Friday, February 28, 2003

Pay no Attention to the Interview Behind the Curtain

"So just what is newsworthy about getting him [Saddam Hussein] to sit down for a one-on-one interview? Did the executives at CBS expect him to announce his hopes for a career in professional baseball? Did they suppose he'd hand over his weapons of mass destruction to Dan Rather personally?"
Mona Charen

"And in a quest for higher ratings, network anchors continue their efforts to make Saddam appear credible. Last week, Dan Rather of CBS deadpanned the dictator about whether he really wanted to debate President George W. Bush on live TV. "I'm not joking," Saddam explained. "This is because of my respect for the American public opinion." And they call this "news"?"
Oliver North

Yep, Saddam Hussein had an interview with Dan Rather, and it's not news. You heard it hear first. For those who watched, i'm sorry, but Oliver North and Mona Charen (and others) have decided that it's just not worthy of your time. I mean it's not like there's any attention focused on Iraq right now. It's just bizarre that CBS would allow an interview with such an un-newsworthy charectar, let alone seek one out.

I have to admit I didn't watch it--I don't know when it was supposed to air.

In other news, on the road tomorrow--so no updates, but feel free to read my archives. Lots of funny stuff there.

The Liberal Media

Good article today at Salon about the "Liberal Media." It is a review of Eric Alterman's recent book "What Liberal Media?" In a bit criticizing the media's coverage of the post election struggle, Alterman writes, "Liberal columnists Al Hunt and Richard Cohen offered this novel rationale for why the majority who voted for Gore should welcome a Bush presidency: The far right had turned America into such a nasty and brutish place that it could not be governed by a Democrat. Only Bush, wrote Cohen, could keep the "GOP Dobermans" on a leash. To which the only response could be: Why had the country bothered with an election at all?"

Anyway this is hardly news. The press is liberal on some social issues and conservative on must economic issues. They are also usually hawkish, enjoying the drama inherent in a good war.

In Which Brandy Asks Herself "Have I switched to the 'anti-war' group?"

The story so far, Brandy wrote several well-written and passionate articles in support of the upcoming invasion of Iraq. As we join her she is considering her position.

"So as I have said MANY times, I long for a reason to be against this war...I have now found 2 reasons to, in the very least, be supportive of waiting quite a bit longer/ possibly being AGAINST attacking Iraq. The first of my -oh, I shall stop and contenplate on this for awhile is from: US Senator Robert Byrd's comments on the Senate floor,

Feb. 12, 2003
"This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The doctrine of preemption -- the idea that the United States or any other nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently threatening but may be threatening in the future -- is a radical new twist on the traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in contravention of international law and the UN Charter."

I know this has been stated before...the whole "but Iraq hasn't done anything yet" ideaology...but Byrd has stated it in a way that makes me America one is not jailed for 'thinking' of doing a crime, that until a crime is committed the individual can not be held -even IF everything points to him being a criminal...not sure if I'm making any sense...but the whole Minority Report thing. Now then, this isn't to say that this reason ALONE would work -if one could go back in time would they assassinate Hitler BEFORE he did anything? And Saddam is by no means innocent...but this certainly has made me stop and think.

The second reason I think we should wait is in what Pres. Bush had to say last night....I mean what the F was that all about?

He clearly stated that he does NOT have a completed plan on dealing with post-war then I love this country, but we suck at establishing foriegn governments, as a matter of fact I can't think of a single success story...maybe Germany? I can NOT support Bush if he has not planned this ALL the way through...this really scares me. This is a REAL reason to be anti-war.

I will say that although I thought Bush's speech was a bit too pat, particularly in relation to some of Paul Krugman's articles on the recent failure to initially budget money for Afganastan. But there is a success story in our history, namely Japan. The Japanese economy was devestated by the war. General MacArthur essentially rebuilt the country, making it a strong and productive democracy in the far east. At the time it was believed by many that the Oriental mind was incapable of understanding and practicing democracy.

Make me a Commentator!!!'s Military correspondent Justin commented that he felt that MacArthur's success was more a reflection on the nature of the Japanese people, rather than the US. The Japanese people's acceptance of a stratified and highly organized society let them accept MacCarther's commadns in a way that perhaps the people of Iraq might not.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

New Website

This won't last long, because the Limbaugh show will sue. But it's pretty cool for now. There is a website that transcribes Rush's show each and every day, so that we can know what he's saying and how he says it. Check it out.

Here's a sample of the hard headed analysis from Mr. Limbaugh. "The Left, on the other hand, all during their fifty-year monopoly, never was challenged on what they believe, and so when they are challenged, they have no answers. If anybody's in a state of disarray, it's the Left. If anybody is out there culpable, or capable, of being suckered, it's the Left." Yep, up until Fox news, nobody ever challenged a liberal view.

Israel - The Only Foreign Policy Issue that Matters

"Terrorism against Israel must end. A two-state solution is the only path to eventual peace, but Palestinian territory cannot have the capability of being used as a platform for attacking Israel. Some degree of separation between Israelis and Palestinians is probably necessary in light of the horrible bloodshed of the past two years. To be viable, the Palestinian Authority must become democratic and purged of corruption."
Howard Dean, February 17, 2003

Now you may not realize it, but that is the wrong opinion for Howard Dean. According to Stephen Zunes, if he is going to win over the right kind of people he has to essentially reverse that statement, emphasizing the evil nature of Israel and the largely innocent nature of the Palestinians. As Zunes states, "Many in the peace and human rights community may conclude, however, that any endorsement of Dean’s candidacy must be withheld as a means of pressuring him to back away from his support for the rightist Israeli government. Failing that, we may see large numbers of peace and human rights activists give up on the Democrats altogether and throw their support to the Green Party." Yeah, that worked out great last time. The Democrats failed to change their views, and the Republicans got to run everything.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

More Movies

Well, just got back from lunch which required a stop at a local Gas Station. As I was waiting in line, noted that they had a DVD for sale. Hmmmm. So ask yourself, what recent movie do Gas Station operators think their patrons are most likely to buy?

Was it The Hours, a touching story about the humanity that binds us all? Nope. That isn't out on DVD yet, anyway.

Was it Spiderman, a touching story about a young man who gets bitten by a radioactive spider? Nope.

Was it A Fistful of Dollars, a touching story about a cowboy who rides into town and shoots the heck out of everybody? Nope.

It was the completely untouching story of xXx, a spy who has lots of stuff happen to him (that I mostly can't remember, although I did see the movie), and kind of dresses like a pimp in a bad seventies movie. The New York Timed reviewed the movie, saying, "This movie chooses to spotlight its vaunted "new breed of secret agent" by having Xander use the term "first-person shooter," in case someone misses out on the video-game point. Which is in keeping, since "XXX" isn't exactly a movie — it's more like the world's biggest reset button."

The Unbearable Lightness of Geekdom.

Just finished reading Mark Simpsons review of "Star Trek - The Adventure." My only comment is that maybe someone who was not quite so obsessed with sex would have a different opinion of the exhibit.


There are three potential visions for the future, according to Dennis Prager.

One is the Muslim Vision, where in we all convert to Islam.

One is the Secular/Socialist vision, where in we all become Europeon.

One is the Judeo-Christian/Capitalist vision, where in we all learn not to mess with America.

These are our three potential futures.

In this war of ideas America stands alone. Our only allies of note, the United Kingdom and Israel, are good allies, but both have socialist programs and parties. So it is up to the United States alone to bring the world to light.

As Prager says, "But the American way can only prevail if Americans believe in it. That is why, as important as the military and ideological battles against militant Islam are, the most important battle is the ideological one within America. But with America's universities, unions, professional associations, mainstream news media, and one of its two major parties ideologically aligned with Europe, and with big businesses constantly undermining Judeo-Christian values, the battle within America itself for America's unique values is far from won. And given that only America offers a viable alternative to both militant Islam and secularism/socialism, if we lose the battle here, humanity has a very dark future."

While it's fun to imagine apocolyptical visions of the future, lets return to reality. Since its inception the United States has engaged in a debate over how powerful the federal government should be. Has it destroyed America? No. Has one side conclusively won? Not yet. The very greatness of America is that as we deal with these struggles peacefully, the struggles make us stronger. The problem with Prager is that he believes that unless his side wins by eliminating all conflicting ideas, than they have lost. Fair enough--everybody is allowed to believe what they want. For example, I'm allowed to believe that President Bush's tax cut strategy, which Prager probably agrees with, will eventually empty the treasury, requiring the US to raise taxes to an even higher rate in order to pay it off.

But by casting it in apocolyptical terms, Prager cuts off debate. In his view, there can be no compromise with the forces of Europeon thought (let alone Islam), only victory and elimination of the hated ideas. And that kind of victory is no kind of victory at all, in the long run.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Movies Movies Movies

Interesting article today at National Review Online by Mackubin Thomas Owens. The article contrasts the recent Civil War drama "Gods and Generals" with the more remote film "Glory." Owens talks about movies as history. He argues that although "Glory" did get several aspects of the story wrong, it did convey the essential truth of the story. "By inaccurately depicting the 54th as a regiment of former slaves, Glory reveals the deeper truth that blacks in general were not the natural slaves that southerners believed them to be and that abolitionists feared that they might be."

