July 25, 2010
Al Franken is one of those guys who continues to amaze me, for all the wrong reasons. His 42 plus minute “monodrone” at the mic for the Netroots Nation conference could be considered cruel and unusual punishment if it were shown in a prison. His speech was absolutely devoid of the passion he begged the left wing bloggers to continue. If Bush had shown this incredibly dull speech to the prisoners at Guantanamo the same bloggers would be calling him a war criminal.
I will say this; the top of Al’s head looks good! That is what was mostly seen on Fox News as he read his speech from the podium. Maybe the ultra high tech folks at The Daily Kos couldn’t afford to rent a teleprompter for Al. Fox, which showed his speech live, apparently had no back-up plan for this time slot like cutting away b-roll of paint drying or a re-run of Geraldo’s “Al Capone” show to further lower their ratings during this hour.
One would expect that a guy who made a living from allegedly being funny for three decades could have written a few jokes for his big night. Maybe he was working on his “gravitas!” This speech could be a gigantic clue as to why the liberal radio network “Air America” which he bragged about founding, floundered so badly and quickly.
Besides being overly long and boring the speech was riddled with, how should I put this; factual inaccuracies? Misstatements? Lies? He could have shortened the speech by at least ten minutes if he had only reduced the number of times he plugged his books and reduced the listing of the great things he has done for, “the progressive movement.” To hear Al tell it he elected half the Senate and wrote huge hunks of the health care bill.
I loved when he said the election that brought him to Washington was fair and not at all like Florida in 2000. Finally, I thought, some humor. But Al was not be ironic he was trying to convince us that all the votes had been counted in Minnesota! Perhaps his greatest piece of “spin” in the speech was how he tried to make it seem that “evil corporations” were trying to control the internet. In fact it is the Obama Administration which is pushing to limit free speech on the web.
Maybe Al was counting on the advertising slogan of “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” being true. I am waiting to see if the alleged “honest” bloggers on the left will report what a huge yawn this keynote turned out to be.
July 19, 2010
As we approach the nine year anniversary of our involvement in Afghanistan it may be time to reassess our commitment to nation building there. Immediately after 9/11 I believe almost all Americans were in agreement that we needed to be in Afghanistan. As late as the 2008 presidential campaign even the far left led by then Candidate Obama was saying things like, “Only a comprehensive strategy that prioritizes Afghanistan and the fight against al Qaeda will succeed, and that’s the change I’ll bring to the White House.”
Any person who is at all informed about this conflict is aware of the history of other conflicts here. The British and the Russians could not accomplish what we are attempting: to unite a tribal and corrupt land into a cohesive and functional government. The British tried to rule by colonial imperialism and the Russian by installing a puppet regime. Both failed. Since the time of the Spice Routes and Gengus Khan the Afghan people have had some seemingly inbred resistance to anything more organized than tribal anarchy.
Now we are nine years, many hundred billions of dollars and most importantly several thousand American lives into trying to establish a new democracy in a region that hasn’t quite gotten the hang of the 19th let alone the 21st century. As much as I hate to admit anyone on the left is correct about anything, liberals may be right when they call the War in Afghanistan the new Viet Nam, but not for the reasons they give.
Since sometime in the middle of President Bush’s second term the war in Afghanistan started to resemble Viet Nam a political farce and an exercise in futility. I date it to the day when four Americans bodies were hung on a bridge and our response was to do nothing. When The State Department becomes more important in the running of an armed conflict than The Pentagon the effort has gone seriously awry. Handcuffed by rules of engagement that are more at home on a school playground than in a war against terrorist and a dithering new administration which takes six months to decide to send General McChrystal half a surge our brave men and women are now rising their lives for political correctness. On top of that put the arbitrary withdrawal date President Obama has announced and we have the cherry on top of a sundae of stupidity we have concocted. Is it any wonder that the general washed his hands of the entire mess?
I may not understand the military and war since I never served but I always thought that you should go in and pound your enemy into the dirt until it wasn’t possible to hit them anymore and then smack them just once or twice more for good measure. Since Jimmy Carter dithered during the Iran Hostage Crisis radicals in the Middle East have viewed us as weak. Unfortunately Ronald Reagan didn’t give them enough reason to change their minds. President Bush Sr.’s liberation of Kuwait and refusal to entirely crush Saddam Hussein then were further signals that we were hesitant to be serious. Clinton’s occasional bombing of an aspirin factory or deserted training camp also did little to show terrorist that we had the stomach for serious battle. It is reported that Saddam did so much serious saber rattling because he didn’t believe Bush the Younger would do much more than Clinton had.
This is the point that the Left misses about both Afghanistan and Viet Nam. It’s not that these were unjust wars or unwinnable quagmires but that our politically led, half hearted effort doomed our military. With the new Obama withdrawal announced the Taliban and Al-Qaeda can now simply wait until next July and then get back to the business of plotting their attacks against America just as the Nixon announced withdrawal from Viet Nam let Uncle Ho know exactly which day to start celebrating.
My question is why are we waiting until July? What is it that President Obama thinks is going to happen between now and then that might change the history of over 1000 years of conflicts in Afghanistan. To waste one more American life in this dance of political posturing is a far greater war crime than any the Left ever imagined were committed by the hated Bush/Cheney/Halliburton troika. Remember Obama’s pledge during the campaign to continue and win the war in Afghanistan and to go into Pakistan and hunt down and kill Bin Laden? How’s that working out for us?
July 14, 2010
Art is a tricky subject. Everyone’s a critic and some react a little more strongly than others. Just ask Molly Norris. Art critics in the Muslim world have put her on a hit list for some of her work.
Ms Norris is a cartoonist who stood up for freedom of speech…for awhile. After the animated show “South Park” bowed to pressure and threats and removed a piece from a show showing the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit Ms. Norris started a movement called “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.” The idea took off and groups both left and right got behind the idea of standing up for freedom of expression.
Some liberal cowards like Atlanta Journal Constitution “political cartoonist” Mike Luckovich didn’t join in because they were already aware of the way Islamic critics give a bad review. As were the folks at one of my favorite shows “The Simpsons.” After the South Park incident they had Bart do his punishment on the chalk board by writing, “South Park – We’d stand beside you if we weren’t so scared.”
I’m not sure of Molly Norris’ political leanings but after her crusade for freedom took off she backed away. She apologized to Muslins for offending them. She was honest as to why she was backing away when she drew a cartoon with herself saying, “I said that I wanted to counter fear and then I got afraid.”
Unfortunately for Ms. Norris Islamic fundamentalists tend to hold grudges. Ask Theo Van Gogh, the recently deceased Dutch filmmaker or Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard who also has been repeatedly targeted by terrorists for drawing Muhammad. Last February, he was attacked by a man with an ax who, inspired by jihad, tried to kill him. Ask Salman Rushdie who probably still looks over his shoulder a lot even though he has allegedly been removed from a fatwa as a condition of normalizing relations between Iran and Britain.
The art critic who Ms. Norris has aggravated is none other than that Fort Hood inspiring American born jihadist Anwar al-Awlaki. He has reportedly said her proper abode is hell. Ms. Norris’ website is down and it has been reported that the police are watching her house.
It’s no wonder that other “edgy” artists like Madonna, Lady Gaga and Sarah Silverman tend to pick on Christianity. It’s a whole lot safer.
July 3, 2010
If you are out and about this Fourth of July weekend and see a person in uniform do something nice for them. Buy them a coffee. Pay for their lunch in the airport. Just go up and say “Thanks.”
They are the direct line from Bunker Hill, Lexington and Concordthrough the Civil War right to Iraq and Afghanistan.
They are the modern heros so treat them like they deserve to be treated.
If by chance you run into a Democratic Congress person who attached some additional social spending onto the bill they needed and stalled in the Senate let them know where the unemployment line is come November.
Celebrate your freedom today! Happy Fourth!