Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hitting Home: American Refugees

Today as I was watching coverage of the devastation and tragedy in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast I thought "This doesn't even look like America. It's just not something we see in this country. And "refugees"? Refugees in America?! It's just unimaginable"

And just now on CNN, Aaron Brown got choked up on the same word. It's hard to comprehend using the word "Refugee" to describe an American right here in our own country.

Please join in prayer, not only for the families and their suffering, but for the rescue efforts that are going on from the military to the police to the normal every day folks who are themselves survivors but are now going around and rescuing others. As darkness is covering New Orleans, rescue efforts will be even slower. Prayers are needed. well as donations.

You can call

to donate to the Red Cross.

for the Salvation Army.

Tomorrow is blog relief day. As I heard a few reference on TV tonight, we gave over 1 billion dollars to help people on the other side of the world, how much are we willing to give to those in our own country. Because how many other countries do we really think are going to have telethons to raise money for America?

Here is a list of participating blogs as well as many helpful charities to whom you can contribute.

More on this tomorrow. Tonight, prayer. It's an unbelievable situation that is impossible for some of us to even begin to understand. But God understands and He can bring comfort and peace beyond all understand.

UPDATE:Tonight (9/1) NBC's Brian Williams shared that he had said to a co-worker "When we get back to the states..." and then realized that they were in America. It didn't look like the America they had known, but it was America just the same.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

One and not the other

I've enjoyed Tucker Carlson's new show, The Situation, on MSNBC for the last few weeks (not as much lately, since it moved to 11pm) but unfortunately watching it means I also have to hear quite a bit from Rachel Maddow. While I do give her credit for being intelligent and well spoken, she's also pretty arrogant about some things and, well, blatantly liberal. The Ranger took her to task this week for refusing to condemn Hugo Chavez in the same breath as Pat Robertson.

I think Tucker was absolutely right about what he said. And I also think that, in the Ranger's post, the word "fame" in the prepositional phrase "of Air America fame" should be in quotes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Don't you just love to vote?

Especially when you don't have to drive anywhere or walk past people trying to hand you nail files and magnets with local candidates names on them? :)

Anyway, Patrick Ruffini is running a political straw poll and trying to use it to get a statistically valid* sample. You can view the results (even without voting)by state, region or blog, by red or blue. It could have quite the value, as Hugh Hewitt said:

If the blogs can generate reliable results through professionals like Ruffini, the end-run around MSM and its biased poll taking is complete.

And really, who doesn't want to complete an end-run around the MSM?

Speaking of football - or really...speaking of not speaking of it, Hugh also had this to say:

There's an alarming amount of Eagles blogging going on at Galley Slaves. Don't they realize that the Tribe is now tied for the wild card spot in the American League, rendering all football blogging premature?

That's right. The Tribe! Oh....yeah... :)

And the article Hugh links to there has the following headings:
Indians bring out bats
Five homers plenty as Tribe moves into virtual tie for wild-card berth


UPDATE: In deference to Rick Brady's vastly superior knowledge and experience in the field of statistics and polling, I changed "significant" to "valid" in my writing above.
Thanks again Rick :)

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Box 44: Pro Bono (2)

ProBono, seems like a simple thing, but I would rather call it:
For Sale: White House
It's my last Adopt a box assignment. I enjoyed this whole process though, but I must say if anyone else reads through these boxes and finds sometimes I missed, please email me or leave a comment. I would really appreciate it.

This last box has both interesting cases and nice perspectives on John Roberts. However, this mostly all took place in 1984, and with reelection looming, I'm guessing it influenced the docket though. But it didn't influence John Roberts. He presents the best legal argument in each case. Even in a case that may be politically helpful for the President, Roberts seems to agree only after the legal concerns are addressed. He's also concerned not just for technicalities of law but about things that may appear illegal even if they are not. And sometimes, he agrees that the best thing to do is not say anything - especially when someone threatens to put a lien against the sale of the White House.