"Gods and Generals" is much more historically accurate, but it contains myth of Southern History; namely the myth of the Lost Cause. Here I think Owens over explains. The Myth of the Lost Cause is very simple; it is that the south succeeded for dozens of reasons (depending on who you ask) none of which have to do with Slavery. This is generally nonsense. As Owens succinctly puts it, "Slavery, not states right, was both the proximate and deep cause of the war. There was no constitutional right to dissolve the Union. Southerners could have invoked the natural right of revolution, but they didn't because of the implications for a slave-holding society, so they were hardly the heirs of the Revolutionary generation."

It's painful for the South to accept this I know, and many don't want to, but it is true.

Nation Building

This is the key issue in the future war in Iraq.

If the US takes a hands-off approach, as we largely have in Afganistan, than the country may descend into a quagmire of generals and fundementalists, battling each other. If we install a provisional government that keeps 90% of Saddam's government with a change at the top, than we will look like hypocrites. Our only hope is to do what President Bush has committed us to doing.

Mona Charen, writing today, lays out the argument. "The Arab world's hatred and resentment of the United States has many roots -- envy, frustration over the Islamic world's stagnation vis a vis the West, anger at American support for Israel and dismay at America's popular culture. We cannot wave a magic wand and make those resentments disappear. But we can look honestly at the countries of the region and recognize, as a 2002 United Nations report documents, that they are among the most backward nations on earth. . . .

Backwardness, despotism and a violence-prone religious elite have made the Arab world a cauldron of radicalism. But if the nation in the geographical and metaphorical heart of the Arab world were to be firmly planted on the road to freedom, prosperity and pluralism, it will represent a decisive rollback of the forces of darkness. It's no wonder that Saudi Arabia, Iraq's neighbor to the south, is scheming for Saddam to be deposed and publicly calling upon him to commit suicide. They know very well that a reformed Iraq will be a beacon for all Arabs. No wonder Syria is helping Iraq to hide its weapons of mass destruction.

Americans have scorned nation-building in the past. But we can no longer afford that particular luxury. The repressive, cruel and closed nations of the Muslim world have bred a fanaticism that has already been profoundly painful to us and may be catastrophically so in the near future. The question of war will be decided within weeks, but there is far more at stake than Iraq's fate.

While I disagree with her often enough, on this point I think Ms. Charen is right.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Website of the Week! Last Week! Today!!!

Yes here is the website of last week for you. It's a website with the catchy title "Vote to Impeach." Apparently they would like to Vote to Impeach President Bush.

Hmmmm, I wonder if there is any way this could backfire on the Democrats. Lets recall what happened during the Clinton Impeachement. Hmmmm, two Republican Speakers of the House leaving Washington in disgrace. And Clinton got away. And of course these articles of impeachment are even shakier.

More to the point, the whole website ignores September 11. Now I'm the last person who believes that September 11 gives Bush the right to do pretty much whtever he wants. But impeaching him for trying to defend America after September 11th? That is insane. It shows that the organizors of this website have more hate for President Bush than they do love for the American people.

New Quote

There's a new quote at the top. Hooray!!!!!

On France

I meant to comment on this over the weekend--but ran out of time. At any rate, I think this is a really good article by Molly Ivins on France, and it well warrents reading.

A New Guest Commentator

Here are some comments from Caleb, a new commentator here at Make me a Commentator!!! joining the illustrious Brandy. Caleb says he wrote this because he was bored, but I think it's pretty good.

The problem with this whole war is that we are going about it the wrong way. That, in my opinion, is the problem with much of US foreign policy.

When referring to us policy there are two conservative points of view. 1). The US is the morally superior power and it is our duty to ensure the rights and privileges of humanity world wide, and 2). We matter more than anyone else, so who cares what they think. Of course, neither of these views is held unilaterally or exclusively by any significant segment of society. They are primarily mixed and matched with other ideologies and even with each other, but they are both correct and reasonable.

If we did not believe ourselves to be morally superior then we might as well admit to ourselves that we are a group of proud, ignorant, bottom feeders who are advancing a pointless conflict for the good of no-one not even ourselves. We should all turn tail and hide under the wings of terror as the proper and respectable alternative to our own misguided interests.

\And of course we matter more than anyone else. We're us. As ridiculous as that argument sounds who better to look after our own needs than we ourselves? I'm certain that I know my own best interests better than I know yours. Therefore, while I feel confident in propounding my own self interests I do not feel qualified to comment on the self interests of the peoples of the world, nor liberals, for we all know that liberals are a breed apart from the morally, intellectually, and in all other ways that matter superior conservatives.

And here it comes. A bit of dribbling from the fountain if intellectual reserve I call myself. What we get when we combine the two opposing views of conservative foreign politics is this. We can't police the world as much as we'd like to, not because we couldn't overthrow the world's minor powers one by one, but because it’s not effective. We tried it. It didn't work. Perhaps our meddling has gotten better in the past perhaps it hasn't. Maybe we graduated from assassination of troublesome leaders to nation building, but it hasn't worked yet. I don't put much stock in our recent efforts. We'll see. The following is a compromise:

Instead of assassinating leaders willy nilly, or replacing entire governments and expecting them to remain stable for any significant period of time why don't we just tell them they are going to die if they continue their actions. We don't need to threaten a war that the sneaky little vermin will be able to hide behind, killing thousands of young soldiers in their stead. Just one little bullet is all it takes. Dictators have never feared the lives of their subordinates, and they have never feared war so long as they could sit in their snug homes or, if it got to dangerous a dank little hole in the ground. And yet every one of them fears for his own life. Go figure.

Why wouldn't the world hate us just as much for assassinating leaders as pouring war forth upon the world in a reckless and self satisfying manor? They will, but then who cares what they think. I'm sure we can find a hired gun or two in the mountains of Montana.

One little quibble, Conservatives may be morally and intellectually superior to Liberals, but Liberals rock harder. What do you think? If you have any comments or responses to Calebs Comments, send them to me, and I might post them.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Your Weekly Rush

From Rush's website.

"For them to succeed, George Bush and America must fail. The economy must implode. The war must be a debacle. Citizens must be in pain. The people must be so miserable, that they beg the government to take away personal freedom and save them with huge socialist programs. Notice I say "socialist," not "communist." I talk about their playbook being "updated" or "redefined," but I stop short of what a Soviet immigrant caller said. There's no difference between liberalism and socialism, but calling them "communists" doesn't advance things."

OK, first of all, it's entirely possible that there are people out there who don't see the success of George W. Bush's agenda and the welfare of the American People as inextricably linked. It's even possible that the Democrats believe that the George W. Bush's economic plan might have a negative effect on the economy.

Secondly, look at the weaselness of the last bit. Democrats are socialists but not communists. Why not? Because "calling them "communists" doesn't advance things." So Rush isn't interested in telling the truth about Liberals, just in telling the truths that will "advance things." But, what else is new.

To Iraq Protesters

One of the problems with recent protests is that Saddam has apparently got the idea that the protesters support him and his brutal regime. So have most conservative commentators, so you can see that that's an easy mistake to make. In fact most Protestors message to Saddam is simple, "Disarm now, work with the inspectors, cooperate fully so we can avert this war." And the message he recieves is "Do what ever you want, we'll follow you blindly."

Well in order to avert Saddam recieving that particular message, Joe Conason suggests contacting him, and telling him your feelings. "The Iraqi dictator probably needs to be further disabused of any delusions of support by citizens around the world. Please write to him care of the Iraqi Mission to the United Nations ( and the Iraq News Agency ("

My advice to you? Write those news agencies and tell Saddam to wise up. My advice to Saddam? Wise up.

Friday, February 21, 2003

It's Friday

Today has been kind of a tough day at work--lots going on, so haven't been able to post like I'd like to. But I do have a site of the week all picked out, and I will post it later when I get to it. In the mean time, just think of some other brilliant commentary you read at one time or another and pretend like I wrote it.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

A Trend

I've noticed a trend in my writing the last little while. I tend to go to Townhall first. I'll be blunt. Conservatives are better writers. So the Townhall writers rarely fail to elicit a response from me. And recently it's been largely a negative response. Then I go to Commondreams later on in the day, the liberal site, and read through their articles and often find something I like.

I don't know if I am becoming more liberal, but I angrier at the conservatives right now. I believe that, based on the situation, both philosophies have something to offer. Hence I want to see Conservatism and Liberalism to both stick around. Many Conservatives don't feel this way. They want to see Liberalism eradicated from the political scene. Perhaps they truly believe that Liberalism is so bad that it must be eliminated "by any means necessary." But often their methods are an attempt to return us to the days of the Red Scare. More than one article has painted protestors or liberals as traitors, pro-terrorist, pro-Stalinist, etc.

