Right Thinking From The Left Coast
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it - Henry David Thoreau

Monday, April 30, 2007

In Search Of:  Santa Claus
by Lee

A group of scientists is—get this—seeking peer reviewed papers to attempt to prove that Santa Claus exists.

The Institute for Father Christmas Research (FCR) is pleased to announce the inaugural Call for Papers for the International Journal of Santa Claus Research (IJSCR).

IJSCR is a professional peer-reviewed journal of interdisciplinary scientific research that presents evidence of the existence of Santa Claus within a socioeconomic and cultural framework.

Addressing the need to disseminate the vast field of research conducted by experts in geology, genetics, astronomy, and other disciplines of science, IJSCR provides scientists and students hard data based on cutting-edge research that demonstrates the flying sleigh, the magical reindeer, the list of who has been naughty and nice, and other evidences that correlate to the legendary Santa Claus accounts.

It is our hope that you will be encouraged in your study of Santa science issues that remain at the forefront of education and research.

Okay, so I made it up a little.  But the truth is just as stupid.

Posted by Lee on 04/30/07 at 06:24 PM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

McCain on “Stress Positions”
by Lee

For all his faults, there’s a lot to like about McCain.

WALLACE: How would you fight the War on Terror differently than it’s being fought now?

J. MCCAIN: I would probably announce the closing of Guantanamo Bay. I would move those detainees to Fort Leavenworth. I would announce we will not torture anyone.

I would announce that climate change is a big issue, because we’ve got some image problems in the world. I think that we’ve got to understand — diplomatic, intelligence-wise.

Clearly, in the area of, quote, “propaganda,” in the area of the war of ideas, we are not winning as much as — well, in some ways we are behind.

And speaking of torture…

WALLACE: Senator, you talked about torture. Former CIA Director Tenet now says that the intelligence that they got from harsh interrogation techniques against some of these big Al Qaida types, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — the intelligence they got from them using, reportedly, things like water-boarding, extreme temperatures, was more valuable than all the other CIA and FBI programs.

Were you wrong? I mean, this is the CIA, former CIA director, saying this. Were you wrong to limit what CIA interrogators could do?

J. MCCAIN: A man I admire more than anyone else, General Jack Vessey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, battlefield commission, told me once — he said, “John, any intelligence information we might gain through the use of torture could never, ever counterbalance the image that it does — the damage that it does to our image in the world.”

I agree with him. Look at the war in Algeria. Look, the fact is if you torture someone, they’re going to tell you anything they think you want to know. It is an affront to everything we stand for and believe in.

It’s interesting to me that every retired military officer, whether it be Colin Powell or whether it be former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — everybody who’s been in war doesn’t want to torture people and think that it’s the wrong thing to do. And history shows that.

We cannot torture people and maintain our moral superiority in the world.

Yes.  Hell fucking yes.  Hell goddamned fucking yes.  Christ, it’s good to hear a candidate say this.

Posted by Lee on 04/30/07 at 02:39 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

This is “Progress”
by Lee

So, how’s that war on terror going?

A State Department report on terrorism due out next week will show a nearly 30 percent increase in terrorist attacks worldwide in 2006 to more than 14,000, almost all of the boost due to growing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Friday.

… Based on data compiled by the U.S. intelligence community’s National Counterterrorism Center, the report says there were 14,338 terrorist attacks last year, up 29 percent from 11,111 attacks in 2005.

Forty-five percent of the attacks were in Iraq.

Worldwide, there were about 5,800 terrorist attacks that resulted in at least one fatality, also up from 2005.

The figures for Iraq and elsewhere are limited to attacks on noncombatants and don’t include strikes against U.S. troops.

Of course, some participants on this blog will insist that, despite being written by Condi Rice’s gang at State, this report can’t be trusted due to the Democrats and the liberal media.  If it wasn’t for the Democrats and them durn media libruls, why, there wouldn’t be a terrorist attack anywhere in the world.

