Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hillary Pilloried

The latest democrat “debate,” sponsored by MSNBC and held in Philadelphia, had its moments for hilarity, not the least reason being that after 17 minutes neither Kucinich nor Richardson had received a question from the interlocutors (term used purposely, since the intrepid news-people vie with the candidates for their share of the glory). A good part of this clambake was seen in this corner, but two hours – no way, especially since the patented speeches have already been heard enough.

The long knives were out for Cinderhill by the seven…no, make that six…dwarves, since Gravel was not invited to the dance. That was a shame, since he would have added his usual spice to the chaos, such as when – in the debate before the homosexuals, lesbians bisexuals, trans-genders, and those who just wonder – he allowed that homosexuals make the better soldiers.

Senator Dodd even perpetrated upon an unsuspecting audience (and in polite company) the absolutely unmentionable fact that Senator Clinton should not get the nomination because she is simply unelectable. A huge gasp shook the studio, as he said 50% of the citizens have already insisted that they will not vote for her. Chauvinism is alive and well in the Senate these days. Since in today’s Quinnipiac, Zogby, IA, NH, and SC polls, he trails Clinton by between 44 and 47 points, he seems rather unelectable himself, and even Kucinich is in better shape. Of course, he can say anything, since he obviously has nothing to lose.

Without using the “L” word, the chauvinistic men accused Clinton of…well, lying, just as she accused General Petraeus of that right to his face the other day in an august Senate hearing, after which Senator Biden, the exalted committee chairman, agreed with her in an interview with Slate. Apparently, he didn’t have the guts to do it at the hearing, speaking of which, Hillary gave as good as she got, though her pronouncements might be somewhat as Obama said, to wit, fashioned to fit the time and place.

John Edwards, well-coifed as usual (haircut costs not mentioned, though), allowed that Clinton’s pre-Primary talk was not the same as would be her pre-Election talk, in other words, moving from primary-mode to general election-mode. His shtick was that he would say the same thing the same way – with the same haircut and manicure? – no matter when or where. He stood by his previous statement that Clinton engaged in doubletalk, defined in the dictionary as “language that appears to be earnest and meaningful but in fact is a mixture of sense and nonsense.” Egad! Should one suppose he thinks it actually doesn’t take a village to raise a child?

Richardson rather passionately outlined his bona fides, especially with reference to North Korea, with which he claimed to have parleyed (unofficially, of course) on nuclear-bomb matters, but didn’t mention that his efforts in 2003 went for naught since the North Koreans apparently were not impressed and went right on trying to make the bomb. He mentioned that he got the North Koreans to release six American bodies from the Korean War era, but one wonders about that, especially since Jesse Jackson managed to bring some folks back alive from somewhere or other. Lots of nations will do most anything to embarrass most U.S. administrations.

Senator Biden made it clear that while Senator Clinton, as first lady, was meeting with foreign dignitaries he was actually dealing with them, thus being superior to her in the matter of foreign relations. Since he was never secretary of state or a diplomat, one wonders about that, but so be it if the senator believes it. Biden also made it clear that Giuliani is the most under-qualified person to run for president since George Bush, so that narrowed the field rather drastically, only three year’s worth at this point.

Kucinich admitted to having seen a UFO but made it clear that President Carter has seen a UFO…so that makes everything hunky-dory in the vital area of outer-space programs. Carter said he, while fishing, no less, was once attacked by a giant rabbit, but that’s for another debate. When asked if he thought there was life after death, Obama demurred by claiming that he knows there’s life before death – well, okay, a bit of a paraphrase there. Occurring during the week of Halloween gave the whole shooting-match the honor (or derisions) it deserved.

Of course, the debates can be hazardous to a candidate’s health. The interlocutors – Russert and Edwards – had the nasty habit of reading quotes to candidates and asking if they still stood behind what they had said somewhere else. Hillary did have a problem with this, but, face it, all candidates have a problem when confronted with something they’ve said. In fact, even people have that problem – little joke there, sorry.

This was the eighth (count ’em) debate for the dems, and the primaries are months away. They’re great for the network icons, though, who get their 15 minutes of fame in trying to outfox the candidates. One still remembers Chris Matthews in his sideshow debate, wherein he pranced back and forth and stared the poor wannabes in the face. Great theater! Lots of heat…less of light.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, October 29, 2007

Abyssinian Baptist & the Senator

To show her confidence in the First Amendment matter of the separation of church and state, Senator Hillary Clinton did a campaign stop in the Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem, N.Y., over last weekend. The fact that the event was blatantly political was pointed up when the Rev. Calvin Butts, pastor of the church said, “Victory belongs to her.” He most certainly was not speaking of a victory over any heavenly or hellish creature, though many might describe some or all of her fellow president wannabes in those terms, depending upon their judgment of the inhabitants of those places, whether ethereal or nether.

If such an event were held by Romney or Giuliani in the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City or any Catholic cathedral anywhere, respectively, the long knives of the mainstream media would be verbally slicing up their vital organs and claiming a disregard for the Constitutional “suggestion” about mixing religion and politics. Indeed, they would be clamoring for those churches to be deprived of their tax-exempt status. But democrat candidates routinely campaign in black churches to keep those folk in line, meaning the automatic 90-92% of their vote.

