Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Help Victims of Hurricane Katrina

Those of us more fortunate should provide aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I am encouraging donations to Feed the Children; to contribute go to contribution form.

There are many worthy charities. See Glen Reynolds InstaPundit; links to charities that are helping victims of Hurricane Katrina

More links at

Soldiers' Angels has a special relief fund to benefit returning servicepeople in the disaster area. Contribute at

Information at Hugh Hewitt’s web site including the address for those wanting to snail-mail in a check.
Soldier's Angels Foundation
Operation Katrina Relief
1792 East Washington Blvd.
Pasadena, California 91104

If you have friends who aren't internet users but who want to help and can use a phone,
they can call 1-888-88CHILD and get money to Feed the Children which is dispatching huge
amounts of basic necessities into the region (and huge amounts are needed.)

Particularly, those of us in Laguna Beach should not forget the victims of the Laguna Beach
Bluebird Canyon slide. Financial contributions can be made through Laguna Relief. See City
website for the slide information which includes Profiles of Families (not a bunch of spoiled

See prior post:
Laguna Beach Bluebird Canyon Slide Deserves Federal Disaster Aid

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Get Involved - Become a Friend of the Orange County Great Park

Many communities will lose military bases; they should look at the example set by Orange County California and the closing of the Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro. The Navy received $600 million, the City of Irvine $400 million for Park infrastructure. Sold to a developer for homes and businesses, the majority of the land is set aside for public purposes including a large municipal park, the Orange County Great Park.

Next month, the Great Park Corporation will host public meetings during which Orange County residents will have the opportunity to view the seven design proposals for the Orange County Great Park.

To read more, visit

Fact of the Week: Twenty-five design firms from around the world submitted their applications to design the Orange County Great Park, from which seven semi-finalists were selcted.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Fire Marshall Kris Head Provides Fire Prevention Information

A large turn-out attended the Top of the World Neighborhood Association (TOWNA) general meeting Monday, August 29that Top of the World Elementary School.

The evening’s highlight was a presentation by Laguna Beach Battalion Chief Kris Head to help TOW residents understand how they can implement defensible space and fuel modification zones on their individual properties. New Fire Chief Mike Macey was on hand to make additional comments and answer numerous questions.

Fire prevention information is online at the City’s web site at:

U.S. Hurricane Strikes by Decade

As Casey Stengel used to say, "You can look it up."
U.S. Hurricane Strikes by Decade

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Public Opinion Way Down - for Osama bin Laden That Is

Changing Minds in the Muslim World

See Pew Global Attitudes Project, included in their report:
- “At the same time, most Muslim publics are expressing less support for terrorism than in the past. Confidence in Osama bin Laden has declined markedly in some countries and fewer believe suicide bombings that target civilians are justified in the defense of Islam.”
- “While support for suicide bombings and other terrorist acts has fallen in most Muslim-majority nations surveyed, so too has confidence in Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. In Lebanon, just 2% report some or a lot of confidence in bin Laden, and in Turkey only 7% do so.”

Support for terrorism in defense of Islam has "declined dramatically," in the Pew report's
- Indonesia (from 27 percent to 15 percent since 2002)
- Pakistan (from 41 percent to 25 percent since 2004)
- Morocco (from 40 percent to 13 percent since 2004)
- Muslims in Lebanon (from 73 percent to 26 percent since 2002)

Whether democracy could work well in their own country:
Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan and Indonesia
- between 77 percent and 83 percent in say it could work in their country

Hat tip
See Michael Barone August 22, 2005 article Of Minds and Metrics

Michael Barone writes:
- “Minds are indeed changing”
- “George W. Bush has proclaimed that we are working to build democracy in Iraq not just for Iraqis, but in order to advance freedom and defeat fanatical Islamist terrorism around the world. Now comes the Pew Global Attitudes Project's recent survey of opinion in six Muslim countries to tell us that progress is being made in achieving that goal.”
- “The Pew Global Project Attitude's metrics give us reason to believe that today's Americans…are changing minds in the Muslim world.”

See prior posts:

Analysis of Military Situation in Iraq
Facts from Iraq
World Watches as Iraq Becomes Test for Democracy
Army Reenlistments Up
Iraq is no Vietnam – How’s Troop Morale?
Young Iraqi Shiite Cleric to US: Bet on Democracy in Iraq

Friday, August 26, 2005

Young Iraqi Shiite Cleric to US: Bet on Democracy in Iraq

Hat tip
See David Ignatius Washington Post Friday, August 26, 2005 column Playing The Shiite Card

 America is finally having its great debate over the Iraq war

 Young Iraqi Shiite cleric Ammar Hakim oldest son of Abdul Aziz Hakim, the leader of the Iranian-backed Shiite party known as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq speaks for the people who arguably have gained the most from America's troubled mission in Iraq and, to a surprising extent, still believe in it.

 He met with officials at the State Department, Pentagon and National Security Council

 Hakim had a clear message during his visit…that the United States should continue to bet on democracy in Iraq

 "The truth is, this is a grand plan, and any time you are engaged in a grand plan, you will face difficulties. But we will overcome them. We are now in the final quarter of these difficulties."

