S. military to torture enemy combatants, certainly not to the point that DNA tests become necessary to determine which disfigured corpse is which. It is not the policy of the U.S. military to behead captured enemies. Water-boarding and sleep deprivation strike us as bad and likely unproductive policies. Disfiguring torture and beheading strike us as the acts of barbarians and monsters. There is equivalence in this?

Whatever one's judgment about the legal rights of enemy combatants held at Guantanamo, drawing parallels between isolated American excesses in a cruel war and such joyously celebrated "policies" of terrorists is just beyond the pale.

Two days before the abduction of the two GIs, the "right hand man" of al-Qaida's deceased beheader-in-chief, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed in a U.S. airstrike. Known as al-Qaida's "religious emir," Mansour al-Mashhadani also played a key role in the terrorists' "media operations," according to USA Today.

Media operations . . .

The sort of "media operations" conducted by the late emir involved promoting the activities of an insurgency umbrella group known as the Mujahideen Shura Council, which includes al-Qaida in Iraq.

That "council" has noted on its Web site that the two U.S. soldiers had been "slaughtered" by the apparent successor to Zarqawi. "With God Almighty's blessing, (Zarqawi successor) Abu Hamza al-Muhajer carried out the verdict of the Islamic court," which called for the soldiers to be murdered.

In the twisted logic of terrorists, in short, the brutal murder of two soldiers is not something merely to be celebrated, but an act that should be spun to the media.

It is an affront to the dignity of Iraqis to absolve such horrific, self-celebrated barbarism by suggesting or even implying that such acts are simply retaliation against the American "Crusader."

The murders of Pfcs. Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker weren't retribution. They weren't "equivalent" to anything.

They are disgusting acts of barbarism.

Soccer & The World Cup

I am not a big fan of soccer. Too many American kids are turning to soccer instead of good old American football. My kids played soccer when they were young and I even coached some of their teams. I felt it was good exercise. However, I have never liked the game. So today I read a joke on a blog I need to share.

American GI calling home from Iraq and talking to his wife: "Have you got World Cup fever?" Wife: "No, I have been inoculated against that, I am an American."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"Churchillian Courage": by Juseph Loconte in National Review Online

"....The strength of a great leader, Martin Gilbert suggests, is his ability to frame the horrific realities of war within a larger moral vision. In this regard, no political figure of the 20th century possessed both the bearing and the eloquence of Winston Churchill. None understood better why Hitler and his ideology had to be confronted - and utterly defeated...

For all his faults, President Bush sees correctly what is now at stake in Iraq: The forces of decency and democracy against the macabre vision of al Qaeda and Islamic fascism. His determination to stay the course is grounded in a set of moral and democratic ideals. "As we fight the war on terror in Iraq and other fronts, we must keep in mind the nature of the enemy," Bush told Air Force graduates two years ago. "The terrorists who attacked our country on September 11, 2001 were not protesting our policies. They were protesting our existence." He has repeated the message, in various forms, dozens of times. He did so again during his recent visit to Baghdad, in a commencement address this week to the U.S. Merchant Marines, and at a Republican fundraiser. "We're going to win the war on terror," Bush said, "if we don't lose our nerve."

As the debate in Congress makes painfully clear, too many war critics still fail to admit the blackness of the threat - the hideous inhumanity of radical Islam - that confronts us in Iraq and elsewhere in the Muslim world. Without this moral realism, detractors have allowed their qualms about the conflict to degenerate into fatalism and defeatism. No surprise, then, that they now lack the resolve to carry on.

It was once said of Winston Churchill that he had "enough courage for everybody." Churchill's steadfastness, however, must not be confused with empty bravado. His strength of character was rooted in his life experience, moral clarity, and spiritual conviction. We will need more of that courage in the difficult days ahead, not less."

(To read the entire article click on the title above for a link.)

New 2006 Oregon Ducks Football Uniforms

When does Football Start? GO DUCKS!

