Friday, December 31, 2004

Hugh's Questions

Hugh Hewitt asks these questions.

Here they are with my answers.

Whom did I cast my vote for president for in the past five elections?

2004 - Bush
2000 - Gore
1996 - Perot - as a protest. I was sure Clinton would pull a Nixon, but I didn't like Dole.
1992 - Clinton
1988 - Dukakis

Do I attend church regularly and if so, in which denomination? Weekly, Church of Christ.

Do I believe that the late-term abortion procedure known as partial birth abortion should be legal? No. What I really want is a way to abort the pregnancy but save the child, like artificial wombs.

Do I believe same sex marriage ought to be legal? No. What I really want is research into the causes of homosexuality and a cure for it. Anything which so badly compromises the biological purpose of one's reproductive organs is a disorder, and you should be able to get a cure for it, if you want one.

Did I support the invasion of Iraq? Yes. I think it was great strategy in many ways.

Do I support drilling in ANWR? Yes. There isn't enough environmental impact to matter.

Here are Silflay Hraka's answers.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Where To Donate

For tsunami relief:

The Salvation Army

World Vision

Catholic Relief

A Post For StoryMaker

Let's pray for Tara, and her owner, Ms. O'Brien.

Environmental Regulations Metastasize

Because environmental regulations are written without regard to cost versus benefits they often metastasize into a cancer on the body politic. Laws should not be written to make us feel good. They should be written to do useful work. Resolutions are what we write to feel good.

Military Intelligence Not An Oxymoron

Jason explains why the military should be required to perform intelligence tasks, not just allowed to, in this fisking of Bob Herbert.

Really, Bob, do I criticize columnists for expressing their opinions? Shouldn't philosophers do that? Don't get the analogy? Well, the military has been doing intelligence since the military was invented. They shouldn't stop because you want civilians to do it too. Aaaa, fudge. Mrs. Wince says I make terrible analogies. I'm beginning to think she's right.

Via Instapundit.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Paging the Nobel Committee

Saving the world from nuclear destruction deserves a Nobel Peace prize in my book. And here's the list of folks who could nominate him!

A MAD Situation

Instead of MAD, we could still have Accidental Mutual Assured Destruction (AMAD), like we almost did in 1983. Hmm. Glenn Reynolds is rightly worried about asteroid impacts, although not this one. I suggest we worry a bit more about AMAD. Bush and Sam Nunn are worried about it. I'd like to see some progress.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Why I Need To Be More Civil

Dean Esmay points out that the 60 million of us who voted for Bush are all called names here, in a post claiming lefties are more tolerant than righties.

I left this comment (which I am recording here, since she tends to delete them):
"If there is support, it's generally a statement of some rightie myth that's been proved untrue a thousand times over. And since I don't want to be responsible for the propagation of lies, off my blog they go."

Hmmm. That's odd. When I, a rightie, go to a leftie blog for civil discourse (I like Ara Rubyan's blog) I often find leftie talking points that I've found a thousand different arguments against. So, you don't believe my talking points and I don't believe yours. Even though I think what you are saying isn't true, I know you aren't a liar. We just have an honest disagreement over our respective opinions.

But if I stated my opinion here, it sounds as if you'd just call it a lie and delete it, because you had seen it 'disproved' a thousand times. I've found that many people can't tell the different between fact and opinion, and can't tell the difference between proof and argument.

Is this comment civil and rational enough for you? If not please give me some pointers.

Yours,
Wince
Clearly, I need to be more civil when I write about or to lefties. Hopefully I'll puzzle Ms O'Brien enough that the cognitive dissonance causes her to change her mind.

UPDATE: Here's my latest comment.
maha,

Name a typical rightie myth and give your proof against it. If you are like everyone else I've read your proof will actually be an argument (maybe even a good one) and a significant portion of your facts will be opinions (maybe even well-supported opinions).

Myself, when discussing with a leftie, I've only proved something to my satisfaction once. It took days and thousands of words, and when I was done, I hadn't proven it to his satisfaction.

Opinions are easy and everyone's got 'em. Proof is hard, and almost no one has it.

As my liberal Democratic Dad sometimes reminds me, "You know that isn't a lie, it's just a difference of opinion." And my Dad, so far,
has always been right.

Yours,
Wince
We'll see whether I can keep this up. Well, I guess I can't. That last comment was deleted. Ms. O'Brien's last comment was:
People, the topic of rightie pathology is not up for discussion on this blog. I'm not going to argue with anyone who doesn't see it. Your posts will simply be deleted.
Well, now I know not to buy or recommend Ms O'Brien's book, Blogging of America. If she can't discuss things with me, when I've put on my Politenessman costume in it's most polite mode, she almost certainly does not want me as a customer anyway. OTOH, considering how badly she's been burned by rightie trolls (and it sounds like she's been pestered by some truly awful jerks), let's cut her some slack. Maybe not enough slack to buy the book, but maybe enough to check it out of the library.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Taking The Christmas Out Of Christmas Shopping...

...is bad for Christmas sales. I don't understand why Target thought they could kick out a Christmas icon like the Salvation Army. I want to shop at Target. It's clean, unlike Wal-Mart. It's aisles are wide, unlike Wal-Mart. You can get help when you need it, unlike Wal-Mart. It's merchandise is classy, unlike Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has only one advantage: rifles, shotguns, ammunition and gun supplies.

But I can't shop at Target until they bring back the kettles. Listen to your customers, Target! I want to shop at the Shiny!

And I will too, and forgive all, if Target will just bring back the bell ringers. The Salvation Army raised nine million dollars at Target last year, their second highest chain total. To yank that away from the poor at a whim, without the support of your customers is a bit much.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Do Not Add Your Mobile Phone To The Do Not Call List

According to the Washington Post, any emails which tell you to add your mobile phone to the National Do Not Call list are incorrect. Telemarketers are not going to start calling your mobile phone. There will be opt-in directory assistance, costing $0.50 to $1.25 per call for everyone but Verizon customers. There will not be a phone book containing mobile phones.

Monday, December 13, 2004

A Miracle Of Production

So what's the real story behind the Humvee armor kerfuffle? Just a Production Miracle. Here's a telling quote from the Knight-Ridder article, "I have never seen a military acquisition program go so fast as this one."

Friday, December 10, 2004

Real Evangelicalism

Think John Stott, not some TV evangelist.

Via Dean Esmay.

Gotta Be True Sometimes

I wouldn't characterize all angry atheists this way, or even most, but there's gotta be some for whom it's true.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Tenth

Say Uncle kicks off a Constitutional discussion that begins with irony and ends with a little acrimony.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

It seems that there is a resolution moving through the House calling for Kofi Annan to resign. Well, Kofi is innocent until proven guilty of a crime. He appears also to be innocent until proven guilty of competence.

Had Ken Lay been guilt free of any crime, but was obstructing the investigation, would we still have called for his resignation? What if he were guilt free and cooperative? Let's be realistic. If he hadn't resigned he would have been fired, even if he had done nothing wrong personally. Can we apply a different standard to Annan?

Friday, November 26, 2004

No Shiny This Year

I won't be shopping at The Shiny anymore. Too bad, it's been my favorite place to shop for Christmas for years. Target has kicked out the Salvation Army. Next year they are removing all references to Santa Claus. And the following year they will substitute the words "Winter Holiday" for Christmas in all company memoranda, email and sales flyers. No Christmas decorations featuring Christian motifs will be allowed.

Only Scrooge will shop at Target anymore.

Radical Secularism?

Articles like these give Christians like me the heebee jeebees. People claim that they just want to keep prayer out of the schools, but then they take God out of history. It is wrong to fail to mention that the original and all subsequent declarations of Thanksgiving were feasts of Thanksgiving to God. Amazingly, not only does the Maryland public school curriculum fail to mention that Thanksgiving was given to God, they also fail to explain that Puritans were believers.

This staggers the imagination. To mention Puritans without mentioning God is like mentioning fish without ever referencing water.

In California a teacher has been forbidden to quote the Declaration of Independence because it mentions God. This article gives additional detail, including the this important note: It all started with a parent's complaints after the teacher responded to a student's question about "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

And so I argue for school choice.

Via Dean Esmay.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Tim Lambert, Read This!

Self defense is dead in Great Britain. Crime lives on.

Via Instapundit.

The Absolutely Relevant Story Which Is Being Ignored

Varifrank is very unhappy at the peaceniks and those who question the run-up, the justification and the handling of the Iraq war. Let him give his simple compelling reason.

Does "Never again" mean anything to you?

Via Instapundit.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Bill Wants Kofi's Job!

