How Much Does Cheney Care About America’s Relations With China?

April 21, 2006 at 1:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This photo should explain it all….

Cheney’s level of concern about America’s relations with China

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Distraction

April 21, 2006 at 11:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An interesting new study shows that about 80 percent of crashes involved people who were distracted or drowsy within seconds of impact….from Drowsy, Distracted and Driving. Ain’t that the truth of it.

This world is a distraction, all of it, from what we really are trying to do, and that is to follow God’s commandments. Most of our sins come from being distracted from our path.

Reshuffling the Same Deck

April 20, 2006 at 4:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Howard Fineman has a great piece on the current “reshuffling” that Bush is going through with his staff:

Clipping Rove’s Wings

Some officials were upset when the president said that it would be up to his successor to decide when to end America’s military involvement in Iraq. At least one of them told me that Bush hadn’t meant to say such a thing, and didn’t mean what he seemed to be saying. But it’s true: He’s not leaving Iraq anytime soon, or even winding the war down dramatically. Yes, there are generals who think we never should have gone there, or that the way we went was horribly botched. But that’s not enough to make Bush willing to pull the plug, or even fire Donald Rumsfeld. On Iraq, in poker terms, Bush is doubling down.

Nor is he likely to make wholesale changes in his foreign policy and defense team. Bolten can rearrange the deck chairs all he wants to on domestic and economic policy. But the Axis of Believers—Cheney-Rummy-Rove-Condi—remains. The more the media and its band of Republican allies complain, the more dug in Bush will become. He’s as stubborn as Slim Pickens in “Dr. Strangelove:” He’d rather ride Rummy to Armageddon than seem to concede that Iraq was a botched project.

and in regards to McClellan’s departure, here are some of the highlights (or lowlights) of his non-answers to the press:

Briefing Room Follies

McClellan’s Greatest Hits

Just the facts, Mike, please provide us with just the facts!

Some Thoughts on Immigration

April 20, 2006 at 1:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I really haven’t delved into this topic too much, yet, because I’ve been trying to ponder on just what my view really is. Robert Samuelson has said this in his Conspiracy Against Assimilation op-ed in the Washington Post.

It’s all about assimilation — or it should be. One of America’s glories is that it has assimilated many waves of immigrants. Outsiders have become insiders. But it hasn’t been easy. Every new group has struggled: Germans, Irish, Jews and Italians. All have encountered economic hardship, prejudice and discrimination. The story of U.S. immigration is often ugly. If today’s wave of immigration does not end in assimilation, it will be a failure. By this standard, I think the major contending sides in the present bitter debate are leading us astray. Their proposals, if adopted, would frustrate assimilation.

…….

It’s sometimes said that today’s Hispanics will resemble yesterday’s Italians. Although they won’t advance as rapidly as some other groups of more skilled immigrants, they’ll still move into the mainstream. Many have — and will. But the overall analogy is a stretch, according to a recent study, “Italians Then, Mexicans Now,” by sociologist Joel Perlmann of Bard College. Since 1970 wages of Mexican immigrants compared with those of native whites have declined. By contrast, wages of Italians and Poles who arrived early in the last century rose over time. For the children of immigrants, gaps are also wide. Second-generation Italians and Poles typically earned 90 percent or more compared to native whites. For second-generation Mexican Americans, the similar figure is 75 percent.

One big difference between then and now: Immigration slowly halted during and after World War I. The Italians and Poles came mainly between 1890 and 1915. Older immigrants didn’t always have to compete with newcomers who beat down their wages. There was time for outsiders and insiders to adapt to each other. We should heed history’s lesson.

It is indeed not a good comparison, to compare the Italians of yesteryear and Hispanics of today. If we are to look at history as our lesson, we need to ask ourselves why did Italians stop coming over en masse after 1915? Sure, you have World War I, but, what changed about Italy after WWI? Did it begin to flourish? Did it not become pretty prosperous?

A better comparison on the tales Italian and Hispanic immigrants is on growth, or lack thereof, of their respective countries, Mexico and Italy. How has Mexico been doing these past 20 years or so? How did Italy do after WWI?

