Kevin Kelley-Media and Policy Review

Monday, June 07, 2004
How Ronald Reagan converted me to Conservatism

Almost every media outlet I follow has been 24/7 on the passing of Ronald Reagan. With all that press being devoted to a single subject, it’s almost difficult for me to get into writing a piece. However, while my own personal thoughts are usually reflected more eloquently by others in the press, this has not been the case so far.

In short, Ronald Reagan was the president who converted me to conservatism. Actually, that’s not entirely correct. Ronald Reagan occupied one side of the political spectrum, while an increasingly rabid and unhinged bunch of Democrats and Leftists occupied the other. The path for me was as clear as any I’ve ever encountered.

Reagan’s rational and easy to follow view of international politics spoke to me, while the crybaby whining of the Left made their positions look self-serving and simplistic. The initial tax cut debates made the argument that lower tax rates would lead to greater government revenue and that wealthy people were a necessary byproduct of a healthy economy. Often, the Democrat “tax the rich” rhetoric appeared more rooted in spite and jealousy than fairness and sound economic theory. Of course, Reagan had the benefit of inheriting the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter, the noted pacifist and fool. Carter was a president who was too smart by half. A genius on paper who didn’t understand that you could easily over-think a problem. Reagan understood that predicting human behavior meant understanding that the movement of the herd depended largely on regular people making relatively simple and predictable decisions—mostly in the form of acting in the interest of their own wellbeing.

With all the weekend eulogizing, a casual observer would be led to believe that Reagan was universally loved. This was far from the case. He was pummeled relentlessly from the Left, but there was a level of journalistic pride that does not exist today in that journalists felt obliged to maintain the veneer of impartiality. This isn’t to say that their political leanings didn’t mirror the journalists of today, just that there were adults at the helm during Reagan’s presidency.

Nevertheless, my entry into the professional world (commercial banking no less), allowed me to see the results of Ronald Reagan’s economic vision firsthand. With drastic reductions in marginal tax rates, a flood of new investment poured into almost every market sector. As is the case with most macroeconomic policy, the direct results of Reagan’s decisions took may years to pay off, but the enthusiasm and optimism took root immediately.

When it comes to money, markets and investing, there are rules that are as sure as gravity and the sun rising every day. The market landscape is ruled by actors who live handsomely by understanding the underlying relationships that make up the science of wealth creation. These people immediately knew that the investment spigot had been turned on. They understood that under Reagan’s policies, the risk/reward balances would finally be tipped in such a way that investors could be paid off if their investment was successful. Under Carter’s punitive tax structure, success would be mean confiscation of your winnings. Of course, investment of this magnitude required new workers, and the relative value of skilled workers drove up the wages of regular people throughout the land. The capital that flowed into the new drug and technology sectors was unheard of. In the technology sector, internet advances allowed workers to live in obscure rural locales, while pulling down big city wages. It was a new gilded age of market growth, and I was right in the middle of it. The revenues received by the treasury were largely unanticipated, and for a short moment even congress was taken off guard, having no plans in place to spend such a windfall. But of course, that moment passed. All I can say is—presidents don’t spend money, congress does—and they make it very difficult to veto their spending plans.

I could go on and on about the Reagan legacy, but suffice it to say that it took Clinton’s sweeping tax and regulatory increases to kill the Reagan recovery. I suppose it’s not all bad though. The market was in dire need of a major correction. An entire generation of Wall Street investors had never seen a bubble burst. Many made millions on the simple notion of the “greater fool theory”—the idea that underlying fundamentals aren't important because someone will always bid more tomorrow. The smart ones settled for ¾ of a loaf and took their money off the table before the ship ran aground. Human greed made that a difficult decision to make, especially after years of minor corrections.