According to George Woods on 710 KCMO, a UPI story says Bill Clinton wants the Secretary General's spot when Kofi Annan retires in 2006. What a calamity that would be!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

A Kerry Win Sends The Wrong Message

Dean Esmay says that if Kerry wins, "The American people will have shown that they are willing to let the press get away with blatantly slanted, context-free, anti-war reporting, and the political classes will have shown that they will exploit this for victory at the polls." Dean then follows up. If Kerry wins, I believe that American troops should not be deployed to the Sudan, especially under the banner of the UN. Somalia all over again, and we won't have a steady hand a helm anymore to make it work.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Debate

Great debate. Bush won, but Kerry showed sufficient spine that I won't panic if he is elected.

Sure wish either he or Bush had taken the opportunity to send a nice clear message to Iran, such as, "I will take military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons if necessary." I'm sure Bush would, but I'm pretty sure if we elect Kerry, Israel is the only thing preventing a nuclear mullacracy. Yuck. And as far as bilateral talks with North Korea, that's a loser. North Korea always wants bilateral talks with the US. That's a clue. The clue is they think it works to their advantage. They don't need any advantages.

Kerry is still dissing our allies. That is awfully ignorant and short sighted.

It's also clear that Kerry wants to destroy jobs. He'll raise taxes on the small companies who create them. (Here's an idea, John. How about a new tax bracket for people who earn over 50 million dollars in one year? That should leave small business alone. Your Mrs. and Soros can pay.) He'll increase regulations. He won't reform your legal liability system (except for medical liability). He'll drop Kyoto on us like a ton of bricks. Sounds like double digit unemployment to me. Thank God for the Republicans in the House and Senate.

The Clicketty Clack Boogie

For your train viewing pleasure, Trains Magazine has a Web Cam. Registration and Java plug in required.

Friday, October 08, 2004

An Intriguing Interview With Dr. Barnett

This guy clearly isn't pumping out either DNC or RNC talking points. Read An Interview With Dr. Barnett.

Via Glenn Reynolds.

The Whole Story Would Be Nice

News Media, listen up! Read the entire Duelfer report, not just the bits that support your world view.

Mirror, Mirror

Could the Democrats admit Bush was right? Can that admit that toppling Saddam was the right thing to do? Can they admit that Kerry's way would have kept that tyrant in power? Can they admit that Saddam was going to break out of his container and get WMD? Jonah Goldberg says, for shame. Must Kerry and the Democrats define themselves using a mirror?

Observe Shrove Tuesday

Les Jones points the way to Shrove Tuesday Observed. You will laugh when you find out how literature would be if all stories were written like science fiction stories.

Evil Joy

The Anchoress wonders if the two Johns remember the woman in the black hijab. I think they do, but I don't think they learned. We aren't in a worldwide popularity contest, gentlemen.

Via Glenn Reynolds.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Kerry Was A Brave Man

Brave in Vietnam, anyway. But Mike at Virginia Patriots notes that Kerry claims his anti-military rhetoric was brave. Well, I suppose that since many people are more afraid of public speaking than death, his stance could be called brave.

OTOH, wasn't Tailgunner Joe famous for vague, hysterical, unproven charges? Wasn't the Communist menace even more dangerous than Vietnam? Why do Democrats vilify Joe McCarthy but praise John Kerry for behaving exactly alike?

At Least The Republicans Aren't Organized

Mobs of Thugs on the Left.
Single thugs on the Right.
Stand up, sit down.

Umm. Hold it.

Let's NOT fight, fight, fight.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Good News From Iraq

The next generation will make up for us underachieving baby boomers. BTW, the Sixties (with the exception of the Civil Rights movement started in the Fifties) were an achievement just like an enjoyable 120 mph street race which ends with your car in someone's living room is an achievement.

Via Glenn Reynolds.

Three Brave Marines

Hurrah! I found the two marines who charged down that Iraqi trench with Marine Capt. Brian R. Chontosh! They were both awarded the third highest medal a Marine can receive, the Silver Star.

The first is Lance Marine Cpl. Armand E. McCormick, who was awarded the Silver Star.
Under heavy fire McCormick exhibited exceptional bravery when the lead elements of his battalion were ambushed with mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and squad automatic weapons fire. Fearlessly he drove his lightly armored vehicle directly at an enemy machine gun position and purposely crashed it into an occupied trench line. With the initial breach of the enemy defense now gained for his unit, he sprang from the vehicle and began assaulting the berm and ambush line with two Marines. Taking direct fire, and outnumbered, he pressed forward, firing his M9 pistol at enemy forces. Moving through the trench, he repeatedly came under enemy fire, each time calmly taking well-aimed shots.

As the group ran low on ammunition, he collected enemy rifles and a rocket- propelled grenade and continued to press the attack forward several hundred meters. As a follow-on company began to make their entrance into the berm, he returned to his vehicle and backed it out of the trench. McCormick's boldly aggressive actions greatly reduced the enemy's ability to inflict casualties on the rest of his battalion.
The second is Marine Cpl. Robert P. Kerman, who also was awarded the Silver Star.
Kerman exhibited exceptional bravery when the lead elements of the battalion were ambushed with mortars, rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons fire.

As the vehicle he was traveling in drove directly into machine gun fire and into a trench line, Kerman sprang from the vehicle and began assaulting down the enemy occupied trench with two other Marines. As the enemy soldiers fired at him, he fearlessly plunged towards them firing his M16 with lethal accuracy. Continuing to move through the trench he repeatedly came under enemy fire.

Each time he would calmly occupy a steady firing position and take well-aimed shots that had devastating effects in the enemy.

As the group ran out of ammunition, they pressed forward 200 to 300 meters utilizing captured enemy AK-47s.

He showed no regard for his own personal safety, and his actions directly contributed to the successful outcome of the engagement.
And finally, their leader, Marine Capt. Brian R. Chontosh, was awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest medal a Marine can receive.
While leading his platoon north on Highway 1 toward Ad Diwaniyah, Chontosh's platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons fire. With coalitions tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone.

He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, Chontosh ordered the driver to advanced directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy.

He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack.

When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers.

When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others.
God has truly blessed America through the services of these fine men.

The Swift Vets Smear Kerry

John Dean and The Daily Howler show pure smear in chapter four of Unfit for Command.

O'Neill and Corsi stoop to calling Kerry a baby killer, when by their own evidence he was no such thing.

Stick a fork in the Swift Vets. I won't tolerate that kind of behavior.

Update: More discussion at Dean's World. I failed to give credit to shep over at Rosemary's place for the John Dean article. He and I have been going at this hammer and tongs there, and at Ara's place. I don't like John Kerry calling all our vets war criminals, and I don't like some of our vets calling John Kerry a baby killer. The ends (getting out of Vietnam / preventing a bad Presidency) do not justify the means. (Rush Limbaugh, Michael Moore, Ann Coulter, Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy and Al Gore, take notes. And no I can't think of Republican equivalents to Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy and Al Gore, because I wasn't paying this much attention during Clinton's gig, and I really don't remember hearing any Republicans behave that badly this election cycle. Maybe Mark Adams or Bill Underwood will drop by and remind me. I'd appreciate it. It would round out this little rant nicely.)

Bush/Cheney - Bad For Halliburton

John Edwards played Oliver Stone in last night's debates, going all conspiracy theory about Halliburton. But Bush/Cheney has been bad for Halliburton. Here's a useful factoid:
So, if you bought the John Edwards view of the world, then three and a half years ago when Bush won the election, wouldn’t you have also bought Halliburton stock? If you did, you got hurt. Since Bush’s inauguration, Halliburton’s shares have fallen 11 percent. To put things in perspective, other oil-related industries have risen roughly 36 percent in this time.
But, since the Democrats believe that a Presidency should benefit the President and Vice President financially, if Kerry wins, be sure and buy stock in Heinz.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Mark Noonan explains....

Kerry's Global Test. Mark says,
Winston Churchill understood things much better than John Kerry - he was in favor of attacking Nazi Germany even when the whole world was opposed to it; no "global test" for Churchill. Right is right and you do what is right even if everyone disagrees with you. President Bush instinctively understands this as well - we do not put American honor up for a global vote; we do not resign ourselves to evil because a majority of the world is unwilling to assist us in fighting against it.
Kerry gives away too much power by seeking popularity.

The Winners Are...

Gwen Ifill over Jim Lehrer and Dick Cheney, in every way, over John Edwards.

Dick Cheney may be the best Vice-President ever. I know he doesn't want to run for President in 2008. I say draft him. He's that good.

Kerry's Iran Plan Worse Than We Thought

John Kerry's plan would give Iran nukes by Christmas.

Words fail me.

Holy Katz!