The event was arranged by hubby Slick and Congressman Rangel, for whom the occasion was more a homecoming than for Hillary, as it was described, who lives nowhere near Harlem and would not dare to go there after darkness descends. Rangel, by contrast, got his start there (Harlem) by defeating Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr., pastor of Abyssinian Baptist at the time, in 1970 in the primary and later winning the general election, and has warmed that seat ever since. His latest claims for attention involve his pushing for the military draft and advancing a tax program guaranteed to raise taxes exponentially.

It was fitting for Rangel and Hillary to be on the stump together, since her health plan in 1993 and her philosophy that “it takes a village to raise a child,” ergo, cradle-to-grave existence, and his drive to soak everybody in the interest of redistributing the wealth mesh exactly as the dream for a socialist state. Hubby Bill knows better, simply because he’s smart, but he’s going along for the ride because he’s also inordinately opportunistic.

There’s a supreme irony in all this. Easily the most flamboyant congressman of the 40s-60s, Powell-the- preacher nevertheless was an effective and passionate worker for civil rights and constantly stirred-up both the New York City government and the House of Representatives, being as important, actually, as Martin Luther King Jr., if not more so. This being the case and despite being a staunch democrat, he came out for Eisenhower in the 1956 presidential election because the democrats were not matching the former general in agitating for civil rights. After all, it was Eisenhower who sent the troops to Little Rock in 1955 to do battle with the entrenched democrats there.

New York City Democrat Party leaders were outraged at this act of disloyalty and waged a hard-fought campaign to defeat Powell in the 1958 primary election. Powell's loyal Harlem constituents rebuffed this effort. Powell had expensive habits and also performed with a considerable degree of absenteeism, so later on he fell upon hard times. He was chairman of the powerful House Labor and Education Committee in the 60s, but was deprived of that chairmanship because of his shenanigans. He retired as minister at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in 1971 and died in Miami, Florida, on April 4, 1972.

Abyssinian (or Ethiopian) Baptist Church is just the latest of black churches used by democrats in every election. Clinton was patronizing those folk, but they didn’t care. They’re democrats to the core, and it wouldn’t matter if J. Fred Muggs were the democrat candidate. They would vote for him over any republican.

As for the Rev. Calvin Butts, perhaps he should be invited to speak at the New Baptist Covenant clambake to be presided over by former Baptist presidents Carter and Clinton in Atlanta next January. He has already established his religious credentials by being pastor of this important church. Now, he’s established his political credentials by joining the Clinton campaign to his church, and that’s what the New Baptist Covenant could be all about, scheduled as it is just in time for the major primaries. Without question, a large number of Baptists will be there for the right reasons – those expounded in the literature – but in view of the leadership and the timing, not to mention some of the speakers, one presumes the political aspect is the prime consideration of the leaders, wily politicians that they are.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Friday, October 26, 2007

Osama, Ayman & Mahmoud

It’s late at night in a cave just east of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Osama bin Laden and his second-in- command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, hereinafter referred to as O, A, and M, respectively.