 He hoped future generations of Iraqis would look at their current leaders with the same gratitude that Americans feel when they regard Lincoln.

"President Bush is playing a great role in giving Iraqis a chance to build a democratic process," he insists. The new constitution will create "a stable and balanced Iraq where all sects will be treated justly and equally."

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Democrat Leaders Plan To Get Tough With Iran and North Korea

Hat tip Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal Best of the Web Today August 25, 2005


Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, criticize the Bush administration for being 'passive' with respect to Iran's and North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons: "The administration's policy has been one of 'hands off' and 'it's someone else's problem,' " they complain.

We propose a program of "carrots" combined with an old-fashioned, American "big stick." That means pursuing diplomacy and trying to convince these nations to act in their own best interests. But it also means backing that up with a real commitment to use whatever form of pressure is most likely to produce results.

A real commitment to . . . whatever! Brilliant, huh?

How do the US Armed Forces conduct their operations in Iraq?

For an actual description of what are troops face read the latest dispatch from imbedded independent reporter Michael Yon; go to ‘Gates of Fire" Thursday, August 25, 2005

Compare the United States armed forces’ urban combat to Cindy Sheehan’s comments. Cindy Sheehan says:
the Iraq "the war is blatant genocide".
See Byron York August 17, 2205 "The Hill" column "Cindy Sheehan is her own worst enemy"

"We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is
contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now."

See prior posts:
What’s Happening in Mosul, Iraq
Did Cindy Sheehan Sign Casey Up for the Army?
Casey Sheehan Did Not Die in Vain - Killed in Sadr City Now a Bright Success

Iraq is no Vietnam – How’s Troop Morale?

Video link thanks to CigarJoe
Matt Lauer Today Show How's Troop Morale in Iraq

Hat tip read Jeff Jacoby’s Boston Globe August 25, 2005 column
"Iraq is no Vietnam".

"But of all the ways in which the Iraq war is not like Vietnam, perhaps the most telling is the attitude of the troops.
Indeed it will, as the ''Today" show's Matt Lauer discovered when he visited Baghdad last week. He tried valiantly to coax some Vietnam-style disillusionment out of the soldiers he met, but as NBC's transcript makes clear, the troops weren't having any of that:"

Lauer: We've heard so much about the insurgent attacks, so much about the uncertainty as to when you folks are going to get to go home. How would you describe morale?

Chief Warrant Officer Randy Kergiss: My unit morale's pretty good. . . . People are ready to execute their missions, and they're pretty excited to be here.

Lauer: How much does that uncertainty of knowing how long you're going to be here impact morale?

Sergeant Jamie Wells: Morale's always high. Soldiers know they have a mission, they like taking on the new objectives and taking on the new challenges. . . . They're motivated, ready to go.

Lauer: Don't get me wrong, I think you guys are probably telling me the truth, but there might be a lot of people at home wondering how that could be possible with the conditions you're facing and with the insurgent attacks . . .

Captain Sherman Powell: Well, sir, I tell you -- if I got my news from the newspapers also, I'd be pretty depressed as well.

Lauer: What don't you think is being correctly portrayed?

Powell: Sir, I know it's hard to get out and get on the ground and report the news. . . . But for of those who've actually had a chance to get out and go on patrols . . . we are very satisfied with the way things are going here. And we are confident that if we're allowed to finish the job we started we'll be very proud of it and our country will be proud of us for doing it. . . .

Lauer: How would you feel about US forces being withdrawn before -- you're shaking your head -- before the insurgency is defeated?

Powell: Well, sir, I would just tell you . . . as long as we continue to have confidence that we are supported and people have our back, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

Lauer: So you would rather stay here longer and defeat the insurgency then be pulled out earlier . . .?

Kergiss: Yes, sir.
Wells: Absolutely.

See prior posts: What’s Happening in Mosul, Iraq Facts from Iraq
Did Cindy Sheehan Sign Casey Up for the Army?
Casey Sheehan Did Not Die in Vain - Killed in Sadr City Now a Bright Success

Did Japan Sue for Peace Prior to Dropping Atom Bomb?

Some say that the atomic bombs should not have been dropped on Japan as "The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender" and that "The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace". However, just because one can quote a statement that does not make it so. It is specious to suggest the Japanese were ready to surrender. Even after the second atomic bomb, Nagasaki August 9, 1945, the Imperial Council voted against surrendering. It took up to another 1,000 B-29 conventional bombing raids for Japan to surrender on August 15th.

From my high school studies, I know that the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945 demanded that the Japanese surrender immediately or face "prompt and utter destruction." The Japanese government rejected this on July 28, Prime Minister Suzuki announced they would ignore ("mokatsu") the Declaration.

U.S intelligence knew about the internal struggle between the militarists, and those in the Japanese government wanting to seek a negotiated peace, but 1) the militarist always held the upper hand, and 2) Franklin Roosevelt’s policy was to demand an unconditional surrender.
The deciphering of messages between Tokyo and the Japanese Embassy in Moscow and gave the United States knowledge of the Japanese peace initiative in the spring of 1945 rejecting "unconditional surrender" and expecting significant concessions. Deciphering Japanese military communications revealed in the summer of 1945 that the Japanese had achieved an alarming buildup of forces preparing to fight to the bitter end.