Joe Katz says I'm deluded for taking comfort in Kerry's debate performance. He says John Kerry is an appeasing dove. Look at this analysis of Kerry on Iran:
Kerry's positions on issues like Iran are clear, and were openly stated in the debate: normalize relations with the world's #1 terrorist sponsors while they undermine Iraq & Afghanistan, offer them nuclear fuel, propose sanctions the Europeans will drag their feet on in order to stop a late-stage nuclear program that's impervious to sanctions anyway, and oppose both missile defense and the nuclear bunker-buster weapons that would give the USA defensive or offensive options in a crisis.
I'm Wince, and I'm wincing now. That looks like a strategy which will only succeed because Bush gave Israel 5000 precision guided weapons before the election. Thank God. Kerry will force Israel to attack Iran. I am not enthused about using Israel to wash the world's dirty laundry. I'd rather see American elbow grease applied to this problem. Take some responsibility, Senator!

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Best Thing About Blogger

They are still adding nice features. I hope you like them as much as I do.

One Peeve About Blogger

I wish Blogger would time stamp entries when you publish them, not when you start writing them.

Impressions On The First Debate

The most important thing I heard was that Kerry will not abandon Iraq. This is very comforting, it is honorable, and it reflects well on Kerry's character.

Kerry won on points, Kerry lost on style, and Bush won on substance. Overall I score it a win for Bush, but only because Kerry lost so badly on style.

As far as points go, Kerry made more points than Bush. He was more focused, and spoke better. During the second half of the debate, Bush seemed tired, distracted, and stumbled through many of his answers. At times I was worried he would lapse into the version of Bush we saw in that one disasterous press conference, but he was always able to rally himself.

I can hardly believe that I am going to say Kerry lost on style, but I must. How could someone as tired and distracted as Bush was win on style? He didn't. Kerry had the wrong stuff. Kerry's problem was that he was prosecutorial, not presidential. Bush was warm, humble, plain-spoken and honest. Kerry was arrogant, accusatory, blaming and angry. He lacked candor. He was dismissive and condescending towards our military, our allies, the Iraqi people and the American people. A Presidential candidate can attack in these debates, but he must soften his tone with humility, humor, compassion and respect for his opponent, especially since somewhere near half the country will not vote for him. Kerry failed. We aren't electing a District Attorney. We aren't electing a Special Prosecutor. Kerry is going to have to work with his opponents in the Congress, among our allies and among our rivals. He cannot take this kind of superior tone with them. We could use Harry Truman. Kerry was giving us Johnny Cochran.

As far as substance goes, I have little to say. Bush won on substance because I agree more with him on substance then I do with Kerry. If you've read what I've written here and on comment threads this won't surprise you. It's very hard to say Kerry won on substance when every time he opened his mouth I said, "That's not true" or "That's a bad idea." It's even harder when every time Bush opened his mouth I said, "That's true" or "That's a good idea." I've been following the politics and the campaign closely for a long time. The debate format is unlikely to allow a candidate to change anyone's mind on the issues, especially someone who has studied enough to form an opinion. There simply isn't time. I would expect most Democrats to call the debate for Kerry on substance. Your Mileage Will Vary.

I will say that Kerry seems too eager for the United States to be popular abroad. If subordinating our national interests to others would pay off it might be worth it. When Rome was the sole superpower, it was hated. When Britain was the sole superpower, it was hated. When the Cowboys were 'America's Team' they were hated. Dare I mention the Yankees? The fastest way for the U.S. to be liked is for us to be the 1968 Mets. I'm not sure why Kerry thinks he can buck this basic part of human nature, but he does. I'm also not sure how denigrating our closest, strongest allies and rewarding our rivals is going to work. (And I'm really not sure why Kerry thinks he can buck a 95-0 vote in the U.S. Senate. Was he Rip Van Winkle during his twenty years there?) If Kerry wants us to have more friends he should advocate treating our friends better, and treating our best friends the best. Like creating a Super Favored Nation trading status for our allies who sent troops to Iraq originally (and Iraq itself), a Well Favored Nation trading status for people who sent troops to Iraq now, and a nice new 1% tariff on everyone else.

Mrs. Wince says that the desire to be liked gives too much power to other nations. Nations then gain power by disliking us, criticizing us and failing to help us. The key is to do what is right, not what is popular.

213 Things Skippy Can't Do - The List

Read the 213 Things Skippy Is No Longer Allowed To Do In The U.S. Army.

You will enjoy it. Here's a sample:
145. I should not drink three quarts of blue food coloring before a urine test.

146. Nor should I drink three quarts of red food coloring, and scream during the same.
Via The Gantry Launchpad.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Maybe He'd Only Mess Up Domestically

Hurrah! Maybe I don't have to worry that Kerry will completely screw up. John Kerry shows his inner warrior.
I will wage this war relentlessly with a single-minded determination: to capture or kill the terrorists, crush their movement and free the world from fear.
And he's embraced Bush's grand strategy, too.
Sixth, we will promote the development of free and democratic societies throughout the Arab and Muslim world. Millions of people there share our values of human rights, and our hopes for a better life for the next generation. They are facing their own struggle at home against the forces of fanaticism and militancy. They are our natural allies. Their lost trust in our intentions must be restored. We must reach out to them and yes we must always promote democracy. I will be clear with repressive governments in the region that we expect to see them change – not just for our sake but for their own survival.
Now I just have to read (not skim) the rest of the speech to make sure he won't completely screw up Iraq.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

The America Affiliate of the ISPC: The USPSA

The United States Practical Shooting Association is the American affiliate of the International Practical Shooting Confederation, like the Aussie affiliate noted below. The downloadable rules are here.

Apparently American Handgunner has a IPSC postal match (where you mail in your results) every year. Here are the results from 2003 on back. Here is a diagram of one of the match stages. You start standing in Area A, facing center of barricade with flat hands on X’s, and on start signal, draw, and from Area A shoot T1 through T4 and P1. Each target T1 through T4 is shot at least twice, then you shoot P1 (the popper) until it falls (one solid hit). Only your best two shots are counted on targets T1 to T4. The winner of this stage in the Revolver category finished in 9.11 seconds. Since that is a minimum of nine shots, and revolvers hold only six shots, that includes one reload. The shooter got 41 points out of 45 (five maximum points per shot). Youza!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Arnold Harris Wants To Win The War

I await a Kerry speech which is this good. A sample:
Because we always have been on the side of liberty and the freedoms that liberty comprises. It was exactly for that purpose that the great generation of the American revolution fought their war, with our armed countrymen starving and frozen in the terrible winter of Valley Forge, but never broke with the pledge they had undertaken to establish liberty on this continent.

We face a struggle of great dimension today, a clash of civilizations as it is truly termed. It is not a struggle that shall be won in one year, even ten years, perhaps not in a hundred years. But we must never surrender to the status quo of armed barbarism, gang rule and murder conducted purely to advance the cause of a crazed and warped theocracy or anything similar.

We have in fact no choice. We must struggle to implant liberty, responsible government and respect for human rights throughout the middle east. Otherwise, we must turn the United States and much of the rest of the lands of the west into armed, frightened encampments which, if pushed too far, may opt to strike back with our own very real weapons of mass destruction. Weapons that could burn up much of our planet. Or simply surrender to the barbarians.

Rarely has there been a time when so much of our future depended upon a solid, steady leadership characterized neither by defeatism nor by a foolish assumption that wars of this type can be won by a few strategic blows and without casualties. Whether or not we choose and support such a leadership will determine whether we ever can return to the relatively easygoing America that we knew before the age of terrorism.
Thanks to Dean for pointing out Arnold's eloquence.

Does Kerry Want to Win the War?

The Washington Post takes Kerry to task for trying to drive our allies away. In 1971, John Kerry said, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

That line was the one of the worst pieces of irresponsible asinine rhetoric I can imagine. Why saddle the many troops in the field with that kind or morale buster? (Sign of a poor leader.) Why hand the enemy that kind of propaganda victory? (Sign of a poor strategist.) Why show a weak hand to the negotiators in Paris? (Sign of a poor statesman.)

That line alone is good evidence that Kerry should never have gone beyond state politics.

Now listen to his sister Diana:
Asked if she believed the terrorist threat to Australians was now greater because of the support for President Bush, she replied: "I would have to say that," noting that "[t]he most recent attack was on the Australian embassy in Jakarta."

She said this of her country (and of the war that Australia is helping us with in Iraq): "[W]e are endangering the Australians now by this wanton disregard for international law and multilateral channels."
John Kerry is singing the same defeatist tune he sang for Vietnam, Nicaragua, the Cold War and Gulf War I. Has this man ever met a war he wanted to win? If so, has he ever given any evidence he knows how to win one?

Compare and contrast these quotes:

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933).

"We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old." (Winston Churchill, 1940, just after Dunkirk).

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." (John F. Kennedy, 1961).

"Yet this much we know with certainty: The desire for freedom resides in every human heart. And that desire cannot be contained forever by prison walls or martial laws or secret police; over time and across the Earth, freedom will find a way. Freedom is finding a way in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we must continue show our commitment to democracies in those nations. The liberty that many have won at a cost must be secured." (George W. Bush, 2004).