Cut & Run

Silence on Butchery, Whining at Guantanamo

Liberty Files blog has an excellent comment on the lack of outrage over the killing and butchery of the two American soldiers in Iraq by those whining about our treatment of terrorist prisoners at Guantanamo. It's as follows:

This morning reports are that the two missing U.S. soldiers who were kidnapped in Iraq were found dead, and "butchered" before their deaths. Army Pfc. Thomas Tucker and Pfc. Kristian Menchaca are good men, and now their families are heartbroken over their loss and the unimaginable torture they experienced before their deaths.

Fox News' E.D. Hill offered an even more graphic description this morning which I have not yet been able to find anywhere posted on the web, but if her account is even close to accurate, it involved the most unimaginable and barbaric acts possible. These men's bodies were destroyed prior to their deaths to the point that they could not be identified.

But what does the anti-war crowd have to offer? Guantanamo Bay. As President Bush sits in Vienna, he is pressured by hand-wringing Europeans to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The concern of these Europeans is over not the conditions at the prison, where numerous terrorists captured in the War on Terror are being held, but over the flap that is being made by anti-war groups like Amnesty International and the terrorists themselves who are "unhappy" with the fact that they are being detained, as evidenced by a coordinated suicide two weeks ago by three of them.

To read the rest of the blog click on the title above for a link

Anger , Outrage & Pride!

Yesterday the news came that two United States soldiers Pfc. Thomas Lowell Tucker, 25 of Madras Oregon and Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23 of Houston, Texas were found dead in Iraq. They were not just found dead they had been tortured,and beheaded and their body's booby trapped with explosives by Islamic terrorist. The United States is dealing with real animals in the war on terrorism! If they think this will cause the United States to "Cut and Run" they forget that George W Bush is from Texas where the memory of the Alamo has not been forgotten. We don't run, we stand and fight and get even! My condolences to these soldiers family's. Tucker a few days before he was killed left a telephone message on his parents telephone answering machine. Tucker's desire to serve his nation was made clear in this haunting telephone message:

"Hey mama, um, I love you. I love you too dad,...Just going to go on this little vacation ... Ill be back before I know it ... I'm going to be OK. Everything's going to be OK. I'm going to defend my country. Be proud of me... So I will call you as much as I can. You guys will never not know what I'm doing."

I heard this recorded message on the car radio last night and I can not get it out of my mind.


Saturday, June 17, 2006

How Washington DC Works

An interestin article from the National Journal on how Washington DC works.
It all comes down to relationships," says Preston Gates & Ellis lobbyist Mark Ruge, noting that Washington makes laws, not widgets. "The definition of a social group in Washington always has a professional element as well." Not everyone might agree with that assessment. But given the very social character of work in and around government, it's not cynical to point out that off-the-clock relationships carry over into Washington's working hours.

Among Washington's political class of current and former Hill staffers, lawyers, legislators, and lobbyists, sometimes the most valuable relationships are the ones that are formed outside the office and focus on activities with no immediate professional aspect. For some, those bonds grow out of race or religious affiliation. For others, they are the friendships formed in the easy atmosphere of the dugout or the gym.

Where and when those relationships are formed is important, because the offices of Washington aren't neutral ground. Take, for instance, two of the city's premier lobbying firms.

The offices of both Barbour Griffith & Rogers and Preston Gates offer impressive picture-window views of buildings and monuments. Not accidentally, they are the first thing a visitor is shown upon arrival: Such views make guests feel a bit special, and a bit smaller. Politics' closest cousin -- sports -- also recognizes the home-field advantage and the leveling effect of after-hours encounters on neutral turf. Softball fields and tennis courts can be places where trust is built and lines of communication are established.

One reason off-hours relationships are important is because careers in Washington often take a meandering path forward. Congressional staffs turn over regularly, and the names of political appointees change with each new administration. Every week, lobbyists set up a new shop or join another firm. But having a persistent relationship with familiar faces outside of work can ease the transitions between jobs and tip off job hunters to new positions.
To read the entire article click on the title above for a link.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Terrorist on the Run!

