Paul Smith Jr has a new home for his blog: www.gazizza.net. Click to go there now!
Saturday, July 17, 2004
Selig Must Go!
Excellent article highlighting the weaknesses and moral "ambiguities" of the Selig as Commissioner era.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Novak Rips Joe Wilson
The Way It Is
The normally mild Pat Roberts is harsh in his condemnation: "Time and again, Joe Wilson told anyone who would listen that the President had lied to the American people, that the Vice President had lied, and that he had 'debunked' the claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa . . . [N]ot only did he NOT 'debunk' the claim, he actually gave some intelligence analysts even more reason to believe that it may be true." Roberts called it "important" for the Intelligence Committee to declare much of what Wilson said "had no basis in fact." In response, Democrats were silent.
That paragraph says all you need to about whether "The President lied."
Tell me about it
"Don't get me wrong: A little quality is just fine in a nominee before the U.S. Senate, but not too much. Then the nominee becomes, yes, controversial. The same goes for religion. It's just fine if the nominee has one, but not if he really believes all that stuff -- or, even worse, acts on his beliefs. Especially when they concern a controversial issue, such as abortion. Ooo-wee! Then there's a problem. Your standard, upwardly mobile politician is all for principles in principle, but to act on them -- well, that might prove dangerous to his electoral health. Religion is fine in its ceremonial place, but if taken too seriously, it could interfere with what's really sacred to some politicians: re-election." --Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial page editor Paul Greenberg, writing on the U.S. Senate's 51-46 confirmation of Leon Holmes to the federal district court in Arkansas.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Another Great Impromptu's column from Jay Nordlinger
"Better faithful than famous. Honor before prominence." --Teddy Roosevelt
"If the president is embarrassed to be seen with conservatives at the [Republican] convention, maybe conservatives will be embarrassed to be seen with the president on Election Day." -- Paul Weyrich
"[I]f intelligence mistakes are inevitable, is it better to worry too much about potential threats or to worry too little? Worrying too much -- if that's what happened -- resulted in the toppling of one of the planet's most murderous tyrants. Worrying too little resulted in 9/11." --Jeff Jacoby
"If the American administration changes in November, it will be catastrophic, because those Democrats do not understand a thing about foreign policy...." --Sheik Saud Al Nasser Al Sabah, Kuwait's ambassador to the U.S. when Bush 41 was in office
"John Kerry probably lost untold numbers of votes when he announced he and his new running mate John Edwards have 'better hair' than their opponents... If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a vain man.... America needs a manly President and vice president, not two metrosexuals." --Bernadette Malone
"Have you been following the trial of Saddam Hussein? In an angry bitter tone, Saddam Hussein claimed he is the real president of his country and denounced George W. Bush as nothing more than a criminal. No, I'm sorry, that was Al Gore." -- Jay Leno
A lot of great nuggets in this one.
I said to a lady the other day that my favorite U.S. senator had been Lauch Faircloth, and she was surprised (not to say taken aback). Faircloth, recall, was the North Carolina hog farmer who was elected in 1992 — then beaten in 1998 by John Edwards (and beaten barely).
Why was Faircloth my favorite? Maybe because he was the only one up there who seemed really to care about Washington, D.C., and particularly its poor blacks (the bulk of the city). He drew the unfortunate assignment of being head of the D.C. subcommittee. Most senators dread and avoid this sort of thing, considering it thankless (which it is). But Faircloth took the work seriously, wanting the District to have a decent administration, and wanting poor black kids, in particular, to have an out from failing and — worse — violent schools.
For his trouble, he was tagged as a racist, and black left-wing activists went down to North Carolina to harass and campaign against him. He lost. But if he lost because of that — he lost most, most honorably.
I said that Faircloth was my favorite senator. But how could I say that when there is Phil Gramm to consider?
"One of," I should have said.
In support of Lauch, (although I love Phil Gramm and still
think he should have been the GOP nominee in 1996 for President, he wouldn't have won, but it would have been more fun) he sometimes referred to Jesse Helms as "North Carolina's liberal senator" while he was in the US Senate. How can you not
love the guy?
About the fence — I mean, The Fence — I and others have said so much, I'm afraid my fingers can't type. Let me just confine myself to the cheeky, and probably sophomoric, remark that if the "International Court of Justice" — revolting name — is foursquare against it, it must be right.
Also, let me quote the heroically sane response of Ehud Olmert, deputy prime minister of Israel: "The fence is unpleasant, but, believe me, being attacked by a homicide bomber is much less pleasant. The fence may not be convenient, but it doesn't kill people."
Moreover, as someone pointed out — I can't remember who, perhaps Olmert himself — the fence is reversible, whereas the dead . . . stay dead.