"As generous as you have been, we will stand with you, too. As stalwart as you have been, we will stand with you, too. Neither tyranny nor terrorism has a place in our region or our world. And that is why we Iraqis will stand by you, America, in a war larger than either of our nations, the global battle to live in freedom. God bless you and thank you." (Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, 2004).

"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" (John F. Kerry, 1971).

"The last thing you want to be seen as is a puppet of the United States, and you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips." (Joe Lockhart, 2004)

John Kerry has shown no ability to inspire us to win this war. He needs to hire me as his speechwriter. I'll toughen him up. Here's a sample:

"In the mountains of Afghanistan, a soldier examines a dusty footprint, on the trail of a terrorist, a killer of both Afghans and Americans. We will fight. In the deserts of Iraq, a Marine scans the horizon, looking for the roaside bomb trigger man. We will fight. In an embassy in Jakarta, an intelligence officer meets with his Indonesian counterpart, exchanging information vital to the capture of a bomb maker. We will fight. In a customs office in Los Angeles, an officer handcuffs a terror suspect. We will fight. On the streets of New York a citizen notices a man taking pictures and making notes of schedules, of guard rotations, and of security precautions. He makes a phone call. We will fight. We will fight on the streets of New York, of Los Angeles, of Kandahar, of Najaf, of Jakarta. We will fight if all our allies desert us. We will fight with our blood, our sweat, our sight, our words, our thoughts. We will fight and we will win." (Wince, right here, 2004).

I ask again: Where's My Cult of Personality?

Maybe this is a clue. Diane Kerry also said, "He responds well to challenges and has the reputation of fighting well from behind." So this is a strategy. If we are losing the war in Iraq when Kerry is President, he'll fight better!

How State Sponsors Gave Al Queda Global Reach

The Belmont Club shows the importance of safe enclaves for terrorists:
His last paragraph is crucial to understanding why the defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the toppling of Saddam Hussein may have cripped global terrorism so badly. Without the infrastrastructure of a state sponsor, terrorism is limited to cells of about 100 members in size in order to maintain security. In the context of the current campaign in Iraq, the strategic importance of places like Falluja or "holy places" is that their enclave nature allows terrorists to grow out their networks to a larger and more potent size. Without those sanctuaries, they would be small, clandestine hunted bands. The argument that dismantling terrorist enclaves makes "America less safe than it should be in a dangerous world" inverts the logic. It is allowing the growth of terrorist enclaves that puts everyone at risk in an otherwise safe world.
Via cut on the bias.

Payment With Our Lives

Maybe we should encourage news organizations to pay money for story assistance. These other forms of payment are truly disgusting. CBS Producer Mary Mapes helped a dangerous white supremacist violate security procedures in the Federal pen.
And this is establishing Mapes as someone who has a pattern of assuming herself above the ethics and even laws that the rest of us must go by - all in the name of journalism. She clearly is as arrogant as Dan Rather. It puts her actions in calling Joe Lockhart in much greater relief, and as part of a pattern, not an aberration. She's willing to make deals with a dangerous prison inmate as well as a discredited (yet somehow "unimpeachable") partisan hack, even calling a presidential campaign to put them in touch with someone who has potentially explosive information about their opposition, in clear violation of journalism ethics, all in the name of getting a story.
Via JunkYardBlog.

The Junior Practical Pistol Sport

The International Defensive Pistol Association is the younger brother to the IPSC. Here's a description from their site:
Defensive pistol shooting as a sport is quite simply the use of practical equipment including full charge service ammunition to solve simulated "real world" self-defense scenarios. Shooters competing in Defensive Pistol events are required to use practical handguns and holsters that are truly suitable for self-defense use. No "competition only" equipment is permitted in Defensive Pistol matches since the main goal is to test the skill and ability of an individual, not his or her equipment or gamesmanship.
I don't know who does IPDA in Kansas City, but I'd like to try it as well.

Well Now We Know, And It's Official

As noted below, Bush is winning the all important Halloween mask sales battle 57% to 43%. And, as requested, here is a link.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

IPSC Australia

Guns are frowned upon in Australia, where gun restrictions grow tighter every year. But there are still those who practice the shooting sports down under. Check out the home page for IPSC Australia. Here's their description of this challenging sport:
In Practical competition, a variety of target types are used (both paper and steel), and there is no set way these targets are arranged, nor even how many targets are used in a single match. A competition organiser creates a number of “stages” (conforming to a set of design rules), each using different numbers and arrangements of targets, to create a shooting challenge that the competitors have to solve as accurately and as rapidly as possible.

The other major difference to other shooting competitions is the way in which the final score is calculated for a competitor. In most other competitions, the score is calculated simply by adding up the values of the scoring zones hit by the competitor. In Practical competition, the time taken is also part of the final score. The sum of the scoring zones is worked out, and this then divided by the total time the competitor took to engage the targets. Thus the quicker the competitor completes the stage, the better the final score will be.

Additionally, stages usually require competors to move from a starting position to enable them to see and engage all the targets in the stage. This adds an athletic component to the test, as well as an intellectual one in that the competitor is required to work out the most efficient manner and order of engaging the targets, taking into account his/her own shooting skills, athleticism etc.

In Australia, Practical competitions are most often for centre-fire pistols and revolvers of calibres from 9mm to .38. Stages are started with pistols holstered on the belt, and most often will require the competitor to perform reloads of the pistol during the stage. Occasionally, competitions are also held for rifle and/or shotgun.

Practical shooting competitors, then, do not train by shooting the set competition over and over again. There is no set competition. Instead they practise the skills that are required to fit them to engage whatever stages a match organiser may throw at them.
I attended an IPSC meet at my local shooting range. Safety is paramount, and the club has never had an accidental shooting in its fifteen year (I think) history. There are two range officers working with each shooter. One follows about three feet behind the shooter to observe safe pistol handling technique. I was very impressed, and hope to try out this sport myself.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Well, Now We Know

On the radio this morning (710 AM, KCMO), I heard that George Bush is beating John Kerry in the all important Halloween mask sales poll, 57% to 43%. These sales have predicted the winner in every election since 1980. The count was in dispute for months in 2000, but they finally determined that Bush sold five masks for 55%, but Gore sold only four, for only 44%.

I'm Stunned

Translation: "You can do a lot in one single day; just imagine what can happen in three months."

Go and be stunned.

Via James Lileks.

This Name Kills Me

As Lileks puts it:

... the best Male Athlete name, ever. Magnus Scheving.

Monday, September 20, 2004

John Kerry Can Help Heal Our Vietnam Wound

When John Kerry either irresponsibly slandered our Vietnam vets in 1971 (my belief) or told truth to power (as others believe) he created, almost single-handedly, a festering wound, as Mark Steyn points out. I propose a simple strategy for Kerry to handle this. Either show his proof that his 1971 testimony was true, or admit that he engaged in McCarthy like tactics by making nebulous false charges against a large group of unpopular Americans without any proof. If he cannot do the former, because he does not have such proof, the only responsible course is for him to do the latter, and vice versa. These choices may be seem impossible now, as they would hurt his election chances, but they would still be the right thing to do. My questions: Are they perfectly possible November 3rd? If Kerry loses? If he wins?

If Kerry Can't Get The Vets, How Can He Get The French?

Instapundit links this Tech Central Station opinion piece: The Alliance Builder? Revel in this irony:
John Kerry failed to build a credible alliance. Unilaterally speaking for the group of 23 veterans represented in the 1969 photograph highlighted the failure. His use of the photograph was based on a fraudulent coalition of just 3 of the 23.
Emphasis in the original. If Kerry can't successfully reach out to Kerry-hating vets, how can he successfully reach out to America-hating citizens of this world?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Does Kerry Have A Yes-Man Problem?

In the comment thread of this excellent Dean's World post, Steven Malcolm Anderson says:
That's another difference and another reason for not voting for Kerry. President Bush has selected a rather wide spectrum of experienced and knowledgeable people to advise him in this War, from the dovish Colin Powell to the hawkish Paul Wolfowitz (leader of the Evil Jewish, oops, Zionist Neo-Con Straussian Conspiracy) and including Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice. They disagree among each other and he listens to all of them. His Vice President Dick Cheney openly disagrees with him on the FMA. He even held his convention in the midst of screaming radicals who hate his guts parading in the streets, and without putting them in cages. If that's crushing dissent, I'll take more of it.

By contrast, Kerry is such a thin-skinned and conceited little snot that, if he runs his administration even remotely like he's running his campaign, he will hire only yes-men, fawning sycophants, to advise him, and will snap "Do you know who I am?" and "How dare you question my patriotism?" at the slightest whiff of criticism. That's no way to run a business, no way to run a government, and most certainly no way to fight a War.
I agree with Steven that Bush does not have a Yes-Man problem. I don't think Kerry is a "conceited little snot", but I'm not sure: Does Kerry have a Yes-Man problem?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Where's My Cult of Personality?