But if you are interested in some more detail, then here it is:

1. New York County Lawyers Association
Memo from Roberts to Fred Fielding - 1/25/84 (p.3)
Roberts simply described a letter to the President regarding a report from the Assoc. on HR 4043. Apparently the bill was proposed to be amended by the House Committee on Science & Technology and the Association wanted to recommend additional proposals for the bill.

The bill was the Administration's "proposal to encourage joint research by reducing risk of anti-trust liability and eliminating the threat of treble damages for such ventures."
The Association agreed with the bill and was now reiterating its agreement in a report, to help promote risky and expensive research in areas vital to the national interest. Roberts wants to send a letter thanking the association for its report and advised to have it sent to justice and commerce.

There are some more memos and letters sending the same thanks and information back and forth.
Then there is the Association's letter to the President (p.8) with the attached report (pp 9- 17). But, what exactly is a risky, expensive kind of venture? The report says that with competitive research and under existing law research on such things as a better ball point pen or plastic coffee cup would proceed quite well, but that encouragement - through anti-trust and other means - is needed for such research as "space industrialization," "desalting of seawater" and "non-polluting power sources."
Ethanol anyone?

The report then goes on to recommend various specifics to the bill. Basically they want the President to define such ventures that would benefit from joint research so that the R&D community would know that they may proceed with said research. The dear was apparently that if the research firms felt that there was a chance that existing legislation would shut down their work they wouldn't even look into it or start spending the money. This recommendations therefore, were in the name of more and more research, with specific federal backing. However, I do appreciate the fact that they expect the President to consult with the technology industry, the scientific community and relevant government agencies before deciding which research goals would fall under the new guidelines.

It goes on and on and on, cause really - it wasn't written by one lawyer, but rather an entire association of them. They do quote Winston Churchill though (p.11), with which one can rarely go wrong.

They also nicely summarized (and underlined) their conclusions on p.17. I won't restate them here because...I've stated them already.

2. Farmland Industries
Memo from Roberts to Fred Fielding - 2/6/84
Someone wants their opinions on a draft letter from President Reagan to Farmland Industries ("FI"). Apparently the president of FI wrote Reagan, urging him to support "expansion of the Commodity Credit Corporation credit guarantee program" on behalf of " '500,000 farm families' ".

Wow. Could this relate to ethanol and corn in Iowa in some way too? It is 1984 after all.

Roberts closes his memo having no objection to the letter and since it is written to the president and not the company itself, there is no endorsement of FI to be considered. However, as cited in a memo dated 2/1/84 - they all had good reason to believe that this letter from the President would be printed in the FI newsletter and sent to all 500,000 letters.

Like I said. Election year, 1984. But who can blame them for talking about it amongst themselves.

The draft (pp.23-25) is written in true Ronald Reagan style, which means it is nice to read - even with all the agriculture talk. :)

Pages 26-27 display FI's original letter and the resolution agreed upon by its members.

3. Go America, Inc. (pp.28-32)
Group of documents concerning an offer from the president of this private company wanted to allow the President to use the Go America symbol throughout government and industry. Roberts memo to Fred Fielding on 2/6/84 (p.28) says accepting such an offer would be inappropriate since Go America is not a 501(c)(3) [non-profit] organization. Therefore, the President's use of the symbol would be his endorsement of the marketing of a private company.

Fielding agrees and passes that along to the Special Assistant to the President (p.29) and then we can read the Go America letter itself (pp.31-32).

Roberts was right about this one and the Democrats certainly can't accuse him of asking the President to help a "greedy corporation."

4. A Lien against the White House? (pp.33-47)
This is really bizarre and I don't even know that I understand it, but apparently Earl C. Berger believed that the administration had failed to pay some damages due because of some litigation and on August 22, 1983 Berger wrote the following to Craig Fuller
I am preparing litigation looking forward to executing and selling the White House of our President, because the Order for Remand has not been properly honored or carried out.
But I am not averse to compromise, and payments due to the teachers and to myself, as their attorney.