The international community's opinion of Israel seems to be "How dare
they defend themselves?" What would, say, France, do if they were attacked by terrorists out to kill every last one of their citizens? Ok, bad example, France would surrender, but I think the point is still clear.
Another headline from the Sun: "USS Cole Attack Trial Opens." I shuddered when I read that headline: because it reminded me of the world we may go back to if Kerry and Edwards are elected. The terrorists hit us, we file suit.
At Renaissance Weekend recently, I was talking to a (liberal) law professor, and she said that the students were much more conservative than they used to be. "Oh?" I asked. "In what way are they conservative?" "Well, for one thing," replied my friend, "they don't show up stoned."
I loved that.
Also, "They roll their eyes when I go into one of my liberal spiels: 'There she goes again,' they seem to be saying."
I loved that, too!
More poison — this time from Donald Trump, the "fired" guy. About the Iraq war, he says, "To lose all of those thousands and thousands of people, on our side and their side . . . I mean, you have Iraqi kids, not only our soldiers, walking around with no legs, no arms, no faces. All for no reason."
Uh-huh. One of the reasons: No more mass graves, no more torture chambers, no more "rape rooms," no more children's prisons (really), no more cutting out of tongues for dissent, no more putting men into plastic shredders, feet first, so that the killers could hear more screaming, no more . . .
Continues Trump, "No matter how much you hate Saddam Hussein, and obviously he was a horror show, he kept terrorists out of Iraq."
Oh? I recall that he sheltered Abu Abbas, the Achille Lauro terror master. And Abu Nidal (does he need an introduction?). And "a host of others," as they say in golf commentary (trust me).
The Dallas Morning News went on to report that Trump complained about the war's effect on his projects, which involve the erection of large buildings: "You can't get concrete" and "you can't get steel," because "it's going to Iraq, because we're rebuilding Iraq."
Good: Better a rebuilt Iraq — and a world free from Saddam Hussein's threats and actions — than one more Trump Tower.
And I'll close with one last slam on the French:
And I'd say Happy Bastille Day, dear hearts — if I believed that Bastille Day were something to be happy about, given that the French Revolution, arguably, led to Lenin and that horrible 20th century, and . . .
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
US in talks with Poland over biggest missile defence site in Europe
Court: Fans May Sue Over Foul Balls
Poland's quickly becoming one of our staunchest allies. It makes a certain amount of sense. They're on the short list of nations that have been most mistreated over the centuries. (Who can forget the partitions of Poland or the way they were dominated by the Soviets and much of their land taken from them post-WWII?) They know what it's like to be oppressed and dominated, which leads to two goals:
1) A desire to avoid appression again, and
2) A desire to help those being oppressed
It's why they're in Iraq. Saddam was doing to Iraqis what the USSR was doing to the Poles and hundreds of millions of others.
It's also why they're eager to host one of our missile defense sites. They're still afraid of Russia and any war will Russia will involve missiles, obviously. Seeing America as a nation string enough to defend them and one who does not wish to lord over other nations makes it natural for them to wish to ally themselves with us.
And this sort of attitude is common around "New Europe," as Rumsfeld once called them. We may have lost France as an ally (if we ever really had them), but we may actually be better off now.
City refuses to accept money from county for Cops
You're at a baseball game, and you don't know you can get hit by a foul ball? I find it hard to blame the team.
Excellent Statement on Federal Marriage Amendment
The county government offered the City of Wilmington $10 million to help give raises to City police officers. This whole situation is becoming a mess.
Baker says the City can't afford to give the officers raises, but at the same time refuses to cut a dime of spending anywhere in the budget. The most fundamental and important responsibility of any government is the protection of its citizens. Police and fire service must be the City's first priority. Unfortunately, it looks like the Mayor has other priorities.
At the same time, I'm not sure I trust the county's motives in offering this money. I don't think Sherry ever offers anybody anything without expecting something in return.
And, the police officers are definitely wrong to have their sick-out
. Public servants should not have the right to strike since they are servants of the people.
The big villian in this, though, is Baker. If he were willing to make tough decisions in the less important areas of City government he'd be able to give officers the raises they deserve. This problem also wouldn't be so large if he had resolved this during the last three years. He needs to act like a Mayor.
By Senator Gordon Smith. H's a bit more liberal than I like my senators, but this is still a well-reasoned argument.
Monday, July 12, 2004
Why I'm voting for Bush
Adult Children Speak Out About Same-Sex Parents
This will probably repeat some statements I've made in the past on this blog, but it was brought up again while talking to a friend of mine and I figured I'd put my thoughts in order and hopefully get her to understand it.