Five days after Nagasaki the militarists still wanted to fight on, however, the Emperor Hiroito instructed his cabinet to accept the Allied terms immediately, explaining "I cannot endure the thought of letting my people suffer any longer"; if the war did not end "the whole nation would be reduced to ashes." The Minister of War, General Anami Korechika obeyed the Emperor and then committed seppuku on August 15, 1945, the day of Hiroito’s broadcast announcing Japan's surrender.

The Naval Blockade suggestion that it would have been preferable to starve the Japanese women and children until the militarists gave in is a real hoot.

For an opposing point of view see and The Dropping of the Atom Bombs Reply to Replies
See prior post U.S. Presidential Aspirants Should Answer if They Would Have Used Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

1,286 Accidental US Military Deaths Per Year Twice Iraq Combat Deaths

Hat tip Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal Political Diary August 24, 2005

"We are trying to fight a war under the auspices of an establishment that is determined—to put the most charitable face on it—to emphasize American casualties over all other information about the war... The media’s breathless tabulation of casualties in Iraq—now, over 1,800 deaths—is generally devoid of context. Here’s some context: between 1983 and 1996, 18,006 American military personnel died accidentally in the service of their country. That death rate of 1,286 per year exceeds the rate of combat deaths in Iraq by a ratio of nearly two to one. I don’t recall any great outcry, or gleeful reporting, or erecting of crosses in the President’s hometown. In fact, I’ll offer a free six-pack to the first person who can find evidence that any liberal expressed concern—any concern—about the 18,006 American service members who died accidentally in service of their country from 1983 to 1996"—John Hinderaker of

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Conservatives Learn to Fight Like Liberals

See Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal "Evolving Tactics, Conservatives learn to fight like liberals" by Brendan Miniter Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"It's hard to know when this began. But on a variety of fronts conservatives are using arguments and tactics heretofore under patent protection by the left, including:
- pushing for activist judges
- filing lawsuits
- launching boycotts
- arguing for free speech and "diversity" in education."

"With "diversity" a worthy goal in education, why not present students with "both sides"? That way no one is left out and everyone is included."

"The National Rifle Association called recently for a boycott of ConocoPhillips Co. over the energy giant's attempts to stop its Oklahoma employees from keeping guns locked in the trunks of their cars while at work."

"A cattleman turned the tables on an environmental group to win a massive settlement, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The group, the Center for Biological Diversity of Tucson, is known for suing over ranching practices and for posting photographic ‘evidence’ on the Internet that cows are destroying otherwise pristine habitat. But rancher Jim Chilton fought back with his own photos showing a vastly different picture of the 21,500 acres of federal land where he has the right to graze his 450 cows. Mr. Chilton sued for defamation of character and won a $600,000 judgment against the center."

"Opening up federal grants to faith-based groups, the president was putting religious organizations on equal footing with predominantly liberal secular groups that had come to think of federal charitable dollars as exclusively theirs."

"Creating private accounts for Social Security, Medicare or other large entitlements. The Ownership Society is scary to the left precisely because it is meant to change the face of the culture. Republicans are now starting to realize that like in war, winning often means adopting your opponent's best tactics."

Are Oil Prices a Crisis?

Hat tip See August 23, 2005 "An Oil ‘Crisis ?" by Thomas Sowell

"Why, then, are oil prices so high?"

"California's Senator Barbara Boxer can be depended on to demand an investigation of the oil companies. The fact that previous investigations have found no conspiracies is no deterrent."

"There is no esoteric reason. It is plain old supply and demand. With the economies of huge nations like China and India developing more rapidly, now that they have freed their markets from many stifling government controls, more oil is being demanded in the world market and there are few new sources of supply."

"The last time we had price controls on gasoline, we had long lines of cars at filling stations, these lines sometimes stretching around the block, with motorists sitting in those lines for hours. That nonsense ended almost overnight when President Ronald Reagan, ignoring the cries of liberal politicians and the liberal media, got rid of price controls with a stroke of the pen."

Army Reenlistments Up

Hat tip see Ralph Peters’ August 23, 2005 New York Post column "The Real Iraq News"

"Remember last spring, when the Army's recruitment efforts fell short for a few months? The media's glee would have made you confuse the New York Times and Air America."

"Now, as the fiscal year nears an end, the Army's numbers look great. Especially in combat units and Iraq, soldiers are re-enlisting at record levels. And you don't hear a whisper about it from the ‘mainstream media’."

"Patriotism is alive and well. Soldiers believe in the Army, and they believe in their missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. They love their comrades, too. And yes, the word is "love." They would die for the man or woman serving beside them. They're risking their lives to save a broken state, to give tens of millions of human beings a chance at decent lives, to do the grim work that no one else in the world is willing to do."

Monday, August 22, 2005

Black Vote Suppression Guilty or Not?

