Monday, April 17, 2006

Monday evening rant

Actually, I typed this rant this morning before I had my first cup of coffee. I was thinking about what the hell is wrong with the world. Why is everyone acting crazy, helping (or refusing to act) with respect to Iran acquiring nukes, whipping up hatred of the US (and Israel), and generally acting against their best interests?

I think the answer is that Europe, Russia, and China want to see an end to US dominance, both economic and military. I don’t see a conspiracy; rather a group of independent actors all joined by a common goal: kneecap the US.

Because of our military end economic strength, the rest of the world has come to rely on the US to take the lead in dealing with military problems. However, every time the US takes action unilaterally, it makes us less popular. Also, the cost of acting unilaterally weakens us economically and emotionally. So, what better way to cut the US down to size than to allow us to exhaust ourselves?

So Europe, Russia and China help some third world country become an unacceptable risk to world stability and peace, then refuse to act. The US will eventually be forced to act, if just out of the need for self preservation. After we act, the rest of the world can easily condemn us (though they would secretly take a sigh of relief just as they did after Israel took out the Iraqi nuclear program in the early 80s).

Think of the world as a dysfunctional family. The last thing the kids want is for the parents to be able to easily control the household. The more they keep the parents tied up dealing with problems, the more freedom the kids have to do what they want.

It is a reinforcing cycle of trouble…the more we act, the less popular we are (which is good for those governments that want to use us as their boogeyman). So, Europe and Russia and China keep stirring up trouble then sit on the sidelines. The US asks for help…and gets none. So the US acts alone; the problem is solved and our enemies get to build up THEIR popular support by condemning us.

When I am tired and angry, I sometimes think that we should adopt a less gentle approach to the world. Perhaps we should become isolationist for 20 or 30 years…with the understanding that at the end of that time, the world will in serious trouble and that strong action will be needed. Allow the rest of the world to go to hell.

We would only allow a few events force us out of our shell (e.g. if Iran or their surrogates nuke Israel or the US, then we respond with an overwhelming nuclear and conventional retaliation that leaves 90% of the Persian population dead). Nuke them, then send in our military forces to route out the last elements of their nuclear programs. We don’t go there to put in a stable government, we just go in to disarm them. Then we leave. Reconstruction is not our concern.

If Europe won’t resist Islamification, then let them become majority Muslim countries and experience Islam’s approach to multiculturalism. At some point, the expanding Muslim world will become a greater threat to China and Russia than it will be to us. Then, and only then, will they join us in the good fight. That would be the time for us to come out of our shell, kick ass, and take names.

This is not a serious proposal…I am just venting my frustration. The coming WW III could see over a billion people die; yet the rest of the world is so consumed with seeing the US brought down to size that they eagerly assist enemies of world peace. So perhaps we should withdraw from the world but, unlike the time between WW I and WW II, we don’t let our military forces atrophy. Instead, we recognize that the time will come when we will have to fight a major war…we continue to modernize and build up our military forces…we just keep them here. Or maybe we focus on keeping the Americas as a save haven (use our military to keep things stable in Central and South America…just so that they don’t lose their edge).

Oil prices will go through the roof…we would have to accept this (and it might encourage us to finally develop energy sources that will not enrich the Arabs or Hugo Chavez). Indeed, nothing would satisfy me more than for us to blast the Iranian and Venezuelan oil production facilities…destroy their economies and show them that their aggressive words have consequences.

Oh, we enforce STRICT limits on European immigration. I don’t want those cowardly weenies to move here after letting the Muslims take over their countries. Let them live under Sharia.

OK, no need to tell me what is wrong with all this. Sometimes it is a healthy exercise to vent out your unedited thoughts, then seriously look at what is wrong with them. That is why PC is such an evil, pernicious concept…if we are afraid to make interesting, challenging (and ultimately WRONG) proposals, we will never be able to find solutions to the world’s problems.

So, dear reader, feel free to point out my mistakes.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Mean GREEN Machine


Submitted for your approval, a 1974 Volkswagen Superbeetle Convertible in Revenna Green. My family bought this car new (as a replacement for a similarly colored VW Beetle that was damaged in an accident with a Porche 914). The car stopped running in 1988 or so; I think the last time anyone drove it was when I took it to my highschool 10th reunion back in 1987 (it was a hit...everyone remembered the car).

It took a long time, but it has back in drivable condition. We had several years of restoration done to it. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done (lots of little plastic pieces that need to be replaced), but it is on the roads again.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Outrage at UC Santa Cruz [link]

This story is beyond the pale. Violent student protestors at UC Santa Cruz prevent the military from attending an on-campus job fair.

Four military recruiters hastily fled a job fair Tuesday morning at UC Santa Cruz after a raucous crowd of student protesters blocked an entrance to the building where the Army and National Guard had set up information tables.

Members of Students Against War, who organized the counter-recruiting protest, loudly chanted "Don't come back. Don't come back" as the recruiters left the hilltop campus, escorted by several university police officers.

"The situation had degraded to the point where there was a possibility of injury to either a student or law enforcement officer. We certainly didn't want that to happen,'' said Capt. Will Griffin, one of the Army recruiters.

University officials had been aware for weeks that Students Against War planned a protest to prevent military personnel from participating in the school's biannual job fair held for students.

And what steps did the university take in response to the fear of violent student protests? Why, they separated the military recruiters from the rest of the job fair. Supposedly, this was so the rest of the job fair could go off without interruption. But it also made it easier for the protestors to target and disrupt the military recruiting.

Universities that receive federal funds are required to allow military recruiters on campus. But campus officials had worried that Tuesday's protest would get out of hand as it had last April, when Students Against War protesters surrounded the table where military personnel sat, and hundreds of other demonstrators engaged in an angry protest outside. Some of the recruiters reported that their tires had been slashed and one employee at the career center was injured.