~O: Allah be praised for your speech at the American Columbia University, Mahmoud, but you should have proclaimed a fatwa on the spot for the president of the university for saying mean things about us just to protect his job…Allah plague him with a thousand Arabian nights in the camel stables….
~M: Allah be glorified…but I cannot do fatwas, Osama, as you know. Only the ayatollahs have the glorious privilege of putting out contracts on…
~A: Bah! Khomeini – your boss, Mahmoud – could have put out a fatwa…Allah be ashamed of him…within the hour and had someone behead the infidel at the end of your speech and set off a bomb… but Allah be further ashamed…he is a weak Shiite…
~M: (grabbing his AK-47) Just hold it there, you son of a goat and one-eyed sheep…Allah look down on me, your warrior…(clicking off the safety) or I’ll put out that other eye and help you join your damnable Sunnis where the virgins never tread and…
~O: (waving his own AK-47 and glaring at Zawahiri) A thousand apologies, Mahmoud, the most feared Muslim since Mohammad Ali beat Frazier and Calypso Louie shot Malcolm X…Allah be entreated for calmness…let us not discriminate and we shall overcome, we shall overcome (starts singing)
~A: For the sake of Allah and before his fires descend, Osama, stop that foolishness…it is the theme song of a Christian, not a Muslim…and a black Christian at that…Allah be praised for black Muslims in America…if only they would…Allah be forgiving…do the homicide/suicide number…a-a-r-r-g-g-h-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-HA-A-R-R-G-G-H-H-On to Wisconsin
~O: (firing a small burst upward) Stop it, Ayman…Allah be mortified…overlook that awful scream, Mahmoud, it is something Ayman learned from the American Howard Dean in 2004 and Ayman uses it whenever he is overcome with frustration…
~A: (quieting) Now look what you’ve done, Osama, firing at the ceiling…dead bats all over the place and rocks and water all over our prayer rugs and bat-entrails in our hookah…Allah look the other way…
~O: Mahmoud, we are tired of living in the squalor of this cave, where the sun never shines…Forgive me Allah for the complaint…where the sun never shines, I shivered where the cold winds blow, in the pines, in the pines…
~M: (puzzled look) Ayman, what is he…
~A: It’s that damned bluegrass music again…he’s been listening to Voice of America over the shortwave…Allah be merciful…Osama, we need to get to the point…and you’re ’way off-key anyway.
~O: Allah be praised for pines, whatever they are…oh yes, the point of this meeting…Mahmoud, the deaths are going down every day in Iraq and I’ve just sent a message through al Jazeera to our brothers there to get the blood flowing again…anybody’s blood, especially…Allah grant a bloodthirsty blessing…the blood of Americans, but any blood will do, and you haven’t kept your promise to send over more roadside bombs…
~M: With all due respect…Allah look down with beneficence and understanding of a poor president…we’re sending everything but the kitchen sink. The problem is that the Iraqi men are fed up with your gang killing their women and children…well…at least the women, and, okay, the girls don’t count. Anyway, the problem is with the Americans…Allah damn all white Anglo-Saxon men…who won’t leave, even with the Speaker Pelosi in her cute pant-suits demanding they do and the democratic candidates caterwauling all over some weird little patches called New Hampshire and Iowa and trying to act presidential. (laughs) The candidate Mike Gravel told the homosexuals in something called a debate the other night that homosexuals make the best soldiers and learn about love in mutually shared foxholes. (laughs hysterically)
~A: You told them at Columbia that there are no homosexuals in Iran, didn’t you, Mahmoud? Did you tell them why? (laughs uproariously) Allah be praised for the virgins – everywhere! There’s nothing like a good stoning to view in an afternoon hookah session…with strong leaves…praise Allah for the poppies! A-A-H-H
~O: Mahmoud, with all due respect, you should not be noticing Pelosi’s pant-suits…Allah, forgive him…for he knoweth not what he doeth…
~A: That’s the Bible in the infidel King James, not the Koran in the blessed Arabic, Osama…Allah be not vengeful…you’ve been watching the infidel TV preachers again…
~M: I must go…Allah be watchful over me, the most important man in the world…there’s a beheading in Syria at noon and I mustn’t miss it…a missionary of some sort, I believe. And then it’s on to Sudan…Allah be praised for gunpowder…where we’re doing a collective fatwa for the ayatollah on those in the South, as well as some UN peacekeepers…peacekeepers…(laughs)…peacekeepers my gold-embossed turban…they rape the women and make slaves of the children faster than the holy warriors do!
~O: (later) Ayman, do you think Mahmoud is all there? (circles his ear with his finger) Remember, he had that vision, he said, while speaking at the UN last year…Allah be mystified…do you think he’s on to something?
~A: a-a-r-r-h-h-g-g-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-H-A-A-R-R-H-H-G-G-On to Wisconsin!!!
~O: DITTO!!!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Democrat Soap Opera

The best soap opera of an afternoon’s titillation could not match the current democratic leadership and presidential candidates for sheer entertainment value. Nor could any political organization or PAC match the mainstream media for sheer silliness in its treatment of national/world events as it propagandizes as the Democrat Party’s advertising agency and policy-wonk institution.

The best story in the country on 19 October involved Betty Casey’s purchase on E-bay for $2,100,100 of the famous Limbaugh “smear-letter” written by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (and signed by 40 other senators, among whom were all four democrat president wannabes) to Mark Mays, head honcho of the outfit broadcasting Limbaugh’s daily talk-show, in an effort to embarrass Limbaugh, who matched Casey’s bid, meaning that $4,200,200 was contributed to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization in New Jersey that provides scholarships and other assistance to families of marines and federal law enforcement officials who die or are wounded in the line of duty.

This amount, collected in less than a week, equaled 81% of all contributions made last year to the organization. ABC Nightly News, with Charlie Gibson in the august anchor-chair, was tuned in by this corner to see how this scintillating bit of news would be handled, since ABC is a democrat media machine and letter-signers Reid, Clinton, Biden, Obama and Dodd had made buffoons of themselves. Predictably, this best story of the day was totally ignored. Instead, the viewer was treated to a chit-chat (with “virtual” graphics) by Gibson and ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz regarding the Israelis’ bombing of something-or-other in Syria, a subject about which neither knew anything of substance, but implied clearly that the U.S. (gasp and three palpitations!!!) was involved, apparently by not stopping such a terrible thing. Laughter abounded in this corner.

Even more off-the-wall was Reid’s speech on the Senate floor in which he took credit for the great gift to the non-profit. Only a few days before, he had delivered a seven-minute speech – again on the floor of the “greatest deliberative body in the world” – castigating Limbaugh for insulting the troops, something Limbaugh had never done, in the first place. Reid has claimed for months that the Iraq War is lost, thus delivering the penultimate insult to the troops, but can’t seem to realize how silly that makes him look. With the world going to hell in a hand-basket and serious problems to address everywhere, Reid and the prez-wannabes spend their time with utter foolishness. That’s sad, not laughable! Reid was even sillier in his first speech when he mentioned that Limbaugh had never been in the military, since he, too, has never worn the uniform.

