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.


... 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


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.

Thanks, President Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan was the greatest President since Harry Truman, although I foolishly hated him at the time. He taught me that people one disagrees with are not idiots. He was right and I was wrong. He was right about how to fight the Soviets. I was wrong. He was right about the Sandinistas. I was wrong. He was right about tax cuts. I was wrong. He was right about the size of government. I was wrong.

Thank God for the service Ronald Reagan gave this country.

In The Army Even The Public Affairs Men Are Heroes

Check out Soldier Stories.
Staff Sgt. Brian S. Sipp, a public affairs NCOIC attached to the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor, kept the enemy at bay until his unit could take cover. The Iraqis were firing mortars, small arms, and rocket-propelled grenade fire at his convoy in an attempt to disrupt refueling operations that were beginning.

His citation reads that Sipps’ “courage under fire and unending enthusiasm inspired his team on the battlefield.” He hopped a fence and lead a group of Soldiers across an open field under fire to try and save HEMTTs loaded with ammunition.
Via Instapundit.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Private Space Flight!

Mark 21 June on your calendars. You can even go see the world's first private space launch.

Hornet's Nest

Casey Tompkins points out the strategic difficulties of attacking the Saudis. I've always known it was a bad idea to really piss off 1.3 billion Muslims by attacking the holy land. I've also wondered how we could come up with a satisfactory causus belli when people didn't want us to attack Iraq even though we were still technically at war with Iraq and they were violating the terms of the cease fire all the time. It's also been very puzzling how we could turn on an ally who had been cooperating with us against Iraq. Not to mention the oil problem.

But Casey shows how utterly ignorant the idea is from a military standpoint.

Thanks, Casey!

Old Bull Elephants

James Rummel opines on the utility of dangerous old men. It reminds me of the game wardens who were having trouble with a gang of young male elephants terrorizing the neighborhood. Solution: Add some old bulls. Worked like a charm.

Are our old bull humans too domesticated?

Thursday, June 03, 2004


Marc has a new baby boy!

Just Because I Like An Idea...

... doesn't mean a law implementing it is constitutional. Marc laments the ruling which overturned the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. The judge did the right thing for the wrong reason. I wish every state had outlawed Partial-Birth Abortion, or that Congress had done so based on the civil rights of the child. But Congress tried to regulate abortions based on the idea that abortions were interstate commerce. Wrong. We would be better off if our Presidents, Congress and the courts understood that they are supposed to obey the Constitution, not evade it.

An Article dodger is worse than a draft dodger.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

A Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and a Meritorious Service Medal for Memorial Day

Blackfive pays tribute to his friend Mat, who was killed on Memorial Day last year. Here is how Mat died:
At 7:15AM, vicinity KC 6514 6181, Major Schram's convoy approached a ravine where the bridge crossing the ravine had been destroyed. The convoy had to go down the embankment, into the ravine, and back up the other side to get back onto the highway.

Once the lead vehicle started up the far bank of the ravine, the convoy came under intense fire from Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs), machine guns, and small arms fire. It was an ambush. Fifteen Iraqi insurgents had been waiting by the ravine.

An RPG hit the lead tanker vehicle, disabling it in the kill zone. It was a perfect ambush set up. If the insurgents could knock out the first and last vehicles, then the entire convoy would be stuck in the kill zone. Bullets flew from insurgents on both sides of the ravine. The insurgent grenadiers were trying to concentrate fire on the last American vehicle to bottle Major Schram's convoy in the ravine. The attackers would then be able to kill the Americans at will.

Major Schram ordered his driver, Specialist Chris Van Dyke, to accelerate from their position in the convoy into the insurgents' positions. Major Schram sent a message to Headquarters for help and began returning fire out of the Humvee. The Iraqi grenadiers recognized the threat and shifted their fire from the rear truck to Schram's Humvee, HQ-12.

Multiple grenades exploded at the front and rear of HQ-12. Specialist Van Dyke was blown out of the vehicle. Once he stopped rolling on the ground, he got up and ran back to HQ-12. He got back in and drove the Humvee out of the Kill Zone.

When he turned to get orders from Major Schram, Van Dyke realized that his Major had been killed. Even though he wore body armor, two 7.62 rounds had gone through his armpit (where there is no body armor coverage) and struck his heart, killing him instantly.

The Iraqi insurgents had fled after they fired their grenades at HQ-12 which was heading for them at full throttle.
Here is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel account. Major Schram was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal for his service. Here's another little tidbit form Blackfive:
The one part that I left out of this post is that Major Schram's convoy was followed by a car with a Newsweek reporter in it. Once the action began, the reporter and his driver turned and got the hell out of there. If it wasn't for Mat's charge up into the ambushers, they never would have made it out of there alive.

Newsweek never ran a story about my good friend, Mat.
Tell me again how the media supports our troops.