New documents captured from the Terrorist in Iraq prove that they are loosing the war and only the anti war left can win it for them! According to the Associated Press:

The document said the insurgency was being hurt by, among other things, the U.S. military's program to train Iraqi security forces, by massive arrests and seizures of weapons, by tightening the militants' financial outlets, and by creating divisions within its ranks.

"Generally speaking and despite the gloomy present situation, we find that the best solution in order to get out of this crisis is to involve the U.S. forces in waging a war against another country or any hostile groups," the document said, as quoted by al-Maliki's office.

According to the summary, insurgents were being weakened by operations against them and by their failure to attract recruits. To give new impetus to the insurgency, they would have to change tactics, it added.

Now if we can only teach the Associated Press to call them by their true name "TERRORST" and not "insurgents"

(For a link to the AP news story click on the title above)

House Resolution 861, Stand Fast in Iraq! ( Updated)

Today and tomorrow the United States House of Representatives is debating House Resolution 861 which is as follows:

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror, whether as first responders protecting the homeland, as servicemembers overseas, as diplomats and intelligence officers, or in other roles;

(2) honors the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the Coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or been wounded in the struggle, and honors as well the sacrifices of their families and of others who risk their lives to help defend freedom;

(3) declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;

(4) declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq;

(5) congratulates Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the Iraqi people on the courage they have shown by participating, in increasing millions, in the elections of 2005 and on the formation of the first government under Iraq's new constitution;

(6) calls upon the nations of the world to promote global peace and security by standing with the United States and other Coalition partners to support the efforts of the Iraqi and Afghan people to live in freedom; and

(7) declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.

If the Democrats want to cut and run or set a time table to cut and run, now is the time for them to go on record and vote against this resolution. Will they follow Hillary Clinton who says she is against setting a deadline for withdrawal or John Murtha who wants an immediate withdrawal or Nancy Palosi who wants to set a timetable for withdrawal? Will the Democrats ever be able to reconcile their differences and tell America where they stand on the War on Terrorism? America wants to know. Our allies want to know and the terrorist want to know. I will post the results after they vote.

(To read the entire resolution click on the title above for a link)

Today the Senate rejected a call for the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq by year's end.

The vote was 93-6 to shelve the proposal, which would have allowed "only forces that are critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces" to remain in 2007. The only votes in favor of an early cut and run from Iraq were John Kerry of Massachusetts(he served in Vietnam you know)Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Barbara Boxer of California, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Tom Harkin of Iowa, and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.Apparently Kerry Introduced the resolution to curry favor with the anti war left of the Democratic party and the Republicans in the Senate called his bluff and put it to a quick vote and made him look foolish which is not hard to do.He was just going to introduce the resolution and didn't expect that it would actually come to a vote any time soon.


The House on Friday handily rejected a timetable for pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq, culminating a fiercely partisan debate between Republicans and Democrats feeling the public's apprehension about war and the onrushing midterm campaign season.

In a 256-153 vote that mirrored the position taken by the Senate earlier, the GOP-led House approved a nonbinding resolution that praises U.S. troops, labels the Iraq war part of the larger global fight against terrorism and says an "arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment" of troops is not in the national interest.
"Retreat is not an option in Iraq," declared House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. "Achieving victory is our only option ... We have no choice but to confront these terrorists, win the war on terror and spread freedom and democracy around the world." 42 Democrats voted for the resolution and only 3 Republicans voted against it. Why does the press always feature those three Republicans and we never hear about the 42 Democrats?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

U.S. Will Succeed In Iraq, Say Majority of Americans

Liberal bias in the Media.... you bet! James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal nails CBS News for their latest show of liberal bias. Dan Rather may be gone but his ghost remains. The column is as follows:

Here's a lovely example of liberal media bias: A CBS poll finds that 60% of Americans say it's likely "that the United States will ultimately find success in Iraq," and more than 50% say "Iraq will eventually become a stable democracy."