Ronald Reagan made it cool to be rich—or at least to want to be rich. Unbridled ambition and an old-west style optimism about the future were the hallmarks of his presidency. I could never understand how America hating pessimism and guilt about how the rest of the world viewed us were ever able to compete with such a vision of glory and strength. Reagan unashamedly promoted democracy and freedom as the salvation of the world. All were welcome to join us if they wished, but he held the big stick for those who preached Communism as a viable alternative to his version of Manifest Destiny. As I’ve said many times over, he spoke to me directly and I never really disagreed with anything he stood for. God rest his soul.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Mark Steyn Tells It Like It Is

From Frontpage Mag commenting on Ted Koppel's reading of the KIA names.....

If that doesn't quite have the sweeps-month ratings appeal ''Nightline'' is looking for (since Ted has now established himself as a $6 million list reader) he might like to remind people of the comparative costs of war. At two seconds per name, to read out the combat deaths of the War of 1812 he'd have to persuade ABC to extend the show to an hour and a quarter. To read out the combat deaths of the Korean War, he'd need a 19-hour show. For World War II, he'd have to get ABC to let him read out names of the dead 24/7 for an entire week. If he wants to, I'd be happy to fly him to London so he can go on the BBC and read out the names of the 3,097,392 British combat deaths in World War I, which would take him the best part of three months, without taking bathroom breaks, or indeed pausing for breath.

As Stalin said, one death is a tragedy, 1 million is a statistic. The fact that America's dead in Iraq are not yet statistics, that they're still small enough in number to be individual tragedies Ted can milk for his show tells you the real cost of this war. In Afghanistan, the numbers are even lower, which is why ''Nightline'' hasn't bothered pulling this stunt with America's other war.

Read the whole piece here>

Monday, May 03, 2004
Will you just stop with the WMD thing so we can get on with electing Kerry!!!

From a 4/29/04 Wall Street Journal editorial.....
Jordanian authorities say that the death toll from a bomb and poison-gas attack they foiled this month could have reached 80,000. We guess the fact that most major media are barely covering this story means WMD isn't news anymore until there's a body count.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi--the man cited by the Bush Administration as its strongest evidence of prewar links between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, and the current ringleader of anti-coalition terrorism in Iraq--may be behind the plot, which would be al Qaeda's first ever attempt to use chemical weapons. The targets included the U.S. Embassy in Amman. Yet as of yesterday, most news organizations hadn't probed the story, if at all, beyond the initial wire-service copy.

Perhaps the problem here is that covering this story might mean acknowledging that Tony Blair and George W. Bush have been exactly right to warn of the confluence of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Jordan's King Abdullah called it a "major, major operation" that would have "decapitated" his government. "Anyone who doubts the terrorists' desire to obtain and use these weapons only needs to look at this example," said Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.

Note the potential 80,000 death toll and compare that to the 3,000 lost on 911. Read the whole piece here>>

Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Has the West forgotten how to win?

One of the great ironies of our time is going unnoticed. This would be that the military strength enjoyed by our armed forces rests only in part on their technical superiority. The other side, and arguably the more important side, is that of our military's understanding of history. You only have to listen to Victor Davis Hanson and others to realize that a thorough grasp of historical battles and strategies goes a long way toward quick victories. But the battle is not the war, and the battle is quickly over while the war invariably lasts longer. This is when civilians get to insert their insipid and short-sighted "logic" into the equation.

I'm beginning to get more and more frustrated with the war effort as I see Democrats (in particular) trying to weaken the U.S. presence abroad. The situation in Fallujah is a case in point. In scenes reminiscent of Vietnam (one of the only apt comparisons), a cease fire was "negotiated" in which the insurgents would surrender their weapons. Over the course of several days, rusty training (non-explosive) rounds and WWI era bolt action rifles were handed over, while the U.S. forces tried to find a compromise that would entice the newly minted Iraqi police and armed forces to enter the city with them in an effort to bring the situation under control.

This strategy was absurd from the start. Any army specialist on the ground could have told you that if we'd entered the city with overwhelming force at the beginning of the standoff, we would have wrapped the problem up in a few days, killing off the majority of those opposed to our presence in Iraq. No, it took diplomatic nuance to screw something up this bad. In the time we've been negotiating with the terrorists, one, or more likely both of two scenarios has surely played out. The first is the booby trapping and planning for the defense of the city, while the other is the escape of the most wanted militants. You can bet that when we finally go into the city, our losses will be on an order of magnitude compared to a simple siege of the city early on. I'd also be willing to bet that there will be more than a few incidents where our Iraqi "allies" fire on our own troops. I worry that the United States has forgotten how to win a war. Our military historians can tell you how to do it, but our public has now endured two generations (since the end of Vietnam) of students of revisionist history. Our "sensitivity" to other cultures dictates that we treat them with kid gloves, and this will prove to be a fatal mistake.

In the past I've written about "compassion fatigue", and the situation in Iraq bears an understanding of how that concept works. All the time we hear about how we can't attack fighters because they're holed up in a mosque somewhere. The military historian would tell you that the second fighters retreat into a religious site, that site becomes a military one. But in our blinkered view of the world, we delude ourselves into thinking that we will be hated if we invade and kill the occupiers. In reality, we are hated because we won't! Many of the right choices in life are counterintuitive and this is a case in point. The Islamist culture respects power and brutality, while viewing kindness as a weakness.

Over the last several weeks, I've been catching pieces of the Band of Brothers series, and it occurs to me that our country was united in our support of whatever means were necessary on the part of our military leadership during WWII. The choices made in battle were not endlessly second guessed here at home. I would pose a question? Why did the Jews not take revenge on the Nazis after WWII? There were plenty of Jews left, and the Nazi ranks were decimated by the final battles in and around Berlin. While surely overly simplistic, one of the primary answers is that the Nazis drove the Jews to a point where the survivors were content to have simply made it out alive. In the hierarchy of needs, it's possible for the destruction of a mosque to become the greatest affront you can suffer. But after seeing several destroyed in combat, a certain numbing effect takes place. This effect comes more quickly when you see most of your comrades blown to bits and you spend several weeks starving in the desert without food or water. I worry that at every opportunity to demoralize and actually achieve victory, the humanitarians among us rise up to save the enemy from suffering "humiliation" under the misguided belief that such action will head off "anger" later on. Instead it only assures it.

As an exercise, write down as many conflicts as you can remember from the twentieth century. Once you've done this, divide the list into those that ended in decisive victory and those that ended with negotiated peace settlements. Now, ask yourself which counties are now peaceful members of the international community. It's a lesson you won't learn from reading the paper or in school.

Friday, April 23, 2004
Too Long Winded?

It’s been hinted that I get a little too deep when addressing an issue, so today I post a couple of “ideas for the day”.

1) Why do other countries show reluctance in joining the “war on terror”? Well, if America is going to be a lightning rod for terror, why grab the base during a lightning storm. Plus it’s cheaper! Why spend the money when the U.S. will foot the bill? Then the “nuanced” Europeans can grovel from the sidelines and cry crocodile tears to show how they sympathize with the terrorists in the hopes of not being attacked themselves.

2) Why is it that it’s OK for the “Arab Street” to be enraged all the time? Why can’t we be enraged? You don’t see Westerners blowing themselves up in kindergarten classes. Oh yeah, it's because we “care” and we’re culturally sensitive. This is crap. The Muslims are upset because we’ve set foot in the Middle East?, which is supposedly theirs and theirs alone? I’ll buy that when all the Middle Easterners leave the Western countries, which, by the way, they’ve been largely welcomed into.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004
How the media manages a campaign

Most polls during the last week have George W. Bush leading Kerry among likely voters, a turnaround from several weeks ago. Rasmussen has Bush 45% to 44% among likely voters and with a 51% job approval rating. MSNBC has the same numbers in a poll commissioned by them. However the big news is a consistent upward trend by Bush, while Kerry’s numbers stagnate or fall. The Kerry camp must be sleeping fitfully over the increasing number of respondents reporting themselves to be undecided. These “undecided” voters are coming almost entirely out of Kerry’s numbers, and represent a softening of support for the candidate.

Now, it bears explaining some of the political dynamic and how polling data should be interpreted. Several presidential election cycles ago, undecided and independent voters comprised +/- 20% of the electorate. By the year 2000, that number had shrunk to 10% and remains about the same today. This is the reason the Hispanic vote is so important to both parties. If one party can sway that voting block to their side, they will enjoy a significant (and perhaps insurmountable) built-in advantage. However, the point is that the voter base is much more polarized than before. Bush’s 76% approval rating after 911 was completely unsustainable, and his fall from those heights is not newsworthy. But note also that when viewing polling data, the difference between registered voters, likely voters, and simple respondents is huge. Motor voter laws have created large numbers of “registered” voters, but those voters don’t all vote. It’s the “likely voter” polls that most closely track with election results.

How does all this tie in to the media/campaign relationship? The media need to have a close election to have a job. An obvious landslide election cuts viewership and ratings. We saw this situation play out in the Democratic primaries. The media saw somewhat late in the primary cycle that they had painted Howard Dean in too favorable a light (a “coronation” they called it), and started grooming Kerry as the most likely candidate to compete effectively with Dean. In so doing, the media single-handedly killed Dean’s chances. All the unfavorable aspects that had been previously glossed over in an effort to get Dean to look competitive with Bush suddenly surfaced in time for several key primaries. The same is happening now with Kerry. It is a fact of a presidential election that you cannot really hide unfavorable information about a candidate, and Kerry just has too many flaws to be elected (in my opinion), but that doesn’t mean that the mainstream media can’t work hard to even out the contest.

Will Kerry win? I don’t think so. When making this call, I am working hard to look at the situation with detachment. I’ll admit to not feeling too bad about Kerry's predicament, but my observations are based on the fact—and I think it is a fact—that Kerry is just not likable. The more people see of him, the less likely they are to vote for him. His exclamation that “the S.O.B. cut me off” after a secret service agent supposedly turned in front of him (while snowboarding) causing him to fall down, is a case in point. I mean, this is the guy who is paid to take the bullet for you! Would Bush have done the same? Of course not. He would have put his arm around the agent and made a self-deprecating joke. Kerry is just too rigid and cold to be popular with the electorate. Further, like Clinton before him, he’s been catering to so many diverse Democrat constituent groups (who have conflicting needs and desires) that he has mastered the art of never committing to a specific policy. This is why Kerry has the reputation as a flip-flopper—and it’s an apt description. However, unlike Clinton he doesn’t have the smooth charisma and easy style.

The structural problem faced by the Democrats is embedded in the new Democrat paradigm that tailors the speeches to polling data (see Dick Morris during the previous administration). If there are voters who feel a certain way (anti-war types are the central example) then you go after them. Similarly, you do the same with every other identifiable constituent group. The problem is that some of these desires butt up against national security concerns and anti-terrorism interests while being contradictory in numerous ways. It only makes sense if you don't compare it to what has been said to the other groups. Further, the traditional method of presenting a message to your constituents and convincing them of its validity has been turned on it's head. These days Berkley professors are the imputus for Democratic foreign policy proposals. As long as the idea (supposedly) speaks for votes, it is not questioned.

The scary scenario for me is one that actually occurred recently. Trailing in the polls, U.S. Senator Bob Torricelli (who had already won the 2000 New Jersey Democratic primary), handed his spot on the ballot to former Senator Frank Lautenberg, who subsequently won the election. This was a clear violation of existing campaign laws—but hey, why let a few laws get in the way of the greater good of electing a Democrat. I suspect that the same could happen at the Democratic National Convention if a viable candidate proves to have a better shot at beating Bush. I place the chances of this happening at somewhere between 10% and 20%. I give such a strong probability knowing that it is a long shot given the current landscape, but my belief is that that Kerry will be trailing so substantially by July 2004 (Democratic National Convention; Boston-July 26-29) that desperation will make a substitute candidate look increasingly appealing. It will soon become obvious that even favorable media coverage will not make up for Kerry's clear character flaws. Time will tell.

Monday, April 19, 2004
Oil-for-Food was a SCAM!--Will you hear it on the evening news? Not likely!

People who know me occasionally make accusations that I am a shill for the Republican party (proving that they don't really know me--not making the critical distinction between Conservatism and Republicanism). I generally point out a few areas with which I disagree regarding the party line, but the U.N. Oil-for-Food program is something that really blows my gasket. My anger stems in part from the Bush policy of trying to make nice with those who have screwed them so viciously in the past under the absolutely stupid reasoning that "we want to take the high road". This whole train wreck occurred (like Enron and Worldcom and Tyco etc. etc.) under the watchful eye of the Clinton administration, and the Bush camp is doing all the heavy lifting to protect those imbeciles! And in the meantime, the Democrats are painting Bush as the responsible party for 911!!! "What did Bush know and when did he know it!!!?" The whole 911 commission is a farse. I swear, the Left walks out on a limb every day, and Bush never cuts the limb off. If the American public knew half of what happened while Clinton was in office, the Democrats would be finished as a political force in this country.

Wall Street Journal reporter Claudia Rosett has been on the beat regarding Oil-for-Food, and her articles are at once riveting and maddening. Extracting relevant pieces is difficult because it's literally all relevant! This is rare in journalism, so please do me the favor of following the links below.

Additionally, today's WSJ has this piece ( about Russia's current efforts to undermine an independent investigation by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker of the $10 billion-plus scandal that helped fund anti-war Democrats here in America, corrupted French, German and Russian policy-makers, and provided the seed money for a Pro-Saddam documentary to be produced by discredited arms inspector Scott Ridder.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Trap Set for Bush

Part 1
Response to President Bush's press conference (4/13/04) remains mixed, but one aspect caught my eye that I have not seen addressed as of yet. Below is a sampling of the questioning he received.....and I ask you, are there any themes that stand out?

"You, yourself, have acknowledged that Osama bin Laden was not a central focus of the administration in the months before September 11th. "I was not on point," you told the journalist, Bob Woodward, "I didn't feel that sense of urgency." Two-and-a-half years later, do you feel any sense of personal responsibility for September 11th?"

"Do you feel a sense of personal responsibility for September 11th?"

"Mr. President, I'd like to follow up on a couple of these questions that have been asked. One of the biggest criticisms of you is that whether it's WMD in Iraq, postwar planning in Iraq, or even the question of whether this administration did enough to ward off 9/11, you never admit a mistake. Is that a fair criticism? And do you believe there were any errors in judgment that you made related to any of those topics I brought up?"

"Thank you, Mr. President. Two weeks ago, a former counterterrorism official at the NSC, Richard Clarke, offered an unequivocal apology to the American people for failing them prior to 9/11. Do you believe the American people deserve a similar apology from you, and would you be prepared to give them one?"

"Thank you, Mr. President. In the last campaign, you were asked a question about the biggest mistake you'd made in your life, and you used to like to joke that it was trading Sammy Sosa. You've looked back before 9/11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it?"

"I guess I just wonder if you feel that you have failed in any way? You don't have many of these press conferences, where you engage in this kind of exchange. Have you failed in any way to really make the case to the American public?"

Well besides the attempts to get Bush to provide Kerry with soundbites admitting his reprehensible failure to see into the future, the consistent line is that Bush should admit responsibility for 911. Of course Richard Clarke has already apologized, albeit for the government's inability to see his brilliance and for other's unwillingness to recognize the numerous obvious talents regarding himself, but we'll let that go for the moment. The Bush people should recognize the trap that is being set. If Bush ever apologizes, Kerry will beat him with that apology every day of the week until the election. Any apology, no matter how benign or vague, will be spun as an admission that 911 was his fault.

The Democrats are looking for the equivalent of Bush the elder's broken "no new taxes" pledge. Remember that Democrats were the ones who pushed the hardest for a tax increase, arguing stridently that women and children were starving in the streets due to a lack of government revenues that could only be cured with modest