You know, call me crazy, or an “ass” if you like, but it seems to me that when you state that you are undertaking a war on terror, the purpose of which is to reduce terrorist attacks, and the number of terrorist attacks actually increases, you can’t really call that a success.  In fact, it’s the opposite of a success.  It’s a… um… oh, I can’t think of the word.  Oh, whatever the opposite of success is, someone tell me.

Posted by Lee on 04/30/07 at 01:54 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Lead Paint: Delicious But Deadly
by Lee

You know all those schools we keep building that are supposedly winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people?  (You know, despite the fact that it’s far too dangerous for anyone to actually send their kids there?) Well I have no doubt you’re going to be as shocked, shocked as I was to read that most of the shit we build is useless.

Widespread corruption, an unwieldy bureaucracy and inadequate funding threaten the Iraqi government’s ability to complete or maintain U.S.-funded reconstruction projects, according to an oversight report to be released today.

The report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says some projects portrayed as successes by U.S. officials have started breaking down because of poor maintenance, shoddy construction or simple neglect.

What?  You mean not only is the government incompetent, but they’ve been lying to us about how well they’ve been doing?  Not the Bush administration, surely. Lying is something Democrats do about blowjobs!

Those problems, as well as the continuing violence in Iraq, have prevented the United States from meeting its goals for the $34.8 billion appropriated for postwar reconstruction, the inspector general, Stuart Bowen, concludes in his quarterly report to Congress.

Investigators from Bowen’s office inspected eight completed projects across Iraq and found seven of them weren’t operating at capacity. Among the problems found: an unused oxygen system at a northern Iraq hospital, poorly maintained electrical generators in the Baghdad area and leaking water pipes causing ceilings to collapse in buildings used by security forces.

Here’s the situation.  You have to drive your kids to school in an armored car to avoid the bombs and bullets.  Then, assuming you can even get them there, there’s a pretty good chance that Uncle Sam’s roof will cave in and crush them.  Then, if you’re somehow able to get them to the hospital, the oxygen system that the Americans installed doesn’t work. 

Oh yeah, the Iraqi people should be sucking our dicks in appreciation for all we’ve given them.

“If these projects are typical of the quality and effectiveness of operations and maintenance … the value of the U.S. investment in Iraq reconstruction will be at risk,” the report says.

Anyone willing to bet me that these projects aren’t typical of the quality and effectiveness of operations and maintenance?  Yeah. that’s what I thought.

Update: Allow me to give you my impression of the average Iraqi’s point of view.

“Saddam was an evil, evil man.  I hated him, he killed my brother.  I curse him for all of eternity, and I was happy when he died.  I wanted him gone so I could have a better life for my children, and when the Americans came I was thrilled.  But now, what do we have?  Do we have anything better?  The power still does not work.  There are bombs going off all over the city.  There is gunfire and armed gangs.  We are dominated by thugs.  Under Saddam there was evil but there was order.  Now we have evil and chaos.  My children cannot go outside and play.  They cannot go to school.  They are terrified.  The Americans, what have they brought us but misery?  Where is the better life they promised?  Where is the freedom from tyranny?  Where is the democracy?”

Posted by Lee on 04/30/07 at 12:26 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Buckley on Iraq
by Lee

Here’s what William F. Buckley—lifelong Democrat, America-hater, and poster boy for Bush Derangement Syndrome—has to say about how things are going in Iraq.

[B]eyond affirming executive supremacy in matters of war, what is George Bush going to do? It is simply untrue that we are making decisive progress in Iraq. The indicators rise and fall from day to day, week to week, month to month. In South Vietnam there was an organized enemy. There is clearly organization in the strikes by the terrorists against our forces and against the civil government in Iraq, but whereas in Vietnam we had Hanoi as the operative headquarters of the enemy, we have no equivalent of that in Iraq, and that is a matter of paralyzing importance. All those bombings, explosions, assassinations: we are driven to believe that they are, so to speak, spontaneous.