Hat tip Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal John Fund has some great quotes in his Monday, August 22, 2005 JOHN FUND ON THE TRAIL "Resurrecting Jim Crow for Political Gain, Voter fraud is also a threat to minority voters"

"Both Judge Greg Mathis, the star of a syndicated courtroom TV show, and California Rep. Barbara Lee claimed that the last two presidential elections had been ‘stolen’. Judge Mathis told the rally Republican leaders ‘need to be locked up because they're all criminals and thieves’."

However, "Juan Williams, a National Public Radio correspondent and author of "Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years," is "stunned" by such vituperation. .. says that ‘in service to having no fraud elections, I think you could say to people, go and get a legitimate ID. I don't think that's too much to ask’."

"Andrew Young, the former Atlanta mayor and U.N. ambassador who spoke at the rally, believes that in an era when people have to show ID to rent a video or cash a check ‘requiring ID can help poor people’."

"Mr. Young says rehashing arguments about the 2000 and 2004 elections doesn't solve much—‘I accept the recounts that show George Bush won’--and says it's time for fresh thinking. ‘[Let's] ask what we do about low voter turnout and whether it's the result of racial discrimination or not’, he told me. ‘I don't think it is, since everyone is equally inconvenienced by how we vote’."

"David Porter, the deputy editorial page editor of the Orlando Sentinel and an African American, says he was ‘bewildered’ last year by reports of voter intimidation in his city that didn't pan out. John Kerry routinely accused Republicans in the 2000 election of ‘disenfranchising a million African Americans and stealing their votes’ but provided no evidence. In that vein, a Kerry election manual advised workers that if they hadn't seen signs of intimidation they should ‘launch a pre-emptive strike' and cry wolf anyway."

"William Anthony, Democratic chairman in Ohio's capital of Columbus, who is also chair of the county elections board, said the high turnout and a ballot that involved more than 100 choices for some voters did create lines, but told the Columbus Dispatch he was offended by a band of conspiracy theorists" alleging suppression. ‘I am a black man. Why would I sit there and disenfranchise voters in my own community?’"

"The only documented case of serious deception involving more than fliers was committed by the Kerry campaign. On Election Day, a Marion, Ohio, judge enjoined Democrats from calling GOP voters and giving them incorrect polling locations while claiming they had to bring four separate forms of ID to vote."

Friday, August 19, 2005

Did Cindy Sheehan Sign Casey Up for the Army?

Who should decide who is in the US volunteer Armed Services?

Hat tip to Jody who likes Bob Herbert’s suggestion of sending the children of the privileged classes to Iraq. Jody says "Amen to This …Let’s start with the Bush twins..."

See Bob Herbert New York Times column "Blood Runs Red, Not Blue"
- "The war is going badly …but there is no real sense,…in the nation at large, that anything momentous is at stake."
- "Bush is bicycling as soldiers and marines are dying"
- "The loudest of the hawks are the least likely to send their sons or daughters off to Iraq"
- "If Mr. Bush were willing to do something he has refused to do so far - speak plainly and honestly to the American people about this war … the next appropriate step would be to ask all Americans to do their part for the war effort.
- "If the war in Iraq is worth fighting … then it's worth fighting with the children of the privileged classes"

Asking Congressmen to sign their children up for the US Armed Forces is perhaps a crowd pleasing "Fahrenheit 911" scene, but it’s ignoring the fact that men and woman volunteer, and they cannot legally be signed up by their parents.

The all-volunteer Armed Forces should be self-describing: people who qualify can voluntarily join the United States armed forces. For example, Cindy Sheehan’s son Casey Sheehan at the age of 20 volunteered for the US Army. At the age of 24, this brave man, re-enlisted with the knowledge that he would be sent to Iraq. Although, he was a mechanic, he volunteered to go on a rescue mission in Bagdad’s Sadr City to help his fellow soldiers. There, he paid the ultimate sacrifice and gave his life for his country. See "‘Black Sunday’ in Sadr City, April 4, 2004"

Casey Sheehan’s country honored him with a purple heart and bronze star. Cindy Sheehan belittles his sacrifice exploiting her own son’s death for political purposes. She claims that President Bush lied and she and Bob Herbert want to know why we are in this war. President Bush explained this many times. They are the same reasons given by President Bill Clinton when he authorized military force in Iraq.

Bill Clinton’s December 1998 speech to nation
- "This situation presents a clear and present danger. The international community gave Saddam one last chance …And so we had to act and act now."
- "Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years. .. someday -- make no mistake he will use it again as he has in the past."

The War on Terror is being fought on many fronts: military, economic, diplomatic, as well as the counter intelligence activities of our spy agencies.

In all past wars, citizens at home helped the war effort through rationing diverting all useful materials. Otherwise, they went about their lives working, going to school, shopping, playing, etc. Since economic strength is paramount for the United States war effort, it is laudable for American citizens to be going about their lives working and "in the pursuit of happiness". For example, ideas like tax hikes if they would harm the US economy would be counterproductive in waging the War on Terror.

