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21/25/40: California has a spending problem. As State Senator Tom McClintock likes to point out, population and inflation combined have grown at a rate of 21% the past four years; revenue has grown 25%. Yet California government spending has grown 40%. The result is an unprecedented state budget deficit expected to exceed $35 billion.
- Thomas Krannawitter 5/2/03

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[4/30/04 Friday]

[Streetsweeper - into the opinion bin] 5:11 am [link]
Sorry, gotta go: Well, well. The 9/11 Commission wanted to question the President – made a big deal about it, in fact, right? So, they had their opportunity yesterday... And oops, the interview went a little long and Bob Kerrey had to duck out because he had a meeting with Senator Pete Domenici. And Lee Hamilton had to make an intro speech for a visit from Canada’s Prime Minister Paul Martin. Hmm... I’m surprised that Jamie Gorelick didn’t have a previously scheduled hair appointment... Thank goodness this is a non-partisan commission... Glad to know that this is oh-so important for the country...

[Nick Winter - CRO administrative editor] 5:01 am [link]
Today’s Democratic Talking Point:
Liberals please note – use this talking point whenever discussing the 9/11 Commission’s interview of Bush - “Why did Bush and Cheney have to go in hand in hand to this very important commission hearing?” It's especially importanat to use this question if your conservative jerk friend says anything about Kerrey or Hamilton leaving the Bush-Cheney interview early...

[4/29/04 Thursday]

[Streetsweeper - into the opinion bin] 5:13 am [link]
Chickenhawks!!! Senator Frank Lautenberg is oh-so right! "We know who the chickenhawks are.  They talk tough on national defense and military issues and cast aspersions on others, but when it was their turn to serve, where were they?  AWOL. That's where they were...”

Yeah! You tell ‘em Frank! What is it with these civilians who never served in battle getting all gung-ho to go war??? Chickenhawks! Bush and Cheney didn’t serve a day in combat, yet they’re calling the shots (so to speak). Yeah, that’s right, Bush and Cheney are Chickenhawks just like those Chickenhawks before them!

Yeah! Like the granddaddy of all Chickenhawks Franklin Roosevelt! Never served a day in his life, but boy was he ready to pull the trigger! He was just itching to get into it. I mean think about it... Sure there wasn’t a UN to help out, but he could have negotiated with the Japanese and smoothed over that Pearl Harbor thing – but no... And what did the Germans and Italians do to us? Nothing. But FDR had to jump right in and declare war on them too. I mean it’s like Bush could have probably worked it out with Al-Qaeda. The World Trade Center was a tragedy and all, but let’s Move On. But the Chickenhawks can’t Move On... No, they had to show they’re big men and declare some phoney “war on terrorism” and trash Afghanistan and then Iraq claiming that somehow “giving aid and comfort” to so-called “terrorists” was now considered aggression...

...FDR jumps on Germany and Italy for no good reason and Bush jumps on Iraq for no good reason except maybe for his oil buddies. Big bad American presence in the middle of the Arab world, right next to Iran and Syria... Do they really think this kind of intimidation works???

Bush and Cheney are Chickenhawks like that corrupt FDR was a Chickenhawk... And oh, yeah! What about that Chickenhawk Clinton? He was sorta AWOL when it was his time to serve! Clinton goes messing around in Kosovo, Serbia and whatever... He didn’t even talk to the UN about it, he just sent our planes right in to handle it... You call ‘em out Frank!

[Chuck McVey] 5:01 am [link]
War and the Supreme Court: Buried beneath the question of legal representation for Jose Padilla is the more important issue, brought out in this Wall Street Journal piece, of the ever-increasing power of our judicial system. We all know our country was based upon checks and balances between our judicial system, the legislative system, and the Presidency. A legal scholar would point to the fact that a Supreme Court Justice could be impeached but would also have to admit that such an action would be very unlikely. Our liberties are not protected by a moral definition extending from the Declaration of Independence, that concept died long ago. It is now man who decides what liberties we are allowed to have... or not have. And increasingly, it is the Justices who take it upon themselves to make that decision. Justices who have no real check or balance, and they tell us we have a "living Constitution."

[4/28/04 Wednesday]

[Canon Reverend Dale Owens - CRO's Token Progressive] 12:05 pm [link]
Choice=Love: Talon News -- Pro-Life Activists Make Stand at Abortion March: "Father Dayton Reynolds stood along the route blessing marchers and making the sign of the Cross." - I know many "conservatives" drop by my blog. I know from the hate mail I receive. I just wanted you to see the kind of idiotic and hateful things people in your movement do. How could "Father" "Reynolds" act in this way?. Does he know the scarring that a "blessing" from a man can bring to some women? He stood there all day disturbing the party. . . and the love that was coming from the podium. I wish I could have been at the march to talk to this "priest." I would have said, "Today I stand with my sisters, because my own mother did not have the right to abort when I was born." I have found that this silences an entire room when it is said.

Pro-choice people tried to explain to "Father" what they were doing in affirming Christian truth through denying it. The subtleness, I fear, of their argument escaped "Reynolds." The news story cited above says these bright young protesters, "they grabbed their crotches." They used colorful metaphors, many with only four letters to try to get "Reynolds" to understand their power. They tried to shout out the truth that taking life is affirming life! Did "Reynolds" hear? Did their message of love and freedom get out? I fear not. "Reynolds" answered their loving words with "blessings" and "Bible verses." He refused to marry two lesbians who came to him in sincerity on the street to perform this gracious act. Here was a chance to reach out! But no. He could not see beyond his truth. He heard shouts of joy, yes even the f-word, and heard only profanity. Such is the way of the Right.


Imagine my shock as I got ready to post this piece when research turned up that "Father" "Reynolds" is the father of John Mark Reynolds of! (I protest being called "Reynolds" friend by the biased, useful idiot who edits the site. . . he hates everything I stand for. . . and it might be better to call me "'Reynolds' better twin". . . his angelic doppleganger. One more mistake like that and I will stop writing for them. As a pastor, I have to be careful with my associations. )

It did not take long to discover that "John" "Reynolds" is a close personal friend with Frank Pastore! "John" is Pastore without the wit or the charm. A sort of chubby Pastore with a word processor. It all connects in my mind. A right wing conspiracy indeed! Pastore's hand is creeping into our churches. These people must be silenced. I commend those who in a dignified manner at the protest responded to these hate mongers. We should all "grab our crotches" to make our points. "Logic" and other "patriarchal" means of discourse just play into their little trap. In all love, this entire Reynolds family is an excellent argument for legalized choice.

Canon Owens (blog) - Founder of the Progressive Episcopal Church (Fontana California) and the Cathedral of Saint Chad and close personal friend better twin and angelic doppleganger of John Mark Reynolds...

[Canon Reverend Dale Owens - CRO's Token Progressive] 10:32 am [link]
Stopping Terrorism - one terrorist at a time: Violence is never the answer. Never. Our pretend-cowboy faux-President thinks he can stop terrorists by killing them. Instead he makes them stronger. Every terrorist that dies produces ten more. At our current rate of killing in Iraq, I calculate that soon every person in the world will be a terrorist. And then what will Bush do?

I have a story to illustrate the correct way to deal with evil. Yesterday someone laughed at my new "naval ring." I was standing in my orange velour jump suit warming up. As I stretched at the local high school track, the ring began to flash attractively in the sun.

"Hey fat man," said one confused young lad. "Why draw attention to all that flab?"

I sighed to myself knowing he was another Fox television viewer and moved elsewhere. So far even a member of the religious right could have acted as I did, most understanding that they should turn the other cheek in their own cases, but then I acted even more courageously.

The angry young man moved down the track to where an older woman was working out. "Give me your purse." he growled. The lady tried to stop him, using force. Justifiably angry at this uncharitable act, the man snatched the purse and ran away. I ran after him. "Here is my wallet." I said thrusting mine out to him. "Thanks," he said.

I returned to the woman and said, "You must learn to turn the other cheek. You will notice that I turned it for you." She did not thank me, but I think she will in time.

Later I saw the young lad pushing down an old lady further down the block, but much less confidently than before. I forgave him in my heart and wished him well. "God bless you, young lad!" I cried. He turned and looked at me. I knew in my heart that I had won, more love would soon make this lad a changed being.

Canon Owens (blog) - Founder of the Progressive Episcopal Church (Fontana California) and the Cathedral of Saint Chad and close personal friend of John Mark Reynolds...

[4/27/04 Tuesday]

[Streetsweeper - into the opinion bin] 5:13 am [link]
Medals – Ribbons – Medals: What is it with John Kerry? It is hard to imagine this equivocator becoming our Commander-in-Chief. I don’t get it. He says it was only “ribbons” he threw over the Capitol Hill fence. So what did that mean? Didn’t it mean that he and his anti-war veterans were renouncing the symbols of war?

Okay. So he threw his ribbons over the fence... Oh, but not the medals. He was honored to have been awarded the medals...

WRONG! The ribbons ARE the medals - just an everyday version.

So, what is it? Does he renounce the symbols of war or does he feel honored by them? If he renounced them, then fine, he’s sickened by the symbols of war and he should take down the bloody symbols from his wall!! If he wants them on his wall, then he wasn’t serious 35 years ago and he has been living a lie every day since...

On the one hand, it’s a tempest in a teapot. If he’s anti-war, then he’s anti-war, right? Ribbons, medals, what does it matter? He was so anti-war he gave aid and comfort to the North Vietnamese and brought on the death of our soldiers and the deaths of millions across Indochina.

He was so anti-war he voted against authorizing the Gulf War meaning that today Saddam would lording over the province of Kuwait. That’s kinda consistent for a guy who throws his symbols of war over the Capitol Hill fence. I get that.

Hmm... But now it seems he’s not anti-war when it’s not politically expedient. So now he’s the gung-ho guy who’s got his medals proudly displayed on his wall. Medals that are the symbols of war – medals that represent the so called “atrocities” he committed.

So we want a Commander-in-Chief who can’t figure out what he truly believes about warfare, valor and honor? Is this the guy we want leading the fight against a wide-ranging gang of terrorists who want nothing less than the total destruction of the U.S.?

The man has no credibility. Simple: weasel.

If he can weasel like this on the little stuff, imagine what he’s gonna do with the big stuff... What nightmare will he lead us into when he weasels as President?

[Found in the ebag-Aaron Gross] 5:01 am [link]
Re - Woe is Pepperdine: Thanks for the kudos.

I am not a big-L libertarian. I can't stand libertarian ideology concerning foreign policy (way too naive and allows the bad guys to ramp up to hit us hard). But government has gotten WAY too big for our own good.

I think restaurants and stores should be allowed to refuse service to anyone. And the bad press a discriminatory reputation and press coverage will hit them in the wallet.

Forcing private owners to succumb to government pressures is not a good precedent. Heck, let the government publish a "poop list" of the nastiest businesses so that businesses can't get away with serving customers who are ignorant of their vile practices.

I can barely remember voting for a Libertarian Party candidate but there are important principles that can help innoculate Republicans from veering too much to the populist left.

I wish Larry Elder had children the ages of mine (16, 14, 12, 10, 6 & 1) so that I could hear what a "Republitarian" thinks about the pervasiveness of sexual content in the media. That's an area where I think he's still very naive. In a world of adults, his ideas are fine, but he doesn't do much to protect kids from ideas they aren't ready to handle. [Go to Aaron the Liberal Slayer]

[4/26/04 Monday]

[Michael Levine] 8:10 am [link]
...Fifth Column: "When I watched those planes go into the Twin Towers, I felt elated. That magnificent action split the world into two camps: you were either with Islam and al-Qaeda, or with the enemy. I decided to quit my job and commit myself full-time to al-Muhajiroun. I am a Muslim living in Britain, and I give my allegiance only to Allah. When a bomb attack happens here, I won't be against it, even if it kills my own children." - Sayful Islam, British citizen. | "I agree with you, brother. I would like to see the Mujahideen coming into London and killing thousands, whether with nuclear weapons or germ warfare. And if they need a safehouse, they can stay in mine - and if they need some fertiliser [for a bomb], I'll tell them where to get it." - Abu Yusuf, British financial advisor. [via Levine Insider E-lert]

[4/24/04 Saturday]

[Chuck DeVore - columnist] 8:04 am [link]
Pat Tillman - Army Ranger, Patriot, KIA in Afghanistan: In the aftermath of 9-11, Pat Tillman, a multimillion dollar NFL player with the Arizona Cardinals, joined the U.S. Army to become a Ranger. He made the cut, earned his Ranger tab, and became a member of this elite fighting force. As a citizen-soldier since 1983, I greatly admired Tillman for giving up his considerable wealth to become a full-time warrior to protect the United States' Constitution.

His death is a great loss to America.

Let us not forget the spirit of his sacrifice.

We are in a long, tough war against determined foes who aim to remake the world in their image -- a world where women do not vote and have few, if any rights; a world where other religions are not allowed and even many Muslims are considered infidels; a world of ignorance and hatred, homicide bombers and brutality.

I salute Pat Tillman and I honor his memory.

Ex-Football Star Killed in Afghanistan - Official WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. professional football star Pat Tillman (news <), who gave up a $3.6 million sports contract to join the military's elite special forces, has been killed in a firefight in Afghanistan, a U.S. official said on Friday. The official, who asked not to be identified, said Tillman was killed on Thursday. The 27-year-old soldier abruptly quit his National Football League career following the 2002 season and joined the Army a year after the attacks on America. Enlisting with his brother Kevin in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center, Tillman turned down a $3.6 million contract from the Arizona Cardinals to become an Army Ranger for an annual salary of $18,000. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Tillman played for five seasons with the Cardinals from 1998 to 2002. He was selected by Arizona with the 226th pick of the 1998 draft -- the league only selects 241 players -- but the Arizona State University star emerged from training camp as the Cardinals' starting strong safety on defense.

[4/23/04 Friday]

[Found in the ebag-Michael Levine] 5:11 am [link]
DUDE, WHERE'S YOUR WEBSITE? Michael Moore Out-Sourcing Design, Server To Canada! Advocate Michael Moore may have released a book titled "Dude Where's My Country?", and may have vaulted to stardom documenting worker's rights and corporate malfeasance in Flint, Michigan, but that has not stopped Moore from outsourcing his website design and servers -- to companies based in Canada! Cannes-bound Moore, the great protector of the U.S. working class, has outsourced the design of his Web site to a foreign company in Canada, records show. [via Levine Insider E-lert]

[4/22/04 Thursday]

[Chuck McVey] 5:01 am [link]
The Oil-for-Food Scam: What Did Kofi Annan Know, and When Did He Know It? Opinion Journal’s Claudia Rosett has a significant piece in May’s Commentary Magazine on the scandal of widespread corruption in the UN’s oil-for-food program. This scam is central to several critical considerations on both the American and international stage.

For example: - Many blamed the US for starving children in Iraq, saying the oil-and-trade restrictions caused starving Iraqi babies. Not only has the fact of starving Iraqi babies not been proved, but Saddam was awash in money. So were the people Saddam was bribing, including senior UN functionaries and Americans. - There are those who wish America to be bound by the UN, for America's policies to be controlled and approved by the UN, and America to be legislated by the World Court. It is important to understand that this UN corruption is not unique; in fact, the UN is rife with corruption.

And to see who profited from this, not a lake but an ocean of money, take a look at this post at Stephan Sharkansky’s site.

Finally, it is worth a moment to shift subject and note that before the war, Saddam controlled what was reported from Iraq by removing the visa(s) of any reporter or media organization that displeased him. Thus, most reporters knowingly reported false information. However, I guess old habits die-hard; remember the furor RE the "pillaging" of the Iraqi museum? All false.

[4/21/04 Wednesday]

[Bill Leonard] 5:01 am [link]
Workers’ Comp “Reform": I have learned two lessons from the countless workers’ compensation reform negotiations I have participated in and witnessed over the years. First, the law of unintended consequences cannot be repealed. We really do not know and cannot anticipate accurately the long-term results of this latest round of reform resulting form Governor Schwarzenegger’s push for legislation. The “reform” signed Monday will have impacts that themselves will need reforming in a few years. That said, the second thing I know is that you can try to estimate the consequences of the reform by looking at who is happy and who is upset at the proposals. Workers’ comp, unlike most sports games with one winner and one loser, is a multi- ringed circus. In one ring are the businesses who pay the bills; in another ring is labor who get treatment for injuries and the comfort of knowing such treatment is available; in a third ring are the lawyers who represent a small number of injured workers but to whom are attributed a disproportionately large amount of the system’s costs; in another ring are doctors and medical providers; and in yet another ring are insurance companies. The early responses to the reform package indicate that business and labor are more happy than not; lawyers and doctors are more unhappy than happy; and insurance companies are waiting for other shoe to drop on their heads. Watch each of these interest groups as they study the legislation and as they try to steer the intended and unintended consequences in their own direction.

[4/20/04 Tuesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 8:51 am [link]
Uh...My Records...? After months of acting like baying hounds, howling for President Bush's military records, it will be interesting to see the press' reaction to the news that John Kerry is declining to release any new documents related to his military service. This means that Kerry is declining to provide the evaluations of him by his Navy commanding officers, some medical records, and possibly other material.

Kerry has relied on his military service as a major credential in his fitness to serve as Commander-in-Chief. So it is hypocritical to the point of arrogance to withhold the documents that would presumably reinforce his claims of heroism and worthiness -- unless, of course, the documents contain information that the Senator wouldn't want the American people to know. Withholding evaluations from his commanding officers looks particularly bad -- especially given the news, last week, that one of Kerry's commanders doubted his eligibility for Kerry's first purple heart. And -- now that we are fully in the realm of speculation -- would his medical records show the justice of that officer's misgivings, if they in fact revealed that Kerry had not been meaningfully wounded at the time he put in for his first Purple Heart?

Yes, this could all be a Kerry "rope-a-dope" strategy -- a "don't throw us in the briar patch" effort to maximize the drama and coverage of glowing contents of the withheld documents. But I doubt it. Such subtlety seems completely beyond Kerry's preening ken. For him, despite his undoubted heroism at least once, Vietnam was largely a photo-op -- why else would a young man arrange to have someone film him emerging from Vietnam's dark jungle?

[Streetsweeper - into the opinion bin] 8:14 am [link]
Woe is Pepperdine: Bear Flag member Boi from Troy has a major post regarding a Pepperdine student named Grant Turck - a gay student at Pepperdine who has a real problem with the lack of “diversity” at that Christian school.


Mr. Turck’s attempt to start a gay club at Pepperdine was turned down by the administration. Mr. Boi from Troy “would like to generate a buzz on the blogosphere to put pressure on the University.”


Aaron the Liberal Slayer, has a long, long post in response... And he’s right, right and right. (Gee, I’d only quibble with Aaron’s libertarian streak that keeps rearing its ugly head every once and a while.)

My take. Why would a practicing homosexual go to Pepperdine? And then why would he try to start a gay club? Seems somewhat dense to me. Unless it’s some kind of agenda-driven thing – sort of a gay missionary movement to convert the backward thick-headed Christians. Gay guy goes to Christian school that won’t let him start a gay club. Strategy behind club is not to call it a gay club, but a “Students Against Homophobia” club. (Seemingly a workable technicality.) Administration won’t allow such a thing. LA Times covers the story with great sympathy. Gay guy gets the America-needs-gay-marriage Liberty Education Forum Spirit of Lincoln Award. Gets feted by the Lincoln Club. Becomes subject of famous RINO gay bloggers. Presto! A movement is born! We are outraged! De-Christianize the Christians!

Oops... Likely getting into deep and dangerous unliberal waters here... Very famous Andrew Sullivan (a man I truly respected until he got onto the gay marriage bus) wouldn’t approve. Uh, probably ought to formulate a bold statement of support, just to cover...

We must weep for the downtrodden Grant Turck. We must force Pepperdine to shed itself of its medieval, so-called religion. The Clinton wing of the GOP must stand together and take up this student’s cause. It is another step for Americanism and the Constitution to dispense with the hobbling chains of traditionalism and the phony-baloney “natural law.” ...Why can’t we be more like the French?

[Doug Gamble - speechwriter, columnist] 5:01 am [link]
On Woodward: If I may be permitted to indulge in a personal reminiscence from the Reagan years, when I was honored to have written humor and soundbites for some of the president's speeches, it may put into perspective the notion arising from Bob Woodward's latest book that Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Colin Powell are no longer on speaking terms.

One day I had lunch at the White House Mess with Reagan's chief speechwriter, Bently Elliott, and speechwriter Peggy Noonan. As we were leaving, Ben tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Look over there," directing my attention to a table where two men were sitting. One was Secretary of State George Shultz and the other was Defense Secretary Cap Weinberger, both digging into hot fudge sundaes they had ordered for dessert after having lunch together.

A story in that morning's Washington Post had reported that relations between the two had grown so strained, they were no longer speaking to each other! I don't recall if the story was written by Bob Woodward.

[4/19/04 Monday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:11 am [link]
Kerry/Russert: Does anyone remember when Orin Hatch reacted to President Clinton's televised non-apology apology on the evening of the day when he finally admitted, under questioning from the Independent Counsel's office, that he had, indeed, had relationships with both Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky? Live on the air, Hatch said disgustedly, "I tell you, what a jerk."

That was my reaction to watching Senator John Kerry's appearance on "Meet the Press." At once pompous and evasive, self-righteous and thin-skinned, he showed why he is one of the most personally disliked politicians in Washington. Most disgusting was his response to Tim Russert's questioning about his untrue post-Vietnam assertions that our troops there had committed atrocities. Shockingly, instead of handling the question as the serious issue it is, he focused a lame attempt at humor on the thirtysomething year old video of himself that Russert used to set-up the question, saying "Where did the dark hair go?"

That reaction -- and the response -- is revealing. For Senator Kerry, it's not about the issues, it's about HIM, first and foremost. His charges that American soldiers committed atrocities in Vietnam can be forestalled with a joke.

Also appalling was his condemnation of the President for President Bush's alleged failure to provide our troops with body armor -- after he himself had voted AGAINST the $87 billion supplement that was going to fund such necessities! And Russert never even pressed him on it. Disappointing.

Interestingly, after the discussion about his slander of America's Vietnam soldiers, Kerry chose to take on Tim Russert, stating that he wished "he had the power to push a button" and show a question that Russert had asked in the past that proved to be an inaccurate prediction of the future state of social security. This little tit-for-tat may be quite satisfying in the short term -- I'm sure almost every politician who's appeared on "Meet the Press" has wished he could zing Russert the same way. But it's not smart -- why embarrass (and possibly alienate) one of the foremost "opinon leaders" in the Beltway stratosphere?

Well, if you're arrogant, you do it because you can't help it. The more time that goes by, the more convinced I'm becoming that Senator John Kerry is the gift that keeps on giving -- to the Bush campaign. To see him is to dislike him.

[4/16/04 Thursday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:01 am [link]
On the Commission: The civic, intellectual and even moral bankruptcy of the 9/11 commission was revealed in all its tawdriness yesterday, in response to calls for the resignation of Jamie Gorelick (who authored the 1995 memo constructing the walls between the FBI and the CIA which kept "dots" from being connected"). When asked about the matter, Commission Chairman Tom Kean sniped, "People ought to stay out of our business."

Really. WHOSE business? Perhaps Governor Kean -- and Senator Bob Kerrey -- and a host of other commissioners have forgotten why they're there. They're not involving themselves with THEIR business . . . they are supposed to be doing America's business. And so, when a conflict of interest as monumental as Ms. Gorelick's arises, the fact that she has been hardworking (as Governor Kean stated) or anything else, for that matter, is irrelevant. As a participant in many of the key events and issues under investigation, she is not able to act as an impartial and disinterested commissioner . . . and therefore, she must go.

The fact that the press and the other commissioners themselves either don't see or refuse to comment on this obvious fact demonstrates the wisdom and prescience of those who said, from the beginning, that the commission would serve as little more than an exercise in partisan finger-pointing. Since hearings began, Democrats have used the commission as a forum to designate a Bush administration "enemy of the week." All this, after the Bushies conspicuously refused to engage in partisan blame-shifting back when they had the unalloyed sympathy of the country.

After all this, let's not hear the Democrats like Tom Daschle blame the President for having failed to "change the tone" in Washington. What's being allowed to go on in the 9/11 commission is an outrage -- and the final report has been preemptively discredited by the dishonorable partisan grandstanding by too many of the commission's participants.

[4/15/04 Thursday]

[Jill Stewart - Columnist] 8:19 am [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Bush Press Conference: The media's questions were fair in light of all that has happened, but I have a very strong caveat to add: this was a clear example of how the media all chat with one another before a controversial press event (as well as right after), and casually decide what the story line "really is." Those who came with questions far afield of the crowd often toss them. Then, like sheep, they focus narrowly on that line. That is why we saw the remarkable failure of these supposedly top media in the nation to ask about the systemwide breakdown in the FBI and CIA across two administrations highlighted in the 9-11 hearings on Tuesday. When will the media get another chance to ask the President about those systemwide breakdowns? Possibly not for months. If I were an editor, I would be furious at those who threw away their question by asking repetitive questions when they did not care for the President's first answer, such as the journalist who used crucial airtime to re-ask if he was going to apologize. That's a pure gotcha question when it's asked a second time. It points up the low level of independence FROM ONE ANOTHER that journalists have sunk to in America. Can anyone say baaaah, baaah?

On the President, he suffers tremendously from not believing he ought to give the background for his thinking. He repeats his core views again and again Americans already know his core views. Why will a Democratic Iraq help change the region? I have guesses, but is that what the President thinks? His utter failure to paint a detailed picture for America on his philosophy regarding his huge decisions never ceases to amaze me. Does he hope that after a tumultuous initial phase for which we should all prepare, common to all new democracies, Iraq will begin much more open trading with other countries--let's say Russia and Turkey--and that its gradual embrace of capitalism will engender further democratic reforms as we are slowly seeing in other former totalitarian states? What about his hopes for the Iraqi people---so brainwashed as are most people under decades of totalitarianism, which takes over one's private thoughts and causes parents to betray children and vice versa---as they struggle to adapt to democracy though few of them have any of the socio-political skills we Americans take for granted?

I am surprised that his fancy advisors have not figured out yet that a "war footing" also means the President needs to go well beyond the headlines when he talks to the nation. They really, really blew this big chance, with the nation ready to listen, and so did he.


[4/14/04 Wednesday]

[Canon Reverend Dale Owens - CRO's Token Progressive] 2:08 pm [link]
Blame Bush: This blog is full of self-congratulations over Bush’s performance last night. And what a performance it was. Full of macho swagger and vision without substance. If you like cowboys like Ronald Reagan, then Bush is your man. If you think the imperialism of Churchill made him a great leader, Bush is your man. We have in Bush, a president who would rather talk about meaningless terms like “liberty” than give a policy paper on the gray areas of our time. Liberty! Freedom! Can’t the man think about anything else?

Let’s be clear. 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch. It is his fault. The death of every AIDS and cancer victim in the last three years is his fault. The closing of every business during his failed presidency is his fault. This is all obvious. Bush is to blame.

But let us not be facile, if Chaos theory has taught us anything, it is that causation is a two way street. Bush is not just responsible for present evils, but past ones as well. Our past is being rewritten and destroyed, our actual past, by this group of thugs. John Ashcroft is busy in the basement of the Justice Department rewriting actual history. Soon Jimmy Carter will not win his prized second term. Soon Ted Kennedy will be reduced from our modern Daniel Webster to an aging, lecherous, drunk. It is possible. I am protected from this rewriting of history because I have refused to drink the fluoridated water they have forced on us. Most of you cannot remember it: but just yesterday World War I had not happened. . however, another day of the Bush administration caused World War I (in reverse causation) to happen. I remember a world before Bush where Flanders fields were merely full of poppies not the dead. And I warn you, by the time you read this Bush may have caused a Second World War. If you “remember” it now it is already too late. We need to impeach this president before we end up “confronting” the workers paradise the Soviet Union.

[Founder of the Progressive Episcopal Church (Fontana California) and the Cathedral of Saint Chad - Owens Blog]

[Doug Gamble - speechwriter, columnist] 11:18 am [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Bush Press Conference: Based on style, President Bush's performance in Tuesday's press conference was not one of his best, but that was because of his dislike of and discomfort with formal press conferences and his wariness of a "gotcha"-oriented Washington press corps. He also seemed weighed down by the grim reality of events in Iraq in recent days, which is understandable.

But if words mean more than demeanor, as they should, his appearance was reassuring to those in Iraq who seek freedom and to Americans who believe we should stay the course. His message was single-minded and clear: The United States is committed to doing whatever it takes to build a permanent democracy in Iraq and we will prevail. And he stayed on message. When questions were asked that he didn't want to answer directly, he used them as springboards to return to his theme of American resolve.

Bush's presidency may stand or fall on Iraq. I suspect that if it starts to appear that Iraq will take him down, his attitude will be "so be it." Unlike Bill Clinton, who went from rejecting welfare reform to embracing it when polls late in the 1996 presidential race showed the measure was popular, Bush will stand firm no matter what the polls show. That might not be good politics as Americans have come to know it, but it is good news for the cause of democracy.

[Brian Janiskee -Cal. State, San Bernardino & Claremont Institute] 11:17 am [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Bush Press Conference: The questions from the media were to be expected. How else should we expect the lapdogs of the Democratic Party to act? For the most part, President Bush did a good job. However, his response to the question as to whether or not he would admit to any mistakes was inadequate, to put it kindly: " I wish you would have given me this written question ahead of time, so I could plan for it. (Laughter.) John, I'm sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could have done it better this way, or that way. You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't yet...I don't want to sound like I've made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one."

[Jon Coupal - president Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association] 11:16 am [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Bush Press Conference: The establishment Left does not care for President Bush because, in their view, his comments are not sufficiently nuanced for a sophisticated world. What they do not realize is that, with the simplicity of the message, also comes clarity. The world needs clarity in an unclear time. It was a good hour for the President.

[Chuck DeVore - columnist] 11:04 am [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Bush Press Conference: The President reassured the nation, reminding all Americans what is at stake and why we must stay the course in Iraq. His remarks also served as warning to those thugs and extremists in Iraq and elsewhere, that we Americans have the will to succeed in this war and will not be deterred from doing what is necessary to secure our own safety and freedom.

In this regard, the President reinforced the moral front in the war -- a front ultimately more important than the physical military front. The American center of gravity in this conflict is our national will to see it through to a successful conclusion.

The train bombings in Spain showed how moral factors weigh heavier than the physical when an attack on innocent civilians led to the decision to withdraw military force.

Americans, the world will see, are made of sturdier stock. Sen. Kerry will be defeated in November, and the war will be won on terms favorable to America and liberty.

[Xrlq - CRO contributor & blogger] 10:05 am [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Bush Press Conference: Overall, I give Bush an A-. The speech was excellent. The Q&A session, less so. His response to the question about any mistakes he'd made was rambling and unfocused. His answer to the journalist who asked why he and Cheney were appearing together before the 9-11 Commission was completely unresponsive, and his follow-up answer was no better. Perhaps he had a good reason not to want to answer that question, but if so, he should have simply said that. The rest of his answers to journalists' questions were not perfect, but they were not bad, either. That's a lot more than I can say for most of the questions themselves.
More on this here and here.

[Shawn Steel - past chairman California GOP] 10:05 am [link]
CRO Q&A Panel - Bush Press Conference: Those who keep underestimating this President will continue to miss the big picture. W was poised, confident and compelling. He was prepared for press questions. Nothing inspires like a President who is inspiring. And, W was clear, he intends to keep his job this November. It was a great night for Americans and free Iraqis.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:41 am [link]
Memo to the Presidential press corps: If you want an apology for the 9/11 attacks on America, you need to start looking in some little rathole along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, not in the East Room of the White House.

Everyone who has appeared in the three-ring circus that the 9/11 commission has become has conceded that -- even had every suggestion tendered by anyone been followed by the Bush Administration -- it was too late to prevent 9/11. Even the poll-driven, avoidance-oriented, sex-obsessed President Clinton isn't responsible for the attacks on America -- although, if we are in the business of assessing blame, few can deny that his administration's negligence allowed Al Qaeda to gather the strength and arrogance that made 9/11 possible. Even so, the blame for the attacks lies with the terrorists, not the American government, and specious apologies like Richard Clarke's are nothing more than moral grandstanding -- an exercise in hubris of the most maudlin kind.

So why is the press corps so focused on eliciting an admission of guilt, blame or error from the President, as evidenced in last night's presidential press conference? Because the 9/11 commission so far hasn't been able to pin the blame on the Bushies -- despite the determined efforts of partisans like Ben-Veniste, Roemer and Gorelick, whose hunt for a "culprit of the week" (last week, it was Dr. Rice; this week, it's Attorney General Ashcroft) is growing increasingly predictable and tedious.

It's frustrating to watch the press corps in action, but on the whole, the President's supporters have every reason to be pleased with their man's performance, especially relative to the media's. No, President Bush isn't the most glib and articulate leader in recent memory -- but he does speak with a sincerity that lends eloquence to his plain language. People of good will may sometimes disagree with him, but only the maliciously misguided could assert that he himself doesn't believe in what he's saying. He outlined a broad vision for a free, democratic Iraq serving as a linchpin for a freer, better Middle East; anyone who doesn't "get it" now is wilfully ignorant.

In contrast, the press' obsession with admissions of culpability, blame or failure came off as small-minded and petty. No wonder so many Americans despise the media.

[Canon Reverend Dale Owens - CRO's Token Progressive] 5:32 am [link]
Conservative Wreakage: One of my many duties as a priest is to comfort the hurting. Today I had a chance to do just that. I met a young man burned out on the “conservative” church and politics. A fine looking lad, he slumped in my chair. His mom had brought him to me. Safe to say conservatives had done nothing to conserve his dignity. “What is wrong, young person?” I said with a look of compassion. “Whatever.” He said rolling his eyes. What had I done? How had I marginalized him? Then I realized we are in my office here in beautiful downtown Fontana. His mom told me that the stress from his removal from his “Christian” high school had prevented his working for the last year. My job was marginalizing him. So I said to the lad, “Come on, young person. Let’s go catch some rays.” He smiled a grim little smile and followed me to the door. On the way, I caught the message on the back of his attractive black t-shirt: “rage, just rage.” It made me weep.

We came at last to a little park and I said, “Can you tell me your story?” He told me a tale of destruction and pain. His school had been a bastion of right-wing Republican hate. He had handed in a creative writing project, which he freely admitted, borrowed heavily on several internet sources. His school had not understood the new technology. Instead, the cited rules and regulations. Plagiarism. As if their Holy Bible did not borrow ideas from the Epic of Gilgamesh! From there it grew worse. He was denied his free speech rights when he protested to the teacher. Color metaphors littered his language. Metaphors that his school could not handle. I began to cry. The right would send young twenty year old lads like this one to die for oil. He was so full of promise. He told me that he wanted to make a movie about the hypocrisy of religion. He had written a song filled with justice and rage against a church grown too old to see the future. The other night he had been picked up for taking some beers from his neighborhood 7/11. The police could not see his cry of pain. They only saw another youth to lock in jail.

“Do not blame yourself, young person.” I said. “You are not to blame.”

“I know.” He said to me. “It was my (color metaphor) mom and her (color metaphor) school.”

“Yes.” I said. “Real religion affirms you and your rights.”

He looked at me in a new way. Was it respect I saw in his eye?

“Can I have five bucks?” he asked, testing me.

“Yes, of course.” I said. “God never says no to you.”

I hugged him and he went his way. Was that slouch just a little straighter? Before he could leave, I picked a dandelion from the park grass and gave it to him. “Flowers are always there on the other side of the lawn.” I think he understood. He actually laughed. Ah, how precious it is to be God’s little clown.

When members of the far right consider their positions and measure their lives, they should remember this boy. Remember what their rules and oppression have done to him. What do they have to say for this sensitive soul? Will they make an artist work in some fast food place and call it a job? Will they put him in a tie and make him program computers, having first programmed his heart? Tell me “Carol.” Tell me “Frank.” Tell me “Hugh.” What would you say to my little friend?

signed, God’s clown, Canon Dale - [Founder of the Progressive Episcopal Church (Fontana California) and the Cathedral of Saint Chad - Owens Blog]

[Streetsweeper - into the opinion bin] 5:13 am [link]
Anyway, Bush Knew!!! Okay, so I got my dates a little mixed up yesterday... And - it doesn’t matter what the President said last night in his press conference... He knew! That August 6 PDB memo thing is real proof. Based on that memo alone he could have stopped 9/11! He lamely claims that there wasn’t anything anybody could do. Ha! He could have done plenty!

First, the minute he took office he should have listened to my newest personal hero, Richard Clarke. He should have launched a military attack against the Taliban in January 2001 and smacked al-Qaida right then and there before they hijacked those planes. Surely world opinion would have been on our side. I mean, it’s not like the UN Security Council would have tried to draft a resolution to condemn us or anything ‘ cause we invaded Afghanistan, right?

And heck, there were those al-Qaida-type guys getting flight training right here... Bush should have ordered all those guys arrested. Come on it’s not as if the ACLU and CAIR would protested and screamed about it... And sure, there were probably 100 or so people in this country supporting those al-Qaida hijackers... He could have had those people arrested too. I mean come on, do you think we really needed a 9/11 to get a Patriot Act? Did we really needed a 9/11 to bust up the Taliban huddled in Afghanistan?

Bush should have acted decisively before all that 9/11 stuff. Al Gore would have! And John Kerry will surely be a truly decisive leader. It’s time to move on...

[4/13/04 Tuesday]

[Streetsweeper - into the opinion bin] 5:13 am [link]
Bush is the worst President! George W. Bush has failed, failed and failed again. Over and over again he has failed to stop al-Qaeda. He failed to stop the first bombing of the World Trade Center. The signals were there, the chatter showed something was up. We were attacked – didn’t Bush understand that?

Then there was the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudia Arabia by a 5000 pound explosive. Did Bush think this was some sort of accident? Our troops were attacked! Bin Laden told Peter Arnett that, “We declared jihad against the US government, because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical... The hearts of Muslims are filled with hatred towards the United States...” And that hatred would “...transfer the battle into the United States.” Hey, didn’t Bush watch CNN? Somebody tell him it’s on cable.

After that, U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were attacked with explosives and a couple of hundred people died. Hello! Those are our embassies! And what about that federal report in ‘99 that said “"Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al-Qaida's Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House." Duh!

Then USS Cole was bombed in Yemen! Was Bush waiting for an engraved invitation? Bush was asleep at the switch! He failed and failed. He failed in this war in ‘93, again in ‘96, ‘97, ‘98,’99. has got to get on this thing!

And then in Bush’s campaign for the presidency in 2000 he said... Uh... Oh, yeah... Hmm... I guess I forgot about that 2000 election thing... Uh... Oh, yeah! What about that 2001 PDB memo, huh? I mean, that’s something! Just the title alone, "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike Inside the U.S." See! That’s real proof! See? Bush knew!

[4/12/04 Monday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:05 am [link]
What About December 13, 1998 and Terrorist Warning? What about the TIME Magazine article of December 13, 1998? During the Clinton Administration, Janet Reno offered the following report to TIME and the news media. My question many PDB's 'before' August 6, 2001 said closely the same thing? Here is a report from 1998!

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 5:04 am [link]
Jeb Bush's SB1160 - He Supports It! It's not an Arnold Schwarzenegger signing, but it's a Bush singing...Governor Jeb Bush of Florida has backs a bill for undocumented workers to drive legally in Florida with a driver's license.

[4/9/04 Friday]

[Canon Reverend Dale Owens - CRO's Token Progressive] 5:38 am [link]
Bigotry a la Hewitt: It has been drawn to my attention that "Hugh" Hewitt is preparing to attack me in a public manner. Fine. Hewitt believes in transubstantiation. That should give pause to anyone who begins to consider whether he is quite rational. This is not an assault on his religious beliefs. He can have any belief he wishes, but with his desire to give some "definition" to his religious beliefs he steps over the line. Doesn't he know that there is an emerging church that has gone beyond the old doctrines? Probably not. His thought is held captive to an old man in Rome.

But my goal is not to attack Hewitt's religion, but his assault on Kerry's religion. Hewitt wishes to allow other people to define for Kerry what it is to be a Catholic. Is faith private or not, Mr. Hewitt? Kerry's faith is based on deeply held personal feelings. One cannot be wrong about how one feels. Kerry feels he is a Catholic, therefore, he is a Catholic. His inner man, even in Ashcroft's Amerika, is still free. Mr. Hewitt feels he is not, but Hewitt can only control his own inner reality, not Mr. Kerry's. Bluntly, I am a better Roman Catholic than Mr. Hewitt. Why? Because at least I understand that being a Christian begins with self-actualization. "The kingdom of heaven is within you." Yes, even you Hugh Hewitt.

Bluntly, Hewitt is no Frank Pastore.

[Founder of the Progressive Episcopal Church (Fontana California) and the Cathedral of Saint Chad - Owens Blog]

[Canon Reverend Dale Owens - CRO's Token Progressive] 5:09 am [link]
Rice Agonistes: I felt sorry for Dr. Rice yesterday. She was dismantled by her Democrat foes. She quavered and stumbled through the questions. The biggest victory in the War on Terror has to be her defeat at the hands of the thankfully partisan group. I was particularly impressed with Ben Veniste. His suit, a natty pin stripe, fairly shimmered on my television. His tone of disbelief made it clear whose side Dr. Rice is aiding. I loved the way he played to the real Americans, the people in the room. With his shock of unruly hair, he looked a bit like some like some latter day founder come to save us from the Bush dictatorship. A Veep slot for Mr. Ben Veniste? Progressives can only dream. Perhaps tonight, when she is aware from her handlers, Dr. Rice will think, "He was right. God/ess help me, he was right."

[Founder of the Progressive Episcopal Church (Fontana California) and the Cathedral of Saint Chad - Owens Blog]

[4/8/04 Thursday]

[Canon Reverend Dale Owens - CRO's Token Progressive] 4:19 pm [link]
Liebau Ducks: Anti-intellectualism may not be the exclusive domain of the right-wing, but as President Gore once pointed out it is pretty close. Careful readers will note that "Carol" did not respond to my main point. She merely stated the obvious fact that eventually a decision must be made and that an academic tone is not always necessary. Well, yes. But does anyone think George Bush even capable of an academic tone, let alone an academic thought? When not controlled like the sock puppet he is, through his Daddy-figure "Richard" Cheney, he is turning the language of Angelou and Gore into a mess. I can only imagine Mr. Bush sitting in a chair making paper airplanes and bomb dropping noises while Mr. Cheney fills him in on the plans of the day. The man is the reason the right invented teleprompters.

Edward Kennedy, a man of many passions and subtle instincts, put it best when he referred, if I am not mistaken, to our unelected "President" as a man who betrayed his oath of office. Kerry may not take action, but he will think about it before he fails to act. That would make me feel better, all around. [

[Founder of the Progressive Episcopal Church (Fontana California) and the Cathedral of Saint Chad - Owens Blog]

[Chuck McVey] 5:06 am [link]
Stay the Course: This escalated violence in Iraq is expected. With the date that the US will turnover "control" of the country to Local Iraqis rushing upon all of us, those Iraqis who wish to have paramount control have limited options; specifically conspiracy and violence. It is irrelevant whether those tools are directed at coalition forces or fellow Iraqis. Remember, other Iraqis are simply challengers for the same prize. If they are Iraqis who have enlisted with the forthcoming new Iraqi powerbase, so much the better. One can gain more honor by attacking them.

On one hand, the action of openly attacking coalition forces allows us to bring our vastly superior firepower into play. On the other, no body is noting that British were here before, and the Brits literally gave up after killing thousands of Iraqis, installed a week Iraqi government, and pulled out.

Referring to post-WWI, The Closed Circle [David Pryce-Jones] notes, "In the immediate aftermath of the war, challengers naturally threw back at the Allies their own words... Mobilizing a retinue in the Arab career manner, a (power) challenger was able to present himself as a patriot of the kind understood in the West, and was no less easily understood and approved when he simply labeled himself and his followers as a nationalist party." The point here is that Arabs are long schooled in adapting Western political labels for their actions and conspiracies to gain either Western support or at the least, a limited Western reaction.

Due to the Arabs' extensive experience of adapting the guise of a conceptually Western patriotic movement, Arabs are very sensitive to statements by Western politicians. Thus, statements by Dean, Gore, et al, especially the recent Kerry and Kennedy statements give them positive indication that they are following the correct path. All they have to do is expend a few more Arabic lives, and they, the power challenger, will have the power they desire. Thus, without any equivocation, the Democrats are supplying these Arabs with the support and encouragement to continue killing Americans.

Both FNC and NBC (MSNBC) are labeling this as an "uprising." Such a mislabeling can only occur when one does not have a clue as to what is happening. Were an Eskimo commentator to note that all Americans were political failures because they could not hunt seals, you would dismiss his opinion as uninformed at best. But day after day, THAT is what the American Media puts out in regards to the Middle East. This week, there was a welcome relief from the constant drumbeat of such misinformation: in his afternoon show; Hugh Hewitt had on former Marine Colonel Andy Finlayson. The Colonel was clear as to what was happening, why it was happening, and what actions must be taken. If you wish to discuss and evaluate the Middle East, you must read "The Closed Circle." The language is simple, it is filled with facts, but it is difficult to read because the motivations of Arabic culture, especially when mixed with what we call "radical Islam," are so very alien to the Western mind.

We are in a war, hopefully the final war of the series in our hundred years of related wars, and so many do not understand its significance. Lose Iraq and we will suffer greatly at best.

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:03 am [link]
Owens Reply: Recently, Canon Rev. Dale Owens had this to say about my postings on our very own CRO Blog:

However, the thing that shocks me and for which I would like an answer is the failure of this well intentioned woman to miss the subtle nuances of Kerry's position. Kerry is a bright person. He thinks like a bright person. He is subtle.

So many points to take issue with, so little time. First, how does the Canon know that I'm well-intentioned? He doesn't know me -- for all he knows, I'm just part of the VRWC. But enough about me . . .

The point Canon Owens is trying to make is a silly one. All the faux intellectuals at Harvard and other such places are always taken in by self-proclaimed "subtlety" -- never realizing that, like the Emperor's new clothes, nuance can be less than the sum of its (very wordy) parts, nothing more than a refined form of waffling. The same sort of people who think that Kerry's flip flops (voted for the war, but didn't support the war, voted for the war, doesn't support the $87 billion to buy the troops body armor, voted for the $87 billion before he voted against it) represent nuance are the same sort of people who engage in meaningless academic disputes.

It may not be fashionable in leftist circles, but there is a refreshing honesty to calling things by their name: Waffling is not nuance. It is waffling. And to the extent that Kerry may be willing to obfuscate about his positions (calling it "subtlety"), he may show that he is "bright" (at least in the Ivy League, book-smart way) but he also shows us he's a coward, without the courage of his convictions. Leaders are willing to tell it the way it is, straight out so that everyone -- friends and foes alike -- are left in no doubt about where they stand.

And when people want to make themselves clear, they don't need Ciceronian rhetoric to do so. Examples? "[G]overnment of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth." "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." "Bring it on." And, of course, "[A]ll men are created equal." Not much "subtlety" there -- just courage, intellect and, oh yes, righteousness.

When I'm looking for a president, give me clarity and courage any time.

[4/7/04 Wednesday]

[Streetsweeper - into the opinion bin] 5:25 am [link]
Kennedy’s Vietnam: What is it with Ted Kennedy? Here’s what he said at the Brookings Institute yesterday:

The result is a massive and very dangerous crisis in our foreign policy.  We have lost the respect of other nations in the world.  Where do we go to get our respect back?  How do we re-establish the working relationships we need with other countries to win the war on terrorism and advance the ideals we share?   How can we possibly expect President Bush to do that?  He’s the problem, not the solution.  Iraq is George Bush’s Vietnam, and this country needs a new President.

So, what exactly is the Senator’s analogy? If the times were re-jiggered would he say “Vietnam is Jack Kennedy’s Iraq, and this country needs a new President...” Hardly.

Does Senator Kennedy mean that Vietnam was the wrong war? If so, then his brother JFK was “the problem, not the solution.” President Kennedy got us into Vietnam – and I for one think he was right. That protracted war kept the rest of Indochina from falling to a wave of communist revolutionaries. Does anyone really think that the free market countries of Indochina would be free if the U.S. hadn’t stalled the onslaught.

A weak-kneed Congress [hounded by the “peace movement” of Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, John Kerry along with closet socialists like Walter Cronkite] cut funding for the war. The U.S. Congress lost the war and thousands of Vietnamese raced to escape in makeshift boats, hundreds of thousands were “re-educated” and because the U.S. was out of Vietnam millions were slaughtered throughout the region.

So is that what’s gonna happen with Iraq? Only this time around instead of Hanoi Jane it is opportunistic, cloying, power-hungry politicians like Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean, and (presto!) John Kerry who are giving speechifying aid and comfort to maniacal terrorists. These progressive fools are telling terrorists and rogue nations that we are not unified, that we’ll cut and run.

Gee, if I were a terrorist I’d sure like the Commander-in-Chief of the greatest military force in the world to be a guy who saw four months of combat and then came home to sing “give peace a chance” and chant “make love not war.”

Hey! I just got this notion that our lovely Islamo-terrorists huddling around their TV sets watching Al Jazeera might have it in their heads that Uncle Teddy has a real shot at becoming Kerry’s Secretary of State! Gee, that’s kinda breathtaking in its implications...

[Canon Reverend Dale Owens - CRO's Token Progressive] 5:16 am [link]
Unfathomable: During the period of slavery there were some slaves who grew to love Master and Mistress. They were co-opted by the system. Despite this fact it is always a shock to me to see a well educated, and apparently successful, woman support the Republican Party. This is after all the party of Robertson, Falwell, and Bush. A party that would take away access to any meaningful choice. More important are the people you would have to get to know. How I shudder to think of an entire conference dominated by people wearing cute little American flag pins and listening to country music. Let's face it: if there was a culture war the left won. We have Simon and Garfunkel and the Right has Wayne Newton. It is still groovy to be on the left.

Recently, "Carol" Platt Liebau (if that is actually "her name, one never knows what the right is up to) has been taking after John Kerry on the CRO blog. Well and good. It is, Patriot Act not with standing, a free country. However, the thing that shocks me and for which I would like an answer is the failure of this well intentioned woman to miss the subtle nuances of Kerry's position. Kerry is a bright person. He thinks like a bright person. He is subtle. He writes in the vibrant, but studious tone of the academic forced by the times to face hard problems. Kerry will not shout when a gentle word of condescension will do. He is, bluntly, willing to hang and rap with us, even though he has thought things through. A gentle question, if I might: Comrade Liebau, do you mistake the subtle for the indecisive?

I can only wish that the end of the Second World War and the start of the Cold had seen a man of such nuance in the White House. Truman was all fire and brimstone. Look what it brought us. Let's see the Adlai Stevenson of the new century in the White House!

[Founder of the Progressive Episcopal Church (Fontana California) and the Cathedral of Saint Chad - Owens Blog]

[4/6/04 Tuesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:05 am [link]
Leftovers: Tuning in yesterday evening to hear those crazy kids over at Air America, to my surprise, Sam Seder and Janeane Garofolo were interviewing Marcos Zuniga from the Daily Kos. He's the lefty political consultant who, of course, opined last week that the contractors brutally murdered by animals in Iraq in effect had it coming. Want to know why John Kerry might have a hard time winning? Garofolo and Seder were slamming Kerry for a lack of "courage" because the campaign took its advertising off the Daily Kos site as a result of the hate speech being spouted there. But Zuniga took it on the chin for the cause, making excuses for Kerry . . . yep, it's a parallel universe. Garofolo/Seder even believe that the media is in the tank for REPUBLICANS. Bet all those right wingers at CBS, NBC, ABC, The New York Times and the LA Times are incredibly chagrined that they've been outed as the rabid right-wingers that they are. Who says Air America isn't entertaining -- albeit in a gruesome sort of way?

[Canon Reverend Dale Owens - CRO's Token Progressive] 5:01 am [link]
Civic Lesson: Last week, I, the Canon Dale Owens had my first and only day of jury duty. I love jury duty. The chance to do my civic duty, to fantasize for just one day, that I am a government employee is a real high point of my year. I often call to ask to be put on jury duty, but sadly in Fontana the drawing for this thrill is random. One just has to wait. Like all good things, my time came at last. Jury duty!

This time it had been two years since my last service (some of you will recall the tussle over the parking space). There have been some changes at the Fontana court house, most of them for the better. The jury room retains its groovy sixties feel with a great deal of plastic furniture and government issue steel business ware. There really is no better look. Add the warm glow of the popping fluorescent lights and the day could not have started much better. The orange glow chair in which I settled my frame was perfect. I waited with eagerness to hear my instructions. And the major improvement of the day came. This year they utterly dispensed with English in the jury instructions. Oh, they were not speaking any other language, just not English! Imagine my delight when the person hired to speak was utterly impossible to follow! What prudence! What foresight! This is the kind of liberation from meaning that is at the center of the gospel. And the forms! Many, many forms with bubbles and writing the same thing three times. It did my heart good. California may have a Republican (curse him) "governor" but it still knows how to party.

But I will not risk your titillation with a description of the cafeteria with its Stalinist era charm or the lines for the elevators, since Fontana has not wasted funds on more energy consuming lifts. I felt at one with the people as I mingled with them, delighted in their fresh faces. Then it happened.

One white man, it had to be a white man, looked bleakly into the air and muttered, "I hate jury duty." This was too much. After all they had given us. Despite a glare from the man, I leapt to the seat of my orange chair and posed like Lenin off the sealed train in Petersburg. "Comrades!" I said carried away by the spirit of the day. "This is our chance to serve. This is our chance to mingle as equals, the docker with the don, the doctor with the dishwasher. Do not let this man's words discourage you! The new era is not yet here. The people do not yet rule, but look around you. This is the future! This room will soon be the look given to every man, woman, child, plant, and other living creature. We shall all be in a continuous jury service of the soul when John Kerry brings on the new day."

At this point, to my shock, a member of the police, fascists, pulled me down and asked me to be quiet. I understood as I looked into his brown eyes. He was forced to conform. Forced to pretend he did not understand my words. Even jury duty is not yet perfect. "Right on bro," I said to him grasping his firm brown hand in mind. Sotto voice I whispered, "Free Huey. Fight the man."

The glimmer in his eye (was it a tear?) told me he understood.

[Founder of the Progressive Episcopal Church (Fontana California) and the Cathedral of Saint Chad - Owens Blog]

[4/5/04 Monday]

[John Mark Reynolds, columnist] 5:00 am [link]
PYM: Headline - McCain Praises 'Fine' Democrats, Blasts 'Astray' GOP and Bush Note: Straightjacket for McCain!

What has John McCain ever done? Following a heroic ordeal in Vietnam, he returned home to get rid of his first wife, marry money, and go on to be famous for, well, being influential. Sound familiar? See John Kerry for another example. McCain stumbled on to campaign finance reform. He ran a disastrously incompetent presidential race. Quick: what else has he done? He was a great young man who is increasingly becoming a stunningly foolish old man. Having frittered away golden chances through personal indulgence, McCain types eventually fight off looming retirement by ever more bizarre pronouncements and behavior. Aging Hollywood stars often fall into this syndrome with nudity in a film (this will revive my flagging career!) or dressing in ballerina/young man clothes. There is a name for this syndrome.

McCain and Kerry are inflicted with Promising-Young-Man disease. Victims of PYM become entranced with their early promise and the adulation of the media. PYM leaves its victims hollow shells when at last they are neither promising nor young. However, there is a sad time at the terminal stage, when they can still get attention as a former PYM, but begin to sound like grumpy has-beens. Signs of this stage are increasing shrillness, over fondness of talking about their one big deed, and indulging in young men's sports when their aging bodies cannot take it. God forbid we elect a terminal PYM to the presidency and spend four years acting as his therapy. [John Mak Reynolds blog]

[4/2/04 Friday]

[Carol Platt Liebau - editorial director] 5:01 am [link]
Ah, Gay Rights: Yesterday morning, I had the pleasure of appearing on the new liberal radio network. Ah, just kidding -- a little belated April Fool's day observance. Actually, it was the morning show on KTKZ AM 1380 -- Sacramento's talk and news station. Joe Persch, sitting in for Eric Hogue, was in fine form despite the early hour . . . Perhaps the most provocative topic we discussed was the recent effort to conflate the gay marriage issue with the civil rights fight of African Americans almost half a century ago. To me, the two are radically different -- and the difference is easily discernible. The civil rights movement was about black Americans demanding full participation in civic and social life . . . on the same terms as everyone else. In contrast, proponents of gay marriage are asking for a "right" that no one -- gay or straight -- has, i.e., the right to marry someone of the same sex. It's as if African Americans had insisted that their "right to vote" was being infringed because they were not allowed to vote for "none of the above" on a ballot. That argument wouldn't be valid because NO ONE is able to vote for "none of the above" -- just as no one is allowed to marry someone of the same sex. The other striking difference between the civil rights and gay rights movement? The leaders of the former, like Dr. Martin Luther King, sought to appeal to the consciences of ordinary people, and secure widespread public consensus for civil rights. In contrast, for the most part, gay rights leaders seem to be content to have their agenda imposed on the rest of America by judicial fiat...

[4/1/04 Thursday]

[Streetsweeper - into the opinion bin] 7:25 am [link]
Against Selected Enemies - Richard Clarke should apologize for his book. - RICHARD MINITER: "A year ago, I thought Richard A. Clarke, President Clinton's counterterror czar, was a hero. He and his small band of officials fought a long battle to focus the bureaucracy on stopping Osama bin Laden long before 9/11. For my own book, I interviewed Mr. Clarke extensively and found him to be blunt and forthright. He remembered whole conversations from inside the Situation Room. | So I looked forward to reading "Against All Enemies." Yes, I expected him to put the wood to President Bush for not doing enough about terrorism--a continuation of his Clinton-era complaints--and I expected that he might be right. I assumed, of course, that he would not spare the Clinton team either, or the CIA and FBI. I expected, in short, something blunt and forthright--and, that rarest thing, nonpartisan in a principled way. | I was wrong on all counts..." [go to Opinion Journal]


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