There is no valid comparison in history for what America has to deal with today in regards to immigration, legal and illegal, from Mexico. Mexico and the United States have the highest disparity in income of any two contiguous states in the world, most likely ever in the history of the world. When a Mexican worker can get a piddly job in America for five times what he would get in Mexico, would he not risk all so he can earn good money for his family? I would.

The problem lies in Mexico, and in that country’s inability to grow. It cannot be argued that their vicinity to the richest country in the world is a problem, as Canada does just fine to the north.

And in actuality, what might be a good comparison, a good political research paper is on the contrasts between Canada and Mexico. Let us see just why one nation does well and the other still cannot really get itself off its feet.

Changes in the White House Staff….Is It Just Cosmetic?

April 20, 2006 at 9:34 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So Bush’s new chief of staff has “shaken up” some staff positions. You’ve got McClellan, the press secretary, i.e. the spokesman, gone, and Rove, not gone, not sent to the gallows, but shuffled into a new position with just as much power and influence as before. Are these changes going to actually “shake up” this White House?

I agree with American Blog:

Who cares?
by John in DC – 4/19/2006 10:15:00 AM

Seriously. Bush gets rids of his spokesman? Ooh, big deal. The guy who is ordered to lie for him is going to be replaced by another guy who is ordered to lie for him. And this will significantly change the direction of this disaster of an administration how?

Bush also changed the head of the Office of Management and Budget – that would be his accountant, for all intents and purposes.

So, we now have a new accountant, and a new mouthpiece who simply parrots what Bush tells him. How is that going to change the situation in Iraq? How is that going to prevent Bush from getting us into a third disastrous war, a nuclear one this time, in Iran? Is the new press secretary or the new accountant going to come up with the war plan for Iran this time instead of Rummy?

And how about the budget deficit? If your spokesman setting policy on that one? Is the new accountant going to be vetoing spending bills that Bush wouldn’t? Are either of these guys going to order Bush to stop breaking the bank?

And which one, the spokesman or the accountant, are going to order Bush to stop lying and stop being incompetent?

I’m just trying to understand why these changes in the Bush administration are anything more than cosmetic as it concerns the top concerns of the American people.

Here are the important questions:

Why are President Bush’s numbers so low? Why is he sitting on 35% approval rating? Would not firing those who led Bush to such low numbers be a real “shake up?”

The problem here is that McClellan had nothing to do with policy. Rove, who did have something to do with policy, remains in a very influential position. The problem is that Bush’s numbers are so low because of Iraq. Iraq is dragging Bush down. Can Bush fire Rumsfeld? No. Why? Because Rumsfeld has simply been doing what his boss told him to do. You fire Rumsfeld and you send the message that the war in Iraq was executed poorly and wrongly.

This shakeup will not accomplish much realistically. It only sends the illusion of change. But that’s all this administration has cared for, maintaining an illusion.

You cannot bamboozle a nation with the facts; you can only bamboozle with illusions.

The Failed “No Child Left Behind” Act

April 18, 2006 at 9:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here is yet another example of this, one of the worst laws to ever come to pass here in America!

More About Oil Companies, Equatorial Guinea and the Bush Administration

April 18, 2006 at 1:43 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In my previous post, I showed how kindly Ms. Rice sees and greets Equatorial Guinea, an oil-producing nation in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It seems the manner in which oil is being produced in this country would normally be considered highly immoral and unethical…..

U.S. Oil Firms Entwined in Equatorial Guinea Deals: Riggs Probe Led to SEC Inquiry on Corruption, Profiteering

Is this the kind of “friend” America seeks?

Not About Oil, Eh?

April 18, 2006 at 1:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So the Bush Administration claims that their policies are not influenced by oil, at least they claim that publicly. But their actions sure speak volumes about how oil has tainted the White House…..

Condoleezza Rice paid a visit to the country of Equatorial Guinea. This tiny country is now the third largest oil-producing country in Sub-Saharan Africa. No wonder it is getting the attention of the Bush Administration who sent Ms. Rice to meet with Mr. Obiang, the current ruler who:

“Most domestic and international observers consider his regime to be one of the most corrupt, ethnocentric, oppressive and anti-democratic states in the world.

Ms. Rice considers him a “good friend”. Really? How is Mr. Obiang’s efforts at democracy in his country, Ms. Rice?

This op-ed from the Washington Post ought to clear things up about Mr. Obiang and Ms. Rice.

So it is uncontroversial to observe that Mr. Obiang is no friend to his people. But he is a “good friend” of the United States, at least according to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who met with him last week in Washington. “I’m very pleased to welcome the president,” Ms. Rice told reporters after the meeting. “Thank you very much for your presence here.” Mr. Obiang purred back: “We are extremely pleased and hopeful that this relationship will continue to grow in friendship and cooperation.”

In the global rankings of political and civil liberties compiled by Freedom House, only seven countries rate worse than Equatorial Guinea. If President Bush and Ms. Rice want anyone to take their pro-democracy rhetoric seriously, they must stop throwing bouquets to odious dictators. The meeting with Mr. Obiang was presumably a reward for his hospitable treatment of U.S. oil firms, though we cannot be sure since the State Department declined our invitation to comment. But Ms. Rice herself argues that U.S. foreign policy spent too long coddling corruption and autocracy in Arab oil states. Surely she doesn’t have a different standard for Africa?

Of course, Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice say very little about Pakistan and Musharraf’s crackdowns on Democracies, or Mubarrak of Egypt and his crackdowns on democracy. Why do we only hear about democracy in Iraq and Iran?

Global Warming – An Inconvenient Truth

April 18, 2006 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Al Gore may have “lost” the 2000 Election to George Bush but he keeps his fight on global warming going, with a new film called “An Inconvenient Truth.” You can see the trailer here and judge for yourself the quality of the film.

I do wonder what direction America would have taken if Gore “won” the election in 2000. Karl Rove had successfully caricatured Gore as a bore and a snobbish intellectual, so that enough rednecks from Florida voted for Bush rather than Gore. Would America have done more to fight global warming? I think the answer to that would be a resounding YES!. It has been clear as Houston smog that Bush doesn’t care about the environment.

Richard Cohen has this to say about Gore’s movie and his continued drive to thwart, or at least warn the world about the dangers of, global warming.

Gore insists his presidential aspirations are behind him. “I think there are other ways to serve,” he told me. No doubt. But on paper, he is the near-perfect Democratic candidate for 2008. Among other things, he won the popular vote in 2000. He opposed going to war in Iraq, but he supported the Persian Gulf War — right both times. He is smart, experienced and, despite the false caricatures, a man versed in the new technologies — especially the Internet. He is much more a person of the 21st century than most of the other potential candidates. Trouble is, a campaign is not a film. Gore could be a great president. First, though, he has to be a good candidate.

In the meantime, he is a man on a mission. Wherever he goes — and he travels incessantly — he finds time and an audience to deliver his (free) lecture on global warming. It and the film leave no doubt of the peril we face, nor do they leave any doubt that Gore, at last, is a man at home in his role. He is master teacher, pedagogue, know-it-all, smarter than most of us, better informed and, having tried and failed to gain the presidency, he has raised his sights to save the world. We simply cannot afford for Al Gore to lose again.

The thing that I like about Al Gore since 2000 is that he has been relentlessly on point, standing for what he believes no matter how much he is ridiculed. The thing is that his beliefs are not whacked as some would have you believe. Al Gore is right.

In Genesis, Adam and Eve were commanded to “multiply and replenish the earth.” How can you replenish the earth if you use it up? How can the earth be replenished if it is intoxicated? How can the earth grow if it is being torn down?

It is bad policy to simply use the materials provided for us on this earth and then discard them. If we cut down a tree, why not plant a new one in its stead? Why not push even harder to find renewable sources of energy or cleaner sources of energy? This earth can house probably close to 80 billion people if we use our resources correctly. But we aren’t. We’re not even close to using our resources the best way we can. We’re in a point where we are RUNNING OUT!

We can do better. Listening to Al Gore is a start.

Our Various Blogs

April 18, 2006 at 12:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So now that I’ve left Linkup, for posting my thoughts I have several blogs.

The Life of Nicolae Padigone

This blog will be my general thoughts, life, frustrations, etc, such as when our Friends DVD disc breaks just as we get to a really cool episodes.

Librarian Thoughts

As a librarian, I have created a blog to have a place for ideas and thoughts on my profession.

RHMD’s Thoughts on Politics

This will be where I keep my feelings about politics. It can’t be helped. I shouldn’t have gotten the degree in International Politics from BYU….I’m now hooked.

My wife has a blog of her own too, for her thoughts. It is called Illuminations on Life, Love, and Liberty

Finally we created a blog for our thoughts on relationships and family called A & N: Eternal Companions

I hope to see you all at any of these blogs. I’m trying to expand out and read what others are writing.

Quake of 1906 Anniversary

April 18, 2006 at 12:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In 1906, San Francisco and the rest of America, suffered what was the worst natural disaster up until Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Quake of ’06 hit San Francisco hard, causing fires that killed a large number of people. The government placed the number dead at 478, a number they drew out of a hat, for fear of a loss of real estate and growth after the quake. Estimates range more from 3000-6000 dead.

Having grown up in the Bay Area and having learned a little of the history, this date is important. I was a freshman in high school when on October 17, 1989, in Loma Prieta, California, the earth began to tremble once more, up to 7.2 on the Richter scale. I was at school working on Tied To The Tracks a pretty fun musical. I was outside in the Quad. Roland, a senior and a very energetic fun guy, ran to the middle of the Quad when he saw the windows start to shake. I followed him out and sat down, watching and feeling the earth shake back and forth, side to side.

With this post, I pay a tribute to those who lost loved ones during both of those earthquakes. Nobody that I knew passed away during the Loma Prieta Quake of ’89. The quake damaged a lot of homes and changed many people’s lives.

Iran Pledges $50 Million to Palestinians

April 16, 2006 at 10:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So Palestinians, through direct democracy, freely chose the party to represent themselves to govern themselves. They chose Hamas. Bush doesn’t like Hamas so he orders America and Europe not to pay the Palestinians the money they desparately need.

Who steps into the void? Iran!

Great job, Bush!

Rumsfeld Allowed Prisoner Abuse

April 15, 2006 at 9:08 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rumsfeld Allowed Prisoner Abuse!

So Bush thinks this is exactly what is needed, a defense secretary that allows prisoner abuse to happen…..

Lessons From The Art of War

April 15, 2006 at 8:55 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I am curious as to how many Americans have actually read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War……

here is chapter 3:

III. ATTACK BY STRATAGEM

1. Sun Tzu said: In the practical art of war, the best
thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact;
to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is
better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it,
to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire
than to destroy them.

2. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles
is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists
in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

3. Thus the highest form of generalship is to
balk the enemy’s plans; the next best is to prevent
the junction of the enemy’s forces; the next in
order is to attack the enemy’s army in the field;
and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.

4. The rule is, not to besiege walled cities if it
can possibly be avoided. The preparation of mantlets,
movable shelters, and various implements of war, will take
up three whole months; and the piling up of mounds over
against the walls will take three months more.

5. The general, unable to control his irritation,
will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants,
with the result that one-third of his men are slain,
while the town still remains untaken. Such are the disastrous
effects of a siege.

6. Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s
troops without any fighting; he captures their cities
without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom
without lengthy operations in the field.

7. With his forces intact he will dispute the mastery
of the Empire, and thus, without losing a man, his triumph
will be complete. This is the method of attacking by stratagem.

8. It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten
to the enemy’s one, to surround him; if five to one,
to attack him; if twice as numerous, to divide our army
into two.

9. If equally matched, we can offer battle;
if slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy;
if quite unequal in every way, we can flee from him.

10. Hence, though an obstinate fight may be made
by a small force, in the end it must be captured
by the larger force.

11. Now the general is the bulwark of the State;
if the bulwark is complete at all points; the State will
be strong; if the bulwark is defective, the State will
be weak.

12. There are three ways in which a ruler can bring
misfortune upon his army:–

13. (1) By commanding the army to advance or to retreat,
being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey.
This is called hobbling the army.

14. (2) By attempting to govern an army in the
same way as he administers a kingdom, being ignorant
of the conditions which obtain in an army. This causes
restlessness in the soldier’s minds.

15. (3) By employing the officers of his army
without discrimination, through ignorance of the
military principle of adaptation to circumstances.
This shakes the confidence of the soldiers.

16. But when the army is restless and distrustful,
trouble is sure to come from the other feudal princes.
This is simply bringing anarchy into the army, and flinging
victory away.

17. Thus we may know that there are five essentials
for victory:
(1) He will win who knows when to fight and when
not to fight.
(2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior
and inferior forces.
(3) He will win whose army is animated by the same
spirit throughout all its ranks.
(4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take
the enemy unprepared.
(5) He will win who has military capacity and is
not interfered with by the sovereign.

18. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy
and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a
hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy,
for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will
succumb in every battle.
The Art of War

My favorite part is #2:

2. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles
is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists
in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

So here is the kicker question: Is it cowardace to not fight?

Neo-Conservatives and their Love of War

April 15, 2006 at 7:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I occasionally will read The Weekly Standard to read up on just what my enemy thinks. Yes, neo-conservatives are my political enemy here in America. They are the driving force behind the war in Iraq, and it seems from reading this article entitled “To Bomb or Not to Bomb” that they are the driving force behind a new war with Iran.

As you read this article, you can’t help but think that these people can only see things through American eyes. (Rage Against the Machine has a song called No Shelter which has as lyrics, “American eyes, American eyes, view the world from American eyes.”) Sun Tzu has said:

So it is said that if you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle”.
Sun Tzu –Art of War, Chapter 3: Attack By Stratagem

Once again neo-conservatives show how little they understand not only Iran, but the whole Islamic world. Once again, they only see the world through American eyes. It is a very dangerous thing to do, see things only through your own eyes.

At least there is a small sliver of hope that neo-conservatism is dead, or dying, in the water. Francis Fukuyama, one of the original founders of neo-conservatism has rejected neo-conservatives’s current views of the world in his new book called America at the Crossroads

A New York Times review says the following regarding the book and Mr. Fukuyama:

In February 2004, Francis Fukuyama attended a neoconservative think-tank dinner in Washington and listened aghast as the featured speaker, the columnist Charles Krauthammer, attributed “a virtually unqualified success” to America’s efforts in Iraq, and the audience enthusiastically applauded. Fukuyama was aghast partly for the obvious reason, but partly for another reason, too, which, as he explains in the opening pages of his new book, “America at the Crossroads,” was entirely personal.

…….

Fukuyama offers a thumbnail sketch of neoconservatism and its origins, back to the anti-Communist left at City College in the 1930’s and 40’s and to the conservative philosophers (Leo Strauss, Allan Bloom, Albert Wohlstetter) at the University of Chicago in later years. From these disparate origins, the neoconservatives eventually generated “a set of coherent principles,” which, taken together, ended up defining their impulse in foreign affairs during the last quarter-century. They upheld a belief that democratic states are by nature friendly and unthreatening, and therefore America ought to go around the world promoting democracy and human rights wherever possible. They believed that American power can serve moral purposes. They doubted the usefulness of international law and institutions. And they were skeptical about what is called “social engineering” — about big government and its ability to generate positive social changes.

Such is Fukuyama’s summary. It seems to me too kind. For how did the neoconservatives propose to reconcile their ambitious desire to combat despotism around the world with their cautious aversion to social engineering? Fukuyama notes that during the 1990’s the neoconservatives veered in militarist directions, which strikes him as a mistake. A less sympathetic observer might recall that neoconservative foreign policy thinking has all along indulged a romance of the ruthless — an expectation that small numbers of people might be able to play a decisive role in world events, if only their ferocity could be unleashed. It was a romance of the ruthless that led some of the early generation of neoconservatives in the 1970’s to champion the grisliest of anti-Communist guerrillas in Angola; and, during the next decade, led the neoconservatives to champion some not very attractive anti-Communist guerrillas in Central America, too; and led the Reagan administration’s neoconservatives into the swamps of the Iran-contra scandal in order to go on championing their guerrillas. Doesn’t this same impulse shed a light on the baffling question of how the Bush administration of our own time could have managed to yoke together a stirring democratic oratory with a series of grotesque scandals involving American torture — this very weird and self-defeating combination of idealism and brass knuckles? But Fukuyama must not agree.

What Fukuyama is now basically arguing is that neo-conservatives have forgotten their roots, (from the article above comes this interesting sentence: “They upheld a belief that democratic states are by nature friendly and unthreatening, and therefore America ought to go around the world promoting democracy and human rights wherever possible.”), and that the practicality, and not the theoretical, aspects of neo-conservatism has lost its way. It is his argument in his new journal called The American Interest.

In an article entitled The Paradox of International Action he says the following in the abstract (I am not a subscriber and just stumbled upon his new journal):

Whatever else it has done and may yet do, the Iraq war has exposed the limits of American benevolent hegemony. We have learned that American power does not seem to many others, including some we thought among our best friends, as benign as most Americans believe it is. But the war also exposed the limits of existing international institutions, particularly the United Nations, that are favored by most Europeans as the proper framework for legitimate international action. The United Nations was able neither to ratify the U.S. decision to go to war nor to stop Washington from acting on its own. From either perspective, it failed. The world today lacks effective international institutions that can confer legitimacy on collective action. Creating new institutions that will better balance the requirements of legitimacy and effectiveness will be the primary task for the coming generation. As a result of more than two hundred years of political evolution, we have a relatively good understanding of how to create institutions that are rule-bound, accountable and reasonably effective in the vertical silos we call states. What we do not have are adequate institutions of horizontal accountability among states.

So here is a question that arises out of this conversation. Just how benign does America look when it talks about war with Iraq, war with Iran, and war with North Korea (oh yeah, now that NK has nukes, we don’t talk about them anymore….)?

Is America friendly and non-threatening?

By STARTING two wars (it seems a war with Iran is inevitable from the talk coming out of the mouths of neo-conservatives), has America fundamentally changed its very nature? Is it a standard of peace and liberty?

Or does this not have, in actuality, the very sound that Orwell warned us about?

WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Fukuyama is almost right. It isn’t international action that is paradoxical, but the Bush Doctrine of preemption and unilateralism that is paradoxical and anathema to what America really stands for. Why?

Why is it paradoxical? It comes back to American eyes. What some Americans do not realize is that America is looked at by most of the world as a light, a beacon, an example of what should be, what they should be. Many Americans do not realize this because they cannot see with the eyes of others, but their own. Transform America into what will be perceived as an ugly, aggressive beast, and America’s highly important standing as the Light of the World, will diminish, and perhaps China will take over as the example to the world.

Fukuyama and his former neo-conservative fellows believed in the early 90s with Fukuyama’s “End of History” essays that the final epitomal form of government is the liberal democratic kind that flourished in 1989 as described by Huntington in The Third Wave.

America’s example is what led so many of these nations to turn to democracy.

Today however, in the regions where America attempted to subvert nations (neo-conservatives’s guerrilla campaigns of the 70s and 80s), those nations are rejecting Western-style governments, and/or, movements that support and want to strengthen ties with the West. In South America, leftist socialist parties continue to gain political strength on the waves of Anti-Americanism. In the Middle East, in Palestine, Hamas—certainly no lover of the West—won the election, stunning many in the West. (I wasn’t surprised—but this is for another discussion). In Iran, the mullahs continue strengthening their hand. In Iraq, the party with the strongest ties to America lost in the election. In Pakistan, the only thing keeping Musharaf in power is that he is a dictator!

America can influence the world for good. What I say, though, will be called by neo-conservatives as keeping the “status quo”. Because I don’t want to go to war, I’m called “status quo”, “anti-American”, “coward,” “lover of terrorists”, blah blah blah.

America won the Cold War not because it fired a shot at the Soviet Union, but because it didn’t. Peace won that conflict.

RHMD

Bush Feels Rumsfeld is “Exactly What is Needed.”

April 14, 2006 at 7:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Exactly What is Needed

In regards to military affairs, who is more credible? The President who only participated in the National Guard—which he got because of his connections—-or generals who actually fought in Iraq?

I’m siding with the Generals.

Yet Another General Wants Rumsfeld Gone!

April 13, 2006 at 6:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yet another general has demanded Rumsfeld leave his job. This general led the 82nd Airborne into Iraq…..

What does it say about the boss when those he is supposed to leave want him gone?

Moussaoui Wants To Die In American Hands

April 13, 2006 at 6:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

so Moussaoui has No Remorse for the 9/11 attacks. It is pretty obvious what he wants to do. He wants to be executed. He wants to die. More importantly, he wants to die in American hands, by Americans.

Is it truly justice when a man like this wants to be captured, tried, and executed by those he hates? Are we not in actuality giving the enemy exactly what the enemy seeks? Is that a recompense for the deaths caused by him?

A Third Party?

April 13, 2006 at 3:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Glen Reynolds, with whom I’ve usually disagreed brings up an interesting notion that might arise out of the debacle surrounding immigration in America.

A Third Party Possibility…

The more I think about it, the more this looks like fertile ground for a third party to emerge. Who will it hurt more? The Republicans, or the Democrats? I’m not sure. Perhaps it will shake things up in general.

Certainly both the Republican and Democratic parties are very corrupt, tainted sorely by a huge flood of lobby money (as the Abramoff incident has shown). But won’t the Republican and Democrat parties survive this as they have before? Teddy Roosevelt attempted to start a third party. Numerous others have tried and tried. In the end, they have not succeeded.

Will it be different this time?

Which current small 3rd party could do it? The Constitution Party? They are very popular with libertarians, but haven’t seemed to have gotten a stronger hold on people who view things differently. The Green Party? Like libertarians, they live on the fringes still. Or will a third party that mainly provides political access to Hispanics?

Something does need to change though, as American politics today needs a refreshening.

Where in the World is North Korea?

April 13, 2006 at 12:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another interesting question…..Where’s the talk of not allowing North Korea to have a nuclear weapon? Why the sudden shift to Iran?

Have any Americans noticed the sudden silence on this member of the “Axis of Evil?”

Notice the silence, because it is key to why Iran is rushing to get nuclear technology.

North Korea apparently now has nukes. And what is America doing about it now that they have nukes?

NOTHING!

Why? because the risk of an attack on North Korea would be devastating to America, its principles, its allies and its standing in the world.

Why does Iran want a nuke? not to use it. But to get America off its back! They know, from experience right in front of their eyes that the United States will not do anything about a country that has nukes. In fact, America’s actions and responses to nations that have nukes is quite telling. Pakistan has nukes. What is Pakistan’s relation with America? Is the relation not special? Are we not close to them? why? Certainly not because of any “war on terror.” It is because Pakistan has nukes!

Bush recently visited India and basically gave them all our cards. Why? because India has nukes, and will work strategically in regards to China. Do you think that if India did not have nukes we would really care that much about what India does?

Much of our posturing in the Pacific is in regards to China. Why? Because China has nukes. We respect/fear China not because they have 1.5 billion people and the largest army on the planet, but because they have 50 some odd nukes that can hit American soil.

You think Bush would call Putin, who is slowly moving Russia back towards a totalitarian state, his “best buddy” if Russia did not sit on 7000 nuclear weapons, most of which are still pointed at the United States? would we do what we could to make Russia (as weak economically as it is) a member of the G7 (make that G8 now that Russia is in), if it were not for its nuclear weapons?

Is it clear now why Iran wants nukes? they see lowly Pakistan being treated like kings because of their nukes. Iran wants to be a major player. They know that by having nukes they will be.

North Korea may be marginalized because they are extremely weak economically—they rely on China for all their food—but the way America responded to North Korea makes Iran hurry their nuke program even more. they know nothing will happen to them once they achieve that status.

And America will have to deal with one more nuclear state.

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