I feel differently. Although I disagree with Liberals on some issues, I want them to stick around as part of the body politic. I want Conservatives to stick around. And Greens, Libertarians, Reforms, and so on and so forth. So that perhaps explains a little shift in my tone at this site. Hopefully after the activity in Iraq ends, this site can return to it's normal more centrist tone.

Anyway another good quote from Bill C. Davis, writing on the Irrelevant in the Living Room, states "What the Bush administration considers irrelevant is any organization or country that doesn't have a meaningful military. Their military - and it is the Bush administration’s military, not ours – has the power to back up ultimatums. Their logic seems to be, if you don’t have a meaningful military you’re not worth dealing with; if you do have a meaningful military, you will be dealt with – one way or another."

For those interested, Make me a Commentator!!!'s attempts to acquire a Abrams Tank (for peaceful purposes of course) have fallen through, so we remain largely irrelevant.

Give Peace a Chance

Well, as you know, there is a big debate today. One that has eclipsed the faltering economy. It has eclipsed the war on Terrorism. It has eclipsed the impending invasion of Iraq. That issue is: Could Liberals create a liberal alternative to Rush Limbaugh?

Take a moment to examine the breadth and importance of that question. Makes things like troops dying in Iraq or your diminishing paycheck seem insignificant in comparison.

Ann Coulter, who I've ignored for a while, offered an opinion on this subject, saying. "One thing about liberals is they're pesky devils. They'll never quit. And now they are back again looking for the next "liberal alternative" to Rush Limbaugh. They have the money, the business consultants, the radio talent. Now all they need are ideas. There's the rub.

If liberals cared about ideas or knew any facts, they would cease being liberals.

So there you have it. Liberals are all fuzzy headed warm and fuzzy guys who wouldn't know a fact if it bit them on the tuckus.

Ann does quote later in her letter a Pew poll that seems to indicate that only Conservatives watch the news anyway. Take a moment to look at the questions. You notice all the questions on ideology, to determine whether or not a caller is conservative or liberal? There's a grand total of one. "Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?" And based on that one question, the Pew foundation is apparently able to determine the politics of a person. What magicians (maybe they employ Ben Shapiro, Boy Prognosticator). The Pew foundation has learned one of the great secrets of life: People will believe anything if it is in a table and there is lots of numbers.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Another Point of View

"Worst of all, we're giving Al Qaeda exactly what it wants: the overthrow of Hussein's government, what Osama bin Laden called in his latest tape an "infidel regime" run by apostates, and the best recruiting poster he could hope for. Imagine it: a photo of a U.S. general, likely a Christian, who the Bush administration now says will run mostly Muslim Iraq for at least two years. In Arabic, the words are in big, red letters: "Oust the crusaders.""

From Robert Scheer of the Los Angeles Times.

Quotes from Townhall

"While these antiwar types in America recoil with feigned outrage at the suggestion they're anti-American, when is the last time you heard them praising America? I'm waiting ... Regardless, most of them are useful idiots – useful to Saddam, that is, and idiots if they don't realize it or don't care."
David Limbaugh

"To march against the war is not to give peace a chance. It is to give tyranny a chance. It is to give the Iraqi nuke a chance. It is to give the next terrorist mass murder a chance. It is to march for the furtherance of evil instead of the vanquishing of evil."
Michael Kelly

"It is a tough time to be grown-up. To have moral courage, to swim against a tide of tantrum-throwing dissidents who can't quite put a finger on what's bothering them, but it's bad, whatever it is. Real bad. American stuff. Big bad meanies. Where are the weapons? Where's bin Laden? What's Saddam got to do with it?"
Kathleen Parker

OK lets run this down. What does Limbaugh mean by praising America? Presumably he means simply praising American agression throughout the world. Most protesters do praise the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and what they believe are American values. As for the second part, it's the best argument in the conservatives repretoire (Michael Kelly uses it as well). To oppose Bush's drive to inflict war on the Iraqi is to be pro-Saddam. To oppose this war against a war because we believe they may pose a threat to us down the road, is to be pro-Saddam. To be concerned about how a unilateral war will play in the middle east where we require the support of the governments to prosecute the war on terror is to be pro-Saddam (and to forget, that all Muslim Arabs are so full of hate that they are incapable of changing their minds anyway, so there's not point worrying about what they think).

And the humorously Kathleen Parker tells us all to grow up. The only reason people oppose war is because, infantile-like, they think war is bad. And that's as far as it goes. Of course Ms. Parker doesn't comment on the adultivity (to quote Kearny) of saying any opposition to the war is being pro-Saddam.

For those grown ups out there, here's how this works. Life is full of crappy decisions. Yeah, those who oppose the war are indirectly supporting Saddam. But that's not why they oppose the war. They oppose the war because they believe this is the wrong war, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons. You might not agree with that assessment. Fair enough. But it is really so impossible for you to believe that hard working Americans who love their country and who take the time to study the issues might disagree with you?

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Brandy's Bemusings

Here are Brandy's comments on the marches over the weekend.

"Come on people...lets just be honest here about what these 'anti-war' demonstrations are about. they should be called Anti-Bush. first case in point, I have heard SO many of these marchers say they would support the war if the UN sanctions it...well then, um how exactly are you anti-war? Oh, I see, only anti-war if it is Bush.

Second...and please pay attention here, don't think on what you are going to say next or what you should have for lunch, just really really listen...Bush has NOT gone to war, yes, that is right, not a missile has been fired, no soldier has stepped foot on Iraqi land, and are you ready for this...he IS waiting to see what the UN says. Those who say...'well we all KNOW what he is going to do, what he wants regardless' are either amazing future tellers and we should just have them tell us who is going to win and award the victor now, or maybe, they just have a pre-conceived idea and don't want to pay attention to ACTUAL EVENTS (ie after Powell's statement the US is STILL waiting on a UN approval).

*quick side note on UN approval, specifically France. Loving how the anti-war regime (some, not all) are saying the US is doing this because of oil...when in fact only 16% of our oil comes from the middle east, the rest comes from south America. But guess who gets over 80% of their oil from Iraq...dinging that's right boys and girls France. And who is the other nation not wanting to go to war against Iraq...could it be Russia, that's right, the very same Russia who signed a nice little treaty with Saddam less than a year ago.

And by the way, we do have the support of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and depending on the day Saudi Arabia...that's right, the MUSLIM countries that will be quite effected by a war...lets sit back and think on that a moment please.

I see most of these anti-war lemmings as followers who don't want to think for themselves...Or then where were they when Clinton was bombing Serbia, Bosnia and Mogadishu (quite sure I spelled that wrong), because once again...lets all say this together BUSH* HASN'T STARTED FIGHTING...and Clinton was bombing the crap out of little defenseless places...oh where oh where were the anti-war marchers then?

*littler side note, I did not vote for Bush, am not a huge fan, but how can ANYONE say he is not trying to handle this diplomatically. I have been impressed with the diplomacy and restraint shown.

And just one more comment, for anyone who is against taking Saddam out before he has nuclear capability I have one name for them to ponder on; Kim Jong Il

Thank You for allowing me to comment, I actually AM open to listening to 'true' anti-war patrons...there should always be another side, however I have yet to hear a real argument against it. (the only two I agreed with was if the other middle-eastern nations did not back us...which they do now, and in giving Saddam a chance to get rid of his weaponry in agreement to the treaty of 91'...which I think is obvious he has no intentions of honoring) And I actually would support those that are truly anti-war...meaning they are against it ALWAYS, that at least would make sense (not to me personally, but one can see the logic) any other well thought out anti-war ideas are welcomed...just once again...PLEASE THINK FOR YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!


In response to your letter, let me say that a lot of the protesters feel that their efforts are at least part of the reason President Bush didn't unilaterally invade Iraq. There is a sense that the Bush administration wants this war--perhaps it is a false perception, but there a certain amount of evidence for it. Look at the comments of those conservatives who seem to share President Bush's outlook.

Take Rush Limbaugh. Vice President Cheney has appeared on his show. Secretary of Defense Rumsfield appeared in Rush's newsletter. It's hard not to believe that Rush doesn't have some tap on how the administration feels. He is clearly furious that we are delaying this war, as are about half the columnists at townhall. com. (Though not all. Doug Bandow wrote today, "The best evidence that Iraq can be deterred is that we are alive today. Unfortunately, seeking to oust Saddam removes any leverage to prevent him from conducting the sort of attack that the administration claims to most fear. Attacking Iraq will make more, and more dangerous, terrorist attacks more likely."

Did you go to the protest and talk to people? The ones I talked to didn't seem like Lemmings. They knew most of the issues and seemed to have pretty strong opinions. And there were peace protests during the Clinton Campaigns. They were smaller, but the issue was a bit different. For one thing Serbia and Bosnia were UN operations, and I think Mogadishu was too. They weren't protesting a war we were inflicting on another nation (that had done nothing to provoke us recently) because we worried that they might attack us in the future.

