Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Hillary & John Circus

It's almost funny to watch the Clinton/Edwards circus all these months before the first primary is held, much less the actual election in 2008. The circus features a clown-race by the duo to see who can get to "George Soros Country" first, initially being crowned as the champion of the lunatic-fringe left and secondly, getting a chance at all the money to be had…under, over, behind the table – whatever. It may be that before the dust settles, the two will be cast in a Michael Moore movie rivaling those of the Three Stooges…maybe something called the "Two Mad Peas in a Pod."

Clown John has endeared himself to the Hollywood crowd by ordering up haircuts at $400 apiece (more expensive than a clown-wig) in California and manicures at a fashionable (where else) salon in New England. He's ingratiated himself with all professional hangers-on by collecting a cool $55,000 for a speech at the Davis branch of the California university system, referencing the "poverty problem." Not to worry, though, since the taxpayers paid for admission to that circus…or is it true that students had to pay $17 to hear the dulcet tones and Carolina drawl?

Clown John's plan for Iraq, laid out earlier this year, would (among other provisions) "cap funding for the troops in Iraq at 100,000 troops to stop the surge [too late for that] and implement an immediate drawdown of 40-50,000 combat troops. Any troops beyond that level should be redeployed immediately." He didn't indicate the redeployment destination…or even how the remaining troops would protect each other once their numbers are drastically diminished. One can see the big wink Edwards the clown is giving the public. He also winks at this further move he would make: After withdrawal, "sufficient forces should remain in the region to contain the conflict [what conflict?] and ensure that instability in Iraq does not spillover and create a regional war, a terrorist haven, or spark a genocide." In other words, head back and re-invade Iraq. Where would that Middle East army bivouac, in the first place, and with its depleted strength what could it do? He didn't say.

Clown Hillary has flapped her size-28 clown-shoe in amongst her tonsils with a gem accruing to her philosophy that it takes a village to raise a child. She says she will see to it that the government takes over the education of the four-year-olds, the better to prepare them for…well…whatever she has in mind. She hasn't caught on yet that the trouble with the education system does not lie with the lack of educating the four-year-olds, but with educating the middle- and high-schoolers. It has been amply proven that reading ability among head-start and non-head-start students is at the same level very early in elementary school. Indeed, kindergartens weren't even mandated in the days when this country led the world in everything from scholarship to consequent productivity.

Clown Hillary has been blinded by her faux spectacles atop her faux grandiose nose – beyond the bridge of which she can't see – to the fact that the Russians decided to take over the raising of the children so they could be indoctrinated while their parents did more productive work, with the result being…well…utter catastrophe and the dissolution of the USSR, not to mention a nation of drunks. She doesn't understand that after Hitler came to power all other youth movements were abolished and as a result the Hitler Youth grew quickly. In 1936, the figure stood at 4 million members. In 1936, it became all but compulsory to join the Hitler Youth. Youths could avoid doing any active service if they paid their subscription but this became all but impossible after 1939. The Hitler Youth (age 14?) finally wound up in the hopeless Battle of the Bulge, there to be used as cannon fodder and something over which German tanks could run while in retreat and mash them to pulp.

So, in light of her special ignorance of the social structure that has made this country great (parents, not villages, raising children), not to mention pedagogy, Clown Hillary winks at the crowd, does a low bow, and falls on her face…or will by next year when the public may be paying attention and discovering that she is a profound socialist and would turn this country over to an oligarchy among which she would be top oligarchic, leading the country down the paths established in Olde Europe.