So is the headline, "Majority of Americans Foresee Success in Iraq"? Nope, it's "Poll: Zarqawi Death Has Little Impact." CBS chose to play up this finding:

Half think the level of violence in Iraq will be unchanged by Zarqawi's death, while 30 percent say it will actually lead to more attacks against U.S. forces. Just 16 percent think the number of attacks will decrease as a result of his death.

Sixty-one percent also say Zarqawi's death won't have any impact on the terrorist threat against the United States, while 22 percent it will increase that threat. Thirteen percent predict a decreased risk of terrorism.

In some sense this all doesn't matter--after all, these are just opinions, mostly held by people who have no more than a passing knowledge of Iraq. But CBS insists on emphasizing those results that make it appear as if Americans agree with the "liberal," anti-Iraq point of view.

Of course, this doesn't really serve the interests of liberals, since it reinforces their prejudices by misleading them into thinking most Americans share them. If most Americans think Iraq will succeed, is that going to lead them to vote for a party that is rallying around a defeatist like John Murtha?

Karl Rove Wins!

The Special Prosecutor has determined he will not charge Karl Rove with a crime out of the CIA leaks case. Now Rove can devote all of his time to defeating Democrats. It's a sad day for the American Left, their fantasy was to see Rove dragged off in hand cuffs. Al-Zarqawi dead, Rove innocent and a Kennedy pleads guilty to DUII... what a week! (Click on the title above for a link to the news story)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Over 800 state and local governments have hired DC Lobbyist

From Business Week :
More than 800 state and local governments, or their arms, employed a lobbyist on Capitol Hill in 2005, some more than one, according to a count done for BusinessWeek by the Web site Municipalities can't be blamed "for seeing more and more [earmarked] projects and saying, 'we're going to do everything in our power to line up with that,"' says Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.). In fiscal 2006, Congress passed bills containing more than 12,000 earmarks; as recently as 1998, the number was just over 2,000.
( click on title above for link to rest of news story)

Democrat Loves "earmarks"

From the Sun Gazette:
If Democrats win back control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran said he would use his position in the majority to help funnel more funds to his Northern Virginia district.

Moran, D-8th, told those attending the Arlington County Democratic Committee's annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner on June 9 that while he in theory might oppose the fiscal irresponsibility of “earmarks” - funneling money to projects in a member of Congress's district - he understands the value they have to constituents.

"When I become chairman [of a House appropriations subcommittee], I'm going to earmark the shit out of it," Moran buoyantly told a crowd of 450 attending the event.

Colorful language and campaign hyperbole aside, Moran has a lot to gain if Democrats topple the GOP's 12-year control of the House. His relative seniority of eight terms would make him a powerful member of any Democratic majority.
( To read the rest of the news story click on the title above for a link)

"Club Gitmo"

From Rich Galen and his Mullings Column:

Most papers carried the suicides of three of the murderers being held in Guantánamo, which was presented as a bad thing.

The New York Times version, written by James Risen and Tim Golden, had a fact I had not previously known: "There have been 41 suicide attempts by 25 detainees since the facility opened."

Three guys committing suicide on the same night is probably not a coincidence. Maybe they wanted to join Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. If so, I'm glad they got their wish.

In case - like me - you didn't grasp how dreadful this was, a guy from Amnesty International helped us understand by saying, "People [at Guantánamo] have been indefinitely detained for five years without any prospect of ever going home, or ever seeing their families, or ever being charged, or having any resolution."

Ok, hold that thought.

The AP's Lee Keath wrote a piece about a statement which was released by al-Qaida in Iraq. al-Qaida (about whose members, Amnesty International is so concerned) "vowed Sunday to carry out 'major attacks,' insisting it was still powerful after the death of leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi" and saying "it 'renews its allegiance' to Osama bin Laden."

The statement went on to say al-Qaida is preparing "major attacks that will shake the enemy like an earthquake and rattle them out of sleep."

Where are Amnesty International's crocodile tears for the thousands of absolutely innocent people who have been killed by al-Qaida around the world? What had they been charged with? What about their families? What about their prospects of "ever going home?"

Let's extend this Guantánamo suicide thing to its logical conclusion: If all al-Qaida members worldwide killed themselves on the same day in a paroxysm of martyrdom, would the world would be a better place or not?

I agree.
(for the rest of Rich Galen's column click on the title above for a link.)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

John Wayne - American Original

John Wayne died 27 years ago today. I still remember what I was doing when I heard the news. Shawn Black speaks for me when he says:
"Every June, I am reminded by the life and death of a man who became an Integral part of not only our family, but America as well. On June 11, 1979, America mourned the passing of John Wayne.

The life and legacy of John Wayne, continues to take center stage in the lives and hearts of Americans everywhere. Millions of veterans, volunteers and families continue to emulate Duke's example of strength, courage and quiet dignity.

Like so many Americans before him, he was the child of Irish Immigrants. As a young man, he became devoted to hard work, hope and dreams. He threw newspapers as a boy, and achieved a USC football scholarship, until a shoulder injury changed his fate.

Then he did something ordinary and hard working Americans did in that era.

He dusted himself off and got back on his horse.

During the nation's great depression era, he worked his way up from the bottom of Hollywood "B" movies. He labored hard as a prop man for the film studios and hired hand. His dedication became a nation's destiny and when he caught the eye of Director John Ford. The rest is history.

As John Ford hammered, chiseled, and polished this American original, John Wayne realized that his American characters (and their importance) were as big and wide as Monument Valley. His roles were shaped by his personal values and became an integral part of his life. And along the way, they became a part of America as well.

From his roles as Captain and Calvary leader Nathan Brittles and Lt. Col. Kirby York, The Duke became a symbol of American Steel and stalwart service.

The Duke"s legacy and his portrayal of American virtues became known throughout the World. From Nikita Khrushchev to Emperor Hirohito, they discovered that John Wayne's America was indeed the embodiment of the American character.

And that's why for over twenty five years, the Duke has remained on the top ten lists of popular actors. Nobody has even come close to this posthumous achievement. They never will.

It was the football injury that dashed the Duke's dream of Annapolis and serving in the Military. Once again, he turned disappoint into devoted duty. He accepted his calling and enlisted in our nation's service in what would become a life long dedication to America's military.

When America needed him the most, he proudly served as America's goodwill ambassador and best known advocate. He poured himself into roles that exemplified America's strength, and commitment to defeating America’s enemies at home and abroad.

After World War Two and during the Cold War, John Wayne joined forces with Ronald Reagan. They boldly spoke out against the scourge of communism that had infiltrated Hollywood and the nation's college campuses. The Duke wasn't interested in U.N. Photo shoots, or using the film industry to undermine morals or family values. The Duke believed in substance, not style. And Hollywood could certainly learn a lesson from the Duke today.

He was a man who didn't draw attention to his midnight hospital visits with children suffering with cancer, or the time he flew into a Vietnamese war zone to rally American Troops. He loved America and America loved him.

Like "Sgt Stryker" in the sands of Iwo Jima, as children we all played "John Wayne". And along the way, millions of young men followed his cinematic example and joined the Armed Services. We grew from boys to men.

America learned from John Wayne how to be patriotic when being patriotic wasn'.t popular among the chic set. And four generations of our own military family experienced no greater joy during basic training, than foraging through Army C-rations in hope of discovering a "John Wayne" bar consisting of a chocolate and toffee confection.

Perhaps in this time of moral confusion, when everything that is right, is attacked as being wrong, we could use the wit and wisdom of Rooster Cogburn.

Today, America is rediscovering the Duke as we watch and reflect on his beloved roles, shaping our understanding of the heart and character of service.

In his closing years on earth, someone asked the Duke how he wanted to be remembered. He said "Feo, Fuerte y Formal" A Spanish proverb meaning "He was ugly, strong and had dignity" And recently I asked the beautiful Co-Star of John Wayne, Mrs. Maureen O'Hara, if she had any comments to proclaim on her long friendship with John Wayne. She simply said "There's not much more I can say, than I have already said in the past…. He was John Wayne -American."