Then, there’s the strange “Hillary happenings” of late. She reckoned in an appearance before the congressional black caucus the other day that the government should give $5,000 to each baby when she/he escapes the womb to face a cruel world. Since about 4,000,000 babes arrive each year, that works out to some $20 billion in just the first year. Later over in Iowa, she allowed that it would be a good idea to give every earner a $1,000 tax-cut per year in behalf of her/his IRA. This amounts to more than the baby-boon (up to $25 billion), but she would pay for it with higher estate taxes. She’s famously said it takes a village to raise a child; now, she seems to think it takes the dead to raise retirement. That’s unfair, since the dead can’t defend themselves, and the inheritors can just eat cake. Hillary thinks Uncle Sugar should take care at the beginning and the end – ALPHA & OMEGA!

For someone who was against the war after she was for it, Clinton has strayed from the party line lately, actually supporting President Bush’s position that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard should be declared a terrorist organization and even went so far as to say that drastic measures should be employed by this country if the nation’s oil supply is threatened, meaning, of course (a deep gasp!), that the IRG (Ahmadinejad’s thugs) might have to be “neutralized,” implying something worse than “water-boarding” and giving the president authority to act without congressional meddling, in the bargain. Now that’s soap opera at its most titillating!

Well…after all, Cinderhillary has to put some distance between her and the seven dwarves who are snapping at her high-heels, Obama even taking off his flag-pin in a show of patriotism, and Edwards, well-coifed on a regular basis, pushing a health-plan to give away more than hers will. Biden is still screaming for a three-way partitioning of Iraq, as if that were possible, while Gravel just screams…nothing in particular. Richardson would be yanking the troops home with all current haste, knowing full well that even if elected (now there IS a laugh) he could do nothing until 2009. So…Reid and gang, PLEASE keep up the soap opera…at least until O.J. goes on trial again!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sanchez Garrotes Mainstream Media

In a speech to military journalists the other day, retired Lieut. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, former commander in Iraq (June 2003-June 2004), castigated the administration on its effort in that benighted country. He had some tough things to say, one being about the current “surge,” which he characterized as a “desperate attempt.” Sanchez has joined lots of other retired officers in opining about the war, some favorably, and others, scathingly.

The general has a right to his opinion and is reportedly planning to write a book that will include the citing of names…always titillating. Why not? High-profile practitioners of government and/or military matters have practically made a cottage industry of expressing their views (usually in approval of their own conduct) once their official capacity is over. Abu Ghraib, which was never of any significance at all, occurred on Sanchez’s watch, but was so blown out of all proportion by the media that Sanchez has a right to chastise the fourth/fifth estates for penultimate overkill. He proceeded to do that in his speech.

Excerpt: “For some it seems that as long as you get a front-page story, there is little or no regard for the collateral damage that will be caused. Personal reputations sometimes have no value. They report with total impunity, and are rarely held accountable for unethical conduct. Given the near instantaneous ability to report actions on the ground, the responsibility to accurately and truthfully report takes on an unprecedented importance. The speculative and often uninformed initial reporting that characterizes our media, appears to be rapidly becoming the standard of the industry.”

Translated: You people, who never make life-and-death decisions, are responsible to no one and so can and do become liars of the first order, notwithstanding your plethora of character assassinations and your insensitivity to their objects or their difficult jobs.

Excerpt: “Once reported, your assessments become conventional wisdom and nearly impossible to change. Your unwillingness to accurately and prominently correct your mistakes and your agenda-driven biases sometimes contribute to this corrosive environment. All these challenges combined create a media environment that does a tremendous disservice to America, in some instances. Over the course of this war, tactically insignificant events have become strategic defeats for our country because of the tremendous power and impact of the media -- and, by extension, you individually, the journalists.”

Translated: You and your employers/supporters/political-organizations are driven not by the search for truth or instituting objective commentary, but by sociopolitical agendas that trump any notion of responsibility. Abu Ghraib, during which no prisoner was even hurt, much less killed, is a good example of attempting to make something of nothing to satisfy a personal or media agenda. Disgusting!

Excerpt: “What is clear to me is that you're perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war, in some cases.”

Translated: Because of your petty partisan politics, corrupt on a scale that has made the public perception of the media as low in esteem as that of Congress, American GIs die, the enemy taking note that by waiting out an administration constantly bombarded by negative propaganda it can continue to kill Americans.

Excerpt: “In some cases I have never even met you, yet you feel qualified to make character judgments that are communicated to the world. My experience is not unique and we can find other examples such as the treatment of Secretary Brown during Katrina....For some, it seems that as long as you get a front page story there is little or no regard for the "collateral damage" you will cause.

Translated: You don’t bother with facts and don’t even bother with attempting to get them. You write about people you don’t know and present them to the public not on the basis of who they are but on the basis of whom you’ve decided for them to be in order to satisfy your agenda. Brown is a good case in point. To this day, he is excoriated by the media and was probably thrown under the bus by the president – to his shame – as the result of pressure applied by the media. Brown did better than anyone in the Katrina matter, as was learned in the hearings, but had his hands tied by the combination of bureaucracy, and two hopelessly inept officials – New Orleans Mayor Nagin and Louisiana Governor Blanco, neither of whom had a clue and by whose hands much blood was shed.

