Friday, August 24, 2007

McIlheran is a Traitor

It's time Patrick McIlheran and the rest of his conservative ilk are arrested and charges of war crimes brought against them. This needs to be done because their support of the illegal conflict in Iraq and their efforts at dividing the populace are treasonous.

McIlheran claims the left is guilty for genocide in Vietnam. This is, of course, a lie. Using this lie, McIlheran ignores the illegality of having entered into the conflict in Iraq and who is to blame for it, and says that failure to continue this illegal conflict will be the fault of the left - the guilt of genocide he spouts - when in fact the guilt lies with this administration and those who have lied to the American populace.

Oh, did I say I'm pissed off, too? The reason for my anger is a blog post by McIlheran titled "You Want to Talk Vietnam?" As I stated above, he makes the dubious claim that it was the left's fault for the outcome in Vietnam and if we fail to follow through in Iraq, the same result will occur. What pisses me off is his history about the Vietnam conflict is so wrong. And, I'm pissed off because of his lame attempt to assuage his own guilt about supporting murder in Iraq by lying about Vietnam.

First of all, the anti-war movement was not merely a left-wing phenomenon. I remember family members who were decidely conservative who opposed the conflict. Surely there were others. By 1968, the furor over the war blossomed with the revelations of My Lai. Opposition to the war became a national concern. In fact, it was Richard Nixon's claims that he would bring about "Peace With Honor" that helped him win the presidency.

We now know this was a lie. Nixon lied and escalated the war. This seems to be a habit of conservatives. Their actions can't stand up to public scrutiny, so they lie. Mr. Disengenuous claims Cambodia was ceded to the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge by American withdrawal and the result was genocide. This is hogwash. It was the bombing of Cambodia in which over 2.5 million tons of bombs were dropped (more than were dropped by the Allies in WWII) and kept secret from the American people that spurred the rise of the Khmer Rouge along with an American-supported coup of Prince Sihanouk.

It is a fallacy that withdrawal of support of the ARVN (South Vietnamese army) caused it to fail in the field. The ARVN was never able to take on the North successfully. It was overun with graft and badly-led troops. It's performance was not improving and a prolonged effort by American forces would have made no difference.

The genocide that occurred was not brought on by American withdrawal, it was brought on by American arrogance. That's why McIlheran and the like are traitors to this country. It's his sort of misleading commentary that, 35+ years ago mislead enough good people to believe that 20 million gallons of herbicides dropped on South Vietnam (our ostensible ally) was a necessary thing to combat communism. It's his sort of commentary that supported the deaths of more than 5 million people, civilian and military.

It's the McIlheran's of the world who are responsible for most of the death and mayhem. They are responsible for every death in Iraq. They continue to lie about al-Qaeda and Iraq when the proof is that al-Qaeda came to Iraq to kill Americans. Not the other way around. They continue to spread the lies this administration so glibly perpetuates. I have no more use for them, even as sometime targets for fun.

McIlheran is right in one regard. This Iraq conflict does share similarities with the conflict in Vietnam. Innocents are being killed. So much for the beacon of light American democracy is supposed to be. So much for compassionate conservatism.

(Edited not for content, but so it might read better. I had a 7-month old in my arms for the initial draft.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Limpy Mouths Off Again

On the August 21 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh played audio clips from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) August 20 speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and labeled her position on Iraq "the 'no onions' strategy from the woman with the testicle lockbox." As Media Matters for America documented, Limbaugh has used the expression "testicle lockbox" on numerous occasions while discussing Clinton.

Interesting comment from the man who wishes he had some ... as well as his ditto herd.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No More Nanny State

I was speaking with my father-in-law the other day about the so called "nanny state." The discussion arose from an article I had been reading in the local newspaper about the proposal to make all bars and restaurants in Wisconsin smoke-free. I recalled there had been a number of blog posts by conservatives friends in which they take Governor Doyle to task unkindly and, in general, rant about excessive government oversight. My father-in-law is fairly conservative (but a real nice guy) so I asked him what his view was.

Well, my father-in-law admitted he was no fan of cigarette smoke either, but, you know, it is their (cigarette enthusiasts) choice and besides, what about all the bars that would go out of business. I noted that he did not include restaurants as potential closings. We seemed to agree who wants to eat and inhale poison at the same time anyway?

Anyway, I came right out and said I was fully in favor of the ban for both restaurants AND bars. I explained I am the worst of the anti-smoking zealots, a former smoker and one who smoked on average one pack a day. I'm a former smoker who does not miss the telltale smell of smoke, the yellow fingertips, nor the accumulation of the following chemicals in his lungs (the list is actually longer, I just went with the popular ones):

Acetone (nail polish remover)
Ammonia (floor/toilet cleaner)
Arsenic (rat poison)
Carbon Monoxide
Formaldehyde (for preserving my youthful visage)
Methanol (rocket fuel)
Napthalene (moth balls)
Nitrous oxide phenols (disinfectants)
Toluene (paint thinner)

Back to bars ... alcohol and cigs, that's another story. Don't they go together like Sigmund and Freud, like Green Bay and Packers? We discussed the difficulty in seperating the cigarettes from the bar. Wouldn't it cause large ripples in Wisconsin's economy? I felt a moment of despair for the poor bar owners destined for bankrupcy. This was quickly extinguished by thoughts of those poor workers who must endure entire shifts filled with smoky air. Surely they can find other jobs, it was proposed, but then, I asked, why must their economic needs be held secondary to addiction?

And then my thoughts turned to reckless behavior and drunkeness. Why, one might ask? Well, you see, I reasoned, bars are major sources of drunk drivers. Tell me I'm wrong and I'll call you a liar. People go to bars, drink too much, ignore friends' requests to accept rides, try to drive home and usually make it there safe and sound. However, too many times they don't and far too often they either damage someone elses property or injure, even kill others ... all for their right to imbibe ridiculously.

We have laws against that sort of behavior. So, why not for cigarette smokers? Their behavior could be considered reckless. They continue to smoke though their smoking is dangerous to my health, similar to drinking to excess and driving drunk. Not dangerous? There are a slew of reports that say otherwise. For example, as reported by the American Heart Association (you know, I can't remember where, but a righty once dismissed anything from the AHA as having an agenda ... gee, improving health and saving lives, some agenda), a study that evaluated the smoking ban in 2003 in Pueblo, Colorado (a city with higher the average smokers than statewide) determined that the ban contributed to a reduction in heart attacks, 108 fewer in an 18-month period.

The point of this is, wasn't it not too long ago that driving drunk was considered less serious than it is now? Hands were slapped, eyes were winked and the occasional death was shrugged off as unfortunate. But no more. In a sense, society grew up and decided it no longer wanted to nanny its wayward children. Responsibililty! Charlie Sykes and his herds' favorite word.

Instead, society decided that adults would be treated from now on as adults. Don't you think it's time for smokers and conservatives to grow up, too, and leave their nannys behind?

Monday, August 20, 2007

McBride Strikes Again

Sheesh. I've not been posting because I've really been trying to enjoy what remains of the summer. That means spending time with the kids, my wife (the woman of my dreams), visiting friends and celebrating birthdays. But, today, I made the mistake of traveling to Jessica McBride's world. Hers is one I have been avoiding mostly because of the mendacity of her posts, but also because it's become somewhat boring to pick at her every written word. However, this entry took the cake. She wrote:

Bill Clinton was, at worst, slightly right of center.

Bill Clinton was incredibly popular.

So, if Bill Clinton was slightly right of center, and he was incredibly popular, the liberals are finally admitting that conservative ideals are incredibly popular with the public, right? They are the mainstream ideals, even if the media won't admit it.

Reading this was enough to cause some bile to rise uncomfortably into my throat. Little did I know she would later surpass herself in utter illogicality.

I should have left well enough alone, but I returned and discovered she had written this response to a comment about her post claiming that her reasoning was a bit off (realism: Correlation does not imply causality.). McBride replied that her piece had been an example of deductive reasoning and laid out this argument.

It's deductive logic.

Bill Clinton was slightly right of center.

Bill Clinton was incredibly popular.

Thus, being right of center must be incredibly popular.

She's right, to an extent. What we have here is a categorical syllogism, though better written if the conclusion had been: "Thus, being right of center was incredibly popular.

Aside from that, the thought occurred to me that her argument was less than one would expect from a 30-something woman, who astonishingly enough teaches at the university level. Her argument barely rose to the level of adolescent playground banter.

If that had been the end of her comment, one might have let it go, saddened that a mind is so misused. Alas, for her, she continued to put finger to keypad and produced a truly remarkable mudpie.

Or, perhaps, that the power of personality matters so much to liberals that they will reject their principles, if you buy that Clinton was slightly right of center and incredibly popular but still argue that the public is not.

To wit, one can only say, "Huh?"

UPDATE: Professor Putnam would probably say my writings on logic need improvement. Illusory Tenant and capper at Whallah need no corrections.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

So Very Christian

This is the first of probably many posts about the deep felt Christian attitudes of our far right brethren.

Officials at the nondenominational High Point Church knew that Cecil Howard Sinclair was gay when they offered to host his service, said his sister, Kathleen Wright. But after his obituary listed his life partner as one of his survivors, she said, it was called off.

"It’s a slap in the face. It’s like, ’Oh, we’re sorry he died, but he’s gay so we can’t help you,"’ she said Friday.

The church’s pastor, the Rev. Gary Simons, said no one knew Sinclair, who was not a church member, was gay until the day before the Thursday service, when staff members putting together his video tribute saw pictures of men "engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing."

Wright called the church’s claim about the pictures "a bold-faced lie." She said she provided numerous family pictures of Sinclair, including some with his partner, but said none showed men kissing or hugging.

The 5,000-member High Point Church was founded in 2000 by Simons and his wife, April, whose brother is Joel Osteen, well-known pastor of the 38,000-member Lakewood Church in Houston. Now High Point meets in a 432,000-square-foot facility in Arlington, near Dallas.

So much for supporting the troops.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Lies and More Lies

To those wing-nuts in the area who don't realize a fact spoonfed to them should be swallowed with caution. Here's some news: Jeri Thompson is not a lawyer. The Trail has more.

It is a measure of how rapid Jeri Kehn Thompson's rise to prominence has been that there has been widespread confusion about a basic fact of her background: whether or not she is a lawyer.

Several major news organizations -- including USA Today, the Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, and The Post -- have in recent months referred to Jeri Thompson as both a political consultant and lawyer in articles about Fred Thompson's nascent presidential campaign, in which his wife has taken a leading role.

And supporters of the Thompsons have repeatedly invoked Jeri Thompson's status as an attorney to challenge insinuations that the 40-year-old mother of two is a mere "trophy wife" for the 64-year-old actor and former Tennessee senator. On Fox News last week, host Chris Wallace quoted a letter from a viewer attacking NPR's Juan Williams for having previously used the 'tw' phrase in reference to Thompson: "You chauvinist pig. Jeri Thompson is an intelligent, accomplished woman. She is a lawyer. And she has worked in the public policy arena." Added conservative blogger Ed Morrissey last month: "Anyone with access to Google knows that Mrs. Thompson worked as an attorney and media consultant in DC."

Well, presumptuous as it may be to challenge the holy writ that is Google, the hard fact is that Jeri Thompson is not a lawyer. There is no trace in public records of Thompson holding a license to practice law in D.C. or any of the states in which she has resided. And today, campaign spokeswoman Linda Rozett said conclusively, "Jeri Thompson does not have a law degree."

Never mind!

Because We Don't Want to Play Anymore

courtesy of This Modern World

Finally doing the right thing ... ignore Fox. Let them blather to their shrinking base of angry white men and women who barely understand English.

Still Clueless After All These Years

After 3,679 American deaths, 27,104 Americans wounded and 60,000+ Iraqi casualites, Patrick McIlheran almost got it, in an ironic sort of way.

Posting about the news that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp, author of the much-disputed "Shock Troops" article, has recanted his story, McIlheran attempts to use Beauchamp's alleged deceit to question the motives of the (as he calls it) "surrender-now side."

His final sentence of the post, however, was almost a striking condemnation of this entire misbegotten affair and the failure of the McIlherans on the right to honestly view the excursion into Iraq, rather than mouthing platitudes provided to them by this administration. If McIlheran had had the courage, this is what he would have written:

What good can come from the war against the war in Iraq if it's a campaign founded on lies?

That was nearly the first honest thing you've said about Iraq, Paddy! Keep trying.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Mark Belling v Margaret Farrow

Jessica McBride tantalizes us with this five word reportage of a Mark Belling and Margaret Farrow debate. She says, "Who do you think won?" Such in-depth reporting.

Somewhat surprisingly, dad29, a decidely right-wing kind of guy (btw: I thought McBride said anyone not using their own name was gutless and she wouldn't allow their posts), steps in and says this about Belling:

"It is not unusual for Belling to make asinine and uninformed statements to keep interest/ratings in his show. If it's a 'sliming contest,' Belling wins. Not the first time."

In retrospect, daddio's response doesn't really surprise me. I will say this, he is a straight shooter. McBride's response is not a surprise either, alas:

"I don't agree with your description of Belling at all. I think he calls it like he sees it and acts from principle not partisan allegiance."

I wonder what sort of principles Belling employs when hanging out at Victors and ogling the young girls, many who are of an age to be his daughter, if he had managed to have any. Thankfully, he has not reproduced.

However, saying Belling is not a partisan hack is precious. In the world of McBride, down really is up.

UPDATE: After the fact, McBride adds this. Apparently she reads other blogs.

(My take? Belling won hands-down. Arguing for the legal defense of racial preferences isn't an easy sell.)

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Bridge Too Far

Those who've been saying that it's the Bush administration's fault for the failure of the bridge in Minnesota are not being fair. While true that sufficient funding for maintenance has been inadequate, this was the case for the previous Clinton administration, too.

What the real shame is that the Clinton administration, in its zeal to be elected was willing to move so far to the center as to be emulating the me-first attitudes of the previous Republican administrations. They managed to fool Democrats, who desperately wanted to return a Democrat to the White House after 12 years of Republican mis-rule, and now Ms Clinton hopes to do the same again. Her flip-flopping on Iraq is just one measure of her desperation for the presidency.

We must first make sure that a Republican is not returned to office, because the neglect of our infrastructure will continue and more tragedies will occur ... all because the greed of the moneyed elite and their hapless minions, the so-called angry white men and women who would sell their souls for a return to the gloried 50s are incapable of thinking for themselves. Read some of the local blogs if you think that thought is necessary for conservatism to prevail.

I don't know who I favor yet, but I do know that I cannot support Ms Clinton. I cannot support anyone who will do anything to be elected. I cannot vote for anyone who will not show the fortitude and a backbone to make a stand rather than standing on poll results. Here are some thing I will look to when deciding:

What I want is a structured plan for an exit from the illegal conflict in Iraq.

I want recall of the Patriot Act and have it replaced with legislation that both protects our nation and its citizens and protects us from overzealous and power-hungry politicians.

I want universal health care ... period. Proper health care for anyone should not be a monetary concern.

I want religion put back in its place, where it belongs ... in the family and in the faith community ... it does not belong in the political sphere, nor should government be favoring one religion over others.

I want my son to shower regularly and use deodorant.

All of the points above can be reached, except perhaps the last one, which likely will not occur until he reaches the age where girls are attractive.

But for now, don't blame Bush for this one tragedy ... this one carried the weight of history.

O'Reilly Rant

This is the first I've seen the video of Bill O'Leilly v. Senator Chris Dodd ... only heard the audio previously. Watching, though, reminds me of what it's like when battling some of the local conservative numb-nuts in print. Just like O'Leilly, they cherry-pick facts and merely try to shout down rather than engage.

Now, that is not true of all conservative bloggers ... but their cause is not helped by the clowns among them. Here is the video, courtesy of atrios.

Irony Never Sleeps

Because I'm bored today ... let's turn to Tom Tomorrow for enlightenment.

In light of the question posed in this week’s cartoon, Jack Hitt passes along yet another example of what has become an entirely predictable trend:

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) - The minister of a Baptist church has been charged with indecent exposure and driving under the influence, and police officers say he propositioned them.

Tommy Tester, 58, of Bristol, Va., was wearing a skirt when he was arrested last week after allegedly urinating in front of children at a car wash, police said. Police also said Tester offered to perform oral sex on officers who were sent to the scene. Authorities identified Tester as the minister of Gospel Baptist Church in Bristol and an employee of Christian radio station WZAP-AM in Bristol.