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Saturday, May 14, 2005

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today
Voinovich called Bolton "the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be." He said Bolton would be fired if he was in the private sector.
How the heck would Voinovich know? The résumé on his Senate Web site lists no private-sector jobs and a string of government positions beginning with the Ohio House in 1967 and lasting through the present, continuous except for a two-year gap between 1988 and 1990 (during part of which time he was campaigning for the Ohio governorship). There is a six-year gap between his graduation from law school (1961) and his taking a seat in the Ohio House, so perhaps he practiced law or some other occupation for a time 40 or more years ago--though his official congressional bio shows that he was an assistant attorney general in 1963.

And of course as an elected official rather than a civil servant, he is guaranteed a job until his term ends, in January 2011. Which perhaps explains why he has engaged in behavior that would be unacceptable in the private sector--to wit, missing a series of important meetings, then finally showing up and demanding that business be brought to a halt until he can get up to speed.
Voicovich is an embarassment to Ohio and the Senate. Unfortunately, both are stuck with him until 2011. Let's hope hope Ohio voters do the right thing the next time he's up for election.

Tomas Perez
Ok, I live with the fact the overpay this guy for his production because he's apparently a great clubhouse presence. I'm not really thrilled about, but I look the other way. But, him ever starting a game at first base is just crazy and should be considered grounds for dismissal.

Not only that, but now he also is apparently the second catcher while Liberthal is injured. As I mentioned here, this is just poor planning by Ed Wade that we're in a situation where Perez will be in the game is something happens to Pratt.

Fire Ed Wade!!

Friday, May 13, 2005

War in Iraq looks like last stand for al Qaeda - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - May 11, 2005
"If they fail in Iraq, Osama and his whole crew are finished," said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, a military author and analyst.

Victor Davis Hanson on World War II on National Review Online
There is a pattern here. Western elites — the beneficiaries of 60 years of peace and prosperity achieved by the sacrifices to defeat fascism and Communism — are unhappy in their late middle age, and show little gratitude for, or any idea about, what gave them such latitude. If they cannot find perfection in history, they see no good at all. So leisured American academics tell us that Iwo Jima was unnecessary, if not a racist campaign, that Hiroshima had little military value but instead was a strategic ploy to impress Stalin, and that the GI was racist, undisciplined, and reliant only on money and material largess.

There are two disturbing things about the current revisionism that transcend the human need to question orthodoxy. The first is the sheer hypocrisy of it all. Whatever mistakes and lapses committed by the Allies, they pale in comparison to the savagery of the Axis or the Communists. Post-facto critics never tell us what they would have done instead — lay off the German cities and send more ground troops into a pristine Third Reich; don’t bomb, but invade, an untouched Japan in 1946; keep out of WWII entirely; or in its aftermath invade the Soviet Union?

Lost also is any sense of small gratitude. A West German intellectual like Grass does not inform us that he was always free to migrate to East Germany to live in socialist splendor rather than remain unhappy in capitalist “subservience” in an American-protected West Germany — or that some readers of the New York Times who opposed Hitler might not enjoy lectures about their moral failings from someone who once fought for him. Such revisionists never ask whether they could have written so freely in the Third Reich, Tojo’s Japan, Mussolini’s Italy, Soviet Russia, Communist Eastern Europe — or today in such egalitarian utopias as China, Cuba, or Venezuela.
If there were any justice in the world, we would have the ability to transport our most severe critics across time and space to plop them down on Omaha Beach or put them in an overloaded B-29 taking off from Tinian, with the crew on amphetamines to keep awake for their 15-hour mission over Tokyo.

But alas, we cannot. Instead, the beneficiaries of those who sacrificed now ankle-bite their dead betters. Even more strangely, they have somehow convinced us that in their politically-correct hindsight, they could have done much better in World War II.

Yet from every indication of their own behavior over the last 30 years, we suspect that the generation who came of age in the 1960s would have not just have done far worse but failed entirely.

Today's News-Journal
Front-page headline:
Key Republican leaves Sen. Biden "Speechless"
If only....
From the article on the Anti-illegal alien ordinance in Elsmere:
But now there's no reason for Latinos or others to worry when going through Elsmere, said Cesareo Atlatenco, a Mexican immigrant who said he attended the meeting because of the fear the proposal had caused.

"I am happy and I know that in Elsmere, color or race doesn't matter," he said.
Neither apparently does criminal status. Which is the point those against this law are overlooking. Illegal aliens are just that: illegal. Our immigration system has many flaws, I readily grant that, but a flawed system does not excuse disobeying the law.

Hube (who I've been remiss in not adding to my links, now rectified) has good points to make about this as well.
Phillies believe in this team

I can't for the life of me imagine why.
The Phillies know what the problems are with a team that hasn't hit this season. And they agree on how to go about fixing those problems: by continuing to believe in their players.
Also known as sticking your head in the sand. Let's see, they're old, injury-prone and many of them aren't that good even when healthy. Yeah, they'll get better. Bobby Abreu is the only reason to watch this team right now. (I'd include Ryan Howard and Marlon Byrd, but it's crazy to expect them to play.)
Wade called the possibility of benching some under-achieving players like David Bell or Mike Lieberthal "shortsighted." Lieberthal, by the way, is two at-bats away from vesting a $7.5 million option for next season.

Wade called it a "fait accompli," adding that he hopes Lieberthal achieves it because "he's our No. 1 catcher, and we'd be in dire straits if he doesn't get those at-bats."
We'll be in dire straits if he does get those at-bats. Lieberthal's done. Stick a fork in him. The only reason Wade has a point is that they failed to get adequate depth at the catcher's position. Catchers get injured. Old players get injured. Old players decline in ability. Both Todd Pratt and Mike Lieberthal are old and both are catchers. What are they going to do, boys and girls? Get old and decline. We have no one in the minors ready to step in. And that is the fault of Ed Wade.
And finally...
Headline from the "Life" Section: "Bra bestows a 'surgically enhanced' look - really!"

Granted, I'm not exactly up on breast enhancement, but I thought the trend was to make "surgically ehanced" breasts look natural? Why would a woman want her breasts to look fake? Bigger, I can understand, but fake?

The Lessons of America - An editor is deposed
The magazine America underwent a similar transformation. Where it formerly defended the church's doctrines and policies with unblushing tenacity, it came to prefer dissent. During Father Reese's tenure, it implicitly took issue with the church on matters such as same-sex marriage, fetal stem-cell research and a Vatican declaration five years ago underscoring the unique redemptive role of Christ and the Catholic Church. America didn't say flatly that the church was wrong about such things, but in one way or another suggested as much, giving space over to critical views.
Such an editorial policy may sound perfectly proper--even laudable, in keeping with the spirit of a free press. But America isn't like most other magazines. Catholic priests are public officials of the church, with a duty to reflect its teachings and policies in word and deed. This duty may seem archaic now, after several decades in which numerous clerics and others affiliated with the church have routinely questioned the magisterium of the pope and bishops. Yet the traditional model remains the norm.

Thus editing a religious magazine is, for a priest, analogous to preaching a homily. Catholics rightly expect to hear their church's teaching expounded from the pulpit, and they have the same right to find it upheld in the pages of a Catholic journal edited by clerics and published by a religious order. Parallels are easy to find in other fields. Junior officers do not have the right to lecture the troops on the folly of the strategy and tactics devised by senior officers. Diplomats are not free to criticize their governments' policies before their foreign counterparts. And public officials of the church have no right to undermine its authoritative doctrine and policy in the eyes of the Catholic people.

That doesn't mean marching in lockstep. Differences in approach and emphasis are welcomed, and there is ample room for spirited debate over truly open questions, such as the conditions under which capital punishment is allowable. But the fundamental obligation, for the editors of America and other such publications, is to represent the church faithfully and to convey its teachings loyally.

Catholic World News : Beatification process opens for John Paul II
Sancto subito!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

He Won't Win Any Popularity Contests
At Bolton’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, John Kerry is speculating on just how offended the United Nations would be if John Bolton wins confirmation.
Again, this is meant as an argument against Bolton, but just makes me support him even more.

George Will: A man who has mattered
Interesting profile on Paul Wolfowitz, who hates being called "Wilsonian."

Robert Novak: John Bolton's defender
The anti-Bolton campaign is about far more than the nominee's sometimes prickly personality. Senate Democrats, with clandestine support from State Department and CIA careerists, wage war on foes of normalizing relations with Castro's Cuba. Uncomprehending Republicans are passive.

www.delawareonline.com | The News Journal | Elsmere residency ordinance to draw a crowd
He believes the costs of accidents, health care and education are passed on to tax-paying and insured residents.
This is indisputably true, in light of the recent decision by the federal government to pay bills run up at hospitals by illegal immigrants.
Many Hispanic residents, legal and undocumented, have said their community is reeling with fear. Friends and relatives hide in their homes for fear that they'll be stopped on the street.
Fear? If you're not breaking the law, you have nothing to fear.

There's certinaly a right to migrate to a new nation, but that is not an absolute right. As flawed as our immigration system may be, there is still a duty on potential immigrants to respect our laws.

www.delawareonline.com | The News Journal | Council says tax hike is a deal killer
Who would have I thought that I'd be complimenting Wilmington's City Council? (I complimented Paul Bartkowski many times when he was on it, but rarely the Council as a whole.) But good for Council to stand to another large tax increase by the Mayor. (This is three by Baker, after three or four by Sills. I do wish they'd shown this backbone 10 years ago.)
The council would like the Baker administration to cut spending by eliminating some of the vacant positions in the budget and to increase revenue by hiring more people to write parking tickets, council President Ted Blunt said.
These are both good ideas: cut positions through attrition, so no one actually gets fired and raise revenue from people breaking the law, rather than law-abiding citizens. Nice to see Blunt former Republican Party membership coming back to him after many years in the wilderness.
But [Trolley Square resident Travis Laster] also said the council should examine it's own spending, including the nearly $600,000 that is budgeted for running the city-owned TV station.
Exactly. I've said it and I'm sure I'll say it many times again in the future: There is no reason for the City of Wilmington to have it's own TV station.I'm glad to see the need to cut spending is finally dawning on City government. Let's hope they take advantage fo this opportunity to rethink what the government does. Wilmington needs to remember the government's primary responsbility is public safety: fire, police, water/sewer, and the cleanliness of the streets. Spending should be focused on these areas. Anything else is gravy. If we're out of money after fulfilling those responsibilities, then we're out of money.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

What Is a “Conservative”? - We’re comfortable with contradiction
Excellent summary of what it does and doesn't mean to be a conservative by Jonah Goldberg.

The Mother of the Son: The Case for Marian Devotion
Great article by Mark Shea, a convert to Catholicism from Evangelicalism.

"The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes." --Aristotle

"Real politics are the possession and distribution of power." --Benjamin Disraeli

"No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session." --Gideon Tucker

"Nothing more separates Judeo-Christian values from secular values than the question of whether morality -- what is good or evil -- is absolute or relative. In other words, is there an objective right or wrong, or is right or wrong a matter of personal opinion?" --Dennis Prager

"All the world over, politicians and pundits are applauding Sharon's coming retreat. Yet a simple [Palestinian] lettuce-packer...seems to grasp what so many of them cannot: The lives of Gaza's Arabs will not be improved by expelling Gaza's Jews." --Jeff Jacoby

"North Korea finished preparations for the detonation of its first atomic bomb Friday by building a reviewing stand to watch the blast. Are they insane? Baby Boomers don't have the sense God gave a goose and even we knew to get under the desk." --Argus Hamilton

"A day after Senator 'Uriah' Reid brands the president a 'loser' and then apologizes, a week after Senator Ken Salazar labels Focus on the Family as the anti-Christ and then apologizes, and a month after Senator Robert Byrd brands the Senate GOP as Hitler's heirs, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) appeals to President Bush to bring moderation to the Republican side of the debate on the filibusters. Now that is rich. Wildly amusing and ineffective, but rich." --Hugh Hewitt

Jay Leno.... Happy Cinco de Mayo everybody! This is a holiday celebrated by over 10 million Mexicans -- and that's just here in L.A.! .... Do you know what Cinco de Mayo means? It means "We outnumber you five to one." .... Washington says they want to launch of a ten-year initiative to reverse childhood obesity. It's called, "Leave No Child's Fat Behind, Behind."

Jonah Goldberg: Why shouldn't we apologize for Yalta?
Jonah does a good job commenting on the mistakes we made at Yalta.

But this gives me the opportunity to discuss something about Bush's apologies for our actions after World War II that I think it being missed. People questioned the necessity of it and wondered what he was doing, and why he was risking upsetting Russia? I think there were very good reasons for what he did. Putin over the past few years has been consolidating his power, denying freedom of the press and other actions that are steps towards a dictatorship. He's also made comments about how the breakup of the Soviet Union was a bad thing. This was Bush declaring both to Russia and to the former Soviet states that we know we were wrong to acquiesce to Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and that we won't allow it to happen again.

Bush is drawing a line in the sand warning the Russians not to try to reinstitute their old Empire and promising their former vassal states that this time, we'll do the right thing and defend their freedom.

Walter E. Williams: How not to be poor
Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior.

An amusing poem on the self-contradictory arguments made by a liberal think tank against Social Security reform.

Monday, May 09, 2005

"The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it." --James Madison

"No man or woman of any faith or of no faith can truly love, truly serve, truly persevere, truly dare mighty deeds, truly hope for the future or truly honor the past, without a humble heart. So it is for humility, then, that, on behalf of the legislative branch -- both houses, both parties -- I ask for your prayers today. Because the only way we can serve well is to serve humbly, as servants both to God and our nation." --House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

"Here's my question for you: What are we to make of people who preach pessimism and doom to people -- telling them that they're poor because others are rich or telling blacks that they'll never make it because of societal racism? What are we to make of politicians, media pundits and college professors who preach the politics of envy -- telling people lies that the rich became rich off the backs of the poor? I grew up poor in a housing project in North Philadelphia, and those weren't the lessons prevalent a half-century ago. My mother used to preach that 'We have a beer pocketbook but champagne tastes.' And my stepfather used to admonish, 'If you want to make it in this world, you have to come early and stay late.' Those messages are far more beneficial to a poor person than those of victimhood and pity. Personally, I like evangelical minister Reverend Ike's response when asked what should we do about the poor. He said, 'The best thing you can do for the poor is not become one'." --Walter Williams

"Today the Democrats are the party of reactionary liberalism. Republicans are the true progressives. ... The Democrats and Republicans switched roles while no one was looking. ... Democrats are the Stand Still party. They adore the status quo. Conservatives won't settle for the status quo. They want this nation to champion justice, humanity, democracy. Democrats want America to tip-toe around the globe minding its own business, upsetting no one, venerating the Earth, etc. Why did Democrats leap to label Afghanistan and Iraq 'new Vietnams'? Vietnam was 30-plus years ago! But for Democrats it is always 1974. Things change -- but Democrats don't." --David Gelernter

"Republican irony rarely befits conservative ends. Richard Nixon went to China and detente followed. George H.W. Bush raised taxes and lost an election. George W. Bush pushed a $17 trillion dollar prescription-drug entitlement that mimicked Lyndon Johnson's expansions of the welfare state. Congressional Republicans are playing the irony card again by proposing to 'reform' campaign finance by eliminating 527 groups. The irony is undeniable. Until the enactment of McCain-Feingold in 2002, Republicans opposed restrictions on campaign finance. In part they did so for partisan reasons; they expected regulations would favor the Democrats and harm the Republican Party. That's not surprising. After all, the Democrats supported 'reform' for the same reason. For all the talk about corruption, the politics of campaign-finance regulation looked a lot like politics in general. Principles followed partisan interests. Sometime in the 1990s this familiar story began to change. Led by Sen. Mitch McConnell, congressional Republicans started arguing that campaign-finance restrictions threatened freedom of speech. And they believed it. ... McCain-Feingold changed everything for both parties. About 20 percent of congressional Republicans ignored party leaders and voted to enact the law. Those Republicans largely represented Democrat districts. They were vulnerable to electoral defeat and welcomed the incumbent protections offered by McCain-Feingold. Many Republicans thus learned how campaign-finance restrictions could defend the Republican Party majority in Congress. ... The current effort to restrict 527s [groups not so restricted by McCain-Feingold incumbent protection] betrays Republican principles, especially their repeated commitment to limited, constitutional government. The Republican Party along with Democrats and everyone else are better off if citizens can spend what they like on political struggle. That's the American way, and once it was the Republican way. It should be so again." --John Samples

"Several sections of the Constitution expressly grant Congress the authority to tax and spend money to establish military forces to defend the nation against its enemies. Not one says anything about buying drugs for retired people. ... The president and many Republicans in Congress strongly advocate naming to the federal courts only judges who will be 'strict constructionists,' meaning they will apply the Constitution as it was written and ratified. But do they practice 'strict construction' themselves when it comes to creating and funding government programs? You can search the Constitution looking for a clause that gives Congress the discretion to create a Education Department, and you will have no more luck finding it than you would finding the clause that mandates a federal prescription drug benefit." --Terence Jeffrey

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