See T. Bevan’s take on this at THE LEFT'S WAR CONTRACT:

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Casey Sheehan Did Not Die in Vain - Killed in Sadr City Now a Bright Success

Hat tip Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal Best of the Web Today August 16, 2005

Baghdad’s "Sadr City section was once a hotbed of Shiite Muslim unrest, but it has become one of the brightest successes for the U.S. security effort.

So far this year, there has been only one car bombing in the neighborhood, and only one American soldier has been killed."

"It was in Sadr City that Casey Sheehan was killed in action in April 2004. America's success there is further evidence that he did not die in vain."
See After failed revolt, Baghdad's Shiite stronghold a success for U.S. security effort

See Gold Star Mothers web site home page includes "Cindy Sheehan is currently in the news. She and her organization have no connection whatever with American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. We are a 501 C(3) organization and, as such, do not engage in political activities."

See prior posts Cindy Sheehan, Bush Critic & Media Darling Foreign Policy Expert
And In response to questions regarding the Cindy Sheehan/Crawford Texas issue: Sheehan Family Statement:

World Watches as Iraq Becomes Test for Democracy

Hat tip
The world watches as Iraq becomes a litmus test of democratic success
The Times August 16, 2005 by Amir Taheri

"The liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq in 2002 and 2003, however, administered a shock of a different type. This time the Western powers did not come to preach the cult of the state or the myth of nationhood. Instead they held a democratic discourse which, regardless of whether or not it was sincere — and in politics sincerity is seldom the point — has altered the terms of the debate. This time the big idea is democracy."

"This is why all reactionary forces, from pan-Arabists to Islamists, and their sympathisers in the West, have united to prevent Iraq from succeeding. Iraq has become the litmus test of the success of the democratic experience in the region."

See prior posts What’s Happening in Mosul, Iraq & Analysis of Military Situation in Iraq

What’s Happening in Mosul, Iraq

Michael Yon is independent, in Mosul – see his latest August 16, 2005 dispatch
The Battle for Mosul: Reality Check

"the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] becomes a greater and more proximate threat to FRE [former regime elements] and extremists groups throughout Iraq. This is borne out in a most ironic fashion; evidence of the growing competence and capability of ISF shouts from the headlines as the Iraqi government itself becomes the primary focus of insurgent attacks.
Gone are the days when the FREs and extremists in Mosul chased police from their stations and ravaged entire neighborhoods at will. Today, the ISF kills and captures enemy every day in Mosul, something that seldom makes news."

"A fanatic who straps a bomb to his chest and walks into a market crowded with women and children, then detonates a bomb that is sometimes laced with rat poison to hamper blood coagulation, is properly called a "mass murderer." There is nothing good to say about mass murderers, nor is there anything good to say about a person who encourages these murders. Calling these human bomb delivery devices "suicide bombers" is simply incorrect. They are murderers. A person or media source defending or explaining away the actions of the murderers supports them. There is no wiggle room."

"The only martyrs I know about in Iraq are the fathers and brothers who see a better future coming, and so they act on their beliefs and assemble outside police stations whenever recruitment notices are posted. They line up in ever increasing numbers, knowing that insurgents can also read these notices. The men stand in longer and longer lines, making ever bigger targets of themselves. Some volunteer to to earn a living. This, too, is honorable. But others take these risks because they believe that a better future is possible only if Iraqi men of principle stand up for their own values, for their country, for their families. Theses are the true martyrs, the true heroes of Iraq and of Islam. I meet these martyrs frequently. They are brave men, worthy of respect."

"the more intractable and irrational enemy wraps their rebellion in a flag of fundamentalist fervor. Although the press routinely lumps all of these similar groups under the banner "Al-Queda" (whatever that really is) there are actually five main extremist groups operating in Mosul. They have common ground. Some members seek fulfillment in apocalyptic visions of a world at war, wherein everybody except them—or even including them—dies. In other cases they see the war shaping a new world, one that is entirely Islamic"

See prior post "Analysis of Military Situation in Iraq"

Monday, August 15, 2005

Illegal Immigration and Bush’s Guest Worker Program

Hat tip John Fund Monday, August 15, 2005 Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal "Run for the Border, Democrats try to outflank the GOP on immigration"

"President Bush's guest-worker program is politically stalled because of fears it will turn into another ill-fated amnesty program like the 1986 reform. But clearly a properly designed guest-worker program has promise. As the Bracero program for agricultural workers expanded in the 1950s, arrests of illegal aliens fell from 885,000 in 1953 to as low as 45,000 in 1959. After the Bracero program ended in 1964, apprehensions increased from 87,000 to 876,000 in 1976. They have remained at roughly that level or even higher ever since."

Not all solutions are perfect. Considering the alternatives, President George W. Bush’s guest worker proposal seems to me to be the best.

Cindy Sheehan, Bush Critic & Media Darling Foreign Policy Expert

According to Cindy Sheehan:

"Get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism"

Is calling for Bush's "impeachment" "be tried on war crimes and go to jail"

"Thank God for the Internet, or we’d wouldn’t know anything, & we would already be a fascist state."

Hat tip James Taranto of Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal August 15, 2005 "The Sorrow and the Pity"

"I was raised in a country by a public school system that taught us that America was good, that America was just. America has been killing people . . . since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction. I passed on that bullshit to my son and my son enlisted. I'm going all over the country telling moms: ‘This country is not worth dying for’."

"We might not even have been attacked by Osama bin Laden if 9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through and, if I would have known that before my son was killed, I would have taken him to Canada. I would never have let him go and try and defend this morally repugnant system we have."

See prior posts:
In response to questions regarding the Cindy Sheehan/Crawford Texas issue: Sheehan Family Statement:
and Protesting Soldier Mom Changed Story on Bush

Sunday, August 14, 2005

US Technology to Win War Against Islamofascists

Z Backscatter Van - Hat Tip Belmont Club Friday, August 12, 2005

How about inventing weapons in the middle of a war? The US has done before:
"the proximity fuze enabled an AAA shell to detonate when it passed near enough to its target to damage it. The improvement was dramatic: whereas it used to take an average of 1,162 5-inch rounds to bring down an aircraft with a mechanical fuze, VT-fuzed shells were achieving one kill per 310 rounds expended."

Instead of searching bags and automobiles at checkpoints, how this for an idea?
"Z-Backscatter Van, now being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, allows any van, equipped with the right equipment, to surreptitiously look right through the skins of cars, vans and trucks to find contraband and car bombs."

"Z Backscatter technology, which offers photo-like images that reveal contraband that transmission X-rays miss - such as explosives (including car bombs), people and plastic weapons - and provides photo-like imaging for rapid analysis."

"vans ‘drive by’ whole streets at normal speed and examine each and every vehicle it passes"

"the Z-Backscatter Van can also find those pesky dirty bombs and nuclear weapons that every well-managed city wants to be rid of, all at a low price"

The Islamofascists should fear US Technology, and new weapons that we can deploy against them. As Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has said repeatedly, the enemy is a thinking adversary who adapts and changes its tactics. The US and its allies need to employ all resources at our disposal and our technological strength is a key.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Democratic Party – Supported Expansion of Slavery

Ulysses S Grant on the Mexican War

From "Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant":
- "The occupation, separation and annexation [of Texas] were, from the inception of the movement to its final culmination, a conspiracy to acquire territory out of which slave states might be formed"
- "Annexationists wanted more territory"
- "The Southern rebellion [American Civil War] was largely an outgrowth of the Mexican war."

See more at

Friday, August 12, 2005

In response to questions regarding the Cindy Sheehan/Crawford Texas issue: Sheehan Family Statement:

Hat tip Drudge Report

"The Sheehan Family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq War and we have been silently, respectfully grieving. We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the the expense of her son's good name and reputation.

The rest of the Sheehan Family supports the troops, our country, and our President, silently, with prayer and respect.

Sincerely, Casey Sheehan's grandparents, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins."

See prior post Protesting Soldier Mom Changed Story on Bush

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

U.S. Presidential Aspirants Should Answer if They Would Have Used Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Does the press ask U.S. Presidential aspirants, with the benefit of hindsight if they were President in August 1945, would they order the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan? I think they should be asked and should answer yes.

President Harry Truman’s use of atomic bombs on August 6, 1945 (Hiroshima) and August 9th (Nagasaki) quickened the end of World War II with Japan surrendering August 15, 1946. See
Wall Street Journal August 5, 2005 Editorial "Hiroshima, Nuclear weapons, then and now" "The collective toll from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings is estimated at between 110,000 and 200,000."

Truman use of atom bombs:
 prevented up to a million US casualties
 prevented millions of Japanese deaths
 “The ratio of Japanese to American combat fatalities ran about four to one”

The casualties from taking Japan’s southern island of Okinowa were known and make these estimates plausible.

Five weeks prior to Germany surrendering on May 8, 1945, the Battle of Okinawa commenced with an unopposed landing on April 1, 1945. To control this large southern Japanese island took almost three months with horrific losses. Horrible for the US, worse for Japan.
A few of the numbers:
 107,000 Japanese soldiers killed
 Plus an estimated 100,00 Japanese civilians killed
 10,755 Japanese soldiers surrendered
 1,465 kamikaze flights - 34 US ships sunk
 15,900 US killed, 38,000 US wounded
 763 US aircraft lost

Although it took two bombs and six days after the 2nd atom bomb for Japan to surrender, Truman being decisive and using the force he had available ended the war and saved many American and Japanese lives.

Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman wanted to shorten the Civil War convinced that they would have to take the fight to the Confederacy to win. If they were not aggressive, and the war would drag on too long, many bad things would occur:
 Confederacy more likely to obtain recognition and aid from foreign countries
 Democratic anti-war sentiments would undermine & perhaps end the war effort
 A greater number of Union and Southern soldiers would be killed and wounded

According to Gen. Sherman the war effort should destroy the resources that allowed the enemy to sustain its warfare.