The most profound thing Clown John said when he ran with John Kerry in 2004 for the oval office was that they had better hair than George Bush and Dick Cheney. At 400 bucks a pop, it doesn't make him look much better than his opponents today, but to each his own. Clown Hillary ran her own circus soon after hubby Bill was elected in 1992 – called Universal Health Care. The consensus was pretty much that it would bankrupt the country, and it was laughed to scorn. The current presumption is that of the two clowns Hillary is ahead in the race to win over and be embraced by, recognizing (perhaps mistakenly) that the base of the Democrat Party is heading toward la-la-land, where the crazies watch the circus and o-o-h and a-a-h.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Friday, May 25, 2007

UPDATE: Jimmy/Bill & the Baptists

Earlier this year, former presidents Carter and Clinton, along with some other folks, announced the forming of something called the New Baptist Covenant and also announced that there would be a convention of sorts in Atlanta in January 2008 sponsored by the NBC. The NBC is to be made up of Baptists throughout the nation, and it is hoped that 20,000 Baptists will take part in Atlanta. Coincidentally, it is scheduled in the same time-frame and in the same city as a meeting of the three large African-American Baptist denominations, thus perhaps capitalizing on a large crowd already on the scene – if, of course, the black Baptists see fit to attend.

Notwithstanding its spiritual/religious nature, the movers and shakers of the NBC are both politicians by trade and neither is a trained theologian or ordained minister. Other main players are to be Al Gore and Bill Moyers, also from the field of politics and also democrats. A few days ago, possibly being struck by the rather partisan appearance of the thing, Baptist republican senators Graham and Grassley, along with president wannabe Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and also a Baptist and ordained minister, were invited to participate and accepted.

Then came last weekend and former president Carter's remarks, one of which was made to an Arkansas newspaper and was in part this: "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history."

That was too much for Huckabee, who decided to opt out with these words: "While I continue to have great respect for President Carter as a fellow Christian believer and Baptist, I’m deeply disappointed by the unusually harsh comments made in my state this past weekend regarding President Bush, and feel that it represents an unprecedented personal attack on a sitting president by a former president which is unbecoming the office as well as unbecoming to one whose conference is supposed to be about civility and bringing people together. … I feel it would be best for me to decline the invitation and to not appear to be giving approval to what could be a political, rather than spiritual agenda." The remark was made to the Florida Baptist Witness. Conclusion: Huckabee realizes the NBC to be a political entity, notwithstanding its high-flown rhetoric.

In addition to the above, to get a perspective on the possible reason Carter has for starting up this NBC clambake, notice this remark he made in London on 19 May with reference to outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair: "Abominable. Loyal. Blind. Apparently subservient." In other words, Carter can be malicious in spewing vitriol, insulting one of the most important men in the world…right in that man's own country.

Until a few years ago, Carter was a high-profiler (perhaps the highest) in the Southern Baptist Convention, by far the largest group of Baptists in the country, numbering some 16 million and fielding 10,000 missionaries throughout the world. He didn't approve of the doctrinal changes taking place in the denomination among its leaders but could do nothing about it, except whine. He finally sort of broke with the SBC, like some thousands of others did over the doctrinal questions, though they moved on. Apparently, Carter hasn't.

In the initial confabs leading to the NBC, there were no participants from the Southern Baptist Convention. They were not invited. Lately, Carter, perhaps realizing how bad that looks, has been talking with Southern Baptist preachers who are bloggers, hoping obviously for some sort of SBC participation, but in a very unofficial way. The pertinent questions: Is he just "getting even" with the SBC leadership/membership with this new organization. What is its purpose, notwithstanding some five goals outlined in the propaganda? Is it to be a new super-denomination of some sort? Huckabee was thinking about civility and "bringing people together." Carter automatically negates those things with just a few remarks.

In a meeting last April, according to Associated Baptist press, Carter said, "The most common opinion about Baptists is we cannot get along. … I have been grieved by the divisions of my own convention." He obviously referred to the Southern Baptist Convention, though the ABP categorized him as a "former Southern Baptist." What neither Carter nor the ABP mentioned is the fact that Baptists frequently disagree on everything from church polity to theology, and, in this case, Carter’s view has not prevailed in his denomination, ergo, his denomination is excoriated as negative. Cheap shot, in other words.

It remains to be seen how this scenario plays out. One wonders how long it will take for the spiritual leaders of the denominations to begin wondering if they're being snookered by the former presidents. The conclave will take place in the same month as the 2008 presidential primaries start rolling, and Clinton's wife, Senator Clinton, needs all the help she can get in the South. What better way than to have Baptist hubby Bill hobnobbing with fellow Baptists in Atlanta!

Van Gower, writing for Southern Voice in December 2004: "Former President Jimmy Carter confirmed this week that he supports state-sanctioned civil unions for gay couples, in response to a letter from two veteran Atlanta gay rights activists and questions from Southern Voice." Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in September 1996, which states categorically that neither the federal government nor any state must recognize a civil union (same-sex marriage). This is mentioned to indicate that the harmoniousness of the NBC may be wrecked once the details and discussions are underway. Most Baptists view homosexual behavior as condemned out of hand in the scriptures, and marriages between men so off-the-wall as to be laughable, not to mention sinful.

And then there's the matter of financing the New Baptist Covenant. How? Only the shadow knows, unless the C-twins have decided.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

HERALD-LEADER Defines "just barely!"

Wonders never cease when it comes to editorialists who must have something to say about everything when it's obvious that they have a hard time having something sensible to say about the simplest things. Here's the opening of the lead editorial in the Lexington Herald-Leader of 23 May (the day after the Primary): "This morning, it's fair to start with congratulations to Gov. Ernie Fletcher. He managed to survive his own party's primary -- just barely."

Well…okay. The republican governor won only 104 of the state's 120 counties, with a plurality well over 50%. So…one has to conclude that the editorialist has a strange definition for the term "just barely." The democrat winner managed only a 41% plurality, so the term "just barely" defies description in his case. Maybe "just barely barely" would do. The paper's view is that half of the republicans voted against a sitting guv, but didn't take the view that nearly 60% of democrats voted against their standard-bearer in November. Editorialists have a hard time, especially when their agenda is being chopped-up into little pieces.

It could be that an important contributing factor to Fletcher's win was the presence of Attorney General Greg Stumbo's name on the ballot in the lieutenant governor slot of the losing democrat team that won a measly 21% of democrat voters. Stumbo said years ago that he would consider running for governor (not lieutenant governor) if Fletcher became "wildly unpopular." He then attempted make the guv wildly unpopular by running an investigation out of his office that properly belonged elsewhere – for instance, before an ethics committee. He racked up a raft of misdemeanors, mostly, and the guv just pardoned the accused, not allowing the obvious witch-hunt to hurt governing and bankrupt bureaucrats hung with huge attorney-fees trying to fight simple misdemeanors. Stumbo even charged the guv, but made nothing stick and dropped everything.

The governor's two republican opponents entered the primary advancing the proposition that Fletcher was too mortally wounded by the faux charges that were obvious to any reasonable person as politically motivated – especially in Kentucky, where the politics surely are the damnedest. For his trouble, Stumbo has been let out to pasture. In his portion of the concession speech, he vowed to try the governor on every street-corner and in every barbershop in Kentucky between now and November, admitting, though obviously unintentionally, that he wasn't able to trap him in the only place that mattered – the court.

The biggest losers financially were the ones who largely – if not almost altogether – bankrolled their own campaigns. Republican Billy Harper spent mega-millions to get 13% of the vote. Democrat Bruce Lunsford (Stumbo's running mate) also spent mega-millions to get 21% of the democrat vote. A few days ago, republican contender Anne Northup shot another $500,000 into her campaign that garnered 37% of the republican vote. Democrat Steve Henry also "loaned" his campaign a cool million in April, and collected 17.5% of the democratic vote for his investment. The biggest loser, of course, was Lunsford, who wasted another $8 million four years ago trying for the office, then dropped out and actually supported republican Fletcher in his successful race against Ben Chandler, who kissed the whole crowd goodbye by going off to Congress the next year and avoiding the current gubernatorial mishmash altogether.

The editorialist one more time: "No matter your campaign rhetoric, people will still know that they don't have affordable health care, that good jobs are hard to find, that their kids aren't learning enough in the early grades and that college is too expensive." These are the exact words rumbling through the editorial pages during every election cycle for decades…so what else is new?

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Friday, May 18, 2007

Mainstream Media & Misspeaking

Imagine what would have happened if President Bush announced last week that 2,750,000 people (one-tenth of the nation’s population) had died in the fighting in Iraq in one day during the war on terrorism. That extent of carnage when extrapolated over the four years since the invasion in 2003 would surely mean that there was no one left. The president, who is always vilified in the mainstream media for mispronouncing “nuclear” (probably on purpose by now just to stiff his nemeses), would be excoriated by the pundits and talking-heads for being too ignorant to hold office and therefore would call on Congress for immediate impeachment and conviction…then consignment to the nearest booby-hatch.

Consider: President wannabe Senator Barack Obama said in a stirring speech in Richmond, Virginia, the other day that 10,000 people died in a tornado that hit Greensburg, Kansas the day before. At that time, only 12 had been confirmed dead in a town of some 1,500 people. Folks would have had to reserve every bus in the state in order to transport enough people to Greensburg for 10,000 of them to be blown away…that is, if anyone had known the tornado was to happen. At least a couple days notice would have been necessary to make all the arrangements. If Obama had been president last week and his calculations (or miscalculations) had been used, he would have said that 2,750,000 people had died in Iraq in one day.

Okay…Obama was nowhere near Kansas, has to depend on gofers to get both information and misinformation – both needed at various times for different reasons determined by a necessary spin on a specific subject – hadn’t bothered to check something that a high school sophomore would have suspected to be erroneous, and probably didn’t even realize the mistake, much less the enormity of it. According to the NOAA National Weather Service, during the 50-year period 1950-1999 a total of 4,460 people died because of tornados in this entire country, but Obama thought and said 10,000 died in one day. What price has he paid – zilch? Of course. Anyone who makes a mistake that outrageous about something happening in his own country, especially in this day of instant communication, is just considered by the media as having a bad day…especially if he happens to be a democrat.

Or, take the case of Senator Clinton. In conjunction with her current effort as a prez wannabe, her book It Takes a Village came out in a myriad of reprints. Imagine what would happen if a republican wannabe expressed the idea that it actually does take a village to raise a child. He/she would immediately be branded as a socialist or a communist since in those ideologies is the insistence that the state should raise the children while the parents do more useful work. This was Hitler’s idea, too, so throw in the anarchist or fascist – or whatever Hitler was, besides crazy – as the republican’s model. Does the mainstream media consider Senator Clinton to be a devotee to those un-American concepts of government responsibilities? Of course not! Like Obama, she’s a darling of the Michael Moore gang and the freaks that run for Soros…the Hollywood crowd that lives in la-la-land, the land of make-believe.

What would happen if the president’s press honcho Tony Snow should inform the gang of reporters/pundits/talking-heads and other propagandists of the media at his next news conference that the president of CBS lied on his resume and that he actually didn’t get beyond the sixth-grade, in which he spent five years at that? Snow’s head would have been demanded by the mainstreamers (hopefully not on a platter, like that of John the Baptist) and he would have been accused of the worst sort of slander…and justifiably. He would have been laughed to scorn, blackballed throughout the information industry, and never heard from again.

Flash back to 2004 in the final months just before the presidential election. Dan Rather, the golden boy at CBS, announced to the world that George Bush had been given favors by Texas Air National Guard honchos and that his military record was somehow not complete or erroneous and that the president was therefore not truthful and certainly not up to being president of the nation. He even produced documents to prove these charges, thus making CBS’s democrat-driven agenda rock-solid-hard in insisting that Bush was a liar and worse. The problem: lies and forgeries. Rather didn’t produce news. He produced a hoax of immense proportions.

What happened to Rather at CBS? Nothing, for quite a long time. A few heads rolled, but not his…at least not until it was abundantly obvious to CBS, thoroughly discredited by the whole sordid affair, that he had to go. Has Rather disappeared from sight for having produced a lie as outrageous as can be imagined? Of course not…at least not in the mainstream media, in which he continues to do interviews and, if memory serves, is still on the CBS payroll to do things of a special nature. He is still considered an expert and palmed off on the public as reliable. Not surprising…but weird!

Of course, there’s Howard Fineman of Newsweek. He managed to lie that American GIs had flushed Korans down toilets at Guantanamo a couple years or so ago, causing a bunch of Muslims around the world to commit hara-kiri in protest. Where’s Fineman today? He’s Newsweek’s chief political analyst. Fineman regularly offers his political analysis on various NBC franchises. Notwithstanding his contriving an incredible hoax, Fineman remains a darling of the mainstream media. Is it any wonder that this media has virtually no credibility?

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Iraqi Vacations = U.S. Departure Time

This country, led most of the time against the current by President Bush, has gone the proverbial “last mile” in Iraq, taking casualties now trying to keep the peace among people hell-bent not to live in peace – at least as far as their leaders are concerned, which is all that matters in a population of which more than half are functionally illiterate and therefore led around by the nose by the butchers who recognize no sanctity of life. The people voted three times in 2005, often, if not always, at great personal risk to secure a democratic government.

Since the last vote, December 2005, this country has stayed the course, watching elected Iraqi leaders act along multi-partisan lines (though mostly sectarian) to defeat the will of the people and install themselves or their parties/tribes/sects/whatever in positions of advantage, leaving the common people worse off then they were under the supreme butcher, Saddam. Even worse, their surrogates in the streets kill indiscriminately, strapping on bombs and blowing women and children to bits in the marketplace or installing IEDs to kill American GIs.

The crowning insult to the Bush administration is the recent announcement by the Iraqi government that it intends to take two months off soon for vacation, as if it hasn’t seemingly been somewhere off the planet for a year and a half already. In this corner, which has always steadily supported the Iraqi action, this announcement should be taken by President Bush as an invitation by the Iraqis to depart. If Iraqi lawmakers and bureaucrats don’t intend to be serious about their commitment, this country certainly should not carry their water any longer. No American life or limb has been wasted in the effort, since the world is now on notice that this country has both the power and the will to move military resources around the world and overcome any enemy.

Nation-building, however, is possible only among people who are both willing to participate and unwilling to shed each other’s blood in the process. George Bush announced when running in 2000 that nation-building was not this country’s business. He felt it necessary to change that concept in both Afghanistan and Iraq probably because this country did a great deal to completely turn those countries upside-down. Enormous amounts of lives and treasure have been spent in the process in both places, but in neither place does there seem any actual hope that democracy will take hold.

The literacy rate in Afghanistan is 28.1%, an unbelievable statistic in this country. Two things are necessary for a republic to exist – integrity, especially among officials, and a reasonably well-educated populace, neither of which obtains in Afghanistan and Iraq. This being the case, it’s time now for serious planning for withdrawal, not because democrats demand it but because there’s no light at the end of the tunnel in either place, not to mention that the U.S. military has been heavily enough burdened. In fact, things might get better – except for women and girls – in both places when the troops leave. Unfortunately, even though this country has virtually freed women and girls in their Islamic hells, American GIs cannot enforce decency upon men who are instinctively indecent and driven to be so by a fanaticism enhanced by fanatic imams, ayatollahs, sheiks, whatever.

The claim that a withdrawal will make this nation appear weak or will allow the terrorists to follow our troops to our shores is without foundation. This would have been true if the nation had not “stayed the course” after engaging the enemy in Afghanistan and Iraq 5.5 and four years ago, respectively. There was hope back then that a people would decide to govern themselves secularly but the hope has long since evaporated. It appears that even the man in the street is determined to live by the Koran, which makes jihad incumbent upon him, whether he likes it or not. Now, even the women are getting into the act, blowing themselves, along with other women as well as children, to smithereens in the name of their god – Allah. This country has made its point in spades and has nothing to fear but – as FDR put it in WWII-terms in1941 – fear itself.

Everything is now changed in light of the fact that Iraqi leaders are perfectly willing to take off a couple months while their land is going to hell in a hand-basket, and after having done nothing for some 18 months, at that. Disgusting. The time to start leaving is now. The war was won four years ago and the Iraqi conception of peace is incomprehensible to Americans. Actual peace will never happen…Muslims hate each other too much for that.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Congressional Adrenalin Overdose

There’s a tendency, especially among the young, to place elected officials on a pedestal and exist in awe of them. With age comes the realization that they’re just like most folks, warts and all, except that sometimes they manage to exhibit conduct not only unbecoming to mature people but downright silly and/or petty…maybe even dumb. The people in all the political parties are subject to this and are most likely to make themselves look bad right after a shakeup in which they secure privileges never experienced (or at least not for a long time) or expected.

Pettiness carried to the quintessential degree was carried out last week by Senate Majority Leader Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when they arranged a TV “signing ceremony” (a la the oval office) for the simple exercise of the authenticating of legislation. They proceeded to compound their juvenile tendencies by delaying the submission of the legislation to the president for four days until 01 May, the fourth anniversary of his “Mission Accomplished” ceremony on the aircraft carrier, apparently not realizing that at that time the combat segment of the operation in Iraq had been accomplished, and the president was right. Pelosi and Reid actually embarrassed themselves, as folks remarked their juvenile behavior

This action can be easily understood by any third-grader on any playground in the land. It’s called SPITE, and it’s endemic to folks at most any age, but particularly during the childhood and adolescent years. Its objective is to embarrass, especially by anyone intent upon gaining revenge upon another, especially as practiced by the one of the two who is in the subordinate position. Example, personal: Because a high-school teacher wouldn’t let me make up a test I missed because I was sick, I looked out the window virtually continually while in class after that but always made it a point to know exactly where the discussion was so that I could quickly answer when called upon. That was SPITE…it didn’t hurt the teacher a bit but made me feel better…also made me pay attention.

The democrats had been out of power in Congress since 1994 and 1996, respectively, in the House and Senate until this year. They’ve celebrated their return to power with endless investigations, hearings, subpoenas of one type or another, ultimatums, and general hanky panky instead of doing anything constructive, mostly to embarrass and remove administration officials from their posts. They’ve been eminently unsuccessful, so they’re trying harder at failing. The only meaningful legislation passed so far has to do with the minimum wage, and even then there was an attempt to exempt its requirement from some businesses in Speaker Pelosi’s California.

Pelosi, Reid and their henchmen have decided to run the war in Iraq by holding spending bills for the military hostage, demanding unrealistic maneuvers that would place the military and the Iraqi government in untenable positions. To make their efforts even more unseemly, they attached huge segments of pork to their supposed military spending bills, meaning that they had to buy votes in order to get anything passed. Imagine the irony noticed by the military…having to buy votes in order to get elected officials to vote “the right way” on something as serious as a war. Democrat Senator Joe Biden, current presidential contender, told a South Carolina voter that Congress should "shove it (the legislation) down his (Bush’s) throat." Presumably, this would come after the pork is guaranteed. Disgusting!

Before she could get her office furniture arranged, Speaker Pelosi was off to Syria to confer with the head of a state that overtly supports terrorism against this country and enables terrorism in Iraq. She was so besotted with her new power that she actually thought she was so important that fraternizing/conferring with the enemy was a prerogative accruing to her eminent position not just in this country but throughout the world. It may be that she had confused her office with that of the secretary of state, but all she did was make herself look silly, as had some senators shortly before her, notably Kerry, presidential candidate last time around who recently remarked upon the intelligence (or lack of it) of GIs, and Dodd, who actually is running for the presidency now, as far-out as that seems.

So…the worm has turned. It will take a while before the democrats realize that virtually nothing has changed. Gridlock is still operative in the Congress. Political jockeying is as much in place as ever, this time with Republican Minority Leader McConnell, maybe the shrewdest politician of all, calling the shots, and he makes the former minority and currently majority leader, Senator Reid, pale in comparison regarding parliamentary skullduggery.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark