Wednesday, November 30

BLOGGING WILL RESUME ON FRIDAY

Dear Readers of ACSOL:

I will not be blogging today or tomorrow (after publishing this post), owing to some matters I must attend to, but will return to the keyboard Friday morning.

In the interim, I'll list some prior posts of mine that may be of interest to you:

1) I had some tongue-in-cheek fun a while back with this post on the Fox News Babes and maybe you'll get a chuckle or two out of reading it again.

2) Back when President Bush was doing his Gulf Coast fly-overs in Air Force One in the wake of the hurricane disasters, I raised the question of why the president wasn't getting himself down to the contiguous U.S.-Mexico border to survey the invasion-related problems there. Given his trips to Texas and Arizona the first of this week maybe he was listening! High-time he bones up on a thorny problem he's virtually ignored during his presidency.

3) Back on September 21st, I warned that President Bush would be ill-advised to persist in trying to sell a Guest Worker Program to the American people given their mounting dissatisfaction with illegal immigration and our nation's porous borders. Seems he wasn't listening to me.

4) I still find it incomprehensible, and regardless of one's politics, that the 42nd anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination passsed with so little MSM coverage and even less in the blogosphere. I wrote this post to commemorate a poignant moment in American history that I remember vividly, as if it were only yesterday.

5) "If I Ruled The World" was my brief flirtation with megalomania (!) and an admission of my long-standing desire (thus far unrealized) of breaking into John Hawkins' mailing list of right-of-center bloggers, who he regularly surveys on various topics. John's the best, so I remain patient and hopeful.

6) Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit had the audacity a short time back to take a cheap shot at Texas-style barbecue -- namely, barbecued beef brisket. I was among those grievously offended. But worse is that my response to his provocation didn't merit an Instalanche! Anyway, if you want some insights (replete with photos) of how to do a brisket low-n-slow, do read my post and click on the links.

7) I pride myself in oftentimes going against the grain on popular sentiment, particularly the negative political sentiment of late vis-a-vis President Bush. I don't march to the beat of the left-wing cabal and its mindless propagandists.

8) Imagine this apocalyptic scenario: Bill Clinton, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Hillary Rodham Clinton, President of the United States. Ready for a case of pronounced heartburn? Ouch!

9) The MSM got it all wrong -- here's who really was nominated to succeed Alan Greenspan at the Federal Reserve Board. Think I'm kidding?

10) Do you get as sick as I of hearing the word "closure" over and over again, as if grief must be assuaged and abruptly brought to an end?

I'll be back on Friday. Good reading! Happy blogging!


Tuesday, November 29

JOHN HAWKINS' INTERVIEW OF MICHELLE MALKIN

John Hawkins publishes at his widely-read blog, "Right Wing News," yet another (his third) interview he has done with the inimitable, top-of-the-pyramid, blogger-journalist-author Michelle Malkin. You'll not want to miss reading this from beginning to end.

Some excerpts to whet your appetite:

John Hawkins: Well, here's a related question: do you think the bad behavior of the left has gotten worse in the last few years or do you think it has always been this bad, but without the new media to report it, people weren't aware it was happening?

Michelle Malkin: Ah, yes, right. The selection bias, I guess. Well, actually I think it has gotten worse. I've been covering politics and campaigns for 13-14 years now and I've been in some of the bluest of the blue areas of the country covering...the anti-illegal proposition in California and covering the very heated pitched battle over government racial preference in Washington State...And I honestly can't say that I thought it's ever been as bad as it was during the 2004 election campaign.

John Hawkins: In your new book, Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild, you show the most extreme examples of Democratic behavior including assaults, people advocating violence, etc. Do you think people like -- for example -- Howard Dean, Michael Moore, & Ted Rall are in anyway responsible for that radical behavior, even though they don't advocate violence, because of the sort of rhetoric they use?

Michelle Malkin: No question about it. Again, it's a double standard. There is no question that the New York Times' editorial board would be pinning blame on Ken Mehlman, the White House, or Karl Rove if they did not distance themselves from the kind of behavior and "crackpottery" that Howard Dean tolerates on a daily basis.


Enjoy!


JOE LIEBERMAN -- A PROFILE IN POLITICAL COURAGE AND STATESMANSHIP

If the Democratic Party had anything on the ball, if it could bring itself to understand that its strident, left-of-Left cabal led by Ted Kennedy and Howard Dean is bringing ruin, if it could put strength of character, statesmanship, and impecabble honesty before a virulent "Bush lied" mantra and crass, down-in-the-ditches politics, it would elevate Senator Joseph Lieberman's profile in the party and give him the voice that the "Wall Street Journal" has given him before the nation and the world.

Do read, indeed, DO NOT PASS GO, until you've digested Senator Lieberman's observations on the progress of the emerging democratic nation of Iraq and the favorable results being achieved by America and its allies there.

This is the other end of the spectrum from the viewpoints on that war of Representative John Murtha (D-PA) with his call for near-term troop withdrawal. For the first time in a long time there is a legitimate point-counterpoint debate emerging within the Democratic Party on a compelling matter of national security and by two well-respected, non-extremist, highly-experienced politicians. The question becomes: will Lieberman be torpedoed by the party's fanatical left wing or will he be heard and gain cachet with party moderates, as well as with GOP moderates and conservatives who support the war and do not want a Vietnam-like retreat that dooms all that has been accomplished in Iraq.

As Joe Lieberman observes:

I have just returned from my fourth trip to Iraq in the past 17 months and can report real progress there. More work needs to be done, of course, but the Iraqi people are in reach of a watershed transformation from the primitive, killing tyranny of Saddam to modern, self-governing, self-securing nationhood--unless the great American military that has given them and us this unexpected opportunity is prematurely withdrawn.

Progress is visible and practical. In the Kurdish North, there is continuing security and growing prosperity. The primarily Shiite South remains largely free of terrorism, receives much more electric power and other public services than it did under Saddam, and is experiencing greater economic activity. The Sunni triangle, geographically defined by Baghdad to the east, Tikrit to the north and Ramadi to the west, is where most of the terrorist enemy attacks occur. And yet here, too, there is progress.

The following is telling:

It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern. The terrorists are intent on stopping this by instigating a civil war to produce the chaos that will allow Iraq to replace Afghanistan as the base for their fanatical war-making. We are fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this war is critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again and to further undermine the growing stability and progress in the Middle East, which has long been a major American national and economic security priority.

And read this a couple of times while pinching yourself:

Here is an ironic finding I brought back from Iraq. While U.S. public opinion polls show serious declines in support for the war and increasing pessimism about how it will end, polls conducted by Iraqis for Iraqi universities show increasing optimism. Two-thirds say they are better off than they were under Saddam, and a resounding 82% are confident their lives in Iraq will be better a year from now than they are today. What a colossal mistake it would be for America's bipartisan political leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will and, in the famous phrase, to seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory.


Why do I think (wistful dreamer that I am, to be sure) that a single OP-ED piece could (should) thrust Joe Lieberman into the forefront of the Democratic Party's leadership and put Hillary Clinton's presidential bid in 2008 in checkmate? Probably because when I listen to Kennedy, Dean, Reid, Pelosi, Boxer, Durbin and Schumer, I still cannot believe that the Democratic Party has been kidnapped and held hostage for so long by this fringe element on the far left.

Lieberman's column is a breath of fresh air in a party that has become as smothering as the atmosphere inside the New Orleans Superdome during Katrina. Many in the party are waiting to be rescued. Question becomes: can Joe Lieberman pilot them out of there?


FOLLOW-UP: Here's an OP-ED piece by Dante Chinni, published in the Christian Science Monitor, on the Democratic Party's need "... to be the party of something more than 'we're not them.' They have to decide what it is they believe." It's a good read on what the author terms "the confused state" of the Democratic Party.

FOLLOW-UP II: Here's a well-written OP-ED piece by Lorie Byrd (who regularly writes for the blog "Polipundit"), published at Townhall.com, which suggests that the GOP must now make the case that the Democratic Party has not proven itself equipped to fight the global war on terrorism and deal with the hard realities of Islamofascism. Read Lorie and you'll realize just how isolated Joe Lieberman is in his Left-dominated party.

Monday, November 28

BUSH REMAINS PREOCCUPIED WITH GUEST WORKER PROGRAMS

Here's the president's speech today; here's the outline (or "Fact Sheet," as the White House terms it) of the president's plan to "secure America through immigration reform." It's been nearly five years in coming; and, as one might have suspected it would, it sorely disappoints and leaves a lot of pertinent questions unanswered.

For starters, the president did not announce that by Executive Order he is moving troops to the border. Border security is clearly not his Number #1 priority. Were it so, troops would be assembling to meet the invasion as I write this post.

What is plain, moreover, is that despite the president's words today that "together with Congress, we're going to ... reject amnesty," he still has amnesty on the brain. It's just coming under the guise of a Guest Worker Program that at its foundation will make the case that there's no practical way of deporting the millions of illegals that the president's purposeful indifference to border security has allowed into our land illegally. His Director of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, has already said as much. He speaks for the Bush Administration.

As a conservative Republican, I am encouraged that the president is finally getting around to thinking about upholding his solemn duty to protect our nation from those who violate the laws of the land in entering this country illegally. It's about time now that 11 - 12 million are already here. It's not good that any president would ignore an invasion of the magnitude occurring on our southern border. That invasion is unprecedented in scope and impact. And it's an altogether egregious contradiction in terms for a president who nobly chooses to lead the fight on global terrorism to have ignored securing the nation's borders for this long a period of time since September 11, 2001.

Frankly, I found the president's speech to be nervy at best. There was no admission of culpability for what has already occurred on the border since his first term began, nor any light shed on what an under-manned U.S. Border Patrol has been facing. After all, American citizens are not ignorant. We know, for example, that budgeted funding for border security has increased dramatically under Bush '43 -- most spending has; but, we also know that additional Border Patrol agents earmarked in that funding were never hired and trained under Bush '43. The president didn't come clean on that.

And what about President Vicente Fox's and Mexico's complicity in the invasion? What about the government-funded "staging areas" operating in northern Mexico where human smugglers can hook up with those who want to enter the United States illegally and get themselves outfitted? What about the Mexican government-produced guide on how to emigrate illegally? What's George Bush going to do about Mexico? Why don't we take out those "staging areas" with surgical strikes for starters? And what about "Zetas": the for-hire, para-military, Mexican assassins operating in the United States? What's George Bush doing about them? MS-13 gang members operate in 33 states on George Bush's watch and Zetas roam Texas and you'd think from listening to the president that getting the lettuce crop harvested is paramount. And what about the way in which Mexico's U.S.-based consulates are regularly interfering in the internal affairs of the United States?

Indeed, to listen to George Bush's speech today, one would think the primary issue in the illegal immigration quagmire is matching willing workers with willing employers. Why don't we do that first with displaced workers who have lost their livelihoods because of hurricanes Katrina and Rita? Why instead are illegals swarming into the Gulf Coast to take that work from American citizens? It's disgraceful and it, too, is happening on George Bush's watch. And by the way, the implication always is that the kind of work Mexican nationals will do is work eschewed by Americans -- even poor Americans. Well, there are many of us who remain convinced that it's more about the substandard wages and non-existent benefits for that work than the work itself. Besides, the notion that illegals provide "cheap labor" to employers leaves out the punch line in that joke: what the employers don't pay, U.S. taxpayers subsidize through a broad social safety net of government benefits that illegals avail themselves of to such an extent that on their so-called pauper's wages they're still able collectively to send billions of dollars in remittances back to their homelands. Talk about disposable income! That's your income!

Was there word one in the speech about "anchor babies?" Was there word one about the ridiculous federal laws that require hospital emergency rooms to treat illegal aliens and even going so far as to require paramedics on the U.S. side to venture into Mexico to retrieve those ailing there and return them to the U.S. side for treatment?

Was there an apology issued to the courageous patriots forming The Minuteman Project, who the president brushed aside as vigilantes? Those Minutemen have done what the president refused for much too long to do -- to help secure our nation's borders.

What about the fact that 30% of the prison population is now comprised of illegal aliens? What in the president's proposals addresses this ongoing subsidization of another country's criminal element? And why when they are paroled are these criminals not being immediately deported? And what about the Sanctuary City laws that have police officers in so many of America's major metropolitan areas not questioning suspected illegal aliens and asking them to produce legitimate documentation? And what about the misguided cities providing Day Labor Centers for illegal aliens to congregate in and loiter about?

And no mention by the president of the sinister "el Plan de Aztlan" -- Mexico's determination to reclaim parts of the American southwest -- yet he had the audacity to claim that immigrants will be obliged to learn our nation's customs and values and (drum roll, please) even its language under his plan for immigration reform. He should have made his speech from Baldwin Park, California, where a monument to Mexican nationalism stands -- a symbol of what the invasion from the south is really all about.

This was but one speech and it comes at a time, nearly five years into George W. Bush's presidency, when his poll numbers are at their lowest and political opposition to the war in Iraq is building. I hope the speech was not a diversion. I hope it begins a major turn in the president's thinking on our nation's homeland security and border enforcement. But I'm sceptical. What the president should have done today is to speak exclusively on border security and to hold in abeyance any discussion of Guest Worker programs. If the president means it when he says he intends to harden the borders than he must harden his will to resist the special interests that will oppose him, and they will be legion.

After all, you don't stop an invasion by talking mostly about how to put the invaders to work.

The speech was rife with kudos to his own administration and the Congress for what has been done to date when what has not been done to date ought to be a national embarrassment and cause for a round of public apologies from elected officials who have been derelict in their sworn duty. Just because the president intones now that he will not sign any legislation that includes "amnesty" does not mean that we won't get amnesty in the final analysis. There could be some euphmeism used for it or we'll just hear again from Chertoff that it's as impossible as it is impractical to round up 11 - 12 million illegals and deport them. Goodness, there are thousands of MS-13 gang members wreaking death and havoc in 33 states and the best the president could claim today is that "hundreds" have been arrested.

Until I see troops on the border and the rescission of Sanctuary City policies, my suspicion will be that it remains all blue smoke and mirrors.


POSTSCRIPT: In this post published on November 13th, I reaffirmed my support of President Bush, but with caveats, among them: "Our nation's borders must be secured and before any major overhaul in our immigration system is effected. Border enforcement -- genuine "homeland security" -- is a must. The invasion from the south must be stopped. Anything less is unacceptable. The president and the Congress must act. Blanket amnesty for the 11+ million illegal aliens already in this country is unacceptable."

FOLLOW-UP: Michelle Malkin comments on the president's speech and provides some good links. Seems she wasn't terribly impressed either!

FOLLOW-UP II: James Fulford at the VDARE Blog links to Michelle Malkin and comments on the president's slander of The Minutemen.

FOLLOW-UP III: The Lonewacko Blog pulls no punches in assessing the president's speech. Do read the post.

FOLLOW-UP IV: Please make a point of reading FAIR's "7 Principles of True Immigration Reform" and pay particular note of the SECOND PRINCIPLE -- namely, "No Amnesty or Mass Guest-Worker Program."

FOLLOW-UP V: This MSNBC poll and this from CNN, as published at the American Patrol Report, suggest the president's speech missed the mark by a mile.

FOLLOW-UP VI: Frosty Wooldridge quotes Teddy Roosevelt in this must-read column: "In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. We have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

FOLLOW-UP VII (11/29/05): The Tar Pit publishes a thoughtful, substantive response to the president's speech and compares it's veiled form of amnesty with the elements of the amnesty effected during the Reagan Administration. Included are a large number of links to other blogs commenting on the subject, including ACSOL, for which this writer is grateful.

FOLLOW-UP VIII (11/29/05): California Yankee expresses his disappointment in the president's speech at REDSTATE.ORG.: "All I really wanted to hear the President say was that in order to be allowed to participate in the temporary worker program illegal aliens would have to return to their homeland." Didn't happen, of course.

FOLLOW-UP IX (11/29/05): Peter Brimelow at VDARE Blog doesn't leave anything to interpretation in terms of his reaction to the president's speech. Quite an unmistakable thumbs down!

FOLLOW-UP X (11/29/05): Rich Lowry at NRO puts the right perspective on Bush's tough talk yesterday about border security -- namely, that it's "primarily meant to diminish opposition to a new guest-worker program and what would effectively be an amnesty for illegal aliens. It's a crackdown as prelude to a letup; in other words, Rove bait for red-staters." Seems Mr. Lowry and I are in lockstep. I would make this observation: the more columnists and bloggers are steeped in immigration law and conversant in the issues involving illegal aliens and porous borders, the more disenchanted they are with President Bush's prescriptions. They're not buying it. To use a popular Texas' expression, the president's dog don't hunt.

FOLLOW-UP XI (11/29/05): Polipundit opposes Guest Worker programs, but pitches a more optimistic note than most on the heels of the president's speech: "But the very fact that the president is raising the issue of immigration enforcement, before any 'guest worker' program, is great news for Republicans, conservatives, and America. Handled right, this could be great policy and great politics."

FOLLOW-UP XII (11/29/05): The Dan Stein Report links to a Washington Times' piece on President Bush's speech, from which the following quote is taken: "The program would allow illegal aliens to remain in the United States for up to six years, which is anathema to conservatives." The Washington Times quotes Dan Stein as observing: "The president's plan is nothing more than a massive illegal alien amnesty on a six-year time delay," said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. "His temporary-worker program, which will be anything but temporary, is the death knell for America's middle class."


HAS BUSH FINALLY GOTTEN THE MESSAGE ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION?

CNN reports that President Bush will be visiting Tucson, Arizona, today and El Paso, Texas, tomorrow, in an effort to showcase a belatedly tougher stance by his administration on the issues of porous borders and the 11+ million illegal aliens in our country. Conservatives, this writer among them, will be listening intently to the president to discern whether or not he'll persist in shrouding blanket amnesty in the guise of a proposed Guest Worker program that doesn't first require that illegal aliens be deported back to their homeland. Conservatives, this writer among them, will also be listening intently to determine whether the president and the Department of Homeland Security will devote themselves to significantly enhanced border security first before tackling major immigration reform legislation. A vast majority of Americans want to see the border-jumping stopped and those apprehended processed and deported -- i.e., current federal laws vis-a-vis immigration enforced -- before consideration is given to programs for tempoary guest workers to enter the country legally. Fact is, "catch and release" is a way of life for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and particularly in dealing with "Other Than Mexicans" (OTMs); and "internal enforcement" of immigration laws are materially undermined by "Sanctuary City" policies in major American cities across our land.

Of note in the CNN piece referenced above are the quotes from Leslie Sanchez. This blogger has revealed her in this post for the patent open borders' apologist that she is. Sanchez is concerned about the prospect of "immigrant bashing." She conveniently avoids the correct terminology: "illegal alien." Nobody wants them "bashed." We just want these lawbreakers who illegally entered our country, persist in feeding off of its social welfare system, and have the disposable income to send billions of dollars in remittances to their homelands each year, apprehended, detained, processed, and deported. Period.

Americans want the current laws on the books enforced and our national security protected via strict border enforcement. Americans want the invasion from the south stopped dead in its tracts. And Americans want our pusillanimous politicians to stop listening to and being influenced by Latino activists' groups bent on el Plan De Aztlan."

If President Bush stubbornly broaches the subject of amnesty this week (or anything, however well-disguised, that embraces it) and if he doesn't squarely place border security in the forefront of his immigration-related proposals, there will be a firestorm within the ranks of conservative Republicans that will make the Harriet Miers' brouhaha pale by comparison. Such a misstep will doom his second term.


FOLLOW-UP: Related posts from Michelle Malkin and Captain Ed.

FOLLOW-UP II: From a story by Michelle Mittelstadt published in today's Dallas Morning News: "Little more than a year ago, President Bush sketched his vision for a sweeping plan that would bring millions of illegal immigrants out of the shadows, matching 'willing worker' with 'willing employer.' But in a year roiled by war, hurricanes, congressional leadership difficulties and his own protracted swoon in the polls, Mr. Bush has seen little traction on Capitol Hill for swift passage of his proposal to provide temporary work visas to many of the estimated 11 million to 12 million immigrants here illegally. If anything, the current momentum appears to be favoring those in Congress who prefer a get-tough approach. These days, it seems as if just about everyone in Congress is offering legislation to crack down on illegal immigration and beef up security along the Southwest border."

FOLLOW-UP III: If President Bush wants to convince the nation that he and the Department of Homeland Security are at long last going to get tough on illegal immigration, he might want to get this ridiculous situation corrected. H/T: Drudge Report.

FOLLOW-UP IV: Dan Stein links to a Washington Post story on the president's trip.


AMERICANS INCREASINGLY RESTIVE OVER ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

While the Houston Chronicle's editorial board remains consistent this morning in its long-standing, unabashed support for Houston's "Sanctuary City" status -- i.e., a policy in which Houston's police officers are not allowed to question suspected illegal immigrants about their immigration status and to ask for documentation (except in serious crimes) -- its own James Pinkerton, in a well-done, surprisingly balanced piece published on November 26th, writes of the growing intensity of sentiment among Americans regarding illegal immigration and their desire for tougher enforcement, including the repeal of "Sanctuary City" policies.

Writes Pinkerton (excerpts follow):

More Americans ... are beginning to take a tougher stance against illegal immigration. And they're beginning to question the so-called sanctuary policies that are designed to protect illegal immigrants in such cities as Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

"Every political survey that is done shows concern about immigration ranks up there with education, employment, and health care," said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a lobby group that opposes illegal immigration. "It's on the minds of people everywhere because it's no longer a localized phenomenon."

And here's the money quote -- an observation not often countenanced by MSM editors and a real credit to Pinkerton's objective reporting:

Recent polls show strong opposition to illegal immigration from the southern border, including among Americans of Hispanic origin.


Read that sentence a second time, because open border apologists and liberal political pundits alike tell us over and over again that there would be a Hispanic backlash were the borders secured and internal enforcement stepped up. Quite the contrary: the vast majority of Americans, including its citizens of Latin American ancestry, want the country's borders secured. And, as James Pinkerton reports, they want local law enforcement to buttress the work of federal agents in identifying and deporting illegal aliens, who now number between 11 and 12 million in the United States.

I applaud James Pinkerton's reporting in this article, as it's in sharp contrast to a singularly jaded piece by Gebe Martinez, published in the Houston Chronicle on November 21st. By the way, a misguided Sanctuary City policy in Houston, embraced by the mayor, the chief of police, and the Houston Chronicle, explains in part why 350,000 - 400,000 illegal aliens reside in America's 4th largest city and roam its streets, as if they were American citizens.


Saturday, November 26

NOTRE DAME WINS -- IRISH BCS BOWL BOUND !!!

I'm too wrung out from this see-saw battle with Stanford to even write about it. Notre Dame finishes the season at 9-2 and we'll see them again after New Year's Day.

How sweet it is!

FOLLOW-UP: Sports Illustrated

FOLLOW-UP II (11/27/05): Bret Bloomquist (published in the Chicago Sun-Times) on the Fighting Irish's "last-ditch heroics."

FOLLOW-UP III (11/27/05): Captain Ed, a big Notre Dame fan, has a post up on the ND comeback.

FOLLOW-UP IV (11/28/05): Here's another Chicago Sun-Times piece, this one pointing to the likelihood of a Fiesta Bowl berth for the Fighting Irish. Januray 2nd in Tempe!

FOLLOW-UP V (11/28/05): Well-done, newsy post from Mike at The Blue-Gray Sky on the Stanford game. You'll enjoy the detailed insights.

Friday, November 25

IN THE COMPANY OF GRANDCHILDREN

I've been remiss in posting the ubiquitous blogging will be light message over the long Thanksgiving Day weekend. Sorry about that.

My wife and I have family visiting and I am suddenly surrounded by three little men -- ages 4, 6, and 8. The word "Grandpa" echoes through the house! And the sound of little feet on the carpet upstairs at dawn becomes rolling thunder by day's end, as what my father used to term "raw nerve" (translated: "the surgar rush") takes over. But I'll survive!

We've just enjoyed homemade pizza (a Friday night tradition in our household) and we're about to sit down and watch a children's DVD movie.

Life can be very, very good.

WHAT'S A "DISAFFECTED BLOGGER?"

Chew on this from a column by Kathleen Parker, published in today's Houston Chronicle:

As much as we've heard about the slow death of newspapers — "mainstream media," as disaffected bloggers like to call us — we've heard little about why this is no cause for celebration. A so-called "victory" for the blogosphere vis-a-vis declining newspaper readership is very much a defeat for the freedoms we take for granted.

The word "disaffected" means "unfriendly, discontented and disloyal," according to Websters. Now, to be sure, I use the term "mainstream media" in my blogging and, admittedly, oftentimes in a pejorative sense when I am pointing to the perpetual leftist slant that is usually far from confined to the Op-Ed pages of many major metropolitan newspapers (e.g., the New York Times is a case in point). But in doing so I'm not hoping for (or on any collective blogging mission to effect) the demise of newspapers. And, goodness, I can't be disloyal to a newspaper -- say, the Houston Chronicle -- because newspapers, even good ones, don't merit "loyalty," certainly not in the sense one is loyal to the Dallas Cowboys or the Boston Red Sox or the Philadelphia Flyers. Shouldn't it be enough that we read them and quote them and discuss them and periodically respond to them with posts or Letters-To-The-Editors?

Bloggers are not the enemy of the media. Editorial boards and newspaper owners who refuse to offer fair and balanced reporting and whose editorial slant offers a persistent progressive-secularist agenda, while feigning objectivity, are. That is what gets in the craw of those of us on the conservative side of the blogosphere. But, fact is, what we most often do is read, digest, and comment on stories and Op-Ed pieces we read in the mainstream media. And we link regularly to them! So what's with the anti-blogger bias of Kathleen's piece?

Here's another shot from Ms. Parker:

Newspapers serve their communities in ways that can't be replicated by bloggers — noble-spirited, smart and entertaining as many often are — or by anyone else. They not only help define a given community, but also serve as both government watchdog and information conduit. They have the resources to investigate, to report, to inform as no other entity can, does or will.


That's a compelling observation, but not correct in all instances. The Houston Chronicle includes in its online edition (and to its credit) a growing list of bloggers. And when Hurricane Rita directly threatened the Houston-Galveston area, the Chronicle's Dwight Silverman solicited the assistance of Houston-area bloggers to provide real-time reports on the storm system and its impact on different geographical areas in the region. And while I do not discount for a minute that "newspapers serve their communities," they can also do a disservice and harm the very communities from which they draw their readers. The Houston Chronicle, as an example, supports Houston's Sanctuary City status and disdains The Minuteman Project, and at the same time that 350,000 - 400,000 illegal aliens -- lawbreakers one and all -- roam Houston's streets. So the record is mixed and Ms. Parker overstates her case.

And in the case of the CBS News/Dan Rather reporting on President Bush's Texas Air National Guard record during the 2004 election, did Texas-based newspapers with the resources at their disposal do a better job of separating the wheat from the chaff than conservative bloggers did? I think not; I know not.


FOLLOW-UP: Here's a classic example of what Kathleen Parker would call a "disaffected blogger" -- namely, my friend Frank Laughter of Common Sense Junction, as here's Frank in this post taking on the mainstream media (e.g., ABC News and NBC News). Frank's issue is that the MSM likes to point to the number of deaths (KIAs) of American soldiers and Marines in Iraq, and particularly their milestones in the thousands, as emblematic of a war gone bad and a mission not being achieved. But Frank tries to put those combat deaths in perspective against the death rates of Americans killed in action in two other wars, as well as here in our own homeland as a result of homicides and various types of injuries. His point is that the MSM more often than not paints the grimmest of pictures when citing the death rates in Iraq and never from the perspective of whether or not those deaths are unacceptably disproportionate to the deaths of the enemy -- the terrorists -- or unacceptable in the context of what is being achieved.


ANOTHER FREE RANGE TURKEY IN CRAWFORD, TEXAS

I had read that the president, the First Lady, and their family and guests would be dining on roasted free range turkey at their Crawford, Texas, ranch for Thanksgiving, but what I didn't know until I read this Associated Press (AP) piece this morning was that another free range turkey is afoot in Crawford and this hen is up to her usual gobble-gobble.

Read the whole article, as I have no intention of quoting from it; but, do know that the riff-raff that gathered in Crawford in advance of Cindy Sheehan's arrival dined on an Iraqi-style meal and a spokesman decried the fact that Iraqis were suffering while Americans dined on fat turkeys.

So now even the wonderful meal my wife prepared yesterday has come under attack by the Sheehan-led flock of feckless fabulists.

I offered a prayer yesterday for the president and I feel as though that prayer went unanswered. The traveling Sheehan road show is back in Crawford to harass the president and that's not exactly what I had in mind for this good man. Nor, frankly, is it what I had in mine for Casey Sheehan and all of the fallen in the global war on terror.

FOLLOW-UP (11/28/05): A picture is truly worth a thousand words! Thanks, Matt Drudge.

Thursday, November 24

IN REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN




HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY !!!

Here's wishing all Americans a happy Thanksgiving Day as you gather at your tables with family and friends to celebrate the many blessings of freedom and liberty we enjoy in our country.

From this household we send along our special thanks to the men and women in uniform, here at home and overseas, and especially to those fighting the global war on terrorism in far away Afghanistan and Iraq. Your courage and your sacrifices are bringing freedom to millions and your hard fought battles eradicating terrorism, making this troubled world of ours safer. We thank, too, the families of our soldiers, sailors, and Marines, and pray that they are soon rejoined with their loved ones in uniform.

Most of all, this family asks for God's blessings and guidance for our nation's president, vice president, secretary of state, and secretary of defense, and all those who serve us at the highest levels of government during this time of war. Give them respite this day from their worries and burdens and touch their hearts, minds and souls with Your divine wisdom, Oh Lord.


FOLLOW-UP: A Thanksgiving Day Proclamation by the President of the United States of America.

FOLLOW-UP II: Here's a wonderful post by Peter at ProLifeBlogs. God bless all of those who work on behalf of preborns and who value life -- God's miracle!

Wednesday, November 23

HOW FAR SHOULD OP-ED PAGES GO IN PUBLISHING A DIVERSITY OF OPINION?

The Houston Chronicle publishes on its Op-Ed pages today -- the day before America's Thanksgiving Day holiday -- a bitter, jaded, poison-pen account by Robert Jensen, a professor of journalism at the University of Texas, of his vision of what this national holiday ought to be about and his distorted view of its antecedents. Professor Jensen must be Texas' singular answer to Ward Churchill. His column disgusts me and it disgusts me, as a subsriber to the Chronicle's print edition, that this vitriol was selected to grace its pages. I'm also offended that my tax dollars contribute to this idiot's salary.

Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are sacrosanct rights in our country and essential elements of its founding. But a newspaper's editorial board has a fundamental responsibility for exercising discretion in selecting what it chooses to publish and such discretion is nowhere to be found on page B9 of the newspaper's "City and State" section today.

Accordingly, I choose to point to this column by Mike Adams of Townhall.com (as published at FrontPageMag.com) to give readers of ACSOL a perspective on Professor Robert Jensen's political agenda -- i.e., what the man is all about.

And I choose to point readers of ACSOL to this by Professor Jensen, which reveals him for the egregious radical he is. The following is excerpted from that piece:

We have to confront the deeply embedded racism in the United States that makes it so easy to mobilize public support for war, as long as the targets are not white.

We have to confront the barbarism of the United States, which not only has the capacity to destroy an entire society but a proven willingness to do just that to achieve policy goals.

Let me put it as clearly as I can: The way we live in this country -- the way every one of us here at this rally today lives -- is morally indefensible and ecologically unsustainable. It is a way of life that can't be enjoyed by the rest of the world, and it is a way of life that if unchecked literally will destroy the world.

This is the kind of distorted world view and rank anti-Americanism that the newpaper of America's 4th largest city chose to give voice to on its Op-Ed pages the day before Thanksgiving Day, 2005. No wonder the Houston Chronicle's daily circulation is down 6%.

HAT-TIP:
Michelle Malkin

FOLLOW-UP: I'm sure the radical professor would prefer carving up Tony Snow's heartfelt column on Thanksgiving, rather than a turkey at a traditional table, but, Mr. Snow's writing would have been preferred as far as this writer is concerned.

MICHEAL YON'S TRIBUTE TO OUR FIGHTING MEN AND WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES

Truly a picture is worth a thousand words ...

God bless our troops and the families they are separated from this Thanksgiving Day holiday. Their courageous service on behalf of Iraq, Afghanistan, the United States of America, and freedom-loving people worldwide is inestimable, unselfish, and deserves the profound gratitude of their fellow citizens.


HAT-TIP: Laura Ingraham via News Talk 870 KRLA

OF WASHINGTON AND LNCOLN AND THANKSGIVING DAY

A fellow "CMCer" (then Claremont Men's College, now Claremont McKenna College), Ken Masugi, a member of the prestigious Claremont Institute and its distinguished Director of the Center for Local Government, has a column entitled "Thanksgiving's Simple Meaning," first published November 24, 2004, up presently at The Claremont Institute's Web site and, like Michelle Malkin, I think it an important read -- one to reflect upon prior to sitting down at your Thanksgiving Day table with loved ones.

As Ken writes:

As our young men fight and die in Iraq and around the world, just as thousands died at home only a little more than three years ago, we should remember the war wisdom of Lincoln and the founding wisdom of Washington on Thanksgiving Day. Guided by prayer, we should recall our higher purposes. We enjoy the fruits of our leisure on account of the sacrifices of others today and before us. Thanksgiving Day is Memorial Day and the Fourth of July together, a time for both the Gettysburg Address and the Constitution—as well as for the family, feasting, and football that complete American life.


Ken's column makes me proud to have been a classmate of his years ago and proud to be an American.


Tuesday, November 22

NO JAIL TIME FOR SEX WITH A MINOR


CNN reports that former teacher, Debra Lafave, and her attorney have cut a plea bargain deal with prosecuting attorneys in Florida, that in exchange for a plea of guilty the Greco Middle School teacher will see no prison time for her two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a 14-year-old student -- i.e., multiple sex acts with a minor.

Fox News quotes her attorney as saying the following, which I read with incredulity and disdain: "To place an attractive young woman in that kind of a hell hole is like putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions."

So it's all about her good looks and model's figure? Were she a grotesquely disfigured rapist would she have been sentenced to a maximum security prison for the maximum penalty allowable under the law? Is the prospect of prison rape an apt defense for a defendant charged with sexually violating a minor (or any felony charges for that matter)?

And what of the boy? Is he left to live in a prison within his soul, a victim of multiple sexual trysts with his teacher -- an adult who had a responsibility to behave like one, but didn't? Is this all about some bizarre notion that if the teacher is attractive then a male student wins, no matter how young -- i.e., the lottery most assuredly came in for a pubescent adolescent with normal male fantasies?

What was prosecutor Michael Sinacore thinking? Is this the kind of message that he wants to send out to the community, namely that there are only minor consequences for raping a minor and jail time is not among them? And were the victim's parents willing accomplices in getting their son's attacker off the hook, because they dreaded the publicity of a trial? If so, what about future victims of these kinds of demented monsters? Don't children deserve better?

While it was rape, rather than murder, this all smacks of a Tampa version of "Chicago" and there's nothing in it that entertains.

So much for fair and equal justice under the law. Child rape victims deserve better from the criminal justice system than placing the adult sexual predators who victimize them under house arrest. The criminal justice system in this country is broken.


OF A PRESIDENT REMEMBERED AND THE "X" FACTOR

It seems incomprehensible that 42 years have passed since that somber day -- November 22, 1963 -- when a young president was shot dead in Dallas as the limousine he and the First Lady rode in passed through Dealy Plaza and, fatefully, past the Texas School Book Depository building. There on the sixth floor a lone sniper, Lee Harvey Oswald, took dead aim at President John F. Kennedy and, with several pulls of the trigger, caused American history to take as sharp a detour as the driver of the blood-spattered presidential limousine took in heading futily to Parkland Memorial hospital. A nation changed forever that day, as did millions of lives; and the memory of that day remains palpable for this writer.

It mattered not your politics or the fact that Camelot was more hype than reality, or that the young president's first 1,000 days, for that matter, hadn't come close to fulfilling the promise of his eloquent Inaugural Address. For if JFK's short tenure in the White House was anything, it was the light of a torch held aloft by a new generation of Americans and of a vibrant spirit of optimism brightly rekindled. They were particularly exciting days for young people -- young people, like me, who had found in this boyishly handsome president the inspiration to become interested in history, politics, and current events, and to think that anything was possible in one's life, including seeing men walk on the surface of the moon.

That's why it's disappointing all these years later, and on what should be a poignantly remembered anniversary of a dreadful day, to find the top story among my fellow bloggers (see Memeorandum) the mysterious "X" that appeared across Vice President Dick Cheney's face on CNN yesterday. To be sure, it's a trivial, half-baked conspiracy theory that pales against what ensued in the wake of John F. Kennedy's assassination and the publication of the Warren Commission Report that ushered in, in my lifetime anyway, the first real sense that the federal government doesn't always shoot straight with "we the people."

I've visited, in my adult life, John Fitzgerald Kennedy's gravesite in Arlington National Cemetary and the memorial in Dealy Plaza commemorating the day in November when his life was snuffed out and the promise of his public service extinguished. They form vivid memories of the history that have been a part of my lifetime. And those gruesome images from the Zapruder film remain etched in my memory, just as does the teary-eyed, shocked mien of CBS' Walter Cronkite when he made the grim announcement to the nation.

Wherever your place in the political spectrum of the blogosphere, kindly have a place in your heart and a prayer in your thoughts for the 35th President of the United States today and for his surviving daughter, Caroline, who must feel terribly alone today with her father, mother, sister and brothers all having passed from this earth.

In her collection of poems in "The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis" (published by Hyperion, New York), Caroline includes a poem authored by her mother, entitled "Meanwhile In Massachusetts." Jacqueline Kennedy wrote lovingly of her first husband:

He breathed in the tang of the New England fall
And back in his mind he pictured it all,
The burnished New England countryside
Names that a patriot says with pride
Concord and Lexington, Bunker Hill
Plymouth and Falmouth and Marstons Mill
Withthrop and Salem, Lowell, Revere
Quincy and Cambridge, Louisburg Square.
This was his heritage -- this his share
Of dreams that a young man harks in the air.
The past reached out and tracked him now
He would heed that touch; he didn't know how.
Part he must serve, a part he must lead
Both were his calling, both were his need.





FOLLOW-UP: Bulldogpundit expresses well the same reaction I have to the "X" silliness.

FOLLOW-UP II: The Boston Globe published this editorial two years ago commemorating what was then the 40th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's death at the hands of Lee Harvey Oswald.

FOLLOW-UP III: I encourage readers of ACSOL two read the eulogy for President Kennedy delivered by the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Mike Mansfield. It's among the most beautifully-penned eulogies in our nation's history and limns a touching moment in the First Lady's dignified grief for a husband lost.

FOLLOW-UP IV: This was John F. Kennedy's favorite poem.

FOLLOW-UP V: Joel Achenbach has an interesting column today in the Washington Post in which he opens with the following: "The Single Conspiracy Theory doesn't wash." That, of course, is a seemingly skeptical shot at the conclusion of the Warren Commission that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin in the killing of the 35th President of the United States. But turns out Achenback is just pulling his readers' collective legs, for eventually he states: "For the record, I am among those crazy, goggle-eyed knuckleheads who think that Oswald shot Kennedy."

FOLLOW-UP VI: Karen Ayres has written this week in The Dallas Morning News (free registration required) of a charity event that stirred memories of a fallen president. Included in her column is a recollection of the attending physician who tried desperately to save the president's life and two days later the life of the assassin who killed him.

Monday, November 21

VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY'S SPEECH

John Hawkins publishes excerpts from the Vice President's speech today and also provides a link to the entire text at his top-notch blog, Right Wing News. Trust you'll enjoy reading the speech as much as I did. My sidebar banner says I still support President Bush. Well, understand as well that I still support Vice President Dick Cheney, too!


HOW TO BE A MUSLIM #101

Michelle Malkin has managed to get my blood pressure up this morning with a report (via a link to an Ann Althouse piece) of more insanity on the Left Coast, yet again buttressed by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle decries the proposed splitting of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which this blog reported back on November 4th and fully supports. And remember this ACSOL post?

Along with supporting the teaching of California's 7th graders about how to be Muslims, the Ninth Circuit Court has also legally underwritten sexual surveys of public school children, which Congress is appropriately concerned about, as reported at Stop The ACLU.

Tired of judicial activism? You can do no better then to start with a focus on this left-of-Left legislative body posing as a court.


OF HARD-LINERS AND HUMANITARIANS IN THE IMMIGRATION DEBATE

The print edition of this morning's Houston Chronicle (registration required for on-line edition) carries a front-page, below-the-fold story by Gebe Martinez that is headlined as an exposition of the intensifying debate on illegal immigration. That the adjective "illegal" was used to modify the noun "immigration" in the headline had me anticipating an objective, balanced, un-MSM-like article on the thorny issues of illegal immigration and border security; but, for the second consecutive day, first on the Sunday edition's Op-Ed pages and now on the front page of the Chronicle and in a straight news' piece no less, I was duped. Martinez's jaded reporting, to be sure, belongs on the Op-Ed page. And readers of ACSOL need to understand, to put in context what the Houston Chronicle is up to here, that between 350,000 and 400,000 "illegals" reside and work unfettered in America's 4th largest city and that Houston is a "Sanctuary City" and the Chronicle consistently supports that ill-advised policy.

The first line in the sand comes right out of the gate in Gebe Martinez's article, in quoting the mayor of Laredo, Texas (a border town), who inconguously dismisses the terrorist threat that porous borders pose. I write "incongruously," because Laredo's Port of Entry is just across the border from Nuevo Laredo, arguably Mexico's most violent border town and the epicenter of drug cartel activity. Martinez conveniently overlooks these issues and quotes the mayor, as if Betty Flores is some kind of terrorism expert, rather than a mayor trying futily to put the best face on a bad situation.

Laredo Mayor Betty Flores is one of the border politicians who have grown weary waiting for Washington to update immigration worker visa laws and enforcement methods.

But when she heard that immigration control advocates were gaining congressional support for building a fence along the entire U.S.-Mexico border as a way to fight terrorism, Flores decided the escalating debate over illegal immigration was heading in the wrong direction.

"I think it's ridiculous," she said. "Terrorists are so well-funded that you are not going to find them crossing my pedestrian (border) bridges or crossing with the workers that walk across every day."

I wonder if Zetas -- Mexican para-military commandos operating in the United States as paid assassins -- qualify as terrorists? I wonder if MS-13 gang members (they operate here in Houston!) -- brutal, machete-wielding illegals, mostly Salvadorans, operating now in 33 states -- qualify as terrorists in their own right? I question (Martinez did not) whether the mayor of Laredo is as equipped as are Texas' sheriffs to assess the situation on the border vis-a-vis terrorism? I wonder if Texas' governor, Rick Perry, has a better handle on the problem of illegal immigration and its implications than does the tourists-commerce-seeking mayor of Laredo? Gebe Martinez does Chronicle readers a disservice in ignoring these issues and dismissing this nation's porous borders as anything but the unadulterated terrorist threat they are.

The second line in the sand comes in Gebe Matinez's characterization of the "two warring camps" in the immigration debate. People like yours truly are labelled as "hard-liners"; those opposed to tighter border security and the vigorous enforcement of immigration laws are described as "humanitarians." Is that an example of patent, pro-open borders' distortion, or what? And, I'm here to tell you it is consistent with previous biased Chronicle pieces on the subject.

On one side are hard-liners upset by the presence of so many illegal immigrants and the estimated half-million more who arrive every year. They believe that the illegal immigrants take jobs away from American citizens and provide a convenient cover for terrorists.

This camp wants tighter border controls and vigorous enforcement of immigration laws, not only as they apply to the illegal immigrants but also to the U.S. employers who hire them. In this way, they argue, illegal immigrants will likely be deported, and prospective illegal immigrants will be discouraged.

On the other side of the debate are businesses, which depend on foreign-born workers to take jobs that Americans don't want, and humanitarian groups, who believe illegal immigrants fit into the tradition of the American melting pot and should be granted a reasonable pathway to citizenship.


Well, in this writer's opinion, that so-called "melting pot" is already boiling over and increasingly exacerbated by a huge, virtually unchecked influx of border-jumpers, now numbering between 11 - 12 million people, who roam the country at will and without proper documentation -- all law-breakers, every last one of them -- and who feed off the taxpayer-funded federal and states' largess of broad social safety nets. They're euphemistically described as "undocumented workers" and as the "cheap labor" American businesses require to do the work that Americans refuse to do. But that "cheap labor" is subsidized labor -- subsidized by you and me, the taxpayers of this country -- and because illegals exploit "the system" they're able, despite low direct wages, to have enough disposable income left over to send 17 billion dollars back home annually in remittances (Mexico's second largest income stream after oil exports!). And if that doesn't put that careworn canard to rest, this should.

The third line in the sand is Martinez's slanderous characterization -- implied "xenophobia," to be sure -- of those who do not want lawbreakers in their midst, without any proper documentation identifying who they are, loitering about their neighborhoods and the businesses they frequent, as "prejudiced." The ol' race card at work in the immigration debate.

Now it has spread to North Carolina, Iowa, Oregon and Virginia. Voters there are voicing anger over a possible loss of national identity, often using language tinged with prejudice against outsiders.

"We've got illegal aliens. They are defecating and urinating in our 7 Eleven parking lot," a Herndon, Va., woman recently complained to a group of Republican congressmen. "I am not their hostess and they are not my guest and I find the term 'guest worker' very offensive and I urge you not to use it."


The fourth line in the sand and perhaps the most serious, as it must be a purposeful oversight by Gebe Martinez, is that there are only two major pieces of legislation currently being considered by Congress -- the McCain-Kennedy bill and the Cornyn-Kyl bill -- when, in point of fact, there are three. Indeed, there is no mention whatsoever of the recently-introduced TRUE Enforcement and Border Security Act of 2005, which puts emphasis on enhanced border security first (no doubt characteristic of a "hard-line" approach, according to the Chronicle's reporter).

All of which goes to show that readers of the Houston Chronicle and many other liberal-biased MSM publications must be critical readers. The Matinez article betrays an agenda at work and fits a template for the diluted immigration reform and welcome-wagon open borders that the Houston Chronicle champions.


NOTE TO READERS: The Houston Chronicle's on-line edition has just gone through a major format change and rebuild. Be advised: it has been loading slowly and it is cumbersome to access its pull-down menus. I'm sure the Chronicle's techies are working on these problems.

CORRECTION: I just became aware that the Houston Chronicle no longer requires free registration to access its on-line edition -- a caveat I've been in the habit of advising my readers. According to the Chronicle's Dwight Silverman, who was kind enough to write to me, "registration is (only) required to post in our forums, or use some of our other features, such as e-mail a friend and breaking news alerts." Thanks for the heads-up, Mr. Silverman.


Sunday, November 20

COULD IT BE -- IS ZARQAWI DEAD? (HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL!)

ACE has his fingers crossed, as does yours truly.

Here's the Associated Press (AP) "may be dead" story.

Please say it is so!


FOLLOW-UP: Glenn Reynolds cautions that it's too soon to pop the champagne corks.

FOLLOW-UP II: Kevin Aylward of Wibang! cites two sources claiming remains are being examined presently to determine if Zarqawi is, in fact, dead.

FOLLOW-UP III: Related item from CNN.

FOLLOW-UP IV: Don Surber offers his thoughts.

FOLLOW-UP V: Greyhawk thinks Zarqawi is alive and well in his mother's basement!

FOLLOW-UP VI: MSM coverage here; here; and, here.

FOLLOW-UP VII: John Hinderaker of Power Line comments, as does Jim Martin at REDSTATE.ORG.

FOLLOW-UP VIII: Jay at Stop The ACLU has been to the movie too many times and refuses to get excited at this juncture.

FOLLOW-UP IX: LGF was out way ahead of AP on this breaking story!

FOLLOW-UP X: Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom links to an update.

FOLLOW-UP XI: This from Reuters.

FOLLOW-UP XII: Frank Laughter advises the White House is expressing doubts that Zarqawi is dead. It would be too good to be true.

FOLLOW-UP XIII (11/21/05): ACE says, "Damn!" (I couldn't agree more).

DON SURBER: "MURTHA IS A POLITICAL OPPORTUNIST"

If you support the troops, America's real allies, the rightness of what we're doing in Iraq, the need for a global war on terror, and see the Party of Amnesia for what it is -- a political party that through its spineless actions and guileless rhetoric doesn't deserve the honor of being in charge of America's security and national defense -- then this post of Don Surber's will really resonate with you, as it does with me. Enjoy it. It's a good read and with terrific links.

And I agree with Don's observation that "Jack Murtha is a political opportunist."


FOLLOW-UP I: Polipundit calls the Dems cowards in their lukewarm support of the man they praised on the House floor the other night.

FOLLOW-UP II: Frank Laughter provides evidence that there is indeed a disconnect between what Americans are hearing from servicemen and women in the Middle East and what the MSM is reporting.

MICHELLE MALKIN RESPONDS TO HER UNFAIR DETRACTORS

Captain Ed is justifiably upset that Michelle Malkin must respond to her patently unfair and oftentimes mean-spirited, profane, cowards-in-anonimity detractors. I don't blame him one bit. Indeed, Captain Ed is to be applauded for the rage he feels as a friend of Michelle's and a blogger-colleague. And I similarly give kudos to Michelle for withstanding these rabid assaults with her trademark backbone, spunk, keen intellect and unassailable character. Michelle enriches the blogosphere. The trolls who viciously castigate her detract from it and betray their idiocy, inhumanity, and cowardice.

Assail her opinions, not her personally. And have the strength of character to put your names behind your criticism of those opinions.


FOLLOW-UP: Betsy Newmark who guest-blogs at Michelle's site offers her thoughts.

FOLLOW-UP II: Patterico comments.

FOLLOW-UP III: Lorie Byrd of Polipundit and, like Betsy Newmark, a periodic guest-blogger at Michelle Malkin's site weighs in on the ill-treatment Michelle receives.

FOLLOW-UP IV (11/21/05): Bulldogpundit doesn't mince words in his support of Michelle Malkin and her husband.

FOLLOW-UP V (11/21/05): Frank Laughter's post is a must-read -- his thoughts on Michelle Malkin are from the head and from the heart and, as is his custom, straight-forward. Good post in defense of Michelle!