The “mainstream media” – NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN and various big-city newspapers and news-magazines – are little more than propaganda tools of the Democrat Party. It remains for the conservative columnists, talk-show gurus, and the Fox News Channel to get out the complete message. In retaliation to something talk-show host Rush Limbaugh said and which they completely misrepresented, 41 senators sent a letter to Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays demanding that he repudiate Limbaugh’s remarks and ask Limbaugh to apologize for something he didn’t say. The letter is now being auctioned on E-bay, with proceeds, matched by Limbaugh, going to a good cause.

Four of these hopelessly gullible senators are running for the presidency – Clinton, Obama, Biden, and Dodd. They didn’t have enough common sense to realize how they could be used in something this silly. Majority leader Reid even made a seven-minute speech on the Senate floor of the “world’s greatest deliberative body” about Limbaugh the other day. What a laugh! None of the above, now laughable buffoons, has enough judgment to be president.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pelosi/Lantos & Treason

One wonders if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is so partisan that she will stop at nothing to damage this administration, especially with respect to the current war on terror directly, with particular emphasis on the increased danger to troops indirectly. Or…one wonders if she is just plain dumb as a gourd and in her naivete manages to gum up the works. The latest blunder, committed in tandem with partner-in-crime Congressman Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is the insistence that the Congress vote out a non-binding resolution stating that the Turks committed genocide against the Armenians some 100 or so years ago.

There was such a massacre during 1915-23, actually in the beginning by the rulers of the Ottoman Empire (actually Turks) against Armenians, the former completely Muslim and the latter made up of Christians. It was despicable and was renounced at the time by the United States. The action included outright murder and displacement, sort of the equivalent of the Bataan Death March of 1942 but on a much larger scale. About a million and a half Armenians died. President Andrew Jackson’s displacement of the Cherokee Indians from North Carolina and Tennessee to Oklahoma in the 1830s was such a march, except that deaths occurred from hardships, not murder.

The United States had nothing to do with the Armenian genocide and later joined the Allies in World War I in defeating Germany and its allies, among whom was Turkey. Today, Turkey is a member of NATO and this country’s only actual ally among Muslim nations, allowing transit of U.S. supplies into Iraq through Turkey, a vital requirement for winning that war. Before Saddam’s fall, Turkey allowed the U.S. to use airbases on its soil to enforce the no-fly zone. The last thing needed now is for Pelosi and her crowd to – for no reason at all – insult the current Turks, who actually had nothing substantial to do with that genocide, either. This is the same sort of weird drumbeat used by panderers to the Al Sharpton crowd in blaming current whites for slavery, something too off the wall to even invite discussion.

In the recent General Petraeus hearing, Lantos said this at the end of his opening speech: “We need to get out of Iraq, for that country’s sake and for our own. It is time to go – and to go now.” Therein may lie the reason for his and Pelosi’s insistence on insulting Turkey, which has already ordered its ambassador to the U.S. to leave. Things are looking better in Iraq, thus making the democrats look bad in their constant whining about a hoped-for defeat, so what better way to turn that situation around than to interdict the major supply route into Iraq? One wonders what Lantos would think if the U.S. and Russians hadn’t insisted on defeating Germany in World War II, thus leaving him to languish in a concentration camp.

Far-fetched? Not at all! The tragedy is that this silly action can prolong the fighting, deprive troops of what they need, and thus place them in greater danger than would otherwise be the case. This amounts to treason. Turkey can shut down its end of the bargain any time it desires. Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense said, according to the PBS Online News Hour of 11 October, that seventy percent of all air cargo going into Iraq goes through Turkey and about a third of the fuel consumed goes through Turkey or comes from Turkey.

The definition of treason: “the betrayal of a trust: TREACHERY.” Pelosi and Lantos are not so dumb that they can’t see their betrayal of trust regarding Turkey, which is bound by treaty (NATO) to stand with the United States in guaranteeing the safety of Europe. By spitting in the eye of the Turks and demanding that the Congress pass a resolution stating the obvious, with neither the U.S. nor current Turkish leaders responsible for that tragedy, comprises two things, namely, pandering to their large constituency of Armenian-Americans (every group is hyphenated these days of super-diversity), and making a sneak attack vis-à-vis the administration with regard to losing the war on terror.

The Foreign Affairs committee has reported out this silly resolution for floor action. This comprises treachery in that it sabotages American efforts to get the fighting stopped as soon as possible, the absolute necessity in that effort being the part played by Turkey, which has now recalled its ambassador and could well shut off the highways and airways to the U.S. This means extending the war, ergo, the enhanced loss of American lives. This is, indeed, treachery and the House needs to understand that fact and stop Pelosi and Lantos from both their pandering and their subversion.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, October 08, 2007

"Hatchet Job" Redux - Thomas

Anyone who watched some of the interviews given recently by SCOTUS associate justice Clarence Thomas (upon the recent release of his book, My Grandfather’s Son) could understand the bitterness Thomas still feels regarding his Senate confirmation hearings almost exactly 16 years ago. Thomas was not even “borked,” as spiteful as that term is. The “bork” treatment was confrontational, or at least vaguely so. Thomas was the victim of a well-orchestrated sneak attack, apparently by staffers with an okay from Senators Kennedy and Metzenbaum, and probably with the blessing of Senator Simon. Bork was challenged vis-à-vis the Constitution; Thomas was the victim of attempted character assassination.

