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Thursday, July 08, 2004

 

Democrats Demand "No Killing Arab Killers with Israeli Ammo."

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Israeli-made bullets bought by the U.S. Army to plug a shortfall should be used for training only, not to fight Muslim guerrillas in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. lawmakers told Army generals on Thursday.

Since the Army has other stockpiled ammunition, "by no means, under any circumstances should a round (from Israel) be utilized," said Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, the top Democrat on a House of Representatives Armed Services subcommittee with jurisdiction over land forces.

Read the entire articleHERE

 

Republican "Brown Shirts?"

Perhaps Democrat Judge Calabresi is becoming delusional in his old age, or his memory of Mussolini is faulty, but the "Brown Shirts" he is warning us about were members of the Left. HERE

 

Lileks on Moore

I can't do justice to Jim Lileks dissection of Mike Moore. His entire column is HERE

Here's the bottom line for this delicious piece of prose:
"There you have it. He wants the flag to stand for clean water. This from a man who waddles up to the deep well of American freedom, fumbles with his zipper, and pisses in it.
"

 

Ann Coulter on John Edwards

Some mean spirited Libs have had the nerve to describe Ann Coulter as the Right's Michael Moore. They are half right: she can spit and roast the object of her wit with the best of them, but she never lies. She does use sarcasm - in heavy doses - but she does not lie via innuendo.

Here's the "money" quote from her most recent column:

In one of Edwards' silver-tongued arguments to the jury on behalf of a girl born with cerebral palsy, he claimed he was channeling the unborn baby girl, Jennifer Campbell, who was speaking to the jurors through him:

"She said at 3, 'I'm fine.' She said at 4, 'I'm having a little trouble, but I'm doing OK.' Five, she said, 'I'm having problems.' At 5:30, she said, 'I need out.'"

She's saying, "My lawyer needs a new Jaguar ... "

"She speaks to you through me and I have to tell you right now -- I didn't plan to talk about this -- right now I feel her. I feel her presence. She's inside me, and she's talking to you."

Well, tell her to pipe down, would you? I'm trying to hear the evidence in a malpractice lawsuit.

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde on the death of Little Nell, one must have a heart of stone to read this without laughing. What is this guy, a tent-show preacher? An off-the-strip Las Vegas lounge psychic couldn't get away with this routine.

Is Edwards able to channel any children right before an abortionist's fork is plunged into their tiny skulls? Why can't he hear those babies saying, "Let me live! Stop spraying this saline solution all over me!" Edwards must experience interference in channeling the voices of babies about to be aborted. Their liberal mothers' hands seem to muffle those voices.

And may we ask what the pre-born Jennifer Campbell thinks about war with Iraq? North Korea? Marginal tax rates? If Miss Cleo here is going to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, I think the voters are entitled to know that.


For her entire column, click HERE.

Friday, July 02, 2004

 

Origami Boulder Company

Now for a little lighthearted fun click on the Origami Boulder Company. It's hilarious.

Read the "Letters from dumb dumbs."

Thursday, July 01, 2004

 

Iraq at 16 Months

Thanks to Karl Zinsmeister at National Review Online HERE

We are now 16 months into the Iraq war. At a similar stage in earlier American wars, how were our forces faring?

Well, at about this point in the French and Indian Wars George Washington had been defeated and forced to surrender at Fort Necessity (he was released after being disarmed), and then disastrously beaten in a fight where his unit of 1,400 men took 900 casualties and ended up running away. (Washington himself was not injured but had two horses shot from under him, and took four bullets through his coat.)

Washington's next experience of war, in the American Revolution, began with equal tribulation. Sixteen months into his command, the American army was suffering through a series of traumatic defeats. They'd lost every single battle since the Declaration of Independence, and had depleted 90 percent of their military strength in heavy fighting. Most of the remaining soldiers declared they were going to go home when their enlistments expired, and in many parts of the new nation citizens were pledging fresh oaths of allegiance to the tyrant King George.

Sixteen months into the Civil War, a permanent breakaway of the southern states looked like imminent reality. The Union army that marched on Richmond had been beaten with tens of thousands of casualties. Robert E. Lee had launched an invasion of the north, and Washington, D.C. was on the brink of being overrun.

