An asteroid may hit us in the noggin in 2036, and a group of scientists want the UN to do something about it. Must be because they did such a great job in Darfur, Rwanda, Somalia…
The good news: we have 30 years to live it up.


Not the Democrats, it seems:

’08 race for president a winner on diversity,” declared the lead A1
headline in a Jan. 21 Detroit Free Press story about the Democratic
field. Let’s review the top three candidates:

• a lawyer now serving in the Senate;

• a lawyer now serving in the Senate;

• a lawyer who served in the Senate.

Now for the three Republican frontrunners:

• a naval officer, Vietnam veteran, and POW now serving in the Senate;

• a businessman who founded Bain Capital, one of the country’s most
successful investment firms; president of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games
in Salt Lake City; governor of Massachusetts, 2002-2006;

• a lawyer who served as associate attorney general, 1981-1983;
U.S. attorney for New York South District, 1983-1989, prosecuted major
organized crime and Wall Street insider trading; served as New York
City mayor, 1994-2001; named Time’s Man of the Year, 2001 for his
leadership in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York City;
founded an investment and consulting firm, 2004.

Clearly, the Republican candidates bring more diversity to the job
of president and commander-in-chief. But, in the media lexicon,
“diversity” only counts for race and gender. Thus, to quote CNN, the
Democrats boast the most “historically diverse field of contenders”
because it includes Clinton and Obama (the third is John Edwards). The
GOP candidates (McCain, Romney, Giuliani), by contrast, are dismissed
as “white men.”

The whole article is here.

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I have never been one to criticize an entire media organization for the opinion of one of their journalists, bloggers or writers. Free speech is indeed a wonderful thing, and one worth fighting for.

I do, however, take offense when some members of the media get a planet-sized brain fart and mistake free speech for offensive, driveling libel. One might say that the line between both is thin and tenuous, but it is one that William M. Arkin has managed to cross deftly in the columns of the Washington Post by committing a turd of a text titled “The Troops Also Need To Support The American People.”

Mr. Arkin obviously has a bone to pick with our men and women in uniform, particularly with their frustration at the lack of public support for their operations in Iraq:

I’m all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the
uniform of the United States Army. But I also hope that military
commanders took the soldiers aside after the story and explained to
them why it wasn’t for them to disapprove of the American people.

In other words, everyone has a right to their opinion, but if you’re in the military, you better just think it, not express it.

Arkin could have stopped right there and already raised eyebrows as to the Orwellian stupidity of that “all men are equal, but some are more equal than others” statement. But, as would be expected from most pontificating blowhards, he decides to continue digging his own grave.

These soldiers should be grateful that the American public, which by
all polls overwhelmingly disapproves of the Iraq war and the
President’s handling of it, do still offer their support to them, and
their respect.

Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder,
the American public has indulged those in uniform, accepting that the
incidents were the product of bad apples or even of some administration
or command order.

Sure it is the junior enlisted men who go to jail, but even at
anti-war protests, the focus is firmly on the White House and the
policy. We just don’t see very man “baby killer” epithets being thrown
around these days, no one in uniform is being spit upon.

To be honest, it took me a while to be able to put the words together to respond to such a lowly insult. What can I say, it is really difficult for me to formulate an answer to a man (and in this case, I
use that word loosely) who would paint hundreds of thousands of members of the military with the brushes of rape, murder and torture. No, they do not owe anyone thanks for taking the risk of coming home with missing limbs; their families should not be begging for sympathy when their loved one comes back from a combat zone in a body bag, an no, a thousand times no, no Soldier, Airman, Marine or Sailor should be grateful for making it home without being spit on by some salivating worm because he or she has obeyed an order form their civilian leaders, an order which by the way has not been officially rescinded as of now.

Shame on you, sir, for daring to even think for one second, even less make public, the fact that service members should beg for what every civilian is entitled to not by law, but by human nature: respect.

So, we pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families,
provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support
systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we
support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we
should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and
the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and
responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?

Amazing: military members should be paid peanuts, their families left to fend for themselves while they are deployed, and they should be denied basic social services for them to be allowed to practice their First Amendment rights? And what are those obscene amenities thjat are so flippantly mentioned? Forgive the folks in Iraq for having a DVD player and a TV to watch a movie after a day of risking their hides; thank you for tolerating the presence of a Burger King or a Pizza Hut on a base in Iraq so these worthless grunts can have a Whopper of a slice of stuffed crust pepperoni pizza after making alive through another day of IEDs and RPGs intended to keep them from one day hugging their kids who are thousands of miles away. How’s life in one of the most expensive cities in America, by the way? Is your Starbucks latte at the right temperature?