Shawn Black is a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division and former Federal Agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He counded Project Prayer Flag. His website is here."

Shawn Black

Friday, June 09, 2006

News Media Downplays Death of Zarqawi

The American, Main Stream Media were less then enthused about the U.S. killing of al-Zarqawi because it hurt their not so subtle campaign against the war in Iraq and George W Bush. For a detailed analysis of the Main Stream Media's reaction the Blog says:

"If Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and all of al Qaeda's leaders in Iraq and throughout the world laid down their arms and surrendered to American forces, would the media report it as good news?

Judging from the initial press reaction to the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq by the American military on Wednesday, the answer appears to be no.

In fact, this tepid response to the death of the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq; a man who has at times in the past couple of years been depicted as more vital to this terrorist network than the currently in-hiding bin Laden; suggests quite disturbingly that America's media are fighting a different war than America's soldiers.

According to NewsBusters, CNN's senior editor for Arab affairs Octavia Nasr said the following about Zarqawi's death on ;American Morning; Thursday:

"Some people say it will enrage the insurgency, others say it will hurt it pretty bad. But if you think about the different groups in Iraq, you have to think that Zarqawi's death is not going to be a big deal for them."

However, CNN didn't always feel that Zarqawi's death or capture would be so inconsequential. Just days after Saddam Hussein was found in his spider hole, Paula Zahn brought CNN national correspondent Mike Boettcher on to discuss a new threat in Iraq. Zahn began the December 15, 2003 segment:

"The capture of Saddam Hussein may lead to renewed attention on the search for Osama bin Laden and other terrorists, and next to bin Laden, there is one man emerging as a major threat. He is believed to be the leader of a group much like al Qaeda, and the U.S. wants to catch him before he strikes again"

Boettcher entered the discussion:

"The reward for his capture is only a fifth of that offered for Saddam Hussein, $5 million to Saddam's $25 million, but abu-Mus'ab al- Zarqawi, say Middle East intelligence analysts, is emerging as the most dangerous terrorist conducting operations in Iraq, the surrounding region, and perhaps the world."

Subsequent to this report, Zarqawi's reward was raised to $25 million, meaning that the importance of his capture increased fivefold. Mysteriously, CNN didn't see it that way, as, in its view, the death of what was once described as "the most dangerous terrorist in perhaps the world" somehow became "no big deal."

At roughly the same time as Nasr was downplaying Zarqawi's death on CNN, ABC's Good Morning America was replaying an interview with the liberal activist father of one of the men Zarqawi actually beheaded, American Nicholas Berg. At the conclusion of the video, correspondent Bill Weir stated the following as reported by NewsBusters:

"And we did speak with Nick Berg's father this morning and he says he takes no satisfaction in news of Zarqawi's death there. In fact, he denounces the killing as yet another death in a never ending cycle of retribution and death there as well. And he has been a rather vocal, harsh critic of the Bush administration for, you know, invading this country in the first place and he expressed that again this morning."

A little later on Good Morning America, Diane Sawyer invited perennial Bush-basher Richard Clarke on to solicit his opinion of Zarqawi's death. As reported by NewsBusters, Sawyer asked, "[Is] it any safer in Iraq and will the war end any sooner?" Clarke responded:

"Well, unfortunately the answer is no. This man was a terrible man. He was a symbol of terrorism. He was the face of terrorism, the only real name we knew of an insurgent leader in Iraq. But he commanded only a few hundred people out of tens of thousands involved in the insurgency. And so, unfortunately for the loved ones of troops over in Iraq, this is not going to mean a big difference."

Click on the title above for a link to the rest of NewsBusters media analysis of the Main Stream media's reaction to al-Zarqawi's death.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

U.S. KILLS al-Zarqawi ......YES!!!!!!