Sixteen months into U.S. involvement in World War II, the Japanese had taken control of all of the Pacific and Southeast Asia. Our British allies had suffered the most catastrophic defeat in their history when they lost 130,000 fighting men in Singapore. The Japanese had just as thumpingly ejected the U.S. from the Philippines, and were actually in their tenth month of occupying American soil in Alaska. It would take 1,000 American dead (far more than our total losses in Iraq to date) merely to eject the enemy from this Aleutian Island foothold over the course of a few days in the seventeenth month of the war.

At month 16 of the war in Europe, meanwhile, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Yugoslavia, and other countries had all been lost. German submarines were in the process of wiping out Atlantic shipping. And death camps like Treblinka had been opened and were in the process of killing millions. By the end of that year, 40 percent of the world's Jews, for instance, would be dead.

* * * We have had some tough moments in Iraq this year. But we must remember that every war has tough stages and low points that victorious nations must grind through. The difference between civilizations that triumph and civilizations that surrender is often simply a matter of keeping your determination and fighting spirit intact through the down days. I've spent months embedded with combat troops in Iraq over the last year, so I realize there is nothing easy about any of this. But there some challenges in life that simply cannot be evaded.

It took years for the U.S. to launch humane democracy in Germany and Japan after World War II. In just 16 months in Iraq we have made great progress — as I report at length in a new book built on detailed firsthand observation of the counterinsurgency and reconstruction. The Shiite middle that is going to dominate Iraq has stuck with us through many travails. An encouraging interim government is beginning to take responsibility for the country's fate, with wide support from everyday Iraqis. An economic bloom is unfolding. There is a surge of new information, freedom, and opportunity never before seen in Iraq. These plants will bear previously unseen fruit in the parched sands of greater Arabia, and ultimately make America safer.

Has the price been too high? The casualty rate in Iraq, Max Boot has noted, has been 1.5 percent of all troops serving in the theater. That compares to 6.2 percent in Vietnam, and 6.5 percent in World War II. The terrorists, though, believe modern Westerners have lost the fortitude needed to sustain a nasty fight. "One thing is for sure: the extremists have faith in our weakness," noted Tony Blair recently. "And the weaker we are, the more they will come after us."

The late Michael Kelly, who observed humans at their cruelest in the Balkans, Iraq, and elsewhere, particularly urged American opponents of war to never forget that "accepting death is indispensable to defeating death." If our public and our political class will exhibit that same wisdom and courage, then this is a fight America can win.

Karl Zinsmeister, editor in chief of The American Enterprise has just published Dawn Over Baghdad: How the U.S. Military is Using Bullets and Ballots to Remake Iraq, the first book about Iraq's guerilla war and reconstruction. His earlier book about the 2003 hot war in Iraq is entitled Boots on the Ground: A Month With the 82nd Airborne in the Battle for Iraq.

 

Here's to the Woodstock Generation: UP YOURS!

Thanks and Tip of the Hat to Tom DeWeese HERE

I’m a baby boomer and that’s a curse. You see I’m stuck with the idiots from the sixties till my dying day as they whine and moan about injustice and mentally dwell forever in the days of tie-die shirts, incense, and free love.

The news media, now controlled by baby boomers, keep the myth alive that everyone from that era got high and protested in the streets disgorging their revolution to enforce a “new America.” They were revolting all right. The very sight of them turned my stomach.

The truth is that those who perpetrated the anti-war protests didn’t really care about the Vietnam War except for how it affected their draft status. They had no compassion for the pro-freedom forces in South Vietnam who were sacrificing everything to try and stop the takeover of their part of that country by a very brutal communist regime. As the protesters carried their Mao signs and chanted “Che, Che,” their purpose was to rip apart traditional America and rebuild it on the ideals of Mao and Che. What ideal was that? Communism.

The tragedy of the sixties was that so many young people simply didn’t understand that their chants and posters and the promised “new vision” were really in support of a communist America. Nor did they understand that their actions were helping the communists to sentence millions in Southeast Asia to the gulag. Worse, those baby boomers had no sense of the brutal reality of life under communism. Most still don’t.

Case in point is Country Joe McDonald. He and his group, “The Fish”, performed the song that became one of the anthems of the Woodstock Generation. It was called, “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag.” Usually, Country Joe would start the song by shouting to the crowd, “Give me an F!” The other three letters of the cheer would follow as Country Joe would ask, “What’s that spell?” The crowd would respond by shouting the well-known profanity. Country Joe would then begin the catchy rag which asked “One, two, three, what are we fighting for? Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn. Next stop is Vietnam.” It was all so, well, revolutionary.