Joe Gandleman sent me to this post, which inspired this train of thought which I put (in slightly different form) in the comments:

I'm not sure Kerry's message on Iraq is clear, as Ara claims.

For me, Kerry has two problems. The first is that he doesn't want to commit to a stance and thereby lose votes.

I talked to one of the conductors on Kerry's campaign train who talked to Kerry for about a half-hour. He said:

1) After a little initial stiffness, Kerry warmed up and, in fact, you could drink a beer with him.

2) Kerry had a good understanding of the Amtrak problems. (What else would a conductor talk about?)

3) Kerry was highly critical of Norman Mineta's (the Bush Administration) approach.

4) Kerry would not say what he would do differently, even when asked repeatedly.

As for the second, maybe Kerry is being sound-bitten to death, but he can't seem to manage his message. Given the sound bites, he certainly seems to have changed his mind several times by now. Or maybe the problem is that the Democratic party is still horribly split on Iraq.

It sounds like Kerry's focus is on "bringing the boys home." Bush's focus is on victory. My desire is for victory followed by a nice long cooperative security arrangement with Iraq like we've had with Germany and Japan.

Frankly, Kerry seems to be replaying Vietnam, the Contras and the Cold-War. And he sounds like he wants to make all the same mistakes in Iraq that he made during the Cold War. When is Kerry going to support freedom and liberty? When will he embrace the historic Democratic emphasis on human rights and freedom, for which America will spend both blood and lots of treasure? My examples are Roosevelt (anti-Nazism, anti-colonialism), Truman, Kennedy and Johnson (anti-Nazism, anti-Communism), and Carter (anti-Shah, anti-Communism). Remember, Carter started the big defense buildup that Kerry ran against in 1984. Kerry complains about the 200 billion dollar cost which pales in comparison to Truman's Marshall plan. It pales in comparison to Carter's defense buildup.

I've left out Clinton, not because he wouldn't have spent both blood and lots of treasure, but because, although he did have the chance, he didn't have the necessary wake up call.

I don't want the US to become France or Germany (feeble military, lots of diplomats, plenty of money to buy votes). How horribly decadent. The Kerry trend is not my friend.

The Bush foreign policy is more like those of all the Democratic Presidents I mentioned than Kerry's. When will Kerry get fired up and champion the muscular, involved, proactive America of his Democratic forebears?

I'm looking for, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Nice soundbite! Or maybe, "Ask not what your country can do for you..." Instead I get whining which boils down to "How come we have to pay all the money and make all the sacrifices?" All over a war which is actually low-cost (historically speaking) in both blood and treasure.

Why can't I get a Cult of Personality, here, instead this long-faced dolorous nuance master?

Monday, September 06, 2004

Mrs. Wince Says #3

Mrs. Wince, "I need to marinate some vegatables, since I have a husband who wants to grill and some vegtables which are a-withering in the fridge. If they were a-mouldering I'd throw them away, but since they are a-withering I'll feed them to you."

Wince, "Good."

Mrs. Wince, "No, not good; if they were good I'd have to wait a week."

LATWTTER (Laughing All The Way To The Emergency Room)

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Mrs. Wince Says #2

Wince: The New York Times is useless.
Mrs. Wince, deadpan: Lots of people have birds, honey.

Inspired by Rachel Lucas.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Fantasy Camp

People pay to go to Baseball Fantasy Camp when they are too old or too unskilled to play pro ball. Anyone out there who would pay to go to Boot Camp? How much would you pay? And how much would it cost, anyway?

Via One Hand Clapping.

A Blog Olympics

I don't want to watch the Olympics, I want to compete! Ever hear of a postal match? It's where you shoot your targets, and then mail them to a neutral judge to score them and declare the winner. It works on the honor system. We have digital cameras, digital video, etc. Why not a blog Olympics? You run your race, swim your laps, shoot your targets, etc. You email your digital video to the judge for your events and they announce the winners (and maybe post the video) on their blogs! Does anyone know how to judge pommel horse?

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith - Nominee, Medal of Honor

Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith has been nominated for the Medal of Honor.
Smith was atop the 113 shooting toward the gate, over the wall, at the tower.

"He was firing, firing, firing - reloading - firing, firing, firing," said Sgt. Robert Nowack, 37. "It was like a director saying, "I want you to look intense."'

The sight reminded Pfc. Pace of To Hell and Back, the film about the WWII exploits of Army 2nd Lt. Audie Murphy, who climbed onto a burning tank, manned a .50-caliber machine gun and mowed down dozens of attacking Germans.

Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1945.
More here.

Via The Pink Flamingo Bar and Grill and A Collection Of Thoughts.

How To Support The Troops 2

Dean Esmay explains his methods for supporting the troops.
If Bush wins I will support him, as I always have. If Kerry wins, I will support him as best I can, with cogent, specific criticisms and always under the assumption that he is doing his very best for the nation even if I sometimes think I'd do things differently if I were in charge. I will assume I don't know everything, and that he's doing his best and, even if I campaign against him, will assume that he is an honorable man, and that he is not a "liar" simply because I might sometimes disagree with him.
If Kerry does win, I intend to do likewise, and if I don't please call me on it. I mean it.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

American Woman, Mama Let Me Be!

Pom-poms, Squad Automatic Weapon, what's the difference?
The man then claimed he had the grenade because he was going to turn it in to the U.S. soldiers. But they did not believe that story, because he had not mentioned it, or indicated anything like that, until after the soldiers had found the grenade and after he had been subdued and was handcuffed with the plastic zip-strips.

“I really don’t remember exactly how I got him on the ground, but it was practically instantaneous,” she said, blushing. “I don’t remember the details of putting him down. I just remember, suddenly, I had him down on the ground with his face pressed into a sandbag and I kept holding him there.”

She said the man then started crying and someone said he might have been embarrassed because it was a shame for a man in Iraq to get beat up by a woman.
Via Hell In A Handbasket.

Mrs Wince Says #1

When perusing the Office Max Copy Center flier, Mrs. Wince was heard to slyly remark, "I wonder why there's no price for double sided transparencies."

Winfield Scott Hancock - Someone You Should Know

Awhile back Dave Kopel & Co. wrote about the great American and Democrat Winfield Scott Hancock in the National Review Online.  He is a man you should know.  This hero of Gettysburg worked hard to reconcile with the south:
During Reconstruction, Hancock was appointed Governor of the 5th Military District, which encompassed Texas and Louisiana. Hancock refused to bully the defeated and vulnerable citizenry of Texas and Louisiana. His General Orders No. 40 of November 29, 1867, announced how he intended to govern. Predicting "they will crucify me," Hancock wrote:
[T]he great principles of American liberty are still the lawful inheritance of this people, and ever should be. The right of trial by jury, the habeas corpus, the liberty of the press, the freedom of speech, the natural rights of persons and the rights of property must be preserved. Free institutions, while they are essential to the prosperity and happiness of the people, always furnish the strongest inducements to peace and order.
General Orders No. 40 was soon published all over the country. Hancock's policy was joyfully received by the south as a sign that the war was finally over, and by Northerners who looked forward to reconciliation and the restoration of constitutional government.

But for the radical majority in Congress who believed that the southern states were conquered areas deserving punishment, Hancock's words were anathema.
Here's what his contemporaries said of him:
General William T. Sherman told an interviewer, "if you will sit down and write the best that can be put in the English language of General Hancock as a soldier and as a gentleman, I will sign it without hesitation." When Winfield Scott Hancock passed away in 1886, former President Hayes said succinctly, "he was through and through pure gold."
Democrat Hancock defended the election of Republican President Hayes in 1876, when Hayes beat Tilden in the most disputed (and probably the dirtiest) election in our history.

Garfield (also a principled man) beat Hancock by less than ten thousand votes (the totals are disputed) in 1880, and if Hancock had won New York (where he lost by 21033 votes) he would have won the election. According to Edmond the Libertarian, he only lost New York due to voting irregularities. Check this out: 79.4% of the eligible voters participated.

Update: Edmond the Libertarian has reminded me that I should reread carefully before I post. The last sentence was: "Hayes defeated Hancock for President in 1876, in what may be the most disputed election in American history." I corrected this egregious error and added more information above.

Update 2: I added "According to Edmond the Libertarian, he only lost New York due to voting irregularities." If Edmond finds a source to back up his memories, I'll be updating again. Thanks, Edmond!

Title Idea: Via Blackfive.

Why Floods Remind Me Of Armored Personnel Carriers

Today it's been raining a lot. Enough so that the intermittent stream has appeared in my folks back yard. And also enough there are flood warnings for Indian Creek, which is a little over a mile from my house. Indian Creek flooded most memorably about fifteen years ago (my memory is not helping on the year). A couple of teenagers were stranded in the flood and were rescued by an M113 Armored Personnel Carrier owned by the Lenexa, Kansas Police Department. As I remember it members of their SWAT team were fond of the M113 from their service in Vietnam, obtained a surplus M113 and restored it.

If you click on the Lenexa link, you will learn that Wild Bill Hickok got his start in law enforcement when he was elected constable of the Monticello township, which is now split between the cities of Lenexa and Shawnee.

Kansas may be flatter than a pancake, but this was the Wild West. If that seems incongruous to you, perhaps it's because the West was never really that Wild. New York City has always been much, much more dangerous.

Still Rumbling Along

I was looking for M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) Vehicles, and discovered we still use them. The M113 was introduced in 1960. Does the military ever throw anything away? They must, otherwise no Army surplus stores, yet my Air Force friend has told me of WWII C-Rations still being, err, consumed in the 70's.

Never Mind Patriotism, An Attempt At Objectivity Would Be Nice

Commentary Page gave us The Untouchable Chief of Baghdad, which shows that our press is not even trying to be objective. [About a month ago. Cleaning out your drafts? - ed Err, yes.]

Via Instapundit.

Brian Chontosh: A Reminder

Rich Lowry in National Review Online reminded me of a hero of the Iraqi campaign, Brian Chontosh. The fact that the media has ignored Lt. Chontosh's heroics shows that they don't have either the patriotism or the marketing savvy they should have. If Lt. Chontosh had shown such bravery in the Civil War, the Spanish American War or either World Wars he would be a household name by now. We hunger for heroes. The American media produces sympathetic victims instead.

If you cannot celebrate the heroism of our soldiers, if there is not a spark of hunger in your soul to celebrate that heroism, you aren't a patriot. You may be some other things that are quite wonderful, but a patriot, nope.

Friday, July 23, 2004

John Kerry Is Not A Catholic

In this old post, Rosemary Esmay points out that John Kerry is pro-abortion is spite of his belief that life starts at conception. As I understand his comments Kerry believes that, while life starts at conception, personhood starts at birth. This is not a principled, spiritual stand. It contradicts Catholic belief, which is that both life and personhood start at conception. Dad the Catholic Democrat marches against abortion every year, and I the Protestant Republican often stand with him, so I know there are pro-life Democrats. I think of all the Quakers, including those elected to office, who stood strong against slavery, risking their own lives running the Underground Railroad. Where is the principled sacrifice in Kerry's stance?

One difference between Bush and Kerry is that Bush clearly believes in God and wants to act on his beliefs. If Kerry didn't show up at Mass once a week I'd have no reason to believe that he is a Christian.

In the comments on Rose's site I try to get an abortion supporter (who thinks he's conflicted, but won't make one move against abortion, because he considers it a right) to discuss personhood. He dodges questions on the subject for the entire thread. I suppose if one admits that Africans are persons it makes owning them easier, but if they aren't persons a slavery supporter might be forced to change his mind. Better not to talk or think about it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Roosevelt's Secret Catalog

I asked Winchester to send me the owner's manual for the Winchester Model 25 Hammerless Repeating Shotgun which I inherited from my brother-in-law. When I got it, I was sure it was a notice telling me the manual was no longer available. Owner's manuals have certainly gotten thicker over the years.

The Model 25 was manufactured in between 1948 and 1954, if I recall correctly. The owner's manual is one sheet, printed front and back, with two columns on each page in large print. The last column is blank. There is nary a diagram nor a picture to be found, unless you count the Winchester logo. My current owner's manual for my Ruger Model 10/22 carbine is fifty-one pages, and littered with pictures and diagrams. Since my ignorance of pump shotguns is profound, I am rendered helpless by such timeless prose as this:
TO DISMOUNT PARTS ATTACHED TO BARREL - Remove magazine band screw and slide forward on barrel, remove Magazine Lock and screw in face of receiver, unscrew Magazine with action slide handle from receiver. Unscrew magazine plug screw and remove magazine plug-spring and follower. Unscrew action slide sleeve screw cap and pull off handle, slide magazine out of sleeve, be sure action slide spring is on rear side of stop collar on magazine. Assemble in reverse order.
Imagine my surprise about a week later when Winchester also sent me a copy of The Roosevelt's Secret Winchester 2004 Catalog, complete with diagrams of bullet drop and oodles of full color pictures, including the naughty bits like a close up of the Controlled Round Push Feed Bolt. My mouth is starting to water just writing about it...

Hey! That Package Is Marked Fragile!

Stanley Kurtz of National Review Online reviews the evidence from Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands. The evidence is not conclusive, but it strongly suggests that persuading people that marriage has nothing to do with child-rearing is bad for the institution. That is a crucial point in the arguments people make in favor of same-sex marriage. I'd say that those who argue for civil unions and same sex marriage are destroying the village in order to save it. Take a gander at Stanley's evidence and reasoning. It may not persuade you, but I find it persuasive, and there are many who would agree with me. It's my society you are planning on changing, not just yours. I say we wait at least fifty years and watch those three countries carefully before we chance such destruction.

I Agree, It's Very Funny

Go watch (and listen to): This Land.

Via three-fourths of the blogosphere.

UPDATE: Changed the link. The old one ran out of bandwidth.

A Local Hero: Sgt. James "Gabe" Gough

The Johnson County Sun reports that Sgt. James "Gabe" Gough recently won The Bronze Star. Here's what he did:
One day after leaving a meeting with the mayor, Gough and his party came under fire from gunmen on rooftops on each side of the street.
The soldiers grabbed cover quickly, Gough said, but one of his fellows was shot twice in the calf in the middle of the street and was unable to walk.
Gough said he was going to get him, but was told to wait because enemy fire was too intense. Gough disobeyed that order, entered the street and helped his comrade walk to safety.
The bullets continued to rain down, striking the other soldier's canteen. Gough said he thought the injured man had been shot again and was afraid that he had been mortally wounded, so he was relieved to find they were soaked only with water and that his friend would survive.
Now note the modesty which is the hallmark of so many heroes:
For Gough it was the only thing to do.
"You know, when it comes down to thinking about giving your life for your friend, I don't think it takes a split second to make that decision," Gough said.
This wasn't his only time in action:
The other incident that helped earn Gough the Bronze Star occurred in Jaurfa'sukhr, a small town 45 minutes south of Baghdad.
Gough had already completed two missions that day, which had started at 3 a.m., and was assigned another late in the afternoon when a convoy had been ambushed and the another convey sent to assist them also came under attack.
After rendezvousing with the two ambushed convoys, the group was attacked a third time. The Humvee in front of Gough's was disabled by an improvised explosive device, and the convoy was forced to fight.
Gough said there was little alternative.
"You're just fighting to make it home," Gough said.
Thanks, Gabe. You've made us proud. (Note: The odd paragraph formatting is from the Sun web site.)

Monday, July 19, 2004

Political Honesty Exists

It seems Kansas Senator Nick Jordan of Shawnee, during a video-taped debate, accused his primary challenger, Lisa Benlon, of voting for concealed carry in 1999 (which would be good - ed.) when she was a Kansas State Representative. Benlon, who has always opposed concealed carry (which is bad - ed.), was stunned.  Jordan checked the record, discovered he was mistaken, called Benlon and apologized.  He taped a disclaimer, which was added to the videotape.  The debate will be shown on cable later this month.
 
Nick Jordan was Mrs. Wince's and my Senator when we lived in Shawnee.  He was an elder at Full Faith Church of Love there, which we attended for a time, and took over as senior pastor when the senior pastor ran off with his secretary.  Nick was a dark horse for that spot, but he lead the church through the difficult times which followed until a more experienced pastor took up the reins.  He was a good preacher, too.  Once his tenure there was done, he ran for office.
 
For the morbidly curious, our former senior pastor repented and has been reunited with his wife.  He went from being the senior pastor of a large church to the assistant pastor of a small one.
 
It is good to know honest men, including forgiven ones.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that Nick is a Republican. Anyone familiar with Johnson County Kansas politics would suspect this. The Democratic party is weak here. I can't remember a local Democratic primary with two candidates.

Via the Kansas City Star, Sunday, July 18, 2004. No link to be found.

The Moral Bankruptcy Of Abortion Is Revealed

Amy Richards describes, in her own words, why she killed two of her babies. Amy had an abortion earlier in her life.

Her words remind me of slave owners breaking up families to sell their property down river to pay off their gambliing debts, with no care for the lives destroyed.

Pro-abortion, pro-slavery. Same thing.

Via half the blogosphere.

Welcome to Eternity Road

Francis W. Porretto has started a blog called Eternity Road.  And he hasn't stopped writing essays.

Senator Edwards - A Double-Minded Man

Read this Edwards quote.  I don't know about Edwards's two Americas, but Edwards is clearly of two minds about the personhood of the unborn.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

BLACKFIVE: Letter From Iraq - Army Engineer Officer's Candid Take on Iraq

Worth reading: BLACKFIVE: Letter From Iraq - Army Engineer Officer's Candid Take on Iraq

Now The Apologies Are Done

Ralph Stefan does a marvelous job fending off the Psychological Troop Abusers at Ara's place. I, on the other hand, lose my temper and decide to apologize.

I Will Read This

After I catch up on my apologies and sleep. Via Dean Esmay: Terrorism Unveiled: USMC Cobra Pilot's Story

Can Anarchy Work?

I was checking out Kevin's work at The Smallest Minority when I noticed he was having a discussion with John Lopez on how much government we should have. Kevin has additional follow up here, here, here, some counter-arguments here, and back over the net here.

Amazingly, Sofia Sideshow had a post on Bulgarian car insurance which I thought was related.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Regime Change: Required

David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey revisit the necessity of regime change in Iraq, in The Reality of Saddam’s Threat on National Review Online.

The reality is that we had to deal with Saddam. He had adopted a strategy of keeping his research and development going while trying to get the sanctions shut down. Here's a sample:
Yet, the existence of this state of affairs in 2003 does not, contrary to the claims of the administration's critics, validate the wisdom of the U.N. sanctions/inspections strategy or demonstrate that the U.S.-preferred regime change strategy was unnecessary and unwise. To begin with, a "virtual" WMD strategy enabled Saddam to wait out the sanctions/inspections regime, which, by the late 1990s, was already beginning to break down — with claims (by France among others) that the innocent Iraqi people were suffering more than the guilty Saddam regime. It should be recalled that the administration's pre-September 11, 2001 efforts to bolster and "smarten" anti-Saddam sanctions were met with strong opposition from Russia, China and France, all of which were arguing that Iraq should be allowed to rejoin the international community as a normal sovereign state. There were no indications that those who have been critical of "regime change" as the most effective means for dealing with the threat posed by Saddam would have had the bureaucratic and political staying power of sustaining for years, and even decades, a policy of de facto international trusteeship, enforced by weapons inspectors, to be imposed over Iraq (as well as on other WMD-aspiring, rogue regimes).
In short, containment was turning into detente. And here's why WMD program related materials are important:
Significantly, this "just-in-time" approach to WMD deployment was no less dangerous, from the U.S. perspective, than possession of a WMD stockpile. At least with respect to chemical and biological agents, the most important assets appear to be the availability of suitable expertise and the necessary industrial base. Both of these Saddam had in plenty. Thus, a rogue state, capable of reconstituting its WMD arsenal at a time of its own choosing, poses as much of a threat as a regime with the WMD forces in being.
The authors go on to point out that the myth of perfect intelligence is extremely dangerous. Read the whole thing.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

How Jesus Might Respond To Abortion

Via marcland: A compassionate response to abortion. Do click on all the links (although I duplicate them here, except the first "Page Not Found"). The backstory is alarming, yet uplifting. The teacher's response is truly ennobling. Marc is right to praise this man. Boy does he grok Jesus.

I'm so glad Dean let Marc guest blog.

I Smell Smoke, Therefore Someone's Pants Must Be On Fire, Right?

Les Jones collects quotes from prominent Democrats in his article: Democrats Alleged Saddam Had WMDs, Supported Use of Force. Here's a sample:
"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction. "[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he has continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ...
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.
According some of my Democrat friends these men are liars who should all be thrown out of their offices, at least if they fairly apply to them the same standards they apply to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc. But since those standards aren't fair, I predict the application won't be either.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Just One Percent

Would you donate 1% to save a life?

Not 1% of your money but 1% of your time?

You see, 9 months -- the time it takes a baby to grow to maturity in its mother's womb -- is just 1% of a woman's life expectancy. Just 1%. Can we not all donate 1% to see that a life is saved?

When a woman is shocked by an undesired pregnancy, it's hard not to be overwhelmed by the sudden surprise, the recognition of the long-term implications, the gravity of the situation. But if we can just look for a moment from the broader perspective of our lifetimes we can realize that this unexpected shock does not equal catastrophe. Women are strong, resilient, and used to fulfilling a wide variety of roles throughout their lives. Yes, donating 1% is a sacrifice. But not an unmanageable one.

And balance the sacrifice with the certain knowledge that there are literally thousands of couples vying desperately for the opportunity to provide the best home and upbringing possible to the child you bear. Every child is a very wanted child -- though it sometimes takes just a small amount of effort to locate the ones doing the wanting, by making a phone call or two to an adoption agency.

We do not need Supreme Court appointments to overturn abortion law (but I'll take 'em). We don't need more pro-life politicians (but I'll be voting for them). We need every woman and girl in America of child-bearing age, or who will one day be of child-bearing age, to decide in her heart and in her mind right here and right now that by whatever unforeseen circumstance she should find herself pregnant at a time when she does not want to be, she will follow through with the mere 1% required to save that life within her. Women and girls need to proclaim their bodies are a sanctuary, and they will not destroy any life found growing therein. No matter what.

Avoid pregnancy until you are ready. But if it occurs, spend 1% seeing it through to birth, and spend the rest of your life with the certain confidence that you did the right thing.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Pork Fat Clogs Congressional Arteries

The desire to carefully carve the porker is killing our troops. The real corrupting money in national politics is the money the Feds spend, not money spent campaigning.

Via Howard Veit and Kim du Toit.

How To Support The Troops

John Kerry shows how to do it. Here's my favorite excerpt:
Panel 31W, Row 42. On February 24, 1969, 19 year-old Marine Lance Corporal Wolfendale, just 17 days from coming home, was at the tail end of a three day firefight. Only one bunker of Viet Cong remained when a group of Marines suddenly got trapped in a depression in front of it.

Ed Wolfendale was safely away from the bunker and could have easily stayed there and kept his head down. Instead, like so many of our comrades, Ed thought little for his own safety and acted — he grabbed a Light Anti-Tank Assault Weapon and charged into the line of fire. On his way, Ed took a direct hit and bled to death in the field. When the men in his platoon saw what Wolfie had done, they immediately followed his lead and soon overtook the bunker.

This could have been where the story ended — but the spirit that brings us here today had a hand in this story. A member of Ed Wolfendale's platoon, Tom Smith, saw Ed go over that hill and was in the wave of men who followed him. Though he didn't really know Ed Wolfendale, Tom never forgot what he did. After he returned home, Tom spent the next thirty years searching for Ed's family to ensure they knew how he died.

He didn't know his real name, he just knew Wolfie, so it wasn't until recently that he was able to track down his family. To his shock, Tom learned that not only did Ed's family not know how he died, he discovered that Wolfie had only received a Purple Heart. A few years back, because Tom Smith never forgot his comrade, Ed Wolfendale's 82-year-old mother Stella and five of his six brothers accepted the Silver Star on his behalf.
Note how Kerry praises the troops, how he celebrates our ideals and how he mutes his criticism. We can all learn from this example.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Is Kerry Mistaken?

Middle Age Madness has uncovered a strange anomaly.
This year, tax freedom day was April 11th. That's the earliest it has been since 1991. It's latest day ever was May 2nd, which occurred in 2000.
Oh, so the idea that the federal tax cuts caused a larger increase in state and local taxes doesn't quite hold water. So what did Kerry say on 18 June?
Today John Kerry gave a speech in which he claimed Americans are actually paying more taxes under Bush, despite the tax cuts. He gave no explanation and provided no data for this claim.
If Bush said this my friends on the other side of the aisle would call him a liar. OK, guys, call Kerry a liar. That's your schtick. Myself, I'll just say Kerry got hold of a bad idea, probably from his friend Howard Dean, and neither staff spent any time checking it.

Whatta Comeback Line!

You have to read the entire post, Gotta Love The Marines, to see this. It's fabulous.

UPDATE: It's a fable, which is why it's so fabulous. I should've listened to the little guy whispering in my ear that a Marine General would never say that to a woman these days, and checked out Snopes. Thanks, Spoons, for pointing it out in the comments.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

A Democratic Ox Is Gored

The Hill reports that Michael Moore's movie Fahrenheit 9/11 is running afoul of McCain-Feingold.
Michael Moore may be prevented from advertising his controversial new movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, on television or radio after July 30 if the Federal Election Commission (FEC) today accepts the legal advice of its general counsel.

At the same time, a Republican-allied 527 soft-money group is preparing to file a complaint against Moore's film with the FEC for violating campaign-finance law.