Currently the United States and its allies are engaged in a War on Terror against Islamofascists. We should want to shorten the war, likely reducing the overall deaths and casualties. If we were to follow Gen. Sherman's advice that the war effort should destroy the resources that allow the enemy to sustain its warfare, what would we do?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Analysis of Military Situation in Iraq

Stay the course, Mr. President by Frederick W. Kagan Los Angeles Times August 8, 2005
There's good news on the military front. But if we pull our troops out too early, we risk creating a stronger, more threatening insurgency.

□ “Despite what you may have read, the military situation in Iraq today is positive”
□ “far better than it ever was when we were fighting guerrillas in Vietnam, or when the
Soviets were fighting the Afghan mujahedin”
□ “insurgents in Iraq are not able to undertake militarily meaningful attacks on U.S. troops”
□ “nor can they keep U.S. forces from carrying out the operations they choose to pursue”
□ “The Iraqi insurgents offer only fear. …offering a mainly nihilistic message”
□ “They oppose formation of the new Iraqi government but have not offered any alternative”
□ “Iraqis continue to wait in long lines to join the nascent Iraqi army and police forces”
□ “Over the next few months, tens of thousands more Iraqi troops will be able to take the field in the struggle against the insurgency.”

“In January 2004, insurgent leader Abu Musab Zarqawi said, ‘We have declared a bitter war against the principle of democracy and all those who seek to enact it.’ Eight million Iraqis defied him and voted instead. Their presence at the recruiting stations proves that the insurgents have neither offered them an alternative, terrorized them sufficiently nor de-legitimized the government enough in their eyes to keep them away.”

“If Bush stays the course and pays the price for success, the prospects for winning will get better every day.”

United Nations Can’t Manage Food Aid

Jan Egeland, the United Nations under-secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief coordinator wrote an Op/Ed pieceUSA Today “Niger is dying, and the world is merely watching”.

He writes “Nine months ago, Niger and the United Nations warned of an impending crisis. In May, the U.N. appealed to international donors for $16 million in emergency aid. The response: near-deafening silence.”

Does not that mean that Jan Egeland is incompetent? At the minimum, he is ineffective.

Perhaps, he should request food and transport, not money. The United Nations is currently involved in the largest financial scandal of all time. If their diplomatic immunity is waived, some of these folks can be incarcerated and be an example to others not to misuse the public trust. See Wall Street Journal (subscription required) “Excerpts From Third U.N. Report

For the good of the world’s poor, these UN officials should be replaced.

Protesting Soldier Mom Changed Story on Bush

Hat tip CigarJoe
Protesting Soldier Mom Changed Story on Bush

Story was favorable to President George W. Bush. Reported as saying a year ago, on June 24, 2004:

"I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis," Cindy said after their meeting.

"I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."

"That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together"

How About City of Laguna Beach Outsource Something?

Contrast with Japan Prime Minister Koizumi
trying to sell Japan Post Office
- Also is world’s biggest bank $2.9 trillion deposits
- Lost vote so dissolved parliament
- New Japan election to be held Sept 11th

Laguna Beach Taxpayers Deserve Better

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Facts from Iraq

Tony Snow filled in for Fred Barnes on Fox News “Beltway Boys” and mentioned “Iraq Index” by the liberal Brookings Institution at

Is it correct?

Telephone subscribers (landlines only, no cellular network)
Estimated prewar level: 833,000
June 2005: 3,801,822

Internet subscribers (does not include unregulated users of Internet cafes)
Estimated prewar level: 4,500
March 2005: 147,076

Prewar: zero commercial media outlets
May 2005:
Commercial TV Stations: 23
Commercial radio stations: 80
Independent newspapers and magazines: 170

Relative amount of car traffic (Prewar level 1.0)
July 2003: 1.0
January 2004: 2.0
July 2004: 3.0
January 2005: 5.0

Question To Iraqis: Is Iraq Moving in the Right or Wrong Direction? April 11-20, 2005
Right Direction: 67%
Wrong Direction: 20%

Question To Iraqis: How Do You Think Your Life Will Be a Year From Now?
Better: 82%
Worse: 3%

Iraqi Transitional Government Representative of Iraqi People
Do you feel that the new Iraqi Transitional Government is representative of the Iraqi people as a whole?
Very or generally representative: 72.8%
Not all or Not at all are represented: 18.7%

Do you prefer an Islamic government or a political system where citizens are allowed to practice their own religion?
Own religion: 59%
Islamic government: 34%

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Democrats Chances to Take Back Congress

Many liberal bloggers are excited about the Democratic loss in a heavily Republican district that it might lead to Democratic gains in the November 2006 elections. I think they are missing the overall trends, and that George W. Bush is likely to lead Republicans to gain additional seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Has former President Bill Clinton been the best politician of our time? Many believe this, but to do so, one has to ignore the numbers:

1965–1967: 295 Democrats and 140 Republicans - Johnson elected
1991–1993: 267 Democrats and 167 Republicans
1993–1995: 258 Democrats and 176 Republicans - Clinton elected
1995–1997: 204 Democrats and 230 Republicans - Newt Gingrich Contract with America
2005-2006: 201 Democrats and 231 Republicans

Perhaps the reasonable goal for Republicans should be 257 Representatives as Bush carried 59% of Congressional districts. This would leave Democrats with 178 down from 267 prior Bill Clinton’s election in 1992.

See "The Hardest Numbers" Tuesday, April 12, 2005 by Michael Barone at

"Why did Bush carry 59 percent of the districts while winning 51 percent of the popular vote? One reason is that winners usually carry a disproportionate share of districts. Another is gerrymandering, which favored Republicans this cycle. One more is the Voting Rights Act, which encourages concentrations of blacks and Hispanics in a few districts that Democrats usually carry heavily, while losing adjacent seats."

By the way, Michael Barone is now blogging at

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Laguna Beach Should Follow Los Angeles’ Lead

Hat Tip Cristina Calderone

Los Angeles City Council “HOME SIZE LIMITS OK'D” Read article “Ordinance aimed
at 'McMansions'” by Beth Barrett Los Angeles Daily News July 27, 2005

“The [Los Angeles] City Council gave preliminary approval Wednesday to an ‘anti-mansionization’ ordinance for the Sunland-Tujunga area of the San Fernando Valley, the first time it has specifically addressed restricting home size in Los Angeles.”

Councilwoman Wendy Greuel said “We're finding in communities homes are being built larger than is necessary, where quality of life is impacted and privacy issues have come up”.

“Burbank and Glendale already have regulations limiting the size of new homes that overshadow nearby ranch homes and bungalows.”

See Read Ann Christoph Column on ““Mansions Matter”

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Nuclear Power Resurgence

Civilian use of nuclear power is well on its way to providing an increasing amount of United States energy needs, and, maybe China’s too. Connect the dots. This would be a serious way to address greenhouse emissions and global warming.

Dot 1. “Several of the nation's most prominent environmentalists have gone public with the message that nuclear power, long taboo among environmental advocates, should be reconsidered as a remedy for global warming.” New York Times “Environmentalists View Nuclear Power” by Felicity Barringer May 15, 2005 See

Dot 2. The newly announced “Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate” is an agreement between six Asia-Pacific nations: Australia, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the United States to develop and share technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The first technology covered by this agreement is nuclear power.

Dot 3. The Energy Bill recently passed by Congress:“Provides Federal risk insurance and extends the Price-Anderson Act to mitigate the potential cost of unforeseen delays and encourage investment in a new generation of safer, more reliable, and more proliferation-resistant nuclear power plants” See

President George W. Bush calls for results which is superior to the Kyoto Treaty:“even advocates concede that the treaty will have virtually no effect on global warming. Its international impact is too narrow, particularly because there is no clear sanction for countries that do not meet their global obligations. For those reasons, it is hardly surprising that the Senate refused to ratify the Kyoto treaty. It makes no sense to sign a mostly symbolic treaty, to pay a huge economic cost and to get only a negligible environmental gain in return, particularly when it isn't clear that others are going to comply.” Washington Post Editorial “Kyoto Ratification” Saturday, November 6, 2004;

Monday, August 01, 2005

Hillary Clinton Not Likable Enough to Be President?

Hat Tip to T. Bevan at “Hillary’s Conundrum” Monday August 1, 2005

“There is considerable disagreement among Democrats as to whether Hillary, once nominated, will be able to seal the deal. Clinton-o-phile Harold Ickes told Time Magazine late last year he doesn't think she can get it done.
More recently, Ruy Teixeira, co-author of The Emerging Democratic Majority, told the Daily News that ‘people don't like to come out and say it because they don't like to tick her off, but privately most people don't think she can win’."
“Hillary's problem isn't that she's too liberal or too centrist, or that she's a woman, or that her husband is who he is. ‘Plainly put,’ Jacob Weisberg says, ‘it's her personality.’ He continues: ‘[Hillary] lacks a key quality that a politician can't achieve through hard work: likeability’.”

“Go read this lament from a liberal diarist over at Daily Kos to see just how right Weisberg is and just how much of an obstacle Hillary's public persona is going to be to her hope of becoming president in 2008.” At

DLC speech proves Hillary should not run in '08 by TrueBlueMajority Mon Aug 1st, 2005
“Earlier this evening on C-Span they replayed Hillary's DLC speech from July 25th.
It is supposed to be a visionary speech, outlining her hopes for Ohio and the country in 2020.
It's the most boring speech I have ever heard."

“Bottom line: Hillary Clinton has no ability to inspire. When she speaks, she doesn't even appear to be interested in her own words. She will be worse than Kerry (and I never thought I'd say that about anyone) in terms of not being able to generate emotional connection in the general electorate.”

“whether we think they should act that way or not, the vast majority of voters respond to presentation: emotional connection, personal identification, the general tone/atmosphere of a campaign, and a gut feeling of whether a candidate can be trusted. Hillary's skills on these intangibility scales are limited at best.”

“Given a choice between personality and policy, voters have been picking personality for the LAST SEVEN ELECTIONS.” “I'm on my knees. I'm begging all of you. Please please please O PLEASE let go of the idea of Hillary for the nomination in 2008.”