David Kliger, campus provost and executive vice chancellor, said the school was most concerned Tuesday about safety issues, but also wanted to preserve access to the recruiters for students who wanted to speak with them, while still allowing protesting students their right to free speech.

Kliger said officials had tried to engage the anti-war student group in discussions in the weeks leading up to the fair. But when talks broke down, officials began privately hoping for rain and brought in extra police.

The rain probably accounted for a decidedly smaller turnout -- about 100 students compared with about 300 a year earlier.

Still, the Army's Griffin said he sensed that some of the students were "looking for action" and decided to pack up their table before things got out of hand and someone got injured.

Students Against War members said they were pleased that their counter-recruiting effort forced the military personnel off campus, at least for the time being.

"We're saying it's not OK to recruit on high school campuses, it's not OK to recruit on university campuses,'' Marla Zubel, a UC Santa Cruz senior and member of Students Against War, said. "In order to stop the war, you have to make it more difficult to wage war."

One would think that protests this disruptive would violate rules for student conduct. One would think that these protestors should be identified and punished by the university. Gee...if a high school student in that area points a finger as if it is a gun, he gets suspended or expelled.

Frankly, if I were the dean in charge of student discipline, I would have all of these protestors up on academic charges. After appropriate due process, I would have them expelled and their academic records erased.


The link above takes you to the website for Mountain States Legal Foundation which is making a request to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to cut off federal funds to UC Santa Cruz.

The university should not be allowed to pretend to comply with the Supreme Court's decision in FAIR so that it can continue to suck at the public teat while allowing protestors to shut down military recruiting. At a minimum, the university should uphold its standards for student behavior and punish students who "cross the line." Failure by the university to do so indicates a failure to abide by Federal law and they should suffer the consequences.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Washington Post Defends President's Actions [link]

Ok, I wrote below that the Administration did nothing wrong when it authorized the disclosure of information in the national intelligence estimate. You may not believe me, but how about the editiorial page of the Washington Post?

In a column entitled, "A Good Leak," the Post writes:

PRESIDENT BUSH was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons. Presidents are authorized to declassify sensitive material, and the public benefits when they do. But the administration handled the release clumsily, exposing Mr. Bush to the hyperbolic charges of misconduct and hypocrisy that Democrats are leveling.

Rather than follow the usual declassification procedures and then invite reporters to a briefing -- as the White House eventually did -- Vice President Cheney initially chose to be secretive, ordering his chief of staff at the time, I. Lewis Libby, to leak the information to a favorite New York Times reporter. The full public disclosure followed 10 days later. There was nothing illegal or even particularly unusual about that; nor is this presidentially authorized leak necessarily comparable to other, unauthorized disclosures that the president believes, rightly or wrongly, compromise national security. Nevertheless, Mr. Cheney's tactics make Mr. Bush look foolish for having subsequently denounced a different leak in the same controversy and vowing to "get to the bottom" of it.

I always assign extra credibility when a source is generally hostile to a comment's subject. The Post has been reliably hostile to the Bush Administration. This column is not without its barbs, but it provides a clear statement that there is nothing behind this story, regardless of how much the liberal Dems and the Kos-sacks complain.

The Post seems to be embarrassed by its past association with Joe Wilson. In discussing the investigation by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the Post writes:

In last week's court filings, [Fitzgerald] stated that Mr. Bush did not authorize the leak of Ms. Plame's identity. Mr. Libby's motive in allegedly disclosing her name to reporters, Mr. Fitzgerald said, was to disprove yet another false assertion, that Mr. Wilson had been dispatched to Niger by Mr. Cheney. In fact Mr. Wilson was recommended for the trip by his wife. Mr. Libby is charged with perjury, for having lied about his discussions with two reporters. Yet neither the columnist who published Ms. Plame's name, Robert D. Novak, nor Mr. Novak's two sources have been charged with any wrongdoing.

As Mr. Fitzgerald pointed out at the time of Mr. Libby's indictment last fall, none of this is particularly relevant to the question of whether the grounds for war in Iraq were sound or bogus. It's unfortunate that those who seek to prove the latter would now claim that Mr. Bush did something wrong by releasing for public review some of the intelligence he used in making his most momentous decision.

Hopefully this "scandal" will pass into oblivion. But, the tin-foil-hat brigades will add this to their litany of "sins" committed by this White House.

scary story [link]

Writer Dan Simmons wrote an interesting and frightening story the other day. Last time I checked, it was virtually impossible to visit his website to read it. But the site seems to be working now.

In his story, a visitor from the future visits Simmons to warn him about the dangers that militant Islam poses...and that militant Islam could WIN the coming war if we fail to devote ourselves to victory.

Read it!

Much ado about nothing [link]

The main stream media is all abuzz about the news that President Bush may have authorized Libby Lewis to reveal information from a (subsequently declassified) national intelligence estimate back in 2003. Of course, the MSM wants us to equate the authorized release of formerly classified information with the leaking of Valerie Plame's name.

What was happening? Well, what the MSM won't tell us is that the White House was endeavoring to respond to Joe Wilson's lies about his Niger mission. The Administration authorized the release of accurate information in an effort to block the spread of Joe Wilson's lies.

But now the MSM, with a little careful word juxtaposition, is accusing President Bush of being a hypocrite...saying that he opposed the leaking of classified material when he was authorizing leaks that would benefit him. There is a difference between a "leak" and an authorized release of information...a difference that the MSM wants us to ignore.

Well, thank heavens for the blogosphere. At least SOME people will have a chance to see the truth.

Austin Bay has an excellent analysis of this issue. Follow the link above.