In a draft advisory opinion placed on the FEC's agenda for today's meeting, the agency's general counsel states that political documentary filmmakers may not air television or radio ads referring to federal candidates within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election.
I'm still outraged about the odious Campaign Finance Laws in this country, including that !@#$%^&* McCain-Feingold. Do those who supported it understand why, now? Michael Moore has the right to buy time to make political points any day of any year. He has the right to mention politicians by name any day of any year. He has the right to pool his money with that of others and they can collectively buy time to do both of those things.

The Congress, the various Presidents, and the Supreme Court have ignored the plain language of the First Amendment to strip us of our rights under the rubric of Campaign Finance Reform.

Thanks to Ara Rubyan for bringing this to my attention. Will you join me in condemning all limits on campaign spending? I am very happy that candidates and organizations are required to use campaign contributions for campaigning. I would consider requiring full disclosure on the source of all campaign funds, provided everyone's privacy rights are also defended. But in general political speech is exactly the sort of speech which must be free.

If the FEC does make an exception for Moore's movie, expect everyone from the Sierra Club to the NRA to start making cheap documentaries for sale and then advertising them during the campaign. If not, maybe some people will wake up and start defending free speech again.

Nathan...

... is miffed.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Become a Positive Liberal and a Positive Troop Supporter

James Piereson coins the terrifically apt phrase Punitive Liberalism to describe one of Reagan's greatest triumphs.

And James Taranto follows up with these cogent thoughts (as Les Jones so helpfully pointed out:
Punitive liberals are often defensive about their patriotism--understandably enough, since their relentless complaining about America often is hard to distinguish from out-and-out anti-Americanism. Their defense is that "true" patriotism consists in acknowledging your own country's faults and exhorting it to improve.

Well, maybe. Certainly there's nothing unpatriotic about criticizing your government or its policies. And since love of country is a matter of the heart, it's presumptuous to question anyone's patriotism. But imagine a man who treats his wife the way the punitive liberals treat America: constantly belittling her, pointing out her faults and never showing her any kindness. He may love her, but most people would agree he has a twisted way of expressing it.
Hmmm. This reminds me of the way some of the media, the anti-war and the anti-Bush love and support our troops. They repeatedly criticize the war, ignoring all positive news. When forced to acknowledge the heroism of our troops they cannot resist the urge to turn praise into criticism. They are Psychological Troop Abusers. Well, if you are a Punitive Liberal or a Psychological Troop Abuser do us all a favor. Take "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" as your personal motto. Then either become a Positive Liberal and a Positive Troop Supporter or be quiet.

A Powerful Lobby Helps Criminals

Eugene Volokh exposes a powerful lobby, which is trying to expand its legal rights even though it promotes criminal behavior.

Media Incompetence Also Hurts Kerry

Eugene Volokh has been complaining that media incompetence hurts Kerry, too. Slate's Kerryisms and Bushisms should be retired.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

What We Face

I haven't linked Francis Porretto recently, though he still deserves it. Check out this creepy list:
  • It orders its adherents to spread the creed by force, and to compel all non-believers to submit to it as second-class citizens.

  • It demands that any heresy, apostasy, or blasphemy against it be punished by death.

  • It demands total political power over the entire world, and explicitly denies the legitimacy of any political structure based on any principles other than its own.

  • It prescribes a minutely elaborate code of behavior for all men, not just for its adherents, which is to be enforced by political means.

  • It sanctifies any deed, however violent or deceitful, done to spread its hegemony over the world, and promises great glory to those who die doing such service.

  • It particularly excoriates the Jews as its enemies, and prescribes their elimination from the face of the Earth.
Then go and read Getting Away With It.

A New Educational Initiative

Rand Simberg channels Scott Ott, discovering Bush's plan to address a key chink in the American education system.

Frozen Toaster Discovers...

Chiefs Who Are Whales. This is fascinating stuff. Don't miss the anti-human anti-tribal Greenpeace reference at the end.

This Will Make Your Hair Stand On End

Steve Antler gives details of the Iranian 'plan to eliminate Anglo-Saxon civilization using missiles and suicide bombers against "29 sensitive targets" in the West, which have already been identified by Iranian intelligence'.

Money quote:
I read material like this and wonder how I can be living in the same universe as my buddies who divide their time between hating Bush and agonizing over global warming.
Steve also notes the Iranian plan to nuke Israel, not caring whether Isreal responds. On the Fourth of July we need some USAF fireworks in Iran.

FOX News, Unlike The Evil Queen, Really Is the Fairest In The Land

A recent study by a couple of guys from Yale concluded that Fox actually was the most fair and balanced.

I like Fox because it manages to pick liberals who have a sense of humor, who clearly like conservatives even though they also clearly disagree with them and who aren't insulting or condescending. (Note to Ara Rubyan: Send resume and video clip to Fox.) Makes me remember why I like liberals.

It's really odd. I watch Fox and I like their liberals. I listen to the BBC or NPR and I don't like theirs. If you are liberal you should be glad I watch Fox, 'cause they make you look good.

Update: I am not referring to the Queen of All Evil. I am referring to Snow White's step-mother.

Via Steve Verdon and Steve Antler.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

SayDaddy

SayUncle just had a baby girl. Go congratulate him! Maybe he'll hand out virtual cigars.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Hooray for the GOP!

On 17 June 1856, the Republican Party held its first convention. So all Republicans can join me in dancing about and yelling, "Hooray for the Grand Ole Party!" All Democrats, Libertarians, Greens and Reformers are invited to dramatically shake their fists in the air and yell, "Boo! Down with the Republicans!" Independents can dance gleefully and yell, "We've got choices!"

It'll be a cardiovascular moment for all of us.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Neither Justifiably Praising Our Troops, Nor Damning Our Enemies

Bill at Peoria Pundit has found The Green Side, where Major D.G. Bellon, USMC gives the rest of the story. Bill excerpts a story which shows that the American media neither justifiably praising our troops, nor damning our enemies.

The American people need to know both the restraints under which our troops are willingly operating as well as the tactics of the power-hungry criminal thugs they are fighting.

Field Stripping My Makarov

Last night I learned how to field strip my Makarov. Sure makes cleaning easier. The Makarov is pretty easy to strip, although there is a stiff spring needed to make the blowback work, so some hand strength is required. The best part is that no springs or small parts suddenly leap out of the gun and get lost. Here are the steps:

1. Don't point the gun at anyone or anything you don't want shot at anytime during the process.
2. I can't emphasize point one enough.
3. Remove the magazine.
4. Safety off.
5. Work the slide to eject any round in the chamber.
6. Pull back the slide and make sure the chamber is empty.
7. I can't emphasize points one and six enough.
8. If there is a round in the chamber, you forgot to remove the magazine. Start over at step one, which I can't emphasize enough.
9. The safety should be off and the gun cocked at this point. If not, you forgot some steps. Start over at step one, which I can't emphasize enough.
10. Pull the trigger guard down. I moved mine slightly to the side, so it would catch in the open position.
11. Pull the slide to the back and up to start removing it.
12. When it pops up, slide it forward to clear the barrel end.
13. Remove the big spring around the barrel.
14. Clean the barrel using your favorite method.
15. Restore the big spring to its former place around the barrel.
16. Are you being careful where you point your gun?
17. Pull the slide back over the spring and the barrel.
18. Pull it back and down into the same position it is when the action is open.
19. The tricky part on mine was getting the slide into place so that it would slide forward till the action was closed. Extra rearward pressure while pushing down seemed to help, but I'm still not sure exactly how I do this.
20. Restore the trigger guard to its normal position.
21. Now you are ready to load the gun for ready use or to store it. I leave the magazine out and lock the action open for storage. It occurs to me that someone with more expertise may tell me that this is bad because it may put a set in that big spring, which would ruin it. I better ask someone about this.

Update: Kevin points out in the comments that my storage method is all wet. He says: "Close the slide and drop the hammer. It's best to store the gun with the springs at rest."

Sunday, June 06, 2004

PBS Honors Our D-Day Heroes

I am in awe of the sacrifices the Greatest Generation made during WWII. One of the great things about D-Day was the way PBS honored those men. We saw most of D-Day: Down to Earth - Return of the 507th. The 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment fought at D-Day, at the Battle of the Bulge and in Operation Varsity. In Normandy, the regiment, which started with 2100 men, lost 1300 men. In Operation Varsity, one of its soldiers won the Medal of Honor.
It was during this operation that Pfc George J Peters of the 507th won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Pfc Peters and a group of 10 other troopers landed in an open field near the town of Fluren. Raked by enemy machine gun fire the troopers laid there helplessly. Peters, armed with only his rifle and a few grenades took it upon himself to charge the German machine gun nest. After receiving several wounds and bleeding profusely Peters crawled to within 15 feet of the gun enplacement and pitched two grenades into the enemy stronghold. The ensuing explosion silenced the machine gun and its crew.
Remember these men and their sacrifices.