He's "looking forward" to selling the White House? Is he serious with this?

Apparently he was because the next letter was to Fred Fielding saying:
Letters to Mr. Fuller go unacknowledged or acted on. He ought to advise Mr. Reagan that his forthcoming campagin (sic) by functionaires, but can be avoided simply

Lastly, an unsigned letter to Mr. Futrell, president of the NEA, that contains many random spelling errors as well as the history of this grievance (p.47). Be prepared though, the scanning is particularly sketchy here.

So what happened? I don't have much of a clue except that some teachers paid some fees and then lost them and then, you know, decided that the best thing to do was to sell the White House. Good plan, that.

The catch for someone looking for one in all this insanity: The 1974 case "spawned litigation involving substantial attorneys fees in which I had some involvement at Hogan and Hartson. I suggest, therefore, that this matter be reassigned to someone else on the staff" (p.35).

However that Hogan & Hartson attorney here is not Roberts but rather one David Waller. This was years before Roberts would be with H&H. So could someone make a connection there? Maybe, if they wanted it.

But I'm still wondering, did anyone manage to sell the White House?

That's it. End of Box.

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out)

Box 35: Piracy on the High Seas

..aka...Box 35:Pardons

I continue my Judge John Roberts Adopt a Box O'Docs assignment.

Again, nothing in this box to hurt Roberts. There's barely anything here written by Roberts himself - and what is there shows him to be cordial, helpful and adherent to protocol.

So, why write so much about this box? I was sucked in by all the talk of the "High Seas" ...

First subject in question of the Pardon: Ramiro De La Fe (who should really be known as Ramiro De La Fe et. al because there is a large group of defendants involved in the indictment, but apparently the pardon is only for De La Fe).

His warrant for arrest, dated July 26, 1967, is from Miami, Florida and requires Mr. De La Fe to "answer to an indictment charging him in conspiracy to commit piracy on the high seas; assault with a dangerous weapon; destruction of navigation appliances; unlawful boarding of a vessel on the high seas; in violation of Title 18, United States Code...."

Okay, first - piracy??
Second, "High Seas"? Is this some sort of technical nautical term?
Third, "Navigation appliances?" Appliances? So, something more than like a compass I guess?
Fourth, "High Seas"
And...fifth ...Piracy? Seriously?
We really need to get another name for that offense.

The indictment describes the conspirators plan to "commandeer a vessel" and take it to Cuba. Yes. Cuba. In 1967. Which makes it seem like a bigger offense. They planned to dismantle the radio (aka navigational appliance). In fact, they did indeed take the vessel using "dangerous weapons, that is, guns, with intent to do bodily harm" (p.15).
Finally, on that same page, "high seas" are defined here to mean "The Atlantic Ocean."

The Indictment doesn't indicate that De La Fe et. al. made it to Cuba, but they did get the vessel, using guns, take it to Florida and then take it away to the ocean again, at which points, one assumes, they were caught.

Now, that was 1967. All letters and memos included in this box are dated throughout 1983/1984.

Why 1983? Well, as a memo from David Stephenson, Acting Pardon Attorney to Fred Fielding, Counsel to the President explains -
On May 5, 1983 President Reagan approved a revision of the rules governing petitions for pardon and other forms of Executive clemency, the first revision since 1962.

So, new rules, that's why.

The memo explains the benefits of the new rules and then attaches the rules themselves, an obvious official description from the DOJ.

Anyway, most of the memos about this case written by Roberts himself that would have been in this box were restricted for reason "B6: Release would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."

Next case: fast forward to Nov.15, 1984 - A Roberts Letter on White House Stationary to "Mr. Goldsmith." (p.20)
Roberts says Goldsmith's letter was referred to him by Chief of Staff, James Baker. Apparently, Goldsmith was mad because he helped the US Attorney's Office and wasn't set free from custody afterward. He also said he had a pending pardon request. Roberts asks that Goldsmith understand the protocol matters here, saying that "it would be inappropriate for the White House to interfere in any way with the decision of the Parole Commission, or to interfere with the processing of your application before the Acting Pardon Attorney."

I think it was quite kind of Roberts to let Goldsmith know what was going on, not only that, but Roberts goes on to say that he referred Goldsmith's letter to the DOJ.

Next Memo from Roberts to Roger Clegg - Assoc. Deputy Attorney General (p.21)
Roberts forwarded letters from an inmate as well as his own reply to Clegg.
However, those other documents are not in the box. Just the memo.

Then there's a White House tracking sheet re: Goldsmith and then another restriction form with reason B6 cited again.

Finally, a letter dated 10/1/84 on Congress of the United States letterhead to the Parole Commission on behalf of Goldsmith from Peter W. Rodino. (p. 24-25)

Rodino (D-NJ) admits to not knowing Goldsmith personally, but here again is the mention of Goldsmith's cooperation, specifically with the DEA. For this, he should be freed apparently. Rodino's logic "One must conclude that Mr. Goldsmith's experience was at least equivalent to and far more severe than any incarceration could have been."


Personally, I think Congress should have followed Roberts' lead and stayed out of it. Roberts was correct to cite such protocol in matters of pardons. They are sensitive subjects and are best handled in the most careful way, without concern for congressional politics. And what was Goldsmith doing writing to a New Jersey Congressman? Did he send letters to all of Congress? Talk about a fishing expedition.

Last two papers in the box are restriction documents on parole hearings and testimonies citing both B6 and "B7: Release would disclose information compiled for law enforcement purposes" and also "C: Closed in accordance with restrictions contained in donor's deed of gift."

So as I said, nothing here to hurt Roberts. But could we hear about the "High Seas" one more time, please?? :)

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Iran Emergency in Box 29

I volunteered to Adopt a Box O Docs - Documents released by the Reagan Library concerning John Roberts' years in the White House Counsel's office. The program is organized by Hugh Hewitt & Generalissimo Duane.

My Assignment: Box 29 - Iran Emergency

Bottom Line: There's really nothing here that can hurt Roberts. He penned a few memos that basically passed along White House Counsel's legal OK on a report to Congress and an accompanying notice. If the Left accuses Roberts of not caring about commas, underlining, or basic math, then we can counter with these memos, otherwise there's not much to say.

The documents as a whole are interesting nonetheless, and so here is my full report:
The main document in this box is titled "National Emergency With Respect to Iran" or also "The Semi-Annual Report to Congress on Iran Emergency."

The report is included 3 different times, first on what looks like internal White House stationary (p.7-11), second in two-column format with the header "Administration of Ronald Reagan 1985/Apr 22" (p.12-14) and third on paper with the headline "THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary" (p.21-24).
Preceding the report is a notice, extending the state of emergency with Iran.

There are two memos to the President from Secretary of the Treasury James Baker. The first (p.6) advises the President that he must make this report to congress. The second (p.18) advises him that he must publish the notice in the Federal Register in order to be sure that the Nov 14, 1979 "declaration of national emergency with respect to Iran" not be allowed to expire on Nov 14, 1985. Sec Baker warns:

If the Iran emergency were allowed to lapse, the Government would be limited to existing measures regarding Iran. This could prevent you from taking steps necessary to implement the January 1981 agreements with Iran, from effectuating new settlements with Iran, or from protecting the interests of U.S. nationals with claims against Iran. It could also impair the Government's position in litigation involving Iran.

Who knew that seemingly insignificant small pieces of paper like a "notice" could be so important in the Government's foreign policy. I guess I just wonder whether James Baker was really concerned about the lapse or whether his memo was a matter of protocol.

The report itself discusses the trials going on at the tribunal and the various ways claims were decided one way or another. There were claims by individuals and organizations and various Government departments were also involved including Justice, Treasury and State concerning the Algiers Accords.

Either way, the report came from the White House and was given the Ok by Roberts and the Counsel's office, not the other way around.

Roberts himself wrote three memos for Staff Secretary David Chew.

1. November 12, 1985 (p.2) Roberts relays information from Treasury and State about stats in the report concerning the number of claimants and confirms a proposed change in language - moving from the date the Congress passed a bill (July 31) to the date the President signed it (Aug 16). These corrections were made by the final version of the report in this box on pages 21-24.

2. November 6, 1985 (p.3) This memo was obviously written first. It confirms Counsel's review of the report and request some changes. One involved a total number of small claimants. This change was not reflected in any version of the report. The other was the above stated change regarding the dates on the bill. Roberts states that the "legally significant date is the date the President signed the bill into law."

3. October 30, 1985 (p.15) This earliest memo concerns the notice of extending the Iran Emergency. Roberts stated that Counsel found "no objection from a legal perspective" but proposes some changes to punctuation "[s]oley in the interests of stylistic conformity with last year's notice." It's all about the commas and the underlining.

The final version of the report was released on November 13, 1985.

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out)

Monday, August 08, 2005

In Focus: Soldiers' Angles

If you've read blogs lately, listened to Hugh Hewitt or...well...done a lot of other things - you've probably heard about Soldiers' Angels.

Maybe you've even adopted a Soldier. If so, way to go!! :) But I know that I used to think that adopting a soldier and sending him or her packages and letters was the only thing I could do with this great organization - besides giving them money that is :)

Of course, adopting a soldier is always an option, and a great one. They give you the soldier's address and sometimes email and so you can communicate in a lot of ways.

But there are many other opportunities...

If you don't want to commit to a single soldier or can't afford the cost of sending packages, you can join the Soldiers' Angels Letter Writing Team. With the LWT, you pick a day on which you wish to receive a name - or two days (mine are Monday and Thursday) and each week on your chosen day(s), they send you the name and address of a soldier, and maybe something about them, and you send a card or letter.
In their words:
"Just once! No long term commitment, unless you find a
friend!!! If you are interested in joining the Letter Writing Team,
please contact Linda at"

This is a great program because even without sending packages, mail call is such an important time for the military, getting a surprise note of support from back home is such an encouragement - and sometimes, they write you back!! :)

Now, if you don't want to send mail and buy stamps, but obviously have email (you're reading this right?) you can join the "E-Squad - Email Support Team"
It's easy. You write to SA, tell them you want to join, they write you back with an email address and you start emailing. No cost and not much time commitment. You can write the emails while you are waiting for the Stones Cry Out page to load...and perhaps, refresh :)
For more information, email Mel at

Here are some other opportunities, as described by Soldiers' Angels themselves:

Adopt Another Soldier
Whether your soldier is still fighting for our freedoms or has already come home, we need angels to volunteer to adopt another soldier! It is heartbreaking to hear stories of soldiers who never get to hear their name called at mail call. We need to make sure that this doesn't happen!!! Countless soldiers have told us the joy they felt when their name was called at mail call, and then to find that someone they
didn't even know had taken it upon themselves to adopt them and provide support to them. Some have cried. If you can adopt a new soldier today, email us at

Wounded TLC Team
Have a special place in your heart for our heroes who have been wounded in the line of duty? The Wounded TLC Team is exactly what you have been looking for. These brave men and women have sacrificed so much and could use some real encouragement! If you have a heart for these soldiers, please contact Elaine at

And still more teams available which you can find out about by visiting the message boards.

For any other Soldiers' Angles questions you can email them directly at They are great about giving whatever information you need. They are there to help you help the Military :)

Really, I can't stress enough how a simple letter can make a difference. Last week I got the name of a soldier in a remote area of Afghanistan, many of the troops serving with him don't get any mail and they are asking for simple things like socks, batteries and letters. So I'll be sending him an envelope full of cards addressed to "any soldier" so that he can hand them out to the people in need. If you have extra stationary and note cards lying around, this is an awesome use of those resources :)

Please consider these opportunities to say Thank you to the soldiers. They will be so thankful to you :)

(Cross-posted at StonesCryOut)

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Israeli Terrorist

On Thursday, a deserter from the Israeli army opened fire on a bus in Galilee, and killed 4 Israeli Arabs (including the bus driver). Then the people on the bus and a crowd from the outside (because the bus was stopped) surrounded the gunman and began to beat him with stones. The mob was over 200 strong and the gunman was killed.

There are many issues here, the first being how this is covered in the press, since it was an Israeli gunman fighting for Israeli rights. Here are some quotes from the Boston Globe:
The attack was one of the deadliest by an Israeli on Palestinian civilians in years, and it followed predictions by security services that some opponents of the Gaza withdrawal would take extreme measures to prevent it as the Aug. 17 starting date approaches. In particular, Israeli authorities have said, opponents might launch attacks on Palestinians to draw reprisals against Israelis and reignite fighting between the two sides -- perhaps forcing the government to reconsider the plan.

I don't know, but I don't think that Palestinians need an excuse to blow up Israelis. Let me be clear that I think this man was wrong to open fire on this bus and I have no sympathy for him. But the Globe seems to be showing more sympathy for Palestinians as victims in this one paragraph than the press as a whole has ever shown to Israeli victims.

However, they are kind enough to include this quote:
Many settlers and their supporters plan to resist soldiers and police officers sent to remove residents. But leaders of the main settlement movement have vowed not to resort to violence.

"Such incidents cannot be part of the democratic struggle in Israel," a settler leader, Bentsi Lieberman, said to reporters near the Gaza Strip, where thousands have protested in recent days.

It's clear that Israelis understand they can't resort to violence in their protests - terrorist style violence anyway. I would like to see some recognition of the fact that Israelis themselves are stepping up to say that what this Israeli gunman did was wrong. Why is this so hard for Arabs to understand?

Here is Prime Minister Sharon's statement, condemning the attack. It's good to know that Sharon condemns all terrorist attacks, even the Israeli ones. As James Taranto said yesterday:
In the typical terrorist attack by Palestinian Arabs, Palestinian officials, if they criticize it at all, do so only on the ground that it's counterproductive, and the parents usually hail their child's "martyrdom." So, while Jewish terrorists are every bit as despicable as Arab ones, Israel's response to this atrocity shows that Jewish civilization is vastly superior to its Arab counterpart.

I agree. Jewish civilization is superior to Arab civilization. It's more respectable to not honor terrorists or superficially condemn them just because they share your race. However, what sort of "civility" do we see in Israel if a crazy mob comes and kills someone like that? I understand that the Israeli people live in constant threat of a bus bomber, that they have for years and that they've pretty much had it with terrorists in their country. They started fighting this war against terror years before September 11. But does all of this necessitate the crazy mob mentality?
I mean, even if, right after 9/11, a similar thing had happened on a New York bus, right near Ground Zero, would we see this kind of mob? Would we see Americans beating a gunman to death, rather than restraining him, dipping their hands in his blood rather than calling the police?

It's a whole different culture in the Middle East. I heard someone say on the news the other day (Oh, maybe it was Rich Lowry) that Muslims in India don't have the same culture of hate for Jews and other non-Muslims, that there is something particular to the Arab world that makes the interpretation of the Koran more deadly.

It's different in the Middle East. More different than I think we've been willing to admit in our desire for peace and unity. The Israeli government may indeed be more civil and responsible than its Arab counterpart when it comes to condemning terror in all forms. However, what passes as civil and humane among the citizens themselves is far different from what we would imagine here in America.

Of course we wouldn't dance in the streets over another country's tragedy either.

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Rich Review: Lowry at YAF

This afternoon, for whatever reason, I stopped the DVD I was watching and flipped the channels...delighted to discover National Review's Rich Lowry on CSPAN speaking at the Young America's Foundation Conservative Student Conference.

While I missed his actual speech, I saw much of the question and answer, and it was so good - I took notes! So if you weren't blessed enough to be at the conference and you weren't one of the other 6 CSPAN viewers, here are some high points you missed: (And they aren't in chronological order, in case you are checking up on me:)

1. "Real" Journalism
A student asked about the fact that many who work for National Review had other jobs before becoming journalists and what advice Lowry had for those that wanted to be journalists later in life. After humorously confessing to being a journalism geek (while in high school he video-taped Fireline and played it back until he was sure he had all the arguments correct) he came down on the "elite/mainstream" media for saying that you have to go to journalism school in order to be a "real" journalist. He said that journalism school is often a waste of time and that people hoping to write should read as much as they can and write as much as they can and that
journalism is basically calling people on the phone and getting them to tell you things and then summarizing it.
Ha! I wonder if Mr. Rather would stoop to that kind of description :)

2. The Rise of China
Lowry - It's dangerous when a rising power cannot discern its true national interest
He said that this phenomenon occurred in Germany, pre-World War I when it alienated the rest of Europe for no apparent reason. He expressed concern that China would make a similar mistake.
He may be onto something, because really...has China seemed to exhibit any kind of clear strategy? They maintain this crazy big brother communist grip on their country by monitoring phone calls, letters and emails - but at the same time exalt business growth and other capitalist principles.

However, perhaps it would be worse if China did have some sort of master plan to take over the world - assuming of course that it was better than what Pinky and the Brain would try to implement on a weekly basis.

3. It's just too crazy in North Korea
In the course of answering a question about what to do about the "Axis of Evil" Lowry said:
How much pressure can you put on a guy who's happy to have his people starve and eat grass?
Yeah...good point. I mean, it's already horrible for people in that country and obviously Kim Jong Il doesn't care too much about his country, except for the areas that contain nukes. However, Lowry adds:
China can put pressure on them, but they won't...Perhaps we should say to China "You seem happy with proliferation in the region, so maybe Japan needs nukes too."
This is another good point about China. If they think Kim is too crazy to use the nukes he loves, they might not care how many he makes or tests or whatever. But if they knew that nearby countries with non-crazy leaders had nuclear capabilities they may feel differently about the whole things, especially if those countries decided to side with Taiwan.

4. The Ubiquitous Border Question
I've been meaning to write about this for some time as the Ranger and I have had some discussions about it - and today Rich made my point in just a few sentences:
It's hard to shut down the border as a border because it's just too large. You could stengthen it in certain points but then of course you have the problem of immigrants going to other areas. The key is internal enforcement
YES! Exactly. He went on to describe how we have to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants and refuse to give them driver's licenses. He said we have to basically say "If you broke our laws to come into this country, we don't want you here. Go home."
That sounds right and he admits it will be "very painful" but it's a lot easier and more cost efficient (not to mention feasible) than covering every foot of the border. People are contributing to law breaking inside the country and we already have agencies set up to handle this, let's handle it. If immigrants know that we are cracking down, I don't think they will be as eager to come.
Most important, Lowry added, is that these steps need to be taken before any temporary guest worker program can be put in place.

5. Intelligence Reform?
Will it happen? Can it happen? Lowry contends that the most recent changes are simply like "moving boxes" and not real reform. Unfortunately, he doesn't hold out hope for real reform. He sites some intelligence failures about what it was like on the ground in Iraq - how the electricity was barely working and that if we had a CIA agent simply walk down the street they would have known that.

Mostly though he says that what we need are people who are willing to go into the tough places, blend into the landscape - learning the language and the culture. That real reform means that:
We need people willing to deal with tough, nasty people and ready to do tough, nasty things without, if something goes wrong, being called in front of a congressional committee.

This is so absolutely true. There is very little that can substitute for on the ground human intelligence and if our military and CIA have to worry about reports and questions when working in places like Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea and China - they won't be able to do the work that needs to be done.


That's the round up. It was quite good, so if you are flipping the channels and happen upon Rich Lowry on CSPAN, stop a minute and see what there is to learn :)

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ohio in the "News"

So, if Democrats lose badly when they are trying to win, I can't bear to look when they are shooting for "barely lose":
After Ohio, Dems Map 50-State 'Virtual Victory' Plan
by Scott Ott

(2005-08-04) -- Encouraged by their close loss in this week's special election for a vacant House seat in Ohio, the Democrat National Committee (DNC) has mapped a 50-state "virtual victory" strategy for 2006 and 2008.

"It feels so good to almost win," said DNC chairman Howard Dean. "We now believe we can rally our base around the hope of down-to-the-wire losses in traditionally Republican districts coast-to-coast."

While the concept of virtual victory is familiar to the party that nearly won the presidency in 2000 and 2004, this is the first time the DNC will stake millions of dollars on advertising explicitly promoting narrow defeats. The ad campaign is tentatively titled "Close Counts."

But I have to give them credit for having a plan. That at least, is an improvement :)


Animals worthy of Baby status, but not humans

Also from Wednesday's Best of the Web:

Life Begins at Conception--if You're a Panda
"A 13-year-old giant panda gave birth to a cub at San Diego Zoo, but a second baby died in the womb, officials said Wednesday."--Associated Press, Aug. 3

"A cancer-ravaged woman robbed of consciousness by a stroke has given birth after being kept on life support for three months to give her fetus extra time to develop."--Associated Press, Aug. 3


Total Lack of Attention to Pronoun Antecedents

From yesterday's Best of the Web:
According to this analysis, Begala apparently was using the pronoun they to refer to multiple antecedents, and thus appeared to be conflating Republicans and terrorists in this quote:
They want to kill me and my children if they can. But if they just kill me and not my children, they want my children to be comforted--that while they didn't protect me because they cut my taxes, my children won't have to pay any money on the money they inherit.
In this interpretation, the first three theys refer to terrorists, the fourth through sixth to Republicans, and the seventh to Begala's children.

Yeah...I never would have gotten away with something like that in college...or High School for that matter.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Also of note:

Something that is Good news for Beverly and Mad Dog:

Judge John Roberts announced he is a Bills fan:

Born in Buffalo, the son of a Bethlehem Steel employee, Roberts grew up in Indiana and set about assembling a prestigious academic and professional record. He was a football player in school (and reportedly remains a loyal Buffalo Bills fan).

It may be also good news that I found the story covered on this site as well, with the sub-title:
At last—your online source for wobbly reminiscence and spirited conjecture about Buffalo sports teams past and present

It's more than just science

Usually I agree with Charles Krauthammer, but tonight on Special Report w/Brit Hume, he said some things that gave me pause. The discussion among the All-stars for the second segment was about the teaching of Evolution/Intelligent Design. Now while it's true that I may disagree with Krauthammer's position about this, but that's not what I want to discuss here.

First Krauthammer said that "Evolution is the foundation" of all areas of science
"take it away and you have nothing left."

While I could grant that evolution has stimulated a lot of biological discoveries and research, we could still talk about all those results without demanding that evolution is true. Without evolution, we could still talk about mitosis. We could still study the genus and species (not to mention the phylum) of all sorts of animals and insects. Science education and scientific research wouldn't stop without evolution. The same way astronomy didn't end when we realized the cosmos didn't revolve around the earth

So, if it ever happens that we consider not teaching evolution, don't worry about the rest of science disappearing. It will all still be there.

Second, after Bill Sammon said that Red Staters would come to the polls if there was an initiative to teach intelligent design in schools, Krauthammer said "Science is not determined at the polling place."

He's right, Science is not determined at the polling place, but educational guidelines about school science classes are determined at the polling places in the sense that they are determined by state wide school boards, which are responsible to the electorate in some way.

If the Ohio school board wanted to require science teachers to teach Scientology as scientific fact, they have to know that Ohio parents would stage some kind of revolt. Whether that is protests or moving kids to private schools, or most extreme, moving kids to another state - there would be repercussions. The knowledge of that fact is what keeps school guidelines from being as liberal as they would probably like them to be.

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out)