When the Romans were challenged by Christianity, Rome fell. The generation of Christians moved by their faith overwhelmed the regimented reserves of the Roman state. It was four years ago that Mr. Cheney first observed that there was a real fear that each fallen terrorist leads to the materialization of another terrorist. What can a “surge,” of the kind we are now relying upon, do to cope with endemic disease? The parallel even comes to mind of the eventual collapse of Prohibition, because there wasn’t any way the government could neutralize the appetite for alcohol, or the resourcefulness of the freeman in acquiring it.

General Petraeus is a wonderfully commanding figure. But if the enemy is in the nature of a disease, he cannot win against it. Students of politics ask then the derivative question: How can the Republican party, headed by a president determined on a war he can’t see an end to, attract the support of a majority of the voters? General Petraeus, in his Pentagon briefing on April 26, reported persuasively that there has been progress, but cautioned, “I want to be very clear that there is vastly more work to be done across the board and in many areas, and again I note that we are really just getting started with the new effort.”

The general makes it a point to steer away from the political implications of the struggle, but this cannot be done in the wider arena. There are grounds for wondering whether the Republican party will survive this dilemma.

For those of you who don’t know, Buckley is the founder of National Review magazine, and one of the grand old men of American conservatism.  And now, according to the standards set by so many “conservatives” these days, he’s a durn Amurka-hating liberal defeatist.

Posted by Lee on 04/30/07 at 09:31 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Get that Pen Warmed Up
by Lee

Here comes number two.

President Bush said Friday he regrets that the debate between the White House and a Democratic-controlled Congress over the Iraq war has forced him into vetoing an Iraq funding bill.

“I’m sorry it’s come to this,” Bush said. “Nevertheless, it is what it is, and it will be vetoed. And my veto will be sustained.”

Bush is right.  Both sides come out winners here.  Bush gets his veto, knowing the Democrats don’t have the vote to override it.  The Democrats get to kiss up to the barking moonbats (i.e. the check writers) who want the party to take a solid anti-war stance.  So what we’ll have to wait and see is what kind of bipartisan compromise (i.e. shitty legislation) they’ll end up coming up with.

Posted by Lee on 04/30/07 at 03:01 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Smile for the Camera
by Lee

The risks of CCTV cameras, explained beautifully by Penn & Teller.

Once you lose privacy you don’t get it back.  Ever.

(Video marginally NSFW.)

Posted by Lee on 04/30/07 at 01:50 AM in Europe and the UK  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Chickenfry Update II
by Lee

Earlier today she called me and said that she was crying blood.  She actually had red tears coming down her face and she was freaked out.  I told her it was probably just her body expelling blood that had pooled and coagulated inside her head, and that she’d have blood coming out of every conceivable orifice for the next few weeks.  “I wouldn’t go telling anyone about this,” I told her.

“Why not?”

“Because if word gets out, there’s going to be 45 Mexicans outside your hospital room praying to you because you’re the reincarnation of Mary, mother of Jesus.”

When the doctor came in he confirmed that, yes, this was merely one way that her body would expel the old blood inside her sinus cavity.  But there’s nothing funnier than Mexicans who see Mary and Jesus in everything.

Posted by Lee on 04/30/07 at 01:20 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

by Lee

The latest milestone on this dopey waste of time:  a few days ago we hit the 10,000th post.  I could have had a wife and a house and kids.  This will have to do. 

Posted by Lee on 04/30/07 at 01:15 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Coeur d’Leon
by Lee

The Houston Chronicle has a story today about Dr. Bud Frazier, the doctor who put in my father’s artificial heart.  This part of the article really rang true to me.

The Methodist roots help explain an aversion to law and business as chosen professions. Both center, ultimately, on making money. Frazier says he has never sent a bill. He doesn’t know the fees for any of his procedures.

During much of his career, the real money has been in coronary artery bypass surgery, not implanting countless experimental cardiac devices into animals within the bowels of the Texas Heart Institute.

That’s not to say Frazier ignores finances, without which it would be impossible to bring life-saving, but costly, heart devices to market.