Someone opposed to all war is full of crap in my opinion. Force is sometimes necessary. I mean I guess I can appreciate the moral purity involved, but we don't live in a morally pure world. The only way to stop Hitler was through force. The better arguments against the war deal with the world the way it is.

And Still More

Sent an e-mail to the rally organizers (one of which needs to clean out their hotmail mailbox) to find out how many people marched on Saturday. Tom Baxter replied, saying, "The Democrat said 500 the IMC reports 750. My count stopped at 400 and people were still coming." Still when you compare that to 6 billion people on Earth, I suppose it's not very much.

On the other hand, those four pro-Trident dentists are even less significant.

More on the Marches

Conservatives are losing no time in declaring those marches irrelevant. Bill Murchinson, in his article at Townhall today, used one of the Right's favorite statistics. The marches totaled 5 to 10 Million. There are 6 Billion people alive right now (more or less). So the protests were completely irrelevant. Look at this graph if you are not convinced.

Pretty convincing isn't it? Well, lets look at who is pushing for this war. The President, the Vice President, Secretary of Defense Rumsfield and Secretary of State Powell. Perhaps 200 or so advisors, and maybe another 150 or so commentators outside the administration. Let say 355 people (counting Tony Blair, the only Englishman in favor of this war). Out of 6 billion. Or 0.000005917%. Still, perhaps I had better not read too much into that figure.

Here's another statement from Mr. Murchinson. "The inspectors have been at this job for a decade. In 1998, Saddam threw them out. The world did nothing. Doubtless that meant really giving peace a chance." Murchinson reveals that his belief in honesty is shaky at best. In 1998, inspectors pulled out because Bill Clinton planned to bomb Baghdad due to some grievance or another (possibly in connection to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, then in full bloom). So let see, did Saddam kick them out? No they pulled out for safeties sake. Did the world do nothing? No, Bill Clinton fired missiles on them.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Something to Think About

Interesting article from the Independent/UK, on the gap between the peace movement and the bulk of the American people. Robert Fisk commented on an encounter with a pro-war cameraman, stating the encounter was "a symbol of the vast gulf of reason between the pro- and anti-war movement in America. They don't talk to each other. And if they do, neither comprehends the other. Like the endless chat programs on Pacifica Radio and all the smaller liberal talk shows from Boston to LA that serve up inedible dollops of anti-Bush, anti-Republican rant, there is simply no contact between the intellectual "elite" of the left and the less privileged Americans who work with their hands and join the military to gain a free education and end up fighting America's foreign wars."

He commented later in the peace that to reach out to normal Americans would mean leaving their sheltered ivy towers. He didn't comment much on the danger of the left patronizing the average mass of humanity. I myself have noted that the left seems to believe that the more educated, the more sophisticated an individual becomes, he will inevitably become more liberal. That doesn't appear to be the case in reality, but it is a pleasent enough fantasy I suppose.

The Truth Exposed

I've mentioned David Horowitz before. He started on the Far Left, but then had a change of heart and moved to the Far Right, where his best work has been in writing about how hard it is to be a conservative in America. To the obtuse, his writing might seem like one trivial complaint after another, but when one looks deeper, one sees a metaphor for conservatives in America.

In his latest article, Horowitz takes on the peace movement. He states; "All the marches were organized by supporters of Communist and other totalitarianisms, and by the fifth column agents of Islamo-fascism. All the demonstrations promoted Iraqi war propaganda -- myths about starving children and about alleged mercenary interests behind American policy; all of them had one purpose -- to disarm the American force already in the Middle East and allow Saddam to fight another day."

So let's count the false or questionable statements.

1). All the marches were organized by Communists and Islamo-fascists. I'm not sure what Horowitz means by Islamo-Fascists, but the rally here in Tallahassee (the only one I'm qualified to comment on), was unaffiliated with ANSWER. I did see several people of apparent middle eastern descent, but I'm not sure you would call them Islamo-Fascist (which is one of those terms invented to attack Muslims while maintaining plausible deniability).

2). Myth's about starving children? It's nice to be able to use the word "myth" to discount an opinion you don't like, without providing any proof yourself. For those interested in this myth, check out this information from UNICEF.

3). "Alleged mercenary interests behind American policy." Again not the magic word--alleged. This is to plant in your mind the idea that these allegations are false, but are they? Even Conservative writers have painted rhapsodic pictures of American Gas prices dropping significantly in the wake of our victory.

4) The goal of the movement is to disarm the US in the face of Saddam's menace. Again the people I talked to were well aware of Saddam's menace, although there were signs that some underestimated him. I heard more than once that if the UN approved a military solution to the Iraq question, they would support it.

Horowitz's argument can be summed up thusly; those who protest the war are marching alongside Communists and are, whether they intend to or not, supporting Saddam's brutal dictatorship. "Today's "peace" movement -- the innocent-intentioned along with the malevolent rest -- is a fifth column army in our midst working for the other side." It ain't necessarily so, Mr. Horowitz.

Helpful Traffic Tips

The minute the light changes, you should immediately begin honking your horn. This is just a courtesy to those drivers who might not have noticed the light change. There's no way following this policy could annoy anybody.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Yesterday's Rally

As previously posted I attended the Rally against the war held in Tallahassee, on February 15, 2002.
We are told a number of things about about those who would protest the war.

We are told that they hate our country. I saw no evidence of that yesterday. I saw evidence that people were disappointed in some of the choices their country has made, but not evidence that they hated our country. That said, it's clear that President Bush is a rallying figure for many in the crowd (posters included "Depose King George" and "W = Worst President Ever", which is only a problem if you believe that opposing President Bush is the same thing as hating America.

We are told that they hate out troops. This is patently nonsense. I saw several posters that made their position clear. Although they don't approve of the policies that have led our troops to Iraq (almost), they do wish our troops well.

We are told that they are all burnouts and hippies, the dregs of society. Well, there was some of that element there, but it was swallowed up by the mass of normal people, concerned with where our country is going.

We are told that they are all brain dead students, mindlessly following their professors. I talked to several students, and all seemed aware and certainly able to think for themselves. They all expressed different viewpoints, but expressed them reasonably well.

We are told that the anti war movement has been hijacked by the Stalinists and Maoists of ANSWER. The Rally hear did not have any involvement from them. I did see two ANSWER posters (see above), but the couple explained they had received them at another rally in Orlando (I believe). The rally Saturday was organized by Students for Peace, the National Organization of Woman, Vietnam Veterans against War, and others.

Honking for peace is easier than working for peace, I noted. Lots of people did honk for peace.

The rally seemed more serious this time around. The first rally I attended (almost by happenstance) was much more in your face. There were several placards that were very aggressive, that expressed more anti-American views. This time around they seemed like they were more interested in educating than in protesting, which is certainly a positive change.

Said Gabriel "Gabe" Pendes, one of the organizers of the rally, when asked if he saw this movement as working towards any long term goals, "You're organizing against the war, and you also want to . . . these are the kinds of things that really politicize individuals. It forces you to make political decisions. Once you cross that line, once you become aware of your surroundings, it is very difficult to go back and be like, 'Well I just don't care now.'"

Adam Smith (pictured above), commented on his poster, saying, "It's a slogan that's been thrown around. I've heard it at a few rallies, seen it on a button, on a website. . . . [it refers to] the similarities between his regime, his administration and a military coup. They are forwarding war at all costs, and that is their mission statement." Mr. Smith made it clear that he opposed the war at least in part, because of the unilateral way we were pursuing it. He was also concerned that issue was taking precedence over the real danger of nuclear war in Korea.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Your Weekly Rush

"Our attitude should be this: these other countries had better be worried about our street and our anger at their lily-white, sorry rear ends. I realize they don't have to pay us back for WWII forever, but this business that we're weak? Screw that! We hold their destiny in our hands. We don't depend on them for diddlysquat. We paid the UN a courtesy call while waiting for our military to give the president the "go" signal."
Rush Limbaugh, Demonstrating his deep understanding of Foreign Policy

"Q: Should the people of the world fear us, or see us as a friend?
BUSH: They ought to look at us as a country that understands freedom where it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from that you can succeed. I don’t think they ought to look at us with envy. It really depends upon how [our] nation conducts itself in foreign policy. If we’re an arrogant nation, they’ll resent us. If we’re a humble nation, but strong, they’ll welcome us. Our nation stands alone right now in the world in terms of power. And that’s why we’ve got to be humble and yet project strength in a way that promotes freedom. We’re a freedom-loving nation. If we’re an arrogant nation, they’ll view us that way, but if we’re humble nation, they’ll respect us.
President Bush demonstrating a somewhat different take on foreign policy.

Tallahassee Anti War Rally

I just got back from the Anti War Rally in downtown Tallahassee. It was interesting. As you know my modus operandi is to mock the people I comment on. In most cases they are wealthy or well off commentators who, frankly, are well enough paid that they can take my abuse. That's not the case with these protesters. I know it's common enough to say that they are all students or teachers who never have to do anything anyway, but I've been a student. Yeah, there are fun times, but there is a lot of work too. I'll post longer comments later on, but I write this just to say, don't expect me to be as vicious as I usually am.

Here are some pictures.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Bonehead of the Week

This will not be a weekly feature. It's not that people don't do bonheaded things each week. It's the difficulty of narrowing it down to just one. This award goes to Eric Alterman this week for his idiotic comments to Esquire magazine. Here's a shot of the magazine page from Rush (with their own redlines).

Here's his statement, "The lack of civility he [Limbaugh] demonstrates toward liberal politicians is really dangerous to our political public. I hate to say it, but I wish the guy would have gone deaf. I shouldn't say that, but on behalf of the country, it would be better without Limbaugh and his 20 million listeners."

This makes me angry. It's exactly, EXACTLY, the same kind of things that Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh say about their Democratic enemies, but that does not excuse Alterman. The only advantage liberals have had in this debate has been in taking the moral high ground on this issue (in general). And now Alterman has surrendered that. Presumably because he is a bonehead.

Websites of the Week

OK, here are some posters for you to look at.

OK here's a fun game. Which of the above posters was made by a liberal website, and which was made by a conservative one? Well let me give you some hints. One came from the Propaganda Remix Program, and the other came from FreedomAds.Org. Freedom Ads has a contest going, where in you can create your own posters and send them in (plan on seeing my entry some time tomorrow. I'm debating themes ("Bryant, Truly Indispensable" or "Bryant, Mightier than all Puny Mortals.")). The Propaganda Remix project, on the other hand, is more about selling this guys book. Anyway, one site is ideologically liberal, and the other conservative.

Figure it out yet? Well I'll tell you. The top is a liberal ad, and the bottom a conservative ad. Looks like there is some common ground, though.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Senator Robert Byrd

If you listen to Rush Limbaugh for any length of time, he'll eventually point out that Senator Robert Byrd (D, W.Va.) is a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. Rush never tires of pointing that out, because it puts the lie to all the nonsense about Republicans being racist. It can also be used to discredit anything Senator Byrd ever says. Byrd left the Klan in 1943, but it is his original sin, so to speak. That being said, he is one of the few democratic senators who challenges the President on the issues these days. Yesterday, February 13, 2003, speaking from the floor, he stated the following;

"This is no simple attempt to defang a villain. No. This coming battle, if it materializes, represents a turning point in U.S. foreign policy and possibly a turning point in the recent history of the world.

This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The doctrine of preemption -- the idea that the United States or any other nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently threatening but may be threatening in the future -- is a radical new twist on the traditional idea of self defense. . . . And it is being tested at a time of world-wide terrorism, making many countries around the globe wonder if they will soon be on our -- or some other nation's -- hit list. High level Administration figures recently refused to take nuclear weapons off of the table when discussing a possible attack against Iraq. What could be more destabilizing and unwise than this type of uncertainty, particularly in a world where globalism has tied the vital economic and security interests of many nations so closely together?

That is a good question. Is there anybody who thinks that we could drop an atomic bomb on Iraq and not suffer grave consequences? Senator Byrd also wonders why congress is not debating the issue; I'm afraid the answer is all to obvious. Congress has rendered itself useless to address this issue. They have given that power to the president, in House Joint Resolution 114, which states,

(a) AUTHORIZATION- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to--

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq ; and

(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq .

So there it is. Congress gave up their power to wage war to the President.


For those interested in History, you should check out It contains a history of the San Francisco diggers, and their links to the English Diggers and other movements in San Fran in the sixties. Of particular interest is the bit on the Communications Company which contains many of their early broadsides, including the famous (or infamous) Money is an Unnecessary Evil (reprinted below). Check it out.

Money Is An Unnecessary Evil

It is addicting.

It is a temptation to the weak (most of the violent crimes of our city in some way involve money).

It can be hoarded, blocking the free flow of energy and the giant energy-hoards of Montgomery Street will soon give rise to a sudden and thus explosive release of this trapped energy, causing much pain and chaos.

As part of the city's campaign to stem the causes of violence the San Francisco Diggers announce a 30 day period beginning now during which all responsible citizens are asked to turn in their money. No questions will be asked.

Bring money to your local Digger for free distribution to all. The Diggers will then liberate it's energy according to the style of whoever receives it

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

In Which Bryant Imagines Himself as a Typical Conservative Commentator Imagining what It Must Be Like to Work At the State Department

"Hmmmmm, I've sat around being useless all morning. I think after lunch I'll start actively working to destroy America. But before I do, let me check out Townhall.Com and see if they have any helpful advice."

"Hmmmm. Here's an interesting article by Joel Mowbray about the plight of Domestics hired by Saudi visitors to the US. Hmmm. Mowbray seems to suggest we, here at the state department, start an aggressive campaign to investigate conditions for domestics, and to set free those that are being mistreated. Ha ha ha! Hasn't he forgotten that we are evil? Does he expect us to just open the boarders to helpless innocent victems?

"Now Michelle Malkin, she has the right idea. It's not our place to let in innocent kind hearted young girls cruelly aboused by their Saudi Masters It's our job to facilitate the infiltration of evil terrorists, with bogus religious visas."

That was fun, but now I'm back to normal. It is a little bizarre for a conservative asking the State Department to study the abuse of immigrants. Usually conservatives pretty much only care about those immigrants who are abusing the system.

What it Takes to Protest a War

Apparently this Sunday there is to be an anti-war rally in Sunday, sponsered by ANSWER, United for Peace and Justice, Not In Our Name and Bay Area United Against War. Rabbi Michael Lerner, a dovish rabbi who opposes the war will not be allowed to speak. ANSWER apparently feels that his stance that Israel has the right to exist and his condemnation of Palestinian Terrorist Acts render him unfit to comment on the war.

Salon has the story. They've been very critical of ANSWER in the past, deploring their stance of solidarity with despotic governments around the world. It's a hassle going to any Salon story I know, but they employ some really good writers, so I'm going to continue linking to them.

Here's a quote from Rabbi Lerner on a bombing at Hebrew University, written on August 8, 2002. "There is no excuse for these terrible murders of Israeli students at Hebrew U. Please don't tell us, "last week Israel bombed a civilian apartment house in Gaza and murdered 14 people, including seven chldren, and wounded 140 people." There was no excuse for that act on Israel's part (and don't tell us "there was a terrorist in that building" because murder is murder and it's wrong). And that act of Israel's does not justify this act against Israeli civilians. One immoral act does not justify another immoral act. Those were our brothers and sisters who were killed and wounded on Mt. Scopus. Those were our brothers and sisters who were killed and wounded in Gaza last week. Stop this craziness! Take out of power the people on both sides who think murder is a solution."

More from Osama

Here's the direct quote, as translated by the Washington Post.

"First, the sincerity of intentions for the fighting should be for the sake of Allah only, no other, and not for the victory of national minorities or for the aid of the infidel regimes in all Arab countries, including Iraq."

You can see the rest of the speech here. Joe Conason, updating his Blog today, commented that this message might be for the West as much as the Middle East. Bin Ladin wants war, knowing as he does that he might be able to use it to rally troops against the West. So that's comforting.

Osama and Saddam, Bestest Buddies

Well according to those who would like to see us invade Iraq immediately, yesterdays message from Osama Bin Ladin proves his great love for Saddam Hussein. The two are clearly allies, and so we should hold Saddam responsible for September 11th.

One minor fly in the work, apparently Osama in his message called on the Iraqi people to eliminate the secular Saddam, and replace him with a good religious leader. MSNBC initially reported this, but then, realizing that it flew in the face of the pro war argument (wars make for good ratings), withdrew the statement. Reuters, however, reported it this way. "The statement did not express support for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein -- it said Muslims should support the Iraqi people rather than the country's government.

"The fighting should be in the name of God only, not in the name of national ideologies, nor to seek victory for the ignorant governments that rule all Arab states, including Iraq," the statement said.

So there you have it. For more info on this story, check out the reporting at I'm not saying everything on this page is accurate--but this story seems solid.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

The Oscars

As many of you know the Oscars were announced today, and you'll be pleased to note that "Make me a Commentator" was nominated in the category of "Best Political Website, Dog Shaving, or Freeform Slalom." Most stories on the Oscars won't mention this particular category, and I've already been informed that there is little need for me to attend the Oscars, but still, it's nice to be nominated.

In other website news, those who read Portuguese might check out Airstrike. I don't know much about it, but they added a link to me on their web page, so the least I can do is return the favor. They have a nice picture on the site, and a good layout, at any rate.


Marvin Olasky printed some interesting comments at Townhall today.

"The unstated assumption is that since people are endowed by the Creator with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those who live under dictatorship inevitably yearn for freedom. That familiar concept from the Declaration of Independence is crucial to the administration's calculation of how Iraq's people and ordinary soldiers will respond if a war begins and Saddam's forces suffer initial defeat."

Obviously the adminsitration would love to see at the end cheering crowds welcoming American Soldiers into Baghdad. I hope that, assuming we go to war, that is what happens in the end. But, as Olasky points out, Saddam has been more careful to drape himself in Islamic trappings the last couple of years. He is courting the religious sentiment of his people, hoping to turn this into a holy war. And if he has succeeded, well, it seems unlikely we'll be welcomed with cheering crowds.

And the kicker is, its hard to know what's in the Iraqi people's hearts until the situation presents itself. They are obviously unable to express themselves now.

Monday, February 10, 2003

And They Called Me Paranoid

Here's a quote from an editorial printed in the New York Sun on Thursday February 6, 2003.

"So long as the protesters are invoking the Constitution, they might have a look at Article III. That says, “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.”

. . . And there is no reason to doubt that the “anti-war” protesters — we prefer to call them protesters against freeing Iraq — are giving, at the very least, comfort to Saddam Hussein.

. . . So the New York City police could do worse, in the end, than to allow the protest and send two witnesses along for each participant, with an eye toward preserving at least the possibility of an eventual treason prosecution. Thus fully respecting not just some, but all of the constitutional principles at stake.

There's nothing like a sane and calm voice during these days of trial and tribulation. Thank goodness for the New York Sun, putting it all in perspective. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back under my bed.

Some Thoughts

"A virulent hatred of America is being preached in the Middle East and around the world, and that propaganda is often echoed by regimes that claim to have no connection with terror. Yet they give these jihadists aid and comfort, not to mention hideouts. The way Saddam Hussein sheltered the late and unlamented Abu Nidal. And continues to work with others, as Colin Powell pointed out in his prosecutor's brief at the United Nations.

That's why, in addition to tracking down individual terrorists like Richard Reid, the free world must go after those governments that produce, nourish and dispatch them.

Terror needs a sponsor in order to flourish. It needs a base - like Afghanistan before Sept. 11, or the mosque where Richard Reid hung out in London, or the caves along Afghanistan's border with Pakistan. . . .

No, toppling Saddam Hussein will not put an end to the hatred for America that pervades a once great but now sick, decayed civilization. But acting in Iraq will strike a clarifying blow at the widespread contempt for America in that part of the world.
Paul Greenberg, Al-Qaida is a distraction

"Hussein is above all a master of survival. You don't gain control of a brutal police state and keep it for three decades without a keen instinct for self-preservation. He showed it during the Gulf War, when he chose to leave his chemical and biological weapons on the shelf rather than invite complete devastation. He showed it again afterward, when everyone expected him to be overthrown. If he sees that he can survive this time by giving up his forbidden arsenal -- and only by giving up his forbidden arsenal -- he may seize the chance.

That outcome would not please quite everyone. Administration hawks are after regime change, not mere disarmament. They don't want Hussein defanged; they want him dead. Their preference is understandable. But it would be criminal if the administration spurned the chance to solve the central problem without the grave perils of invasion and occupation.

If Bush is hoping to force Hussein into submission, he's handled this showdown perfectly. But he has to be prepared to take yes for an answer.
Steve Chapman, In the drive toward war, a last exit

"The enemy has exposed its fangs and is fighting our religion and is doing its best to drive Muslims away from their religion. . . . Your enemy would not defeat you with its vast troops and equipment, but you will be defeated if your faith is weakened."
Sheik Abdul-Aziz bin Abdullah Al al-Sheik, commenting during the Hajj.

I should write some commentary too--but instead I think I'm going to go hide under my bed 'till this thing blows over.

Support the Troops!

We find ourselves on the brink of war; a war that many Americans oppose. So the question becomes what is the proper attitude one should take if one opposes the war. One possibility, certainly endorsed by many conservatives commentators, is that once war begins (or even before) the only American thing to do is give unwavering loyalty to the President by keeping your mouth shut. Debra Saunders made the case that opposing the war is by its nature anti-America.
"If you oppose President Bush's Iraq policy, you're anti-Bush on Iraq. It follows then that if you strongly object to not only the Bush Iraq policy, but also the popular war on terrorism and maintaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and if you believe that the United States attacks other countries, not in self-defense, but as an act of hegemony, and if you believe the American people are the war on terrorism's willing dupes, sorry, but you're anti-American."
Ms. Saunders does make a lot out of a little. But perhaps she's right. Perhaps we need a group of people to sit in judgement and determine what American opinions are. Maybe you'd be ok, if you thought the American people were unwilling dupes. Or if you believed that the war in Afghanistan was justified, but not the war in Iraq.

I do love the idea expressed succinctly that we are invading Iraq out of self defense.

Another possible reaction to the war is to let it have no effect. Clay Evans, writing in the Boulder Daily Camera, supports this proposition. He states, " it's disingenuous to lay aside reasonable moral objections and "support the troops." One need not "support" the deaths of innocents simply because the government has started an unnecessary war." I don't know exactly what Mr. Evans means by the phrase "Support the Troops." In his essence he does state that he "would never treat with disrespect the men and women who defend us." But he's insistent the war movement not "Support the Troops." Does he hope that the US loses in Iraq? That we suffer large casualties? I also don't know what he means by the death of innocents. The far left for weeks has been making dire predictions over how the US will fight this war, suggesting that we will use a rain of cruise missiles on Baghdad or that we might use nuclear weapons on Saddam. Assuming you take all those predictions at face value I gather it will be pretty bloody. But I don't buy it. Our leadership knows that the rest of the world will be paying close attention to how we wage this war. If we inflict massive civilian causalities we will damage our credibility in the region for generations. So I gather most of the people who will die during the war will be the Iraqi National Guard. Certainly its sad, but it is part of war.

Truthfully I find Mr. Evans take on the situation rather despicable. Once troops are on the ground, I hope they succeed. I am an American, and while I certainly know that my country does things I wish it wouldn't, I still know what side I'm on.

So what is the proper response? As always somewhere in the middle. Don't make common cause with Saddam Hussein. He is a monster and he does oppress his people. But at the same time, don't stay silent about the unjustness of the men who brought this war to us.

Part of a Whole Paragraph

One thing I've noticed on Fox is that they keep introducing new episodes of their half hour shows as "part of a full hour." I hate to tell you, but that's really not that impressive. All half hour shows are part of a full hour. It would be more impressive if they managed to do a half hour show that wasn't part of a full hour. That would show they were committed to the program. I'm not sure how you do that, but still . . .

New Quote, New Title, New Attitude

Changed the quote at the top, and changed the title of this blog. Instead of the old "Make me a Commentator" now it's "Make me a Commentator!!!" We have a new dynamic attitude and stuff. Stay tuned for lots of cool . . . uh . . . commenting.

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Your Weekly Rush

Well here's Rush on taxes.

"If they were honest they'd say, "We can't afford to pay for defense, education, cleaning the environment, or prescription drugs. We can't even afford to pay our own salaries and staffs because we don't have any money. We take money from you!"

When you hear this whole business of debate over the budget, keep in mind it's just another way of expressing how they look at your money as theirs. They do not have a dime until they take it from us! Always remember that.

I think we've all heard this said at one point. It's your Money. What right does the Government have to take it? Why shouldn't they go out and get honest jobs instead of taking our money?

What crap!

We as a nation have mandated the Government to do a number of things. Run a national retirement account for example. Provide public roads. Provide a mail service. Ensure that our food is produced in a safe manner. Ensure that products manufactured by corporate America meet minimum safety standards. Ensure that workers in America have safe working conditions. Regulate public properties, such as airwaves. Provide a safety net for Americans who fall onto hard times. Promote American Security through the Armed Forces and the Diplomatic corps.

So here's a basic principle. If you want something you have to pay for it. Now I admit that you may personally not feel the need for a safety net or an armed forces. But this is representative Democracy. The will of the people is made known through their representatives. If that means some things happen that you don't agree with, well that's the way things go. There are always other nations in the world that do things differently. But if you are going to live here you are going to be expected to pay your fair share, through Income Taxes, Property Taxes, Sales Taxes, Payroll Taxes, etc.

If you want to know what the Government is spending your money on check out this site. You might notice that that the money earmarked for foreign aid and supporting the arts (two programs that people apparently hate) is minimal.

Friday, February 07, 2003

On the War

It occurs to me that I have not articulated a very clear position on the upcoming war with Iraq. So I thought I would take a few moments and explain myself.

First of all, it seems that war is inevitable. I realized recently that this understanding has dictated much of my attitude. I haven't really examined the case for war, because the decision to invade Iraq has already been made. Rather than argueing whether or not this war was appropriate, I have contented myself with suggesting the proper way to prosecute the war.

If the war has to happen, it is best that we work through the United Nations. This will give our activities the semblance of international approval, and will render our assault less offensive to the Middle East (on who's good graces we rely to successfully prosecute the War on Terrorism.)

However this does not answer the question of whether or not War is justified. One of the most brilliant steps those who desire this war have taken is to make the arguement about why we shouldn't go to war rather than why we should. Instead of asking, "is this war necessary or justified," the question has become "what possible reason could you have for opposing the war?"

So lets list out a few facts.

1. Iraq has done nothing to us to justify our immediate invasion. They were not involved in September 11th, and that shouldn't be used to justify this war.

2. Iraq is probably seeking weapons of mass destruction. So is every other tin-pot dictator around the world.

3. In prosecuting this war, President Bush has carelessly squandered any moral credit the United States might have recieved for September 11th. This has the potential to jeapordize our ability to prosecute the war on terror.

While I will support my country if and when they settle on this course towards war, I still do not believe this war to be necessary. And wars are bad. They can go directions we don't expect. And probably will. So while I do support President Bush in his decision to work through the United Nations, I still question the necessity of this course of action.

Website of the Week

Today we crown a new feature here at Make me a Commentator. Yes its "everybody-send-Bryant-a-Dollar-day." Hooray! Oh wait a second--we had to put that off. It's actually a new feature that we call "Website of the Week." Each Friday I will post a Website on politics that I want to make fun . . . er, offer insightful commentary on.

Today I have selected a page from the Citizens Against Government Waste entitled Porker of the Month. At this website they investigate how the government wastes our money. They describe themselves as "a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government. Non-partisan, eh? Interesting.

So lets look at the record. They started in January 2001 by profiling Bill Clinton as their porker of the month. Since then they've profiled 31 one people (They have often profiled two porkers working together, and at one point three). Of those 31 people, 18 were Democrats, 10 were Republicans and 3 were other (including the U.S. Post Office). The breakdown looks something like this;

I don't know about you, but that doesn't look very bi-partisan to me. It also helps to note that several of the Republicans, including Arlen Spector, Lincoln Chafee (profiled twice), and Jim Jeffords (Profiled before he went independent) are not exactly the conservative's favorite Republicans. So maybe they are partisan after all.

Traffic Tips

Your headlights are not lasers, even with the high beams on. Should you point them at the car in front of you, it will not disintegrate. All it will do is make me . . . . uh, the driver in front of you annoyed.

Just something to keep in mind.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

News from Parallel Earth

Townhall printed an article today by R. Emmett Tyrell. But I can only assume that this is not the normal R. Emmett Tyrell who lives in the same earth as we do, but an R. Emmet Tyrell from another plane of existence. One very much like ours, but with some key differences.

For example on parallel R. Emmet Tyrell's world, the Democrats have been decisively defeated. "Bush II's control of all three branches of government and the presence in his government of public figures whose eminence traces from the "Reagan Revolution" demonstrates that this presidency represents not just a change of government but the arrival of a new political era -- marking the final passing of the liberals, so-called." In our world, of course, we are well aware that Bush's victory in the midterm elections, while impressive, was not decisive. It seems likely that the Democrats are going to be around for quite a bit longer.

Also Parallel Tyrell comments on the Kissinger affair from a while ago. President Bush nominated Kissinger to head an investigative committee. Apparently in Parallel Tyrell's world, Bush stood by Kissinger rather than quietly standing aside as he removed himself from the position promised him. Perhaps that's because Parallel Kissinger was such a wonderful guy. Parallel Tyrell writes, "For decades, Kissinger's bona fides as a statesman and patriot have merely grown. All the paranoid charges against him, claims of plotting in Latin America and scheming in Southeast Asia, have proven as vaporous as the liberal Democrats' more recent paranoia over October surprises and Vast Right-Wing plots."

Of course as this universe's Molly Ivans has commented, Kissinger is a bona-fide war criminal. "Two generations of Americans have come to adulthood since Henry Kissinger last held political power, so I need to explain that War Criminal is not an affectionate sobriquet: The man is, in fact, a war criminal--wanted for questioning in Chile, Argentina and France (concerning French citizens who disappeared in Chile). He cannot travel to Britain, Brazil and other countries because they cannot guarantee his immunity from legal proceedings."

Still, it's nice to have a glimpse at another world, even if our own doesn't quite measure up.

Tales to Terrify Troubled Twenty-Year Olds

Shudder at the terror inflicted on Conservatives on Campus, as reported in this speech by Roger Custer at the Conservative Political Action Committee.

Custer reprots that Students of Ithica College have suffered under to following horrors.

- The school Student Government Association passed "anti-Bish, anti-war resolution." Apparently they did not pass a similar pro-Bush, Anti Tax bill. Oh the horror!

- When the Young American's (Conservative group) brought a Conservative African-American speaker to campus during Black History Month, they recieved mild dissapproval from some faculty members and students.

- The Students next brought Bay Buchanan promoting her with the phrase "Feminazis, Your Nuremburg has Come." They were forced to change their fliers. For those who know Nuremburg was the site of the tribunal that executed the real Nazis who killed millions through war and the concentration camps. The Feminazis have similar goals; they want woman to recieve a place in society equal to males. Of course the speech was allowed to proceed as planned.

- Custer concludes his chilling comments by saying, "Liberal professors and ideologues use any means possible to thwart conservative ideas." Horrors!!

Ithica also spent money to send a professor to Iraq as a protest--not sure how this hurts the students, but apparently its really bad.

For an alternative view, here's Cory Lehnbeuter, a Student of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. "I like Ithaca alot except the demographic needs to be a bit more diverse. Too many white kids dressing up and going to the clubs to molest and be molested all the time. There should be a bit more variety and open-mindness up here."

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

The Wisdom of Brandy

Here are some more comments by Brandy, reacting to the article by Ben Shapiro from last week.

"I agree with Shapiro (of course -us Jews must stick together).

The media tells so many ignorants what 'history' and 'religion' REALLY are, and for the most part they follow. . . . So not only do most people think what Shapiro was arguing against [that the Wailing wall is the most important holy spot to the Jewish faith, rather than the Temple Mount], but most people actually think there was a Palestinian nation. They think the Jews took the land from the Muslims (oh wait, didn't that religion start THOUSAND of years after Judaism?) When in fact the Western Strip and Gaza were owned by Syria and Jordon respectively (both countries threw out Arafat and his faction) and then lost those sections of land in the 6 day war. Israel, being understanding toward Arafat’s group (ah a blunder that will haunt them forever) said 'hey, we know what its like to be pushed around, come, share, you can live on this land'. Anyway, the whole thing sickens me, there are 2 things allowed to be hated and loathed in this PC world. Jews and fat people. (of course maybe I'm taking things too personally) . . .

Viva Israel!

I asked Brandy to clarify her comments in relation to Arafat’s group.

"I agree that in the making of Israel people who were living there were unfairly pushed off the land...however, after the 6 day war it is ISRAELI land. Once someone has won a war it is theirs.
And everyone else should shut-up about it or take up arms and take it back (without the US tying Israelis hands).

If we are going to start with 'who's land is it really, just by who inhabited it first' then there are a lot of Americans who need to move off the Indian land. Look, its harsh and some people don't like to face the real world, but here it is, the stronger survive, the harder workers win and when the smoke has cleared those left standing are the victors, whether 'we' think they are the good guys or not. And the last note on this - I didn't know what to call Arafat's faction, cause the term ‘Palestinian' wasn't used for this particular group of Arabs until AFTER 1968.

Brandy also commented on the rise of anti-Semite attacks in France in the past two years. An article at the Guardian Unlimited confirmed the general thrust of her remarks. These attacks include a burning of a synagogue in France, and the stabbing of a Rabbi January 5, 2003. The French Authorities have belatedly acknowledged the problem, but claim that the incidents are on the decline. President Jacque Chirac stated, "There is no room in our country for anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia or for manifestations of religious intolerance." France has a large and growing Islamic population as well as a fairly large Jewish population, and there is some concern that if hostilities break out in Iraq, there will be another spike in anti-Semite violence.

On Aids in Africa

Some thoughts from Michael Kelly, at Townhall today.

"President Bush did not until now appear to promise much better than Clinton. His last previous global AIDS proposal was a modest $500 million program aimed solely at the politically safe goal of preventing mothers with AIDS from passing it on to their babies.

But then this: $15 billion, and not just for babies--for vast programs of treatment with the cheap generic drugs, for wide-scale condom distribution. Billions in taxpayers' money. For condoms for Africa. In a recession. In a time of record budget deficits. It is a rare and wonderful thing.

History will very easily be able to judge whether a world led by America stood by and let transpire one of the greatest destructions of human life of all time--or performed one of the greatest rescues of human life of all time. President Bush has opened the door to the latter possibility. The drugs that are, day by day, saving the lives of thousands upon thousands of Americans can do the same for millions upon millions of Africans.

The response to the president's proposal has been faint and largely uncaring. It must become deafening. It must become--from Congress, from conservatives and Republicans, from liberals and Democrats, from the media, from our wealthy European friends, from all of us: Yes, do it. Do more. Up the ante. Make that $15 billion $30 billion. Do it now. Save 10 million lives.

Obviously I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Kelly's assessment.

In Other News

They did get the Stats page back up at blogger--but you should still write me. I reached my goal for January--now we need to see if I can reach it for February. Have a nice day.

Clinton's Legacy

Clinton is one of those figures in recent history who is incredibly polarizing. Reagan used to be that way, particularly when he was in office. But after his presidency he largely got off the stage. And Reagan had a way of charming people who really disagreed with his policies. Although his policies might be terrible, people wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Clinton got no such break. Those who disagreed with Clinton's policies have always imputed them to his charectar.

Clinton was power-hungry, greedy, covetous, aggressive, grabby, betraying, catchy, deceitful, deceptive, disloyal, double-crossing, double-dealing, duplicitous, faithless, false, false-hearted, fly-by-night, insidious, misleading, perfidious, recreant, shifty, slick, slippery, traitorous, treasonable, tricky, two-faced, two-timing, undependable, unfaithful, unloyal, unreliable, unreliable, untrue, untrustworthy, chicken, cowardly, dastardly, fearful, gutless, lily-livered, mean-spirited, nebbish, poltroonish, pusillanimous, scared, timid, timorous, unmanly, weak-kneed, wimp, wimpy, wuss, yellow, blue, cheap, coarse, dirty, erotic, gross, indecent, indecorous, indelicate, lascivious, lecherous, lewd, libidinous, licentious, lustful, obscene, prurient, ribald, risque, rude, salacious, suggestive. Probably some other things too.

I personally lead to the idea that while he may have had some noble ambitions, he only wanted to win elections and didn't care that much about the American people. He was willing to risk his presidency and to tie up the Government for months in order to have an affair with an intern. So I don't like him that much myself, or have much respect for him.

I can tell you who does love Clinton; conservative Republicans. They are thrilled with his desire to stay in control of the Democratic Party. I'm sure many large corporations are too. One presumes they know what we all know--Clinton is no enemy of Business. He stated recently, about the Democrats, "We've got to be pro-business and pro-accountability." So he's not too dangerous to the desires of Wall Street. On the other hand he's such a polarizing figure that one Clinton is worth 20 real liberals (proposing Progressive reforms) in terms of energizing the conservative base. Bizarrely, most conservatives seem readily able to accept Clinton as both a loser sell out who never stood up for anything and as a blazing Communist reformer dedicated to destroying America.

Anyawy I hope some figure within the Democratic party rises who can challange Bill Clinton's hold on the party. He needs to retire from public life if the Democratic party is ever to return to its progressive roots. As William Greider has stated at the Nation, commenting on the effect of Clinton on the Democratic party, "one consequence could be to smother any internal debate about what the party really believes and how to enlarge its sense of purpose. Democrats and allied constituencies are deeply riven on that question--some wishing to revive an aggressive reform spirit and the big progressive ideas that Clintonism effectively dismantled with its small, symbolic answers to big problems. Congressional Democrats are beginning to understand that Clinton's "rope a dope" style no longer works in the Bush II era (when they make a smart gesture, Bush simply grabs it as his own). On the other hand, most Dems seem to have internalized Clinton's conservative economic doctrine as party gospel--fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets are the first principle of governing, and managing the economy for growth is ceded to the Federal Reserve. This doctrine conveniently has wide appeal among the major contributors from business and finance, but it doesn't promise much for the folks who vote."

Tuesday, February 04, 2003


Blogger has temporarily disabled the part of its service that lets me check my statistics--so I have no way of knowing who's looking at this site. So maybe now would be a particularly good time if you've seen something you don't like or that really got you mad or that you really agreed with to write me and let me know.

Because here at make me a commentator, quality is job three or four depending on whether or not there's anything on tv.


"Long before I returned to Washington as President of the United States, I had made up my mind that, pending what might be called a more opportune moment on other continents, the United States could best serve the cause of a peaceful humanity by setting an example. That was why on the 4th of March, 1933, I made the following declaration:

In the field of world policy I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor--the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others--the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors.

This declaration represents my purpose; but it represents more than a purpose, for it stands for a practice. To a measurable degree it has succeeded; the whole world now knows that the United States cherishes no predatory ambitions. We are strong; but less powerful nations know that they need not fear our strength. We seek no conquest: we stand for peace. . . .

Peace, like charity, begins at home; that is why we have begun at home. But peace in the Western world is not all that we seek.

It is our hope that knowledge of the practical application of the good-neighbor policy in this hemisphere will be borne home to our neighbors across the seas.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

"I now realize that the most important goal America and its president can pursue is to be liked, hopefully loved, by mankind, and especially by France, Germany, China, and the Arab world.

I now realize that we Americans who think in terms of good and evil are simpletons. We should think, as the professors do, in multicultural terms and, therefore, render no moral judgment over Iraq or any other nation except Israel

Dennis Prager suggesting what President Bush should say to please Europe and American liberals.

Maybe We Should Just Give Up

Rich Lowry believes that American ingenuity and ability have been beaten. We just aren't smart enough, creative enough or clever enough to develop any alternative to using oil. We've failed so repeatedly, that we should just give up. True science is knowing when giving up is beneficial to America's Oil Companies. Of course Lowry is responding to President Bush's timid proposal to fund research into a Hydrogen car.

While I support the proposal, it's clearly a way to pretend to care about the environment without doing anything about it. This proposal doesn't improve standards for corporate polluters (said standards President Bush is doing everything he can to weaken). It does nothing to help improve the cars that already exist. In the short term it does nothing at all. And it's hardly any money for this kind of project. So while I support it, my hands not getting tired patting anybody on the back over it.

Monday, February 03, 2003

Your Weekly Rush

I actually have two points on my listening to Rush earlier--but the second is going to take some research.

Rush has come up with a new argument agains those who protest for peace and congressional democrats and those nations in the world who aren't behind the United States--it is they who are causing the war. Yep. That's right. You see if everybody in America, and all the Democrats, and all the Nations of the Earth stood opposed to Saddam Hussein, he'd immediately flee or accept exile. But when he sees protests in the United States, or France and Germany saying that this war is not neccessary, he thinks he can take a stand and US resolve will fade away.

Of course that would apply any time the United States decided it wanted to invade anybody. We should always let President Bush invade whoever he wants, because it's the only way to avoid war.

When Commentators Attack

Ok, so here's the first paragraph of Kathleen Parker's latest article about SUV's. "Honestly, if I didn't already own an SUV, I'd go out and buy one. While I'm at it, I might grab a Big Mac and fries, shoot a deer and run over a war protester."

So here's a simple question for those of you playing along at home, don't these two setences kind of imply Ms. Parker's already ran over a war protester? I could be wrong.

Later on, Ms. Parker comments that Marijuana may not be much help to Terrorists. "There's probably more marijuana being grown between Tallahassee and Thomasville than seeps across our national borders." Well, good for the local economy I guess.


Well, Debra Saunders is mad at Hollywood for failing to recognize the brilliance of the movie "Signs." As she says, ""Signs" is about real American beauty, the inner souls of regular folk. There's no preaching down to middle America. Instead, there is a real preacher. His name is Graham Hess (played by Mel Gibson), a Pennsylvania corn farmer/minister who loses his faith after his wife is killed in a freak accident -- and is sunk in despair be cause God is no longer in his life."

But rather than stay down in the dumps, Ms. Saudners offers several helpful hints for M. Night Shyamalan in his future search for an oscar.

1) First of all, the main charectar should end the story by discovering his or her sexuailty. Ms. Saunders suggests "gay, other wise, or why bother."

2) As an alternative, Mr. Shyamalan might have the main charectar sell his farm "in order to dedicate him self to a fight against bio-engineered corn."

3) You might borrow more from other alien invasion movies, such as Independence Day. Yes, Ms. Saunders suggests, the key to future Oscar victories: being more like Independence Day.

4) Preach to your audience, tell them what they should think. After all look at Erin Bockovich and Traffic, two big preachy movies that won Oscar Nominations (and then lost out to Gladiator).

On a side note I'm nominating This is Spinal Tap for the eighteenth year in row, because, once again, all the movies made this year sucked.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Shuttle Tragedy

Well, I haven't written in a couple of days. First of all I didn't have anything to write about, and then I had the Shuttle tragedy. I lived for several years on the Space Coast of Florida (the bit of Florida where most of the space industry is), and talking to friends who live there, it's going to be very tough for that area for a while. Because apparently in America when you fall off a horse, rather than get back on, you pawn the saddle.

Mankind is meant to be explorers and discoverers. For the 19th and 20th century America largely led the road to new scientific and technological innovation (with a number of other peoples, of course). If America turns away from the road of discovery, well eventually someone else will pick it up eventually.

I'm also familiar with the whole "Why don't we take that money and give it to schools" argument. That's nonsense. Nobody goes hungry because we invest in space travel. There are inventions and discoverys that we will find if we continue our investment.

Anyway i'll pick back up tomorrow--and I changed the quote at the top.