Country Joe became a major voice in the “revolution.” So what was Joe fighting for? He did help force America to abandon an anticommunist ally; resulting in its becoming an enslaved nation. Is that what he wanted? Is that what he hoped would happen? Is he happy now? Apparently Country Joe doesn’t have a clue.

Recently he was invited to Hanoi to receive a World Peace Music Award. However, Country Joe says he won’t go because “as a hippie protest songwriter I could not exist in Vietnam.” Why on earth not? Isn’t Vietnam now exactly the communist paradise he and his buddy protesters wanted it to be? Apparently Joe misunderstood back in the sixties.

“Communism tends to be totalitarian, and I am not for that,” says the self-proclaimed revolutionary. Even worse, his complete ignorance of communism’s principles is shocking. “My parents were American Communists for some time, but they left the Party because of a lack of democratic positions by the Party,” he naïvely admitted.

Like a lot of the baby boomer generation, it seems that Country Joe McDonald just got a thrill from protesting. He had no idea what he was against or for. It was just a social event to go down to the local protest, carry a sign, and meet some “groovy chicks.”
The consequences of his actions? His nation suffered worldwide disgrace and millions of innocent Vietnamese remain enslaved to this day. Oh well, it was “kool.” The whole pathetic lot of ‘em make me want to barf!

Tom DeWeese is the publisher/editor of The DeWeese Report and president of the American Policy Center. The center maintains a website at www.americanpolicy.org.

 

Tale of 2 Movies: Farenheit 9/11 and The Passion

In the last year two movies have been introduced to huge controversy: Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. "The Passion" was a movie version of Christ’s last day as written in the Gospel of John, chapters 18 and 19. Gibson’s depiction is a fair rendition of Christ’s arrest, trial, torture and death. Yet, partly because of its depiction of Christ’s scourging at the hands of the Romans and its depiction of the role that Jewish leaders played in his death, the movie was roundly denounced.


Enter Michael Moore. He creates a blatant propaganda film whose ties to reality are non-existent. He provokes controversy because he attacks a sitting president and uses the cinematic art to lie like no one since Leni Riefenstahl in “The Triumph of the Will” (“Triumph des Willens”) a masterful 1934 Nazi propaganda film.

So we have two movies, one a fairly close translation of John 18 and 19, the other a piece of propaganda. How do film critics greet the two?

Here’s a compendium of side-by-side reviews, with a hat tip to BeautifulAtrocities

Keep in mind when you read them that one of the critics that praises Moore’s film characterizes it this way:

You are with Moore, or you are a war criminal. The film is part prosecutorial brief and part (as A.O. Scott has noted) rabid editorial cartoon: a blend of insight, outrage, and sniggering innuendo, the whole package threaded (and tied in a bow) with cheap shots, some of them voiced by Moore, some created in the editing room by intercutting stilted images from old movies. Moore is largely off-screen (no pun intended), but as narrator he's always there, sneering and tsk-tsking.


A.O. Scott, New York Times:

F9/11: Mr. Moore's populist instincts have never been sharper...he is a credit to the republic.

Passion: Gibson has exploited the popular appetite for terror and gore for what he and his allies see as a higher end.

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune:

F9/11: Received both the first prize and the longest continuous standing ovation in the history of the Cannes Film Festival and it wasn't because of some cliched French antipathy to America.

Passion: Lacks artistic and even spiritual balance.

William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

F9/11: A masterful job of ridiculing the personality, intellect and employment resumé of George W. Bush ... could well become the docu-equivalent of "The Passion of the Christ" and even affect the presidential election.

Passion: Despite Gibson's claim that he's finally telling "the true story," his movie strikes me as less faithful to the Gospels than the earlier Christ movies. Crammed full of scenes and dialogue and minor characters that he's completely made up.

Jami Bernard, NY Daily News:

F9/11: I was in tears after first seeing "Fahrenheit" at Cannes.

Passion: The most virulently anti-Semitic movie made since the German propaganda films of World War II.

Ty Burr, Boston Globe

F9/11: Should be seen because it takes off the gloves and wades into the fray, because it synthesizes the anti-Bush argument like no other work before it, and because it forces you to decide for yourself exactly where passion starts to warp point of view.

Passion: If you come seeking theological subtlety, let alone such modern inventions as psychological depth, you'll walk away battered and empty-handed

David Edelstein, Slate:

F9/11: After the screening, a friend railed that Moore was exploiting a mother's grief. I suggested that the scene made moral sense in the context of the director's universe, that the exploitation is justified if it saves the lives of other mothers' sons.

Passion: A two-hour-and-six-minute snuff movie—The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre—that thinks it's an act of faith.


David Elliott, San Diego Union Tribune:

F9/11: He spends time with a caring, patriotic woman reduced to near-ruin when her son is killed in Iraq. And shows how Iraqi mothers respond, too. Call that "demagogic," if you have an agenda in place of a conscience.

Passion: "Single-mindedness is all very well in cows or baboons," wrote Aldous Huxley, but "(for those) claiming to belong to the same species as Shakespeare, it is simply disgraceful."

Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle:

F9/11: (Moore) is an indispensable treasure, and his imperfections are part of the reason, because they mark him as real.

Passion: It's awful because everything he knows about storytelling has been swept aside by proselytizing zeal.

J.Hoberman, Village Voice:

F9/11: Let us not forget that Dana Carvey did more than anyone in America, save Ross Perot, to drive Bush père from the White House. There are sequences in Fahrenheit 9/11 so devastatingly on target as to inspire the thought that Moore might similarly help evict the son.

Passion: Sitting through the film's garishly staged suffering, one might well ponder the millions of people—victims of crusades, inquisitions, colonial conquests, the slave trade, political terror, and genocide—who have been tortured and killed in Christ's name.

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post:

F9/11: Moore exercises admirable forbearance ... his finest artistic moment.

Passion: Gibson has exhibited a startling lack of concern for historical context.

Mick LaSalle, SF Chronicle:

F9/11: What both exalts the experience and grounds the picture is Moore's essentially patriotic faith that a sincere, invested argument can get a hearing in America.

Passion: The story doesn't make Gibson bigger; he makes it smaller.

Tom Long, Detroit News:

F9/11: A film every citizen of voting age in America should see.

Passion: The feel-awful movie of a lifetime, a filmed bloodletting like no other on record.

Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette:

F9/11: Every Independent voter should see this movie and vote for Kerry

Passion: A snuff film.

Geoff Pevre, Toronto Star:

F9/11: A plea for America's deliverance ... it may not be an argument one agrees with, and it may be unbalanced and propagandistic, but it is both convincingly argued and sincerely motivated.

Passion: A work of fundamentalist pornography.

Rex Reed, New York Observer:

F9/11: There are multitudes of shattering, seminal moments in his brilliant Bush-whacking documentary.

Passion: A movie that doesn’t say much of anything new. Been there, done that, and you know how it all comes out already.

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer:

F9/11: A magnificent piece of filmmaking.

Passion: The first spiritual splatter film.

James Rocchi, Netflix:

F9/11: None of this is pretty. But it is real, in a way that we rarely get from major news outlets.

Passion: A horrifyingly violent, grisly film about state-sponsored torture and execution.

David Sterrit, Christian Science Monitor:

F9/11: Is the label "documentary" appropriate for this openly activist movie? Of course it is, unless you cling to some idealized notion of "objective" film.

Passion: The highly selective screenplay includes only a few of Jesus' words, spoken in occasional flashback scenes.

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times:

F9/11: Moore makes a persuasive and unrelenting case that there is another way to look at things beyond the version we've been given.

Passion: A film so narrowly focused as to be inaccessible for all but the devout.

James Verniere, Boston Herald:

F9/11: At a time when the film industry is turning out sugarcoated, content-free junk, Moore has given American viewers a renewed taste for raw meat.

Passion: An exercise in sadomasochistic bullying.

Jeffrey Westhoff, Northwest Herald:

F9/11: Moore’s greatest contribution to the national debate is that he pulls back the veil on the bloodshed of a war that has been sanitized for the American public’s consumption.

Passion: The worst thing Gibson has done has been to allow his celebrity to eclipse the film

William Wolf, Wolf Entertainment:

F9/11: Anyone watching it might be stirred in the face of the total picture presented, especially on the mess the nation was misled into in what increasingly been coming apparent as a giant, costly fiasco and a diversion from the real fight against terrorism.

Passion: Gibson has every right to any interpretation he chooses and to make the film he envisions. But the rest of us have the right, and perhaps the obligation, to complain about his narrowly focused, extremely violent, ultimately exploitative personal indulgence.

 

Tom Brokaw Instructs Alawi

It’s never too early for American press barons to tell others what to think. Here isTom Brokaw telling the Prime Minister of Iraq, Iyad Alawi, what he is supposed to think about the Iraq - al Qaeda connection.

Click HERE.

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