Why I don't like Bush
(Man, that could be interpreted in an obscene manner...)
Anyway, there's quite a bit for a conservative not to like about his policies:
Reasons to like Bush
- Not fighting for Senate confirmation of judges
- His illegal alien amnesty program
- Doubling funding for the National Endowment for the arts
- His huge increases in discretionary spending
- Making prescription drugs an entitlement
- Given the opportunity, he always chooses the liberal/moderate Republican candidate over the conservative
- Choosing Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey (I know it's the same as the above item, but it's so egregious, it deserves a listing of its own.)
- His Wilsonian belief in spreading democracy
- He signed McCain-Feingold which violates the 1st Amendment
- No Child Left Behind, reviled by liberals even though it's exactly what they want other than it includes accountability
- I'm sure there's more I'm just not thinking of
(Same comment as above...)
- He understands that we are at war with terrorists
- Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts
- He's been great on abortion and other life issues: renewing the Mexico City policy, and more pro-life stuff that I can't remember right now. Plus he pushes abstinence over condom use as a means of fighting AIDS. That in particular has really impressed me. And he's been holding firm against government funding for fetal stem cell research against much opposition even within his own party.
- His willingness to tell the UN to stuff it when they're wrong
- A general willingness to go against the elite opinion
- His obvious faith in God
- The Patriot Act-For all the complaints about it, it does exactly what we need: allow us to find terrorists while protecting the rights of the innocent
Now, looking at the other option...
Reasons to like Kerry
- He opposes the death penalty (except when he votes for it)
I'm out of reasons, seriously. As the most liberal Senator, there's not much to like.
Reasons to dislike Kerry
Why not a third party?
- Rabidly pro-abortion
- He thinks the war on terrorism is a law enforcement issue
- Called himself "conservative"
- Claims he believes life begins at conception and that he would have voted for the Partial-Birth abortion act except that it would have allowed the Republicans to score political points. Then says he vote his conscience even though by his own admission, he violates it if obeying it would aid Republicans
- What is his position on Iraq?
- He's liberal by the standards of Massachusetts
- He wants to raise taxes
- Quick, name one problem that he wouldn't solve through more government
- His claims to be a good Catholic while outright defying infallible Church teachings
- Again, there's more but won't bother listing them all
I have voted for a third party in the past rather than vote for an unacceptable Presidential candidate. With everything going on in the world, I believe this is an election that will set the country's (and maybe the world's) course for the foreseeable future. Abstaining or "throwing away" my vote doesn't seem to be a valid option this time.
When choosing who to vote for, it's wrong to just make a list of pluses and minuses. It's oversimplistic and ignores the simple fact that some issues are much more important than others.
So what are the important issues this time?
Abortion is always the most important issue in an election. A society that does not respect the right to life of its people is a sick and depraved society. As a Catholic, voting for a pro-abortion candidate when there is an alternative is not acceptable. So, Kerry is not an option.
The other great issue of our time the the war on terrorism. Bush, while flawed on the issue, at least recognizes that we're at war and that we need to defend ourselves and Americans abroad. And, while we're at it, we're even defending the citizens of those nations who oppose in this war. (We're even helping French citizens as much they apparently wish to be vulnerable to terrorism.) The war in its whole is a positive thing, or at least as much as war can ever be positive. (While war is always a defeat for humanity, as the Pope says, don't forget that we were drawn into this war. We didn't start it, but we need to finish it.)
So, as much as I'm reluctantly voting for Bush, I do it with the firm conviction that I'm doing the right thing.
Federal Marriage Amendment
"When growing up, I always had the feeling of being something unnatural. I came out of an unnatural relationship; it was something like I shouldn't be there. On a daily basis, it was something I was conflicted with."
I sent the following letter to Senators Biden and Carper.
I wrote to you before and you wrote back that you support the Defense of Marriage Act and believe that it is a sufficient safeguard against the spread of same-sex "marriage". I agree with you that it should be sufficient. However, given this Supreme Court's history of legislating from the bench, I can't believe the Supreme Court will agree with us.
To look at their recent history, their decision in the Roemer case to overturn an amendment to the Colorado state constitution because it was clearly guided by an "animus" against homosexuals shows a tendency to let their political philosophy guide their decisions, rather than the law and the Constitution. Similarly, their decision to declare sodomy laws unconstitutional was a gross exceeding of their powers. (I oppose sodomy laws, but this should have been handled through the legislative branch, rather than the judicial process.)
One thing is clear: we will either have an amendment to the national constitution outlawing same-sex "marriage" or the Supreme Court will find a reason to impose it on us. Your stated position is correct in principle; however, it will fail in practice. I urge you to support the Federal Marriage Amendment.