The history is sordid. Thomas had already passed through his hearing process and the recommendation for a Senate vote was about to take place when – suddenly, supposedly – new information, leaked to the press, of course, had been developed that proved that Thomas had harassed Anita Hill, an obscure law professor in Arkansas who had once (actually, at least twice) worked for Thomas in the Washington bureaucracy scene. She had said nothing derogatorily about his nomination in July 1991, apparently had been enthused by it in August at the ABA meeting…then, had a memory refreshment experience.

Hill was a lawyer and had no desire to be caught up in the possibility of committing perjury in sworn testimony before a Senate committee, so she made a statement (at whose prodding?) weeks before the hearing that she insisted must allow to be anonymous. It was leaked; otherwise, it would have been of no use. This meant that Hill had to be convinced to testify. Caught in a bind of her own making, she consented and, of course, had to make up her story. Actually, she did commit perjury in the morning during her chance at the committee, but Senator Specter let her off the hook in the afternoon, allowing her to “correct herself.”

Even a middle-school student could have understood what was happening. Other witnesses were simply rounded up in the twinkling of an eye. Such subjects as pubic hair and the size of a penis were introduced into the lurid testimony, as Chairman Joe Biden and his henchmen literally licked their chops at getting to lynch a Bush 41 appointee. Actually, when he finally got the committee in his sights and tore into it full-bore, Thomas did accuse them of attempting a “high-tech lynching.”

Hill, of course, had never lodged a complaint against Thomas. She was enough of a lawyer to know that she could have taken him to the cleaners long before 1991 if she’d had a case. Instead, she actually followed him from one department to another, all of which material was a matter of public documentation. The senators knew this, but they couldn’t stand the thought of a conservative thinker and strict constructionist making it to the court.

One could go on remarking the intolerable shabbiness connected with the Thomas hearings; however, this much is mentioned to point out the fact that congressional committees and lawmakers in general are only as effective as their integrity allows them to be. The number that Biden and company tried to pull on Thomas (“Leaky” Leahy also a member of that committee) indicates the sordid lengths to which the solons will go to work their will, without so much as a single twitch of conscience with regard to people they destroy, maliciously in Thomas’s case, in the process.

Nor does it seem to matter how the kettle calls the pot black, even when the pot is not black with regard to moral turpitude. Biden, three years before, had been forced out of his presidential bid for plagiarizing a speech(s), stealing someone else’s words. Leahy was forced to resign from the Senate Intelligence Committee after leaking information on the Iran-Contra investigation only some three or so years before. Senator Kennedy left Mary Jo Kopechne either drowned or in the process of drowning in his car in 1969, went to his hotel and went to bed without even reporting the accident, and later consulted with his buddies on just what should be done. Beautiful people…and they were presuming to judge Clarence Thomas.

The latest skullduggery hatched by the Senate Judiciary Committee – this time with ole “Leaky” in the driver’s seat – was thrown at recently-resigned attorney general Gonzales, supposedly with respect to the termination of eight federal prosecutors, whom the president could have fired at any time with – as Senator Specter explained – no explanation whatever. Slick Willie fired all of them in one day, with no explanation whatever. Neither “Leaky” nor his sidekick Biden, now running again for the presidency (whose speeches this time?), gave a fig about the prosecutors, but they meant to “get” Gonzales, whom they had spent a large part of his term trying to nail, apparently for whatever reason they could conjure up.

Both parties are culpable in the area of outright corruption, which was the hallmark of the Thomas hearing as well as the ones Gonzales seemed to be attending on almost a daily basis until last month. The democrats, however, have managed to wallow in the pig-sty in the matters mentioned herein. Disgusting!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Dingy Harry - Phony Senator

It’s been interesting to watch the posturing of the lawmakers lately…indeed, the silliness in which they engage on a daily basis. Senate Majority Leader Reid decided that a diatribe against a “talking-head” had risen to the level of Senate business the other day and delivered himself of a seven-minute speech on the Senate floor to excoriate the talk-show host. The fact that he misrepresented the facts of the matter was of no consequence, since senators are not bound by the same rules as ordinary people, this one involving the telling of the truth.

Reid was not actually as interested in castigating his target, who referred to Reid on practically a daily basis as “Dingy Harry,” as he was in making a speech against the Iraqi action, complete with the ever-available statistics to back up his claim of perfidy by the administration. The irony, of course, lay in the fact that Reid was harping on the subject of “phony soldiers,” taking his target to task for somehow maligning the troops. His target, Rush Limbaugh, had not done this, but the “phony soldier” catchword that had been used to describe a war-protestor-Iraqi-veteran who had served in the army a total of 44 days and probably couldn’t have found Iraq on a map, much less served there, was too delicious to avoid in a gleeful verbal bloodletting.

Reid made his speech, based on patriotism (or lack thereof), in the full knowledge – okay, maybe he had forgotten – of his remarks for months and months having to do with the Iraq War as a lost war. In other words, Reid had been saying for months that the GIs had lost the war for this country. This was the penultimate insult to a military man, who could be counted on to take it very personally. Even though Limbaugh had never accused the soldiers of being phony, Reid accused them of being losers…in other words, “phony soldiers,” since they hadn’t been “real” enough to do their job. Despicable!

Reid even went so far as to point to Limbaugh’s lack of military service as a disqualification of his right to speak, thus implying that no one who hasn’t served militarily has a right to say anything about those who have – phony or not. However, Reid did not mention his military service in order to establish his bona fides to discuss soldiers. It seems that after Reid finished law school in 1964 at about age 25, he lived in Nevada (city attorney, Henderson, Nevada) during the Vietnam War, and even got elected to the Nevada Legislature…while guys his age were dying at an average rate of about 20 per day in Vietnam.

Reid’s kind of hypocrisy stinks to the heavens, not because he chose not to serve – also the choice of a number of senators – but because he didn’t go where he seems to think others should have in order to speak. Either he’s an unwitting hypocrite or he’s as dumb as a gourd to bring up the subject. Neither description is very flattering. He has company in the Senate. Senator Harkin in other days made much of his combat missions in Vietnam and even mentioned his combat planes (F-4s and F-8s), the catch being that he never flew even one combat mission in Vietnam, even though he served in the Navy and the Naval Reserve. Senators decide for themselves what truth is, notwithstanding any facts that get in the way, but campaigning for office on a foundation of lies is reprehensible.

As far as “Queen Hillary the Senate Clinton” is concerned, General Petraeus, the commander of American forces in Iraq, is also a phony soldier, since “real” soldiers never tell a lie. She made it clear to the general in the recent hearing that he was an unmitigated liar, though she’s never worn the uniform, either, not being susceptible to the draft during Vietnam and certainly not volunteering to serve in the military that her husband “loathed” (his term). One wonders how these characters ever manage to climb out from under the rocks into the light of day, where their shenanigans are easily recognized.

So…the Senate goes about the nation’s business by treating it to “monkey business.” C-Span shows what a lot of the Senators spend time doing – standing around and shooting the breeze while votes are recorded. The votes could be recorded electronically in 30 seconds or less, but they mill around, check to see how others are voting, mill around some more, walk over to record a vote and mill around some more. Or, they make insipid speeches about which they know nothing or upon which they rely on outright lies for effectiveness, such as in the case of “Dingy Harry.” Egad!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Distaff President?

Sooner or later, someone must suffer the slings and arrows of the political-correctness crowd and state flatly that this country is not ready for a woman president…there, it’s said, and the devil take the hindmost. This, however, is even truer now than it would have been a mere 20 years ago, not least because of Kuwait, Saddam, 9/11, and Osama bin Laden. Throw in the little punk in North Korea and the hallucinating Ahmadinejad in Iran, and the statement is even more compelling.

The reason has nothing to do with intellect; rather, it is simply that the world is more dangerous now than at any time since World War II, necessitating a U.S. president who is militarily minded and mean/strong enough to respond to that mindset, characteristics not generally attributed to the fairer sex. The PC notion of unisex that has driven the culture for too long is exploded in the harsh reality, at least harsh to some, that men and women think differently – not intellectually – when physical contact is necessary in order to accomplish an objective, more especially the objective of physical survival, which actually does belong to the fittest/strongest and may hinge on sanguinary rather than benign efforts. Peace actually is the absence of war or threat of annihilation.

More to the point, the commander-in-chief should have a working knowledge of the military – active duty experience, though not necessarily in combat. It would be preposterous to think a general would order his men into action if he has no military experience himself. This is no less true with respect to the presidency, since ordering people into harm’s way inevitably means that some will suffer and/or die. This fact would also disqualify many men.

Senator Clinton is the presumptive democrat nominee as of now, and one shudders to think of her as the commander-in-chief, the very paradigm of what any commander should not be. There may be other women who would more nearly aspire realistically to the top job, but she is the only one of acclaim presently, so she must be the example. She was dumb enough to tell General Petraeus in the recent Senate hearing (though not a member of the committee conducting the hearing) that he was a liar.

Clinton knew better than that, but she felt she had to say that in order to exhibit her “manhood,” ergo, her bona fides to be a military commander. Tell off a general with 33 years of service and make points with! But Hillary vis-à-vis Petraeus was no Harry Truman vis-à-vis General MacArthur. She resembled a flea attacking an elephant. Anyone that dumb, whether man or woman, should not even be considered for the nomination.

What Clinton actually exhibited was her loathing for everything Petraeus stood for…the same loathing actually enunciated by her husband when he was dodging Vietnam. He later allowed the military to flounder for the eight years of his presidency, first trying to unsuccessfully insert homosexuals into a military whose leaders absolutely rebelled at that, and then placing women in combat, not to mention the folly of sex-integrated boot camps. He was a disgrace, as she would be, since she’s a chip off the old “two-for-one-package” of 1992. Worse, she wouldn’t know a salute from an indecent gesture, much less what an RPG is.

Naysayers might immediately bring up the names of Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher, the former head of Israel (in the 70s during the Yom Kippur War) and the latter the head of the British government in the 80s during the Falklands incident. Both the Israelis and the British were victorious then, with the full weight of the U.S. government behind them…but not necessarily because of it; however, Israel exists today only because of this country, despite the utter un-believability (supposedly) that the Israelis would go nuclear before they would go under. They would.

