Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Democrats' baby problem

Birth rates are lower today than they were back in the 1950s. The post WW2 period gave us Eisenhower, East Berlin, Marilyn Monroe, rock and roll and the famous baby boom. Many of us were added to the world's population because of the baby boom, i.e. anyone born between the end of the war and '64. (Clinton and GWBush are the first first baby boom presidents, both born in '46)

Today, there is a new reality in the world. It is low birth rates, i.e. not enough babies in the industrialized world!

In Europe, it is a continental problem. At present trends, large chunks of white Europe will simply get old and fade away. In the US, there is a problem too but it is more red vs blue.

What do blue Seattle, San Francisco and Portland have in common? No babies or children!

What do red Texas, Nevada and Florida have in common? Lots of suburbs and babies!

The NYTimes wrote an extensive story about this:
"San Francisco...had the lowest percentage of people under 18 of any large city in the nation, 14.5 percent, compared with 25.7 percent nationwide, the 2000 census reported. Seattle, where there are more dogs than children, was a close second."

In fact, as Mark Steyn reports:
"...John Kerry won the 16 states with the lowest birth rates; George W Bush took 25 of the 26 states with the highest."
Simply put, the Democrats' biggest nightmare is not Bush but birth rates.

In other words, Republican women are having babies and Democrat women are not.
This reality is showing up in the census. The 2000 census added more electoral votes to the red states. The 2010 census will do the same. By 2010, the entire New England region will have less electoral votes than Texas. Massachusetts will have less electoral votes than Tennessee. Georgia and the Carolinas will soon pass Michigan.
It's going to get a lot tougher to win the presidency without red states. As Gore and Kerry showed, you can carry California, NY, PA and NJ and still come up short of the 270 votes required.

The Democrats need babies, and lots of babies!
Why? Because babies grow up to be voters!
Furthermore, aborted babies never have a chance to be liberal Democrats!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Terri and the right wing conspiracy

The latest nonsense from "liberal land" is that the right wing conspiracy has reunited and wants Terri turned over to her parents. According to some liberals, the right wing is back and ready to tackle another issue.

Michael Schiavo is doing a pretty good of encouraging this conversation by accusing every one of being a right wing fanatic!

Someone needs to whisper in Michael's ear that the right wing fanatics who are speaking on Terri's behalf include liberal Senator Tom Harkin and Ralph Nader, the man who arguably cost Gore the '00 election.

The truth and Terri's friends trump this nonsense about another right wing conspiracy.

Beyond conservatives like Pres. Bush and Rep. Delay, Terri has some interesting friends and getting support from people who don't have any ties to the Republican majorities in Congress.

According to Jeffrey Bell & Frank Cannon, a couple of Washington political consultants:

"It is no anomaly that roughly half of the Democratic congressmen who returned to Washington to vote on the pro-Terri Schiavo emergency legislation in March voted Yes instead of No."

Let's take very liberal Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa:

"There are a lot of people in the shadows, all over this country, who are incapacitated because of a disability, and many times there is no one to speak for them, and it is hard to determine what their wishes really are or were. So I think there ought to be a broader type of a proceeding that would apply to people in similar circumstances who are incapacitated."

Add to this Ralph Nader:

"Benefits of doubts should be given to life, not hastened death. This case is rife with doubt. Justice demands that Terri be permitted to live...."

Didn't Pres Bush say something similar last Sunday?

Eric Cohen is editor of the New Atlantis and resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center:

"On March 18, 2005, the day her feeding tube was removed, Terri Schiavo was not dead or dying. She was a profoundly disabled person in need of constant care. And despite the hopes of her parents, it was unlikely that her medical condition would improve, even with the best possible care administered by those with her best interests at heart. But even in her incapacitated state, Terri Schiavo was still a human being, a member of the Schindler family and the human family. As such, she was still worthy of protection and care, even if some of those closest to her wished to deny it."

Robert Novak reports that:

"Nearly half of the Congressional Black Caucus members who voted in the House on the Terri Schiavo case last weekend supported the Republican-sponsored bill"

This is the weirdest right wing conspiracy in history. Harkin, Nader, half of the Congressional black caucus, et al.

It sounds like a bipartisan conspiracy to me!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Iraq update: The insurgents are looking for an exit strategy

Remember Ted Kennedy saying that we were losing the war for the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people?

Remember the Newsweek cover about losing the war to the insurgency?

What a difference 8 million purple fingers can make.

According to the Financial Times and the AP, the insurgents are now the ones looking for an exit strategy.

Read this from Steve Negus in Baghdad:

"Sharif Ali Bin al-Hussein, who heads Iraq's main monarchist movement and is in contact with guerrilla leaders, said many insurgents including former officials of the ruling Ba'ath party, army officers, and Islamists have been searching for a way to end their campaign against US troops and Iraqi government forces since the January 30 election.

Sharif Ali said the success of Iraq's elections dealt the insurgents a demoralising blow, prompting them to consider the need to enter the political process."

The Washington Times brings us more good news from Iraq:

"One of the most heartening developments in recent weeks has been the increasing willingness of Iraqi civilians to stand up to the terrorists. On Tuesday, the NYT reported, a carpenter named Dhia saw a group of masked, grenade-carrying gunmen coming toward his shop in Baghdad. So Dhia and several of his relatives opened fire first, killing three of the gunmen. Similar incidents have occurred elsewhere."

Who is losing the war for the hearts and minds? It is Ted Kennedy and Michael Moore who look more and more foolish every day!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Give her up, Michael

Give up the fight Michael. The courts can't stop Terri's death and Governor Bush is not going to send the National Guard to reinsert her feeding tubes.

Only Michael can end this tragic mess by turning Terri over to her parents.

What is the downside for Michael? None. Who gets hurt with that solution? No one!

Michael can go on The Larry King Show and tell the world that he tried to fulfill his understanding of Terri's wishes but does not want to hurt anyone.

The parents can have a press conference and thank Michael for his understanding.

Give it up Michael and devote yourself to your new life, which includes another woman and two children.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Liberal Cohen can't find Democrats

We had "a poll a minute" during the '04 election. It seems that everyone in the US has a poll. I have never met anyone who has been called by a pollster but there are lots of polls.

During the '04 parade of polls, Pres. Bush maintained a healthy lead (often up to 20 points) over any Democrat on the question of leadership. Simply put, the public had differences with GW Bush but they liked his consistency and willingness to take a position.

On the other side, JFKerry had a different slogan every week. In less than a year, JFKerry went from actively supporting the war, to opposing the war to finally a position somewhere in between.

We live in a country where conservatives take public positions and liberals want judges to make their decisions. Conservatives want to go to the voters with their ideas whereas liberals go into hiding and trust that a friendly judge will write a opinion.

We have seen this in Terri's case in Florida.

Some liberals are getting angry at this. Let me quote Richard Cohen of The Washington Post, one of the nation's liberal columnists:

"Most of them seemed to be cowering in some bunker, calling their consultants and pollsters, asking what they should do and how they should do it. Please, have a memo on the desk by morning.

But for me the real loser was the Democratic Party. It showed that it's almost totally without leadership. If there is a national figure (other than Frank) who stood up and took on the GOP in this matter, his -- or her -- name does not come to mind.

In the Senate, oddly enough, it was Virginia's John Warner who pointed out that he opposed the bill -- and he's a Republican, for goodness' sake. The Democrats were nowhere.

Say what you will about DeLay, he is not afraid to state his beliefs and fight for them.

Say what you will about the Democrats, they are.

That's why DeLay's called "The Hammer."

What would you call the Democrats? Never mind. When they're ready, they'll call you."

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I choose life over death

On Monday and Wednesday nights, I teach an ESL class at a Dallas school. I usually get there by 5:30 PM and talk sports or share a few jokes with the cleaning crew.

Last night, the cleaning people were talking about one thing: Terri.

They did not hold back: they want Terri to be kept alive! One of the women was direct on her feelings about Terri's husband : "He ain't much of a man"! The other woman said that God knows the truth and no one can hide from Him. The black young man who cleans my classroom was teary eyed and praying that Pres. Bush would intervene and save Terri.

ABC did not call these people when they did their sham poll on Terri's fate. The poll questions were poorly worded. You can read more on this sham poll from Mickey Klaus' blog:

"I hadn't realized that the surprising ABC poll about the Schiavo case--showing overwhelming anti-tube sentiment--was so badly worded and biased. (For one thing, it
deceptively tells pollees that Terri Schiavo is on "life support." * For another, it leads with the flat assertion that "Doctors say she has no consciousness and her condition is irreversible."**) Michelle Malkin and "Captain Ed" Morrissey are onto the ABC poll."

This is the link to Michelle Malkin's review of the poll:

In a perfect world, everyone would have a living will that addresses the issue of life support systems and feeding tubes. There is a difference between turning off a respirator, which is required to keep a person alive, and shutting off a feeding tube, which gradually starves someone to death.

In a perfect world, a husband would not show interest in his sick wife after they have won a settlement. According to the Wall Street Journal:

"It was not until 1993, after a medical-malpractice jury awarded him roughly $1 million for Terri's long-term care, that he began to seek his wife's death."

In a perfect world, a husband would not have another woman and two children while he is still married to his sick wife.

We don't live in a perfect world. We live in this world.

As a rule, I want spouses to make these life and death decisions. It is the only sensible thing to do. The state cannot intervene in these matters. However, we have a dispute between a husband, whose motives are questionable, and parents, who are willing to care for their daughter and assume the financial obligations.

I want us to err on the side of life. Terri is not on life support systems. There are different reports on her medical condition. Over the last two days, I have heard doctors say opposite things about her status.

Again, I am not a doctor. I don't know the difference between one condition and another. There is an interesting interview with Professor Robert George in National Review about this:

"NRO: As you know, there's some question about what Terri Schiavo's wishes were or would be now. How much should turn on this question?

George: It is the wrong question. It is pointless to ask whether Terri Schiavo had somehow formed a conditional intention to have herself starved to death if eventually she found herself in a brain-damaged condition.

Even if we were to credit Michael Schiavo's account of his conversation with Terri before her injury — which I am not inclined to do — it is a mistake to assume that people can make decisions in advance about whether to have themselves starved to death if they eventually find themselves disabled.

That's why living wills have proven to be so often unreliable. One does not know how one will actually feel, or how one will feel about one's life and the prospect of death, or whether one will retain a desire to live despite a mental or physical disability, when one is not actually in that condition and when one is envisaging it from the perspective of more or less robust health.

Consider the case of a beautiful young woman — an actress or fashion model perhaps — who is severely burned in a fire. Prior to actually finding herself in such a condition, she might have supposed — and even said, if the subject had come up in a conversation — that she would rather be dead than live with her face grotesquely disfigured. But no one would be surprised if in the actual event she did not try to kill herself by starvation or some other means, and did not want to die."

Let's err on the side of life. We should promote a culture of life rather than the culture of death which inspires a young kid in Minnesota to kill a bunch of his friends. Abortion on demand promotes a culture of death as well as euthanasia and the push to use stem cells from frozen embryos and tissue from aborted babies.

Peggy Noonan writes about the culture of death and the impact on children:

"Our children have been reared in the age of abortion, and are coming of age in a time when seemingly respectable people are enthusiastic for euthanasia. It cannot be good for our children, and the world they will make, that they are given this new lesson that human life is not precious, not touched by the divine, not of infinite value. Once you "know" that--that human life is not so special after all--then everything is possible, and none of it is good."

Again, let's err on the side of life. Let Terri's parents take over. Michael needs to divorce Terri and marry the mother of his two children. He needs to move on and let the parents care for this poor woman.

Let me close with Pres. Bush:

"In cases like this one...where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life."

Thank God that Pres. Bush does not govern by polls!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Did everyone forget about the 2nd anniversary of the Iraq War?

It's hard to believe but we just crossed the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Things in Iraq are going so well that the American news media, and the Democrats, are not talking about it anymore.

Six months ago, Iraq was the greatest disaster in the history of Western civilization. Today, the second anniversary passes without much fanfare. Even Ted Kennedy had little to say about Iraq.

David Ignatius of the Washington Post recalls:

"I spent Easter Sunday two years ago in a Baghdad that had just been liberated by U.S. and coalition troops. And yes, the right word is "liberated." If you doubt that was the feeling of most Iraqis at the time, then you weren't there"

According to THE NEW YORK TIMES:

"relatively small crowds of demonstrators - the home guard of the antiwar movement - mobilized yesterday in New York, San Francisco and cities and towns across the nation to condemn the war and demand the withdrawal of allied forces. Thousands joined similar protests in European cities. On both sides of the Atlantic, the protests were passionate but largely peaceful, and nowhere near as big as those in February 2003, just before the war, when millions around the world marched to urge President Bush not to attack."

Ralph Peters just got back from Europe:

"Last week, on the second anniversary of the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the European Left called for mass demonstrations to protest the American "occupation" of the Middle East. The turn-out was pathetic.

Europeans are masters of instant amnesia. When they find themselves shamed by history, they simply move on. That's what they're doing now."

Sadly, no one marched in the world's capitals calling for more democracy in Iran or saluting the women who are running for office in Iraq. The world's feminists have nothing to say about the female candidates in Iraq. Why? Because female candidates in Iraq are opposed to abortion. The international feminist movement is all abortion and little else!

Around the world, the international left has been reduced to predictable anti-Bush chants that sound silly and out of place. Over here, the American left is still trying to recover from the fact that Al Gore could not carry Tennessee and Bill Clinton could not deliver his Arkansas to Gore or Kerry.

How bad is it going for the American left? Listen to Hillary Clinton. She is doing everything possible to avoid them.

Let me close once again with Professor Victor Davis Hanson:

We have weathered everything from Michael Moore to Abu Ghraib, and come out on the other end to hear former Arab terrorists and left-wing British and German newspapers now suddenly asking, "Was George Bush right?"

Monday, March 21, 2005

Call Senator Reid's bluff

Thomas Lifson writes in The American Thinker:

"It is no longer an unusual occurrence for Americans to turn on their radios or TVs, or log onto the internet to discover that a judge somewhere has concluded that homosexual marriage is a Constitutional right, or that the death penalty for adolescents has become “cruel and unusual punishment� in the last 15 years, or that the phrase “under God� should be stricken from the Pledge of Allegiance, or that public display of a Christmas crèche is forbidden, while display of a Islamic crescent is not."

I call it judicial overreach. Some refer to it as judicial activism or tyranny. Either way, it is judges writing too many opinions.

Let's start with abortion. Without Roe v Wade, the US would have settled abortion at the ballot box. In the early 70s, the country was headed in the direction of a ballot box approach to abortion. Most states, probably the same ones that have been voting Republican since Nixon '72, would have made abortion illegal. The rest of the states, the so called blue states, would have legalized it.

For me, this arrangement is consistent with the US Constitution. I'd prefer a states' rights solution rather having a federal law making abortion legal in the US! I feel the same way about the death penalty for minors, religious symbols at public buildings and homosexual marriage. These issues should be decided by voters and not federal judges!

National polls show that large majorities (sometimes 75%) do not want homosexual marriage or the elimination of religious symbols. 11 states voted down homosexual marriage in the '04 election. A recent poll shows that almost 80% of the American public wants the 10 Commandments in public buildings.

Don't these majorities have rights? Why should a secular minority, that can't win elections, enforce its secular views on me just because some judge agrees with them!

We have a process to change our laws. In Texas, we call it a referendum. On the national level, we have an anmendment process that has produced 25 changes to the original text.

Unlike judges' opinions, amendments require public debate and legislative battles. The liberals cannot win these debates. Therefore, they have invested all of their hopes and dreams of creating a secular society in the hands of a few friendly judges.

The public is not taking this sitting down. The Republicans have made judicial overreach a key campaign issue. They are winning elections running against out of control judges! Very often, US Senate elections turn on this issue and the Democrat loses! Just ask Tom Daschle!

Roe v Wade, and other decisions, have been a political blessing for the conservatives and a nightmare for liberals.

Peter Brown writes about this:

"Gay-rights proponents may well wonder, as they did after last November's election, whether court victories are worth the political cost. That's because the decision likely will help President Bush win the upcoming war over judicial confirmations about to engulf Washington, D.C. Such a victory could tilt the national verdict on many issues."

Go ahead and call the Democrats' bluff. Let's have a battle over judges. Let the Democrats try to shut down the Senate.

I don't think that the Democrats have the courage to fight this battle. Why? Because they are scared to death of talk radio and the blogger nation!

I agree with Senator Allen, Republican from Virginia and a potential candidate in '08:

"I don't think reasonable Democrats are going to want to be a part of this attempt to shut down the Senate. I'd be surprised if moderates like Sens. Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman and those up for re-election in 2006 would actually go along with this failed play. It looks to me like the Democrats are trying to play some poker. I think they're bluffing and I think Republicans need to call them on it."

Call their bluff. Force the Democrats to go on TV and explain to the nation why a black woman should not get an up and down vote in the US Senate.

Force the Democrats up for reelection in '06 to go public with their positions on these judges.

Call their bluff. Don't be surprised if most liberals hide as they have in the Shievo case in Florida. Liberals are scared to death that their party's secular image will bring down more candidates in '06.

Let me close with Cragg Hines, a very anti-Bush liberal. I disagree with Hines on most issues but he is right about his wimpy liberal friends:

"Far too often of late, thunderstruck Democrats have obligingly laid down to be rolled over. You wonder what, if anything, will rouse the opposition. If the Democrats' performance over the weekend was any guide, don't hold your breath.....".

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

My Hillary challenge

Do me a favor. Print this blog and save it until 2008. I challenge 5 people to put my prediction to the test.

If I am wrong, I will buy a $25 lunch certificate for the first 5 people who accept my challenge.

If I am right, you will contribute $25 to a local group counseling young women against having an abortion.

It's simple. I lose and you get lunch. I win and some young women will not abort their babies.

Here is my prediction. Hillary Clinton will lose in 2008. Furthermore, she may not even run when she sees the political landscape following the '06 midterm elections. Don't take it as an automatic that Hillary Clinton will run in '08. She may turn into Mario Cuomo, the other New Yorker who was always a candidate but never actually ran for president!

First things first. Clinton has an election in New York in '06. I will assume her reelection unless Rudy Guliani runs against her. How likely? It's too early to tell. Guliani is also running for president in '08 and putting Hillary away would be an impressive bullet item on his resume. Can you imagine Rudy Guliani saying in a Republican debate that he was the man who sent Mrs. Clinton into early retirement! That would earn Guliani a lot of votes among Republican primary voters in '08!

Yet, it's 50-50 on Guliani running for Hillary's seat in '06. So I will assume that Hillary Clinton is reelected in New York. But all bets are off if Rudy gets in!

It is true that Mrs. Clinton is acting like a candidate. She is moving to the right faster than a crazy driver on a metro freeway. She is doing what her husband did in '95 and '96. She is throwing the liberals overboard so that she can be seen as some kind of centrist Lieberman.

Hillary Clinton is going out of her way to be photographed with Republicans. She took a tour to Iraq with national security heavyweight John McCain. During this trip, she distanced herself from Ted Kennedy.

Just last week, she appeared with pro-life Republicans Santorum and Brownback. She made an appearance with them to attack Hollywood for too much sex and violence in movies.

She recently spoke about faith in the public square. Hillary Clinton is now saying that people of faith need to be respected.

She is now searching for common ground on abortion.

In fact, Hillary has not been seen with John Kerry, Al Gore or Michael Moore. Based on her recent schedule, it's hard to believe that Hillary Clinton is even a Democrat!

There is one thing that we know about the Clintons: They will say anything to get elected. Bill and Hillary Clinton are deep rooted 60s liberals but they will become whatever they need to become in order to win an election.

Again, we saw this with her husband. After the '94 Republican sweep, Bill Clinton moved to the right and signed every bill that the Republican Congress sent him. One of these bills was welfare reform, the first dismantling of FDR's welfare state. Another bill was The Defense of Marriage Act. If a Republican president had signed these bills, he would be accused of taking food from the mouth of babies and promoting bigotry against homosexuals.

And last but not least, it was Clinton who signed the Iraq Liberation Act, the legislation that made overthrowing Saddam Hussein the foreign policy objective of the US. If Bush had signed such a law, he'd be called a unilateral cowboy by the crowd!

Principles and ideals do not matter to the Clintons. They will say whatever needs to be said. Don't invest your liberal hopes and dreams in these people. Where do the Clintons stand on anything? They will answer that question after they read the morning's polls!

Why do you think that 4 million liberals voted for Ralph Nader in 2000? It wasn't because they thought that Bush was a bad governor of Texas!

It was because of the liberal dissatisfaction with the Clinton-Gore years. After all, didn't the Kyoto treaty sit on Clinton's desk from '97 to '00 without resolution! Didn't Clinton invade Haiti and changed a government without Congress or the UN? Didn't Clinton send troops into Bosnia without the UN? Didn't Clinton bomb Iraq by going around the UN Security Council? Didn't Clinton keep Reaganomics intact?

By '08, few Democrats will recognize Sen. Hillary Clinton. She will do everything possible to run to the right of any Republican.

Will Hillary pull it off? The answer depends on what happens between now and mid-2007. I will go on record saying that she won't! Extreme makeovers work better on TV than US politicians!

Can all of those so red states and counties turn blue for Hillary Clinton in 2008? The answer is yes. Is it likely? The answer is no.

The Democrats are hoping that everything goes to hell in the next 3 years. I should warn you that these are the same people who said that Bush would not defeat Richards and that the Iraq War would turn into another Vietnam.

These are the same people who told you that their party would win in '02 because the country was certain to punish Bush for stealing the '00 election. The voters "punished Bush" by reelecting Jeb Bush in Florida and giving the Republicans a 51-48-1 majority in the US Senate.

In '04, this bunch was certain that Iraq and the economy would kill Bush. On election night, Bush won the popular vote, 51-48%, carried 31 states and added 4 new Republican Senators.

If you believe in Democrat predictions then you are: a) a blind partisan; b) a new arrival from Mars who watched the Michael Moore movie during the long flight; or c) one of those who fell hook, line and sinker for the CBS documentary about the Bush memos.

Thankfully, most of my Democrat friends have not put money behind their predictions. If they had, then they would be asking me for a loan!

The biggest failure of the last 10 years has been the man predicting a Democrat victory, comeback or rally. These people are so foolish that they told a sleepy John Kerry at 4 PM that he was headed for an electoral landslide. Kerry woke up around 8 PM, turned on TV and probably punched every one of his pollsters!

It is true that things could go south in the next 3 years. But they could also go well. There is a 20% chance that they will go perfect, 20% that they will go to hell and 60% that things will do what they always do!

Last but not least, Hillary Clinton won't have Ross Perot. Bill Clinton won the presidency with 43% of the vote in '92. The white middle class vote split between Bush and Perot.

So don't invest your hopes and dreams in another Clinton. The first Clinton destroyed his party and forced 4 million liberals to vote for Nader in 2000. Hillary Clinton is the most polarizing figure in the US. She will light up all of those red counties and energize Republicans like no one can!

There is another downside to Hillary Clinton. She will soak all of the party's oxygen and deny a new generation of Democrats access to the nomination. I am talking about new faces like Bill Richardson, the Dem. governor of New Mexico. Or the new Democrat governors of Virginia and Tennessee. These three men are Democrats who can win in red states in contrast to Hillary Clinton who has never had a competitive campaign in her political life.

Don't forget that Hillary Clinton has never been tested in an election. Her '00 Senate victory was a given after Guliani retired with medical problems. It won't be that easy when she is running against McCain, Guliani or any other Republican in '08.

The Democrat party must move on beyond the Clintons. Maybe it will take another presidential defeat in '08 to convince them that their future is not Clintonian!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Mr Bolton goes to the UN

"In a very real way, we seem to have lost touch with the great middle in America... and who feel that we've drifted away from a commitment to human rights, a commitment to help the poor of the world...."

Those are not the words of Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Pres. Bush, VP Cheney, Sec. Rice or Sec. Rumsfeld. This is not a speech from the recent conservative conference in Washington.

These are the words of the UN's spokesman Mark Malloch Brown who was a guest yesterday on some of the Sunday shows. Mr. Brown understands that the UN needs a little PR with the American people. It's what they call in business a case of re-introduction. It's sort of like the GM campaign of a few years back: this is not your father's Oldsmobile!

The UN leadership is determined to show its chief financial supporter (i.e. the US taxpayer) that this is not the same "we hate America" circus.

The UN is right in reintroducing itself to the US public. It's a step in the right direction. But they will need a lot more than phrases for and praises of the US taxpayer who subsidizes the UN. They will need real change. The UN intoxicated itself with anti-Americanism in the 1970s and it will take time to recover US public opinion.

It did not start with Bush or Iraq. In '81, Pres. Reagan was very unhappy with the UN. Reagan felt that the UN had become a rat hole for anti-Americanism. Reagan was sick and tired of hearing cheap shots against the US, specially from unelected and corrupt leaders who steal their country's resources and invest them in Swiss bank accounts.

So Reagan sent Jeanne Kirpatrick to the UN. She did not hesitate to tell it like it is. The one and only Mrs. Kirkpatrick became a national figure, a lady who was not afraid to stand up for the US.

Reagan was extremely unpopular at the UN. They called him a cowboy who did not listen or a moron who did not read sophisticated books. They said that he was unilateralist and blunt. They said that he surrounded himself with right wingers. I recall massive demonstrations in Europe comparing him to Hitler. I recall a poll that indicated that the world would vote against him!

Reagan didn't care. He understood that his job was to rebuild the US military and to confront the Soviet expansion under the Carter years.
Today, Reagan has the highest rating of any modern President.

Pres. Bush just nominated John Bolton to the UN. Once again, we have a president who understands that the UN has turned into a corrupt rat hole.

Andrew Sullivan wrote that Mrs. Kirkpatrick offered some advice to Bolton:

“My advice is to stand for what he believes in. It is harder in the UN than in other places. There are so many people who are not-so-serious in the United Nations. But I told John that I had learnt more about the world there than in any other place.�

Bolton enjoys strong support from Sec. Rice. The Washington Times quotes Sec. Rice:

"John Bolton was my first choice....I think John is a straightforward, tough-talking, very good diplomat, and I think that's what you need at the United Nations."

Emmett Tyrrell wrote today:

"The reality is that his "world community" has sat back and allowed barbarism to endure in hellholes such as Rwanda and the Sudan. It has allowed rogue nations to acquire weapons of mass destruction and to pose a threat to world peace out of all proportion to each nation's strength and importance."

If the UN was a federal or state bureaucracy, its leadership would face corruption charges of Enronian proportions over the Oil for Food program.

If the UN was a public school district, Kofi Annan would be retaining a criminal lawyer and singing like a canary to stay out of jail.

If the US military behaved like the UN "blue helmets" then there would be international outrage about soldiers raping women and engaging in the sex trade.

My hope is that the UN reflects more reality. The UN Security Council mirrors 1945 rather than 2005. Japan and India should be permanent members. After all, they are two of the world's top 5 economies! At the same time, France or Germany needs to be removed.

My hope is that the UN stops its obsession with Israel or anti-Americanism. It should be a place to settle regional disputes and to curtail the proliferation of WMDs.

Every poll shows that the US public is fed up with the state of affairs at the UN. Simply put: if you want to bash the US then do it on someone else's nickle.

This is the message that Bolton will carry to the UN. It's about time that the UN got that message!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

More tales from the Italian journalist

As they say: when in Rome do as the Romans do. If you travel to Iraq, do as the Iraqis do. The Iraqis stop at the military checkpoints and life goes on. Many of the checkpoints are manned by Iraqi security!

The Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena is now telling the UK press:

"I never said that they wanted to kill me..."

One of her associates followed that:

"In an interview with The Independent, her partner, Pier Scolari, said: "None of us is so stupid as to think the Americans did it on purpose."
PM Berlusconi said yesterday:

"The Italian government is in a position to guarantee the security only of those . . . who operate in close co-operation and under the protection of our military contingent," he said. "It is not possible to do so for those who venture, even for the most noble and sincere reasons, in other regions of Iraq where the presence of terrorists is still high and where the risk of attacks and abductions is greater."

Justice Minister Roberto Castelli said this"

"She has created enormous problems for the government and also caused grief that perhaps was better avoided,..."
In other words, if you are driving in Iraq, please obey the traffic signals!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The latest from Mexico

Sec. Rice is going to Mexico as they are preparing for another tough election. Like most countries, parties are posturing and candidates are giving speeches. It's democracy. I understand it. We have our own posturing and excessive rhetoric.

However, Mexican democracy looks more disorderly all the time. The '06 elections are going to be loud, hysterical and produce a new president with less than 40% of the vote. Mexico will have another six years of the 3 party circus that makes governing impossible.

One of my Mexican friends said this:

If the PAN wins, then it will be about the same. If the PRI wins then the losers will say that they stole the election. If the leftist PRD wins then money will fly out of Mexico so fast that the peso will have a massive devaluation in the second half of '06 or early '07.

According to the AP:

"US ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza added fuel to the nationalistic fires last week when, during a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico City, he spoke about corruption and crime, Mexico's dependence on remittances from the United States and the country's failure to adapt "to the new rules of the globalization game."

Garza earlier irritated many in January with a letter saying that "the inability of local law enforcement to come to grips with rising drug warfare, kidnappings and random street violence will have a chilling effect on the cross-border exchange, tourism and commerce."

Frankly, Amb. Garza is right. The truth hurts!

Corruption and crime have turned the border into such a mess that Pres. Fox sent soldiers to keep order. Why are Mexican troops chasing drug dealers in the North? Because the border is full of drug cartels.

Remittances are now the second largest source of income. Does anyone deny this? Can you build a country's future around remittances? The young man who cuts your grass or the young woman who cleans your home are keeping the Mexican economy afloat.

Mexican politicians do not want to see it. Mexico needs drastic changes so that it can compete with China.

As always, Mexicans are also complaining that the US is intervening in their country.

Let me get this straight.

The Mexican government is supporting the exit of thousands of young Mexicans to the US because they can't find work in Mexico. Second, Mexico publishes a book on how to enter the US illegally.

And Mexico is accusing the US of meddling? It sounds to me that Mexico should stop interfering with the US.

Mexico's problems are "hecho en mexico". Beating up the US is a pleasant distraction but it won't create jobs, attract foreign investment or protect the maquiladora industry from China.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Who is going to apologize to the US military?

According to the Wash Post, this is the latest on the Italian journalist:

"Italy's foreign minister said Tuesday that the killing of an Italian intelligence agent and wounding of an Italian journalist by U.S. troops in Iraq was an accident....."

OK. The US was not trying to kill an Italian journalist! Thank you for confirming that!

The Wall Street Journal puts this way:

"Her own account of the fateful journey, published Sunday, has them traveling so fast they were "losing control" and laughing about what an irony it would be if they had an accident after all that had happened. In other words, they probably looked like a suicide car bomber to a scared American soldier who had to make a split-second decision at night."

Who is going to call Pres. Bush, and say "we are sorry" for printing a bunch of lies about US soldiers targeting individuals.

I don't expect an apology. But it would be nice to see people act more responsibly and count to 10 before they repeat lies about the US.

Based on what we know, it looks like the trigger happy people are those who take cheap shots against the US.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Please don't insult the good name of the US soldier

The Chicago Sun Times has a good editorial today:

"In Indonesia, the word is out: the United States knew of the coming December tsunami, but did nothing, so that as many Muslim lives as possible might be lost in the storm.

In France, a book titled L'Effroyable imposture, or "The Appalling Fraud'' presented the Sept. 11 attacks as a CIA plot to justify America's later invasions. It was parked on France's best-seller list and sold briskly around the globe.

And why wouldn't it? The world is fertile ground for anti-American sentiment, no matter how wild and improbable."

US troops are doing a wonderful job. Most of their good deeds go unreported. Much of it is people to people diplomacy, the kind of work that makes a great impression but does not get media coverage. 8 million Iraqis put the exclamation point on their good work on election day. They could have stayed home in protest. They didn't!

Anti-Americans can not get enough of conspiracies. The latest one is that US soldiers deliberately killed an Italian communist journalist.

Details are always sketchy but this is what we know.

We have lost 1,500 young men in Iraq. About 750 half were killed in actual combat. About 200 in accidents or other reasons. 500 in car bombings. In other words, 1 of 3 dead GIs were killed by car bombings.

The rules are very simple. You slow down before you approach a military checkpoint. The Iraqis do this everyday and no one is calling for the US to pull out.

We will never know why this car kept going. The driver is dead.

Question: Why didn't the driver advise the soldiers that he was carrying a rescued hostage? Why didn't someone advise the authorities that the Italian journalist was traveling in a car at that time?

Question # 2: Why was he driving so fast? Was he late for a flight to Rome or what?

This issue will be investigated and the facts will show that the US military acted properly and was not targeting anyone.

Please do not insult the good name of the US military by saying that it kills civilians on purpose. This is a lie and it shows ignorance of the military operations in Iraq.

Let's close with these observations from Robert Maginnis, a retired Army officer and military analyst, speaking to the Washington Times:

"Rome should have done a better job coordinating Miss Sgrena's exit once the Italians negotiated her release.

"It seems to me that the Italian secret service considers this a James Bond movie in Baghdad," Mr. Maginnis said.

"They're driving around at night picking up a journalist who has been kidnapped and pretending they can get through a phalanx of checkpoints along the deadliest road in all of Iraq without being detected, much less shot up."

Sunday, March 06, 2005

I'm putting my money on the Iranians throwing out the mullahs!

Here we go again. According to the AP:

"Iran said Saturday it will never agree to permanently stop making nuclear fuel....".

Maybe this is just posturing. Or maybe they are serious.

What does the US do? Do we go along and hope for the best or do we destroy the facilities?

Jeffrey Bergner has an excellent article in The Weekly Standard. He points out:

" assume that Iran's quest for nuclear weapons has to do with the current force posture of the United States in the region is to forget that Iran has been pursuing nuclear weapons for at least 18 years, since long before even the first Gulf War."

Furthermore, Mr. Bergner reminds us:

"....that there is no evidence that the imposition of joint U.S. and European economic sanctions against Iran would cause it to terminate its nuclear weapons program."

The best evidence here is 12 years of UN resolutions on Iraq. We all remember how well UN resolutions worked with Saddam Hussein. UN sanctions turned into the biggest financial scandal in history, the well known Oil for Food program that traded oil contracts for support at the UN Security Council!

Furthermore, Iran wants nuclear weapons to threaten Israel. If we do not act then the Israelis will do it! Can you blame them? I can't.

Here is another problem. As Mr. Bergner writes:

" Iran is not seeking a peaceful nuclear energy program. Iran has no need of such a program, and its actions to date are not consistent with that end. Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability, and there is nothing the European trio can offer it to compensate for the perceived security benefits nuclear weapons would bring."

So what do you do when one party is using negotiations and conversations to buy time so that it can secure its nuclear position?

This is why Pres. Bush is weighing his options, including a military strike. Bush may eventually order a surgical series of attacks against various facilities. We have plenty of airpower in the region. The Mediterranean and Indian Ocean Fleets are parked nearby. There are submarines all over the world capable of delivering massive force. And last but not least, there is a squadron of B-52s at Diego Garcia Island in the Indian Ocean.

There is another solution. This is the one that I'm putting my money on.

The Iranians could catch the democratic fever in the Middle East air. The mullahs are extremely unpopular. There is already evidence of a growing opposition within Iran.

A Tehran uprising? Unlikely, you say? Stranger things have happened in the Middle East recently!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Another Friday of good news!

Another Friday of good news!

Years ago, someone came up with TGIF----Thank God it's Friday. I believe that they made a movie out of this. Then someone came up with a restaurant too.

Friday is slow turning into Pres. Bush's favorite day of the week. Friday is the day that we get information on the economy.

According to MarketWatch:

"Payrolls have increased an average of 183,000 in the past three months, about the same growth seen in all of 2004.

"The actual result is heartening in that the payroll figure seems to be back in synch with what other indicators have been pointing to," said Joshua Shapiro, chief economist for MFR Inc.

Manufacturing industries added 20,000 new jobs in February, with much of the gain coming from auto workers returning from temporary layoffs, the government said.

Construction industries added 30,000 jobs.

Service producing jobs grew by 207,000, with the bulk of the new jobs coming in professional and business services, including 30,000 temp help jobs.

The report should give more confidence to Federal Reserve officials that the economy is on a self-sustaining expansion. Fed officials have been sounding more confident about the economy in recent weeks."

The AP reports:

"A surprisingly strong job creation report energized Wall Street Friday, propelling stocks sharply higher as investors grew more confident about the economy and corporate earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index both reached 3 1/2-year highs on the news."

So TGIF---another day of good economic news!

The US economy is the still the best. Don't listen to the prophets of doom!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Oh Canada

Over the years, I have known many Canadians. There are 3 in my office building. We usually have coffee and talk about hockey, or whatever else is in season. Frankly, I can't tell the difference between a fellow from Manitoba or Minnesota.

Furthermore, Texas is full of Canadians. My # 2 son goes dancing with a pretty CanTex girl. Her dad is from British Columbia but she was born here. One of the boys on my baseball team was a pleasant kid from Quebec. His favorite team was naturally the Expos! I like people who stick up for their home team!

It seems that I meet a Canadian every day around here! They are very all over the red states!

Canada was blessed with natural resources, beautiful lakes and US borders. They are the only country in the world surrounded by the US. They sell us their goods and services. We go to their resorts.

Last but not least, our taxpayers protect Canada! How can you protect Buffalo without not protecting Toronto? Or Vancouver and Seattle? Or Vermont and not Montreal?

We share North America! The US is not perfect but it makes for a heck of a good neighbor! Just ask anyone from Poland, Hungary or Lithuania about their big neighbor, the late USSR!

As one of my Canadian friends in Texas told me yesterday: Canada has the best deal in the planet. Who wouldn't want to live next to the US?

Lately, the Canadians are acting a little strange. Let's take the missile defense issue.

According to Clifford Krauss of The New York Times:

"If a missile is going over Canadian airspace, I want to know, I want to be at the table," Paul Martin said while still running for the leadership of the Liberal Party in April 2003.

But on Thursday, Mr. Martin, now prime minister, reversed course and said that Canada would not take part with Washington in the development of a missile defense shield, essentially because he faced a rebellion on the issue at a Liberal Party conference next month."

The article goes on:

"Mr. Martin has made an effort to smooth relations with the Bush administration, which suffered as a result of the Iraq war and the chilly rapport between Mr. Chrétien and Mr. Bush. But Mr. Martin preferred to use his political capital in recent months defending same-sex marriage legislation rather than fighting elements of his party on the missile defense system."

Why should we care about Canadian airspace? Because they are next to us.

On social issues, I don't care if Canada wants to be the land of homosexual marriage. I disagree with it but it's their country and their business.

It's different on national security. I have a different attitude when my family's safety is at stake.

A year ago, terrorists hit Spain. Why? They determined that Spain was the weakest link. They could come to the same conclusion about Canada and hit one of our neighbor's cities in lieu of the US.

Most Canadians live within 100 miles of the US border. It does not take a lot of imagination to estimate the damage that it would do!

Pres. Bush was a bit blunt when he met with PM Martin last December. Bush is not a "sensitive kind of guy" when the subject is terrorism and missiles from rogue states.

Maybe this is all a lot of liberal hot air. Maybe PM Martin is just throwing a bone to his angry left wing.

As the world turns, and PM Martin sinks further in the polls, Canadians should heed the words of Peter Brown:

"The U.S. desire for a shield originated during the Cold War when the Soviet Union was the perceived threat. But, in today's terrorism-anxious world, those who suggest that an anti-missile shield might be superfluous, even if it is workable, ignore the new reality. The spread of nukes to rogue states such as North Korea and, perhaps Iran, argues for creating such a shield.Meanwhile, the prudent Canadian might wonder about the reliability of, say, North Korean technology. Would you bet your country on the possibility that the crazy folks in Pyongyang might not hit Toronto when they aimed for Chicago?Hey, if Canadians want to take their chances, who are we to say otherwise?

On the other hand, it's laughable that an American commander might have to check with Ottawa for permission to fire when he's alerted to an incoming attack from a missile streaking across Canadian soil.

Hopefully the Canadians are just venting."

Yes, let's hope that this is just a little liberal venting.

PM Martin needs a little Bush bashing to satisfy the party caucus. It's easier to beat up Bush than to talk about lines at public hospitals, unemployment, economic growth, helicopters than can't fly, etc.

In the end, let's hope that Canada makes a national security decision rooted on reality rather than one based on saying "no" to Bush.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Two years later!

It was two years ago that Pres Bush and PM Blair led military forces in Iraq.

At the time, I supported the military decision because the US could not give Saddam Hussein the benefit of the doubt after 9-11.

The world is divided into two kinds of people. There are those who are still counting votes in Florida and living in a 9-10 world. Then there are the rest of us who understand that 9-11 was a paradigm change. Thankfully, the latter group is the one making national security decisions at the White House.

After 9-11, the US could not afford to have a well armed tyrant in the Middle East giving us the finger for 12 years without consequences.

My position on this has been consistent since '91. The first Bush was right in kicking Saddam out of Kuwait. He was correct in giving UN resolutions the opportunity to resolve the questions of WMDs and Iraqi behavior. I did not agree with those who said that the first Bush should have removed Saddam in Mar '91. It was important to give the UN Security Council a diplomatic opportunity to complete the mission.

After Bush, Clinton was correct in demanding compliance with the resolution regime and Gulf War cease fire.

Everything changed in '98 when Saddam kicked out the inspectors and gave everyone the finger. Saddam should have been removed in '98. By late '98, it was clear that Saddam Hussein had no intention of respecting any international agreement or the cease fire.

Between '91 and '98, Saddam shot at US planes. He did not allow UN inspectors access to Iraq's labs and military bases. He tried to kill the first Bush during a private visit to Kuwait in '93. Last but not least, he did not comply with any of the cease fire requirements.

Saddam was given one more chance in '02. Bush went to the UN and enumerated all of the violations. The UN gave us one more resolution calling on Saddam to do his duty or face consequences.

The inspectors went back in after a 4 year absence. Once again, Saddam did not allow the inspectors to move freely and do their work.

So Bush acted and Saddam was removed!

Nevertheless, Saddam's removal was not cheap. Yet, it would have been more expensive to do nothing. It would have been easier to play the UN resolutions game. It would have made Bush more popular, specially among those benefiting from the UN Oil for Food Program.

Bush could have punted on Iraq and let the next guy deal with it.

But Bush is not a punter, he is a quarterback!

Like Reagan in the 1980s, Bush is not in the popularity business. He is the business of defending US interests. Thankfully, Bush did not care what they opined in Paris or Berlin.

Two years later, even the NYTimes has something positive to say about the consequences. Check out their latest editorial on!
The turning point was the Iraq election when 8 million Iraqis went to vote and waved their purple fingers. This led Mark Brown, a Chicago Sun-Times columnist and Bush critic, to write:

"But after watching Sunday's election in Iraq and seeing the first clear sign that freedom really may mean something to the Iraqi people, you have to be asking yourself: What if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong? It's hard to swallow, isn't it?"

Jonathan Freedland wrote in UK's The Guardian:
"We need to face up to the fact that the Iraq invasion has intensified pressure for democracy in the Middle East"
Walid Jumblatt, the Druze leader long a critic of the United States, had some interesting remarks:

"It's is strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world. The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."
Or read Claus Christian Malzahn in Der Spiegel:

"Maybe the peoples of Syria, Iraq or Jordan will get the idea in their heads to free themselves from their oppressive regimes just as the East Germans did. Just a thought for Old Europe to chew on: Bush might be right, just like Reagan was."

Kurt Andersen wrote a masterful piece in the New Yorker magazine. He goes to the heart of the matter and challenges his fellow liberals directly:

"Our heroic and tragic liberal-intellectual capaciousness is facing its sharpest test since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Back then, most of us were forced, against our wills, to give Ronald Reagan a large share of credit for winning the Cold War.

Now the people of this Bush-hating city are being forced to grant the merest possibility that Bush, despite his annoying manner and his administration's awful hubris and dissembling and incompetence concerning Iraq, just might--might, possibly--have been correct to invade, to occupy, and to try to enable a democratically elected government in Iraq. . . .
It won't do simply to default to our easy predispositions--against Bush, even against war. If partisanship makes us abandon intellectual honesty, if we oppose what our opponents say or do simply because they are the ones saying or doing it, we become mere political short-sellers, hoping for bad news because it's good for our ideological investment."
Bush's policies look pretty good today. I am not suggesting that everything is perfect. There are still challenges ahead. But things are tipping in the Middle East and they are tipping Bush's way.

Even Hillary Clinton is carefully positioning herself. This is what she said on Meet the Press:

"Where we stand right now, there can be no doubt that it is not in America's interests for the Iraqi government, the experiment in freedom and democracy, to fail....So I hope that Americans understand that and that we will have as united a front as is possible in our country at this time to keep our troops safe, make sure they have everything they need and try to support this new Iraqi government."
Hillary Clinton has a sense of the big picture. She can smell a winner. She is not going down with Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean or John Kerry. She is grabbing the Bush train and leaving the 9-10 gang behind counting votes in Florida and looking for conspiracy theories in Ohio.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Nobody is watching CNN

You are not alone. Your neighbors are not watching CNN either. Fox News is killing CNN across the country.

Why? I think that there are two reasons.

First, FOX has better hosts and more lively debates. There are lots of liberal vs conservative confrontation on FOX. I don't see that at CNN.

Second, Larry King is worn out. CNN can not build its prime time audience around Larry King. He is getting killed by Bill O'Reilly and Hannity-Colmes.

Check this out from Variety magazine :

CNN posted steep viewer losses during the month of February, slipping 21% in primetime and 16% overall, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Fox News was the only cable news network to see gains in primetime during February and beat all other cable news outlets combined for the sixth straight month.

FNC averaged 1.57 million viewers in primetime, up 18% from the same period last year, while CNN fell 21% to 637,000 viewers from the same time period.

CNN's primetime performance, where it has been most hurt by a strong FNC lineup built around tentpole "The O'Reilly Factor."

CNN endured a thrashing by Fox during the State of the Union Address, and even lost in the key 25-54 demographic to third-place MSNBC during the speech.




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