“Medicine has to work as a business,” Frazier says. “It’s like what St. Augustine said: ‘We try to live in the city of God, but we must live in the city of man.’ ”

When my dad went into the hospital for the final time he had been sick for 11 years.  During that time he had been able to only work sporadically, in between bouts of illness.  As such, when he went into the hospital he didn’t have any health insurance.  The doctors told us that Dad needed a heart transplant, but that other health issues made him not suitable to be a recipient of a donor heart.  He did, however, qualify for an experimental artificial heart program.  My mom said, “We don’t have any insurance.” Dr. Frazier responded, “I don’t care about your insurance.  We’re going to do everything we can.” And they did.

One day I was having a conversation with him, and he remarked on the fact that our family used to live in the UK.  He mentioned that in the past he had done heart transplants on British people whom their health service had deemed too sick to be healed.  These patients were affluent enough to where they could come to the US and pay out of pocket costs for a transplant.  “It’s a good thing you’re not in the UK right now,"Dr. Frazier said, “because they would have sent your father home to die.” This then evolved into a discussion of the importance of the profit motive for driving medical research. 

As I’ve said a thousand times, it wasn’t just the doctors and nurses who kept my father alive for almost three months, it was the venture capitalists who funded the research done by the engineers who developed the heart.  Venture capitalists can invest in any venture they like, and without a profit motive they will invest their dollars elsewhere.  One day the artificial heart will be a reality, and immediately the Michael Moores of the world will decry the “greed” of the evil corporations who now charge a fee for their product, without realizing (or caring) that over the last 30 years these corporate entities had invested hundreds of millions of dollars in research without seeing so much as a penny in return.

The doctor is truly a great man.

Posted by Lee on 04/29/07 at 08:56 PM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

A Message from Rick
by Lee

Stefanie, Rick’s wife, just forwarded this email over from Rick and asked me to post it.

I apologize for my email hiatus, but besides being on blackout status for a majority of the last 2 week, I am also in a transition as I have yet again been promoted to a position of greater authority (can you say CSM in 2 years?) as our emphasis in country has shifted focus towards a predominantly combat role; simply put we are finally issuing control of this wasteland to the Iraqis in hopes of getting the hell out of here. April is a great month in so many ways and contemplating all that has transpired both in the short term and in the course of an existence is staggering. The passage of time here is a challenge to track.  There are no days off and much like the movie “Groundhog Day” the days pretty much all look and feel the same no matter what you do.  The time warp is magnified by events and busy schedules.  More activities make it seem like a lot of time has passed, yet looking forward, we have not yet really started our deployment here.  But there’s light at the end of the tunnel…

July marks another anniversary for Stefanie and I.  There’s the staggering part. The part of my life with Stefanie now exceeds the part of my life without her. Basic training, living in a war zone, Tristan, deployments, the Tri-Cities, (aaauuuuugggghhh).  It’s been a heck of a good ride!!!

For all the “fun” I’ve had wearing camouflage, it is hard to believe that on 28 May, I will officially have 18 years of service. It has gone remarkably quick, but it also begs the question; are you going to retire?  Yes, eventually ( 7 years ). Serving here has definitely given me a different perspective to consider.  Life in a combat zone is not intolerable, and I have had the opportunity to apply my training and experiences to impact our operations here. It’s challenging, rewarding, and highly unnerving. 3 tours is enough I think. I think retirement will take some serious consideration after these experiences become past tense and have seasoned a bit. Things here continue to progress.  The units that were here when we arrived have rotated out one-by-one, and now we are the old guys on the block.  Through all of that, though, there’s one joker that still lingers on.  The dining facility (DFAC) posts the current menu on a white dry erase board at the entrance.  Every time buttered noodles or buttered potatoes are on the menu, the first e in buttered always manages to get erased.  It must be a navy.

Travel here is always a mess.  For you travel warriors out there, you ain’t seen nothing yet.  To go anywhere “outside the wire” (off the FOB) you have to either drive or fly.  Driving involves drafting an operations order, pulling together a wealth of personnel and vehicles to secure your movement, and dodging IEDs along the way.  Flying is more direct, avoids IEDs, and painful beyond measure.  I recently traveled to Fallujah to visit one of our patrols there and accompany them on a mission.  The plan called for air travel, so after making the appropriate arrangements, I headed to the flight line.  Flight schedules here are like Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.  You can believe in them if you want to, but when you talk about your flight time, you get that smile like a kid gets when he mentions his invisible friend.

On the day of my trip, the Easter Bunny was scheduled to appear at 2100, but since he might show up early, you’re required to show up 4 hours prior.  No exceptions.  Our flight office here is the size of small construction trailer, so space is limited and passengers have to stay outside no matter what the weather until their flight shows up.  The only exception to this is that field grade officers and above are allowed to hang out in the building, drink coffee, and watch TV.  Particularly when there’s a dust storm going on outside, it’s dark, and the temperatures are dropping.

Once the weather cleared up, we had about 5 minutes notice to get all our gear on (body armor, helmet, weapon, earplugs, eye protection, gloves) and get out to the flight line ‘cause our aircraft was inbound.  The ground crew conducted an abbreviated manifest check as the two Marine CH-46 helicopters (twin top rotors) settled onto the pad scouring everyone with dust.  File out to the bird, walk up the ramp, drop your bags just inside the ramp and find an empty seat in the half-light of the interior.  With minimal delay, the ramp at the rear begins to rise as the lights go out, the craft vibrates suddenly, the nose pitches downward as we “get light”, and the bird hoists itself into the night.  Only the bottom half of the ramp is closed, and as we climb out in a banked turn, you can see the spectral gray shape of the wing man fade in and out against the terrain and lights below as he trails behind and to the side, shadowing every move.  It’s 0153 in the morning.

You can tell when the aircraft passes over the outer perimeter of the FOB.  Both waist gunners simultaneously rack the action on their .50 caliber machine gun and start scanning the ground; night vision goggles vaguely illuminating their eyes in the blacked out craft.

One of the wonders of this place is that no matter where you go or what time you arrive, there’s always someone that will give you a place to sleep.  It may be a cot in the corner or a bunk in a tent with 15 people you’ve never met and will never see again (now that’s a one night stand), but it’s a place to rack out and rest.  And no matter where you sleep, it’s always the furthest distance from the latrines and showers. At least they have real porcelain and sidewalks in Fallujah.

The rest of the trip was a flurry of meetings with Marine and Navy staff to coordinate missions, and then on to the business at hand:  hunting IEDs with our guys out of Bad Karmah.  On the relative scale, it was good mission.  We found 3 IEDs, and only one found us.  Along the route, we got held up by one of the other units in the area.  They had observed several guys planting an IED on the route ahead of us and since they were planning to interdict they had us hold our position.  An artillery barrage delivered in the dark makes quite the light show.  I think we should try that at home next 4th of July!!  Technically, I don’t think that falls under the fireworks ban in Benton County.

Moving forward from there, the driver of the vehicle I was in suddenly hits the brakes and says “What was that on the side of the road?”. “Don’t know.  Back up and lets check it.” As we rolled back and our spot lights came to bear on the suspicious spot on the shoulder of the road, I see two distinct wires running across the shoulder and disappearing into the ground just before they reach what appears to be a seam in the pavement that traces a line directly under my seat.  The wire is the same type that is commonly used to set off IEDs.  Time to go.  NOW!  And all I hear at that point is the transmission arguing as the gears try to decide whether we should continue to roll backwards or surge forward as the driver wills the gear shift lever to move.

Fast forward ten minutes.  Our interrogation crew rips a 155 mm artillery shell out of the pavement right below where we had been.  For those of you that don’t know, 155 mm is about the biggest ordnance you can get delivered without a naval barrage or aircraft.  Another successful find for the good guys… We have neutralized well over 70 IEDs since we got here.

Now that I’m back in Ramadi, it’s time to plow through all the email again and figure out what I missed while I was gone.  Sometimes it doesn’t pay to leave the office.

For now, we March forward.


Semper Fi, brother.  Good hunting, and stay alive.

Posted by Lee on 04/29/07 at 03:50 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (13) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Holidays in the Gun
by Lee

Welcome to safety.

Britain is in danger of “committing slow social suicide” as such Big Brother techniques as surveillance cameras and recording equipment spread into every aspect of our lives, the nation’s information watchdog will warn this week.

A new report from Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, will say that the public needs to be made more aware of the “creeping encroachment” on civil liberties created by email monitoring, CCTV and computer tracking of our buying habits.

It is understood that one of the concerns in Mr Thomas’s report is the use of special listening devices which can be placed in lamp posts, street furniture and offices. These are already widely used in the Netherlands to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.

More than 300 of the cameras with built-in microphones have been fitted in benefit offices and city centres. The equipment can pick up aggressive tones on the basis of decibel level, pitch and speed at which words are spoken.

Westminster council has already started piloting the listening devices, but experts say the use of these microphones raises questions about how surveillance can be used to intrude into the private lives of citizens.

He will also call for greater regulation of companies that supply surveillance technology which provides “convenience or safety for the more affluent majority”, but not for the vulnerable such as children, immigrants and the elderly.

Well, the police can view and listen on damn near anything a citizen does, and this doesn’t seem to worry people.  But thank God private citizens can’t own guns.  That would be terrifying.

Constant 24-hour police state surveillance is civilized.  Gun ownership and personal self defense is for American neanderthals.  If you’re raped, don’t worry, the police are watching it happen.  No need to defend yourself.

Posted by Lee on 04/28/07 at 11:21 PM in Europe and the UK  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Reasons or Excuses
by Lee

In the comments to the Comment of the Day post below, Para attempts to make the argument that there were lots of people who were clamoring to take out Saddam, including plenty of Democrats, and thus Bush’s responsibility for the Iraq disaster is mitigated.  Before I address this, allow me to quote a couple of definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary.

Reason:  A cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event
Excuse:  An attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify

This is an important distinction.  When we discuss the reasons for the Iraq War it is perfectly reasonable to point out all the other politicians who believed Saddam to be an imminent threat.  That, however, does not provide an excuse for the fact that, as president, Bush has the sole responsibility for making these types of decisions.

When we discuss the disaster that Iraq has become, we need to divide the discussion into two areas.  One is a post-mortem, where we look at the situations and decisions which got us into this situation in the first place.  This will provide is with the reasons for how we got where we are.  The other area is about the responsibility. The president appoints a cabinet to advise him on how to make decisions, primarily because the ultimate responsibility lies at the president’s feet.  If Bush chose his cabinet poorly, and thus got given poor advice, then the responsibility lies with Bush.

We don’t live in a democracy, we live in a representative republic.  In a democracy the people make the decisions.  In a representative republic we elect people to make decisions on our behalf.  Bush was thus elected to make these types of decisions on behalf of the people of the United States.  If he makes a poor decision, the people have the right (actually, the responsibility) to hold him accountable for doing so.

He sought the office.  He sought the power.  He sought the prestige.  He got all of it.  And, along with it, he got the responsibility.  Too many people on this blog don’t seem to be able to appreciate the distinction.

Update: I am reminded of the famous quote from Spider-Man:  With great power comes great responsibility.  Bush is arguably the most powerful man on earth.  I can’t accept any argument which doesn’t assign him a comparable level of responsibility.

If it’s good enough for Spidey it’s sure as hell good enough for Dubya.

Posted by Lee on 04/28/07 at 10:12 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Lion Sleeps Tonight (With the Fishes)
by Lee

To paraphrase an old racist joke:

Q:  Why do lions lick their asses?
A:  To get the Iranian taste out of their mouths.

(WARNING:  Graphic video.  Not for the squeamish, and make sure there are no kids in the room.)

Posted by Lee on 04/28/07 at 07:56 PM in The Religion of Peace™  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Comment of the Day
by Lee

From Hal_10000 in this post.

I am, frankly, sick of this shit.  The Dems and public opinion have nothing to do with it.  Both were in favor of it initially.  Remember the huge approval ratings?  Or the vote on authorizing the war?  The public didn’t turn on Bush until things got really bad during the occupation.  And they turned on Bush because they realized he didn’t know what the hell he was doing.

The terrorists are not sitting there watching CNN’s opinion polls on the war.  And our soldiers ignored the restrictive ROE when it became clear they were fighting a guerilla enemy.  The problem was fundamental bad planning compounded by a stubborness to realize things were going wrong.  It wasn’t until the GOP go a shellacking at the polls that they suddenly realized Rumsfeld was incompetent and we needed more troops—two years after people like Lee had said the same thing, only to be braded RINOs and Bush-bashers.

Again, nothing is ever Bush’s fault.  It’s the wussy public.  It’s the evil Democrats.  It’s the barbaric Iraqis.  Everyone ANYONE instead of the Commander in Chief.

You know the fascinating thing?  During the 2004 elections the left chose as its mantra “Anyone But Bush,” or ABB.  Now, as the palace walls crumble around them, the remaining Bush supporters have basically chosen the same mantra as a means of explaining the administration’s failures.

On some level I can understand this.  The country is extremely polarized right now, and there’s a sense that if one side is right on an issue then the other side must be wrong.  While this is incorrect and overly simplistic, it’s the way much of the country views the political zeitgeist.  Many people are therefore reticent about admitting that Bush is responsible because they voted for him, which would therefore mean that (a) they are in part responsible for Bush’s actions, and (b) they’d be forced to admit (incorrectly, mind you) that the “other side” was “right.”

Voting for Bush was a mistake.  I wish I’d never done it.  I wish we’d never gone into Iraq.  These are all mistakes, and as someone who voted for Bush twice I’m willing to take whatever criticism I deserve for that decision.  That being said, in no way does this mean that the left was “right” about Bush.  It doesn’t matter what election you’re discussing, or who the candidate is, the lefties will claim that the Republican candidate is a double secret crypto fascist who seeks to usurp power regardless of Constitutional safeguards.  The lefties thus have no credibility, because they’ve made the same claim over and over again and been totally wrong.

Until Bush.

And this is what is so bad for the conservative cause.  As conservatives most of us traditionally support the GOP.  But if the GOP becomes antithetical to the cause of conservatism, it’s up to conservatives to cut loose the offending party, regroup, and begin to once again advance the cause. 

I don’t oppose Bush because I’m not conservative, I oppose Bush because I am conservative.  And don’t give me any of this pragmatic shit about the Democrats being worse, that’s a total cop-out.

Let me put it this way.  When Clinton was president I thought he was a scumbag primarily because he abused the office.  He didn’t take it seriously, didn’t give the presidency the dignity it deserved.  When Bush came into office he restored that sense of dignity and decorum, instituting rules like nobody coming into the Oval Office without appropriate attire.  I remember opinion polls from early in the Bush administration where a majority of Americans thought he had restored dignity to the office of the presidency. 

Clinton got his dick sucked in the White House then lied about it.  He’s a scumbag.  Bush has gotten us into a disaster of a war, instituted domestic espionage programs, instituted official torture policies which violate the Geneva Conventions and countless other treaties and agreements, done everything conceivable to alienate our allies and empower our enemies, sullied America’s reputation on the world stage, weakened habeas corpus rights, weakened fundamental Constitutional protections, and used the office of the president primarily as a tool for cementing power for the GOP.

Clinton was impeached for lying about his blowjob under oath.  Going by that standard, Bush should be beheadhed and have his severed head stuck on a pike on the front lawn of the White House.  Given a choice between a competent president with loose personal moral standards, and an incompetent douchebag with no respect for the Constitution, I’ll take the former.

Even if he is a Democrat.

Posted by Lee on 04/28/07 at 06:58 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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