The United States killed al-Zarqawi and he lived long enough to know who killed him before he went to hell! Osama Bin Laden ....Your NEXT! (to read the news story on the killing of al-Zarqawi click on the title above for a link)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Republican Bilbray Wins!

The Democrats had hoped to pick up a congressional seat in California after the Republican congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham plead guilty to bribery and was sent to prison. Didn't happen! The Democrats campaigned on the "culture of corruption" but one bad apple does not a political party make and the voters know it. Yesterday in the special election to replace Cunningham the Republicans held the seat in the 50th California Congressional District (northern San Diego). This morning on Good Morning America they barely mentioned the outcome and did not even mention that Bilbray was a Republican. If the Democrats had won they would have led off with the story and talked about how it was a preview of a Democratic "take over" of the US House in the fall election . They would have brought in former Clinton strategist George Stephanopoulus (now ABC's chief Washington Correspondent) to crow about the results and talk about how it was a bellwether for the fall. But not today..... no Stephanopoulus! The Republicans won so it was a non story. The Democratic candidate , Francine Busby, made a big mistake in the final days of the campaign and told a Hispanic audience that they could vote even if they were not US Cistizens. Her exact words were: "Everybody can help. You can all help. You don't need papers for voting, you don't need to be a registered voter to help."

The Democrats are trying to spin this as a moral victory because Busby beat John Kerry's vote in 2004. As National review says"

The glass isn't half full. It's half full with magical water:

This morning, Democrats are pointing out that national Republicans were forced to spend millions on this race in a GOP-leaning district, and that Busby outperformed John Kerry (who got 44% in the district in 2004) while Bilbray underperformed Bush. "In an election cycle that is shaping up to be a change vs. the status quo contest, Francine Busby has shown that a strong change message can make even former members of Congress vulnerable in deeply red Republican districts," House Democratic campaign spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg tells First Read.

The DCCC is giddy over a 1.5% increase in Busby's tally over Kerry? Money will talk. Let's see if the DCCC keeps the cash register open for Busby in November.

That's right, there will be a repeat of this race in November because this special election was only to fill out the remainder of Cunningham's term.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Dogs for the Deaf Dog Walk

One of my favorite charitable activities is working for Dogs for the Deaf an organization based here in southern Oregon that trains dogs to assist people who are deaf. The dogs are able to warn the deaf person if the door bell or telephone rings or for example if a baby cries. They place dog's all over the country at no charge. They also save many dogs from the "Dog Pound." I have been helping this organization with their legal issues for the last 30 years. Today they had their annual "dog walk" which is their main local fundraiser. They ask me to be the "Grand Marshall" of the event. I was sort of like the pace car at the Indy 500.I carried a big flag and led the 300 or so people with their dogs around the park to start off the three mile dog walk. I saw four English Bull Dogs which reminded me of our "first child" Winnie. Some day before I die I will own another English Bull Dog. In any case it was a lot of fun. Afterwards my wife and I went to Starbucks and then on to Barnes & Noble and I bought a biography on Teddy Roosevelt.

Duffin for the Ducks

Every year the Oregon Club of Southern Oregon puts on a golf tournament and dinner/auction to raise money for University of Oregon athletics. This year, it was held yesterday at the Rogue Valley Country Club in Medford Oregon. Mike Belotti, Oregon's head football coach and others from the Oregon Athletic Department came down to Medford for the golf tournament. I am on the Board of Directors of the Oregon Club here in southern Oregon and I am in charge of the silent auction and the setting up of the dinner/auction on the day of the event. Since I don't golf I set up the silent auction while the golfers are out on the golf course. This year we had over 60 items of Duck clothing and other items. We also have an oral auction that follows dinner and a drawing for door prizes. This is our clubs main fundraiser for the year. Coach Belotti gave us a review of last season and a preview of the 2006 football season. I take the entire day off from work and worked from 9 AM till 9:30PM setting up and helping to run the event; but, it was a lot of fun. It's always fun when Ducks get together. My son and wife also came by and helped which I really appreciate This was our 21st year of having this fundraiser. Go Ducks!