And yes, you’re right. Shut up and let those who know – and who, by the way are those putting their lives on the line – take care of business. The blabber out of Washington these days is not really about the “surge”, it’s about basely crass politics. While you sit in your chair huffing and puffing about how your opinion on the war and how it should be conducted (if it should be conducted at all, in your eyes), what the boys and girls in the field demand and deserve are the means to come back alive and in one piece. They certainly have no lessons to receive from someone whose closest proximity to combat is most probably watching the aftermath of a bombing attack on the evening news.

I can imagine some post-9/11 moment, when the American people say
enough already with the wars against terrorism and those in the
national security establishment feel these same frustrations. In my
little parable, those in leadership positions shake their heads that
the people don’t get it, that they don’t understand that the threat
from terrorism, while difficult to defeat, demands commitment and
sacrifice and is very real because it is so shadowy, that the very
survival of the United States is at stake. Those Hoover’s and Nixon’s
will use these kids in uniform as their soldiers. If I weren’t the
United States, I’d say the story end with a military coup where those
in the know, and those with fire in their bellies, save the nation from
the people.

But it is the United States and instead this NBC report is just an
ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary – oops sorry,
volunteer – force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.

The notion of dirty work is that, like laundry, it is something that
has to be done but no one else wants to do it. But Iraq is not dirty
work: it is not some necessary endeavor; the people just don’t believe
that anymore.

I’ll accept that the soldiers, in order to soldier on, have to
believe that they are manning the parapet, and that’s where their
frustrations come in. I’ll accept as well that they are young and naïve
and are frustrated with their own lack of progress and the never
changing situation in Iraq. Cut off from society and constantly told
that everyone supports them, no wonder the debate back home confuses
them.

America needs to ponder what it is we really owe those in uniform. I
don’t believe America needs a draft though I imagine we’d be having a
different discussion if we had one.

You owe them nothing over the top really, even though you’re not capable of even giving them what they deserve. You owe them the respect of not calling them mercenaries; you owe them the dignity that you yourself seem to be lacking if you cannot pound someone else into the ground; you owe them recognition that their career hazards are more than missing a newspaper deadline; you owe them a certain amount of recognition for the risks they are voluntarily taking, beyond the contemptuous belief that a kid would volunteer to get killed overseas because is the only way for him to get out of a life of racial oppression and social injustice; you owe them the openness of mind to accept that some choose a career based on the “greater than self” ideal even though you don’t seem to grasp it yourself.

In a nutshell, you owe them your silence in a debate of which you have understood nothing, and in which you only have succeeded in making a fool of yourself.

One last thing: thank you, Mr. Arkin. I have served 8 years in the Army as a paratrooper, and now I know why I miss it so much: it was my sworn duty, as it is for those who serve today, to step up to the plate to protect even people like you. It was indeed an honor to keep even people like you free to spew their filth. We dind’t, and still do not today, make the difference between those who are deserving or not.

Lucky for you. And you’re welcome.

UPDATE:

Sensible Mom has some more info on how this dickless wonder is trying to come up with a fart of a justification. Read his whole reasoning here, if you can call it that, and have the stomach for it…

Michelle Malkin exposes the comfort in which the troops live day after day in Iraq.

Blackfive, a vet himself, has some choice words for Arkin.

Strata-sphere has a brilliant idea: boycott the Wapo until Arkin is fired.

Hot Air has audio of the moron of the hour being treated like fragile porcelain by Alan Colmes.


Lara Logan, CBS chief foreign correspondent, has claimed for a few days now that one of her reporting pieces (dubbed “the battle for Haifa Street”) was being quashed by her bosses, an accusation that has received some supportive dissemination.

The wind is turning for Logan, however. The blogosphere has picked up on the story, and added an interesting, yet disturbing twist: some of the footage in her piece showing the dead bodies if Iraqi soldiers, seems to have been culled from an Al-Qaeda propaganda video shot with a cell phone camera.

CBS, who first responded to Logan’s accusations by explaining that while the footage was too upsetting to be broadcast on their evening news show,it was still made available on their website, is now claiming on their blog that the incriminating footage was not taken or obtained from Al-Qaeda. In other words, don’t worry about the identical footage, and fret not about the little Al-qaeda logo in the upper left corner.

Has CBS learned anything from their little Rathergate episode (you know, the whole “fake but accurate” farce?) As the guys at the Pravda would say… Nyet!


So says Reuters:

The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed Army Gen. David Petraeus as the next commander of U.S. forces in Iraq even though he supports a boost in American troops that many senators oppose.

Widely regarded as one the army’s brightest commanders, Petraeus, who was confirmed on a vote of 81-0, told senators earlier this week that the situation in Iraq was “dire” but not hopeless.

(…)

Petraeus, who has already completed two Iraq tours, will be charged with implementing
President George W. Bush’s plan to send 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq in an effort to halt spiraling insurgent attacks and sectarian violence.

(…)

A key Senate committee has approved a nonbinding resolution opposing Bush’s strategy. A full Senate vote on that measure and another proposal criticizing the plan could come as soon as next week.

Let’s get this straight: Bush nominates, and gets Senate approval for, a general “widely regarded as one of the Army’s brightest commanders” (namely Petraeus), but the same party (namely the Dumbocrats) in the same Senate pases a non-binding resolution against the new Iraq policy that Gen. Petraeus is supposed to implement (you know, the guy who was unanimously confirmed?)…

Have we as a country sunken so low that we are basically sending our best military minds as sacrificial lambs into a military situation that our political leadership does not want to win?

Author Henryk M. Broder has written a great piece about European capitulation in the face of a creeping and creepy Islamist movement. what is really surprising is that a German newspaper, Der Speigel, actually posted it on their international edition website.

The controversy over the 12 Muhammad cartoons that were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 and led to worldwide protests and unrest among Muslims was merely a taste of what is to come, a dress rehearsal for the kinds of disputes Europe can expect to face in the future if it does not rethink its current policy of appeasement. As was the case in the 1930s, when Czechoslovakia was sacrificed in the interest of peace under the Munich Agreement — a move that ultimately did nothing to prevent World War II — Europeans today also believe that an adversary, seemingly invincible due to a preference for death over life, can be mollified by good behavior, concessions and submission. All the Europeans can hope to gain in this asymmetric conflict is a temporary reprieve, a honeymoon period that could last 10, 20, or maybe even 50 years. Anyone on death row breathes a sigh of relief when his execution is postponed to some indefinite time in the future.

(…)

Those who react to kidnappings and beheadings, to massacres of people of other faiths, and to eruptions of collective hysteria with a call for “cultural dialogue” don’t deserve any better.

“The West should desist from engaging in all provocations that produce feelings of debasement and humiliation,” says psychoanalyst Horst-Eberhard Richter. “We should show greater respect for the cultural identity of Muslim countries. … For Muslims, it is important to be recognized and respected as equals.” In Richter’s view, what the Muslims need is “a partnership of equals.”

But Richter neglects to describe what this partnership might look like. Does achieving such equality mean that we should set up separate sections for women on buses, as is the custom in Saudi Arabia? Should the marrying age for girls be reduced to 12, as is the case in Iran? And should death by stoning be our punishment for adultery, as Shariah law demands? What else could the West do to show its respect for the cultural identity of Islamic countries? Would it be sufficient to allow Horst-Eberhard Richter to decide whether, for example, a wet T-shirt contest in a German city rises to a level of criminal provocation that could cause the Muslim faithful in Hyderabad to feel debased and humiliated?

(…)

In 1972, more than three decades ago, Danish lawyer and part-time politician Mogens Glistrup had an idea that brought him instant fame. To save taxes, he proposed that the Danish army be disbanded and an answering machine be set up in the defense ministry that would play the following message: “We capitulate!” Not only would it save money, Glistrup argued, but it would also save lives in an emergency. On the strength of this “program,” Glistrup’s Progress Party managed to become the second-most powerful political party in the Danish parliament in the 1973 elections.

Glistrup had the right idea, but he was a number of years premature. Now would be the right time to set up his answering machine.

Read the whole thing here, and then print it out and keep it. Who knows when this kind of thinking will be greeted by public floggings or hangings in Europe’s public squares.

Yup, Kerry will not be running. Shame, it would have been nice to see the Dems implode under the weight of his ineptitude…

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