Meir presided over a handful of people and Thatcher, considering the commonwealth as on its own, presided over a small country. Actually, neither woman had any options other than the ones exercised and no leverage worldwide. This is not the case with the United States, upon which entire continents of nations depend for stability throughout the world, notwithstanding the whining of congressional democrats about the disfavor in which this country is held worldwide. In any case, a commander-in-chief who is loved by the world is probably in the wrong line of work.

Clinton doesn’t know what she thinks about Iraq, which to her is just a political consideration anyway. Kerry-like, she was for it before she was against it. She has no plan for conducting or ending it, other than opposing the plans du jour designed by other democrats to get votes. The plan(s) change all the time as the polls are conducted.

Clinton is the example for the claim of this piece, and justifiably so. She exhibits the lack of toughness/judgment necessary to maintain survival, just as did her husband, also with no military experience or even interest. There is a roughness/toughness/sanguinity men have instinctively, but is lacking in women. It is necessary to survival. Where a woman might “dialog” with the enemy while he arms, as Clinton has suggested she would do (not to mention the rest of the democrat “seven dwarves”), a man would say “bring it on,” and there’s a time and place for that. It’s a lead-pipe cinch that if either Clinton had been president on 9/11, there would have been no Afghanistan action and the U.S. ambassador to the UN would still be caterwauling in New York for “somebody to do something.”

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sports-Cheating - Nothing New

A big deal was made recently out of the penalizing of the New England Patriots and their coach (some $750,000 altogether in fines) because the Patriots had set up an operation for stealing the opponents’ defensive signals that was simply too blatant. They had set up some kind of camera operation, and that was considered simply too brazen. They could have done the stealing the old-fashioned way(s) and stayed out of trouble…but, no, they had to flaunt their athletic intellect.

All of this hit the media as something sort of (gasp and three palpitations) outrageous, notwithstanding that any sports-follower knows that cheating is as much a part of the game as the game itself. In fact, peccadilloes resulting from a mindset are not in any way to be confused with peccadilloes managed by finagling with the athlete’s body. In other words, steroids or any other drug that enhances physical configuration are absolutely intolerable, though sports at all levels, including high school and college, are permeated with drug-use. The deal that matters with drugs has only to do with how to “get away with it.”

Of course, a coach or manager or player has to be careful about how he goes about the mind game. A defensive tackle wouldn’t sneak into the opposing team’s huddle to hear the offensive play…in fact, he couldn’t. But, how about a guy with a directional microphone pointed at that huddle. Might he hear the necessary information and signal his defense as to what might be expected?

On the other side of the ball, the offensive signal-caller (or his coaches) might figure ways to confuse the eavesdropper, indicating what in the huddle will be translated at the line into something else. Of course, there’s always the problem of some player forgetting what the translation is, missing his assignment, thus causing his quarterback to suffer a needless concussion (is a concussion ever needed?) engineered by the guy he was supposed to block.

In a game the other day, the Florida State honchos, remembering the Patriots’ experience (the Patriot opponent had complained that his enemy seemed to always know where he wouldn’t be), rigged a blanket behind which the sideline signal-callers operated so that only their players – at least hopefully – would know what was going on. The Seminoles won, so maybe they had something there.

A large part of baseball is the cat-and-mouse game of stealing signals. The third-base coach tips off what the batter and everyone else on base are supposed to do – for instance, a hit-and-run or taken pitch or run-and-hit or steal second. He goes through a litany of signals (patting his pants-leg; rubbing his nose; sliding his hands across his chest) and his own players know what he means. The trick for the other side is figuring out what he’s trying to hide.

All the while, the runner on second is trying to steal the signal the catcher gives the pitcher so he can signal the batter what he thinks the pitch will be. Often, the catcher and pitcher become suspicious and have a discussion on the mound as to what the signals are, since they’re always different when an opposing player is on second. After their consultation, they shift the Redman in their mouths, spit a few times, scratch a few times, and get back to business.

In a game of Bridge, players have been known to kick their partners’ legs – under the table, of course – but that’s considered uncouth in polite company, as well as not too smart if the wrong legs are kicked. In a Poker game, though, it never hurts to have a buddy behind another player to flash a signal as to what is in that player’s hand. That’s for impolite company.

Yeah…cheating is just a part of the game. Some baseball managers reconfigure the field before a game, maybe raising or lowering the mound or sloping the line from the batter’s box to make a bunt roll one way or the other. In a Kentucky-Vanderbilt basketball game a number of years ago, a fouled Kentucky player was a poor free-throw shooter, so the best shooter on the team sneaked in at the foul line to take the shot. The coach was conscientious enough to suspend that player for one game. Of course, everybody had seen what happened…except the referee, the one guy who was supposed to know.

So…since signal-stealing is just part of professional football, should the Patriots have been penalized for ratcheting up their skill-level? Probably not! Sports has had a multiplicity of scandals lately, however, one of the latest and grimmest being the dog-fighting and drug charges against Michael Vick, one of the NFL’s stellar performers. He most likely will not play again, but in any case, the guys who run the show try to make it as respectable as possible.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark