Saturday, December 20, 2003

I almost fainted when I read this from the NY Times Op/Ed page (requires registration):

Over the past five years, by turning over two suspects for trial, acknowledging its complicity in the Lockerbie bombing and paying compensation to victims' families, Libya finally managed to persuade the United Nations Security Council to lift the international sanctions that had shadowed its economy and its international reputation for more than a decade. Those sanctions were lifted in September. This page recommended lifting American sanctions as well, but President Bush left them in place pending further steps, most notably Libya's decision to end its unconventional weapons programs. It is now clear that he was right to do so. The added American pressure worked just as intended.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

Unfortunately the so called fiscal conservatives that were elected over the last few years have largely accepted the concept of big government as inevitable. Their strategy seems to be that if we must have big government, let's make sure the money is going to our people instead of their people. This to my mind is no better than the Democrats controlling everything and smothering us with entitlements and welfare programs. A lot of voters really got played in the recent elections, thinking that they were voting for people who would actually live up to the idea of being conservative. The fact that the Republicans have the amount of control that they do and have squandered the opportunity to shrink our hideously bloated government is nothing short of appalling. We should not be kind in the next elections to the big government conservatives who have deceived us.

While I consider the current wave of conservatism in the US to be on the whole a positive thing, this spending spree mentality is very troubling. I think the conservative revolution needs to be immediately followed by the federalist revolution, where we once and for all get the country back on the course that the founding fathers intended. Even the gridlock of the '90's, where no party controlled both the legislature and the presidency, is preferable to our current situation from a spending perspective. While it may seem that nothing gets done in a divided government, it's a lot harder to pass the kind of spending bills that the Republicans currently are.

Let's hope the conservative voters of America wake up and smell the coffee before our current welfare system is replaced with a welfare system for Republican special interests.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

This is weak.
This is criminal. I do not see one thing here that the federal government should be concerning itself with. These examples are a minute fraction of the entire 1,448 page, $820 billion bill. What the hell happened to fiscal conservatives? Aren't the Republicans in charge of congress these days?

While I don't expect this latest embarrassment from the 9th Circuit Court to hold up, it illustrates what I believe to be a fundamental flaw in our governmental system; the fact that there is no short term remedy for the problem of judicial activism. Politicians can be voted out based on their performance, but the only way to affect real change among the members of the judicial branch is to achieve overwhelming and unrealistic majorities in the legislature and maintain them for a period of time sufficient enough to appoint better qualified judges as slots open up. The current democratic filibuster circus proves that even a majority can't get much done if the minority wants to be stubborn (or childish) enough. Of course, this "flaw" is what helps to keep the integrity of the judicial branch, as it keeps judges from being tied to a constituency, and it keeps the legislative majority from hijacking the courts, but it would be nice if there were some kind of judicial integrity check. Now that the left is relying more and more on the courts to push their agenda that would never pass muster with the American public, the problem is becoming an epidemic.

I don't claim to have an easy solution here, but I've read The Constitution, and it seems to me that the intentions of our founding fathers are far less nebulous and subject to interpretation as the 9th Circuit court would have us believe. Perhaps there is no solution, other than an increase in judicial integrity, which isn't something you can legislate. Surely, any system of government will fail if there is a sufficient lack of integrity among it's members. The 9th circuit court is doing its best to subvert the very document that they're charged to uphold, and in the process is putting us all in danger. Perhaps if they had lost a family member to terrorism they would be able to step back and see their petty agenda for what it is. I doubt it, though.

It looks as if the dreaded 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is at it again. In typical activist fashion they've just ruled that POWs now have recourse to the U.S. court system. Let's hope that this ruling, like many of their hare-brained rulings in the past, will be overturned on appeal.
The LOTR saga is an interesting allegory on current world events. It becomes more clear every day that America, and perhaps the entire world, is splitting between two groups. On one side are those who believe that there is evil in this world and that it needs to be confronted aggressively. On the other side are those who don't believe there is evil, those who think that we are equally evil or more evil than those who oppose us, and those that deep down know there is evil, but choose to ignore it because it either does not suit their political motives, or because they are afraid of the inevitable sacrifice and pain that would result from confronting evil. This last group, of course, is the most wretched of the bunch. While it can be frustrating to deal with someone who can look at the current state of the world and not see evil plainly before their eyes, I can still have a modicum of respect for them if they have arrived at their opinion with logic, no matter how ideologically tainted it may be. However, the person who sees evil for what it is and uses it as a means for political gain or develops a worldview whose main purpose is to rationalize his own fear and cowardice; these are the most dangerous people in the world. Certainly, their actions often seem benign on the surface and are commonly done in the name of peace, but their overall effect is to slowly rot the core of a nation from the inside to the point where once it becomes obvious what has been happening it is too late to correct the problem.

Like the Hobbits in LOTR (save for the main characters), the left is content living in their shire, ignorant or ambivalent of the evil that threatens the very way of life they cherish. The Hobbits are more suspicious of Gandalf, their powerful ally, than of any distant threat from another land. In Europe, the biggest shire in the world, many see the United States as a bigger threat to their way of life than Al Qaida. The situation there is so bad that it is difficult to imagine the European population caring enough about anything to actually put down their cigarrettes and take up arms.

If it can be said that anything good came from the attacks of 9/11, it is that these events woke us from the same dream that the Europeans are living in. Like the struggle in LOTR, what's at stake here is far more important than personal emotions or temporary political advantage. What's at stake here is, quite simply, everything.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

This is the part of the reporting of the UN meeting that made me nuts:

(Kofi Annan speaking)
"Now is not the time to pin blame and point fingers," he told reporters. Saying that Mr. Zebari was "obviously entitled to his opinion," Mr. Annan said that the United Nations had done as much for Iraq as it could under the circumstances and was prepared to do more.
"Quite honestly," he said, "now is not the time to hurl accusations and counter-accusations."

What the heck is that? First of all Kofi, I don't hear you having any counter-accusations to "hurl" at the Iraqis. That's a novel defense, trying to but blame on someone for pointing out facts and then calling it their "opinion", did they teach you that at the Clinton school of debating?
And most of all, if the highlighted section above isn't a complete disaster, I don't know what is? If you have done as much as you possibly have been able to for someone, then how can you be prepared to do more? Which is it Mr. Annan?
Well, the new installment of LOTR is here, and as most of us eagerly await the passing of the opening week crowds, read this interview, from NRO.

At least one of the cast seems to get the point of what they just acted.
Reason 3,704 Wes "The Lion of Kosovo" Clark should not become president: The man never blinks. He's like some cheesy B-rated horror movie automaton.
The UN gets it from the Iraqi foreign minister. Kofi Annan comes off as impotent as ever in this piece. Here's a great quote from the ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere of France:

"I don't want to comment on the past."

Yeah, I wouldn't either after taking 12 years to think about it and still leaving the Iraqi people twisting in the wind. If I were the French, the Russians, or the Germans, I'd be organizing a hit on Hussein right now before he spills the beans and reveals their treachery.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

This is a beautiful thing. The slow motion train wreck that is the European Union moves one step closer to catastrophe. It makes it so easy to win arguments with lefties when there is such a shining example of the folly of Socialism just across the Atlantic. Pass the popcorn, this is going to be good.
Orson Scott Card, a science fiction writer and Democrat, puts forth a very balanced and well thought out criticism of the current Democratic position on the war on terror. While I'm not sure how he can have these opinions and still be a Democrat, I hope there are many more Democrats out there like him. I was beginning to think they had abandoned common sense altogether.

Monday, December 15, 2003

It is rather interesting that the people who didn't want anything to do with Iraq now want the U.N. (which also didn't want anything to do with solving the Iraqi situation) involved in the prosecution of Saddam Hussein. If we shouldn't have been there in the first place, and our actions were illegal, why should he be tried at all? I also saw a comment on NRO's Corner that on Pacifica Radio this morning one of the points of debate was whether U.S. corporations and the U.S. should go on trial alongside Saddam. Clowns.
What about Iraqi legitimacy?
Clark, what a joke!
It's not an easy time to be a Democratic strategist. Every time they seem to gather some steam with their criticisms of the Bush administration, a funny thing happens: The very plans and strategies (or lack thereof) that they use as the foundation for their arguments actually end up working. The capture of Saddam Hussein is yet another blow to the quagmire crowd, who have seen most of their 2004 election issues vaporize before their eyes. The two front running democratic contenders, Howard Dean and John Kerry, have had their criticism of Bush's Iraq strategy whittled down to whimpering that we need to get more international involvement in the Iraq effort. Here's part of Dean's response to the capture of Hussein:

"This development provides an enormous opportunity to set a new course and take the American label off the war. We must do everything possible to bring the UN, NATO, and other members of the international community back into this effort."

This highlights one of the great hypocrisies of the left's worldview: that an unjust action (or inaction, as is usually the case) becomes just if sanctioned by the UN. Dean, who was and is in full opposition to the liberation of Iraq, seems to imply here that the Iraq operation can somehow be given legitimacy by inviting the UN and NATO to help out. Please. If you're against the liberation, you're against the liberation, and it should not matter what the Europeans or anyone else thinks. Of course, Dean knows that denouncing the Iraq liberation now would be politically suicidal, so his goal is to put a pretty international face on an operation that he has opposed from the outset (apparently Dean doesn't consider a 60 nation coalition to be international enough.) I can just see President Dean on hold with the UN waiting for approval to act after the attacks of 9/11...

The one Democrat that comes out of this smelling like a rose is Joe Lieberman. After getting back stabbed by Al Gore, suddenly he's on the right side of the issue of the day while the front running candidates are all running their spin cycles overtime. This of course is fine with me, as I am not among those who are praying for a Dean vs Bush election for the simple fact that however unlikely it may be, Dean could win. I've got plenty of problems with Joe Lieberman, but he's nowhere near the nightmare that Dean or Kerry would be, and seems to have some common sense about national security. Here's to hoping that he figures out how to campaign before it's too late.
The wisdom of presidential hopeful Wes "The Lion of Kosovo" Clark:

"I would like to see him(Saddam) tried in The Hague, and I'll tell you why. I think it's very important for U.S. legitimacy and for building other support in the war on terror for trying them in The Hague, under international law with an international group of justices, bringing witnesses from other nations."
Emphasis added.

No, our legitimacy is that we're in Iraq and Saddam is in prison. What a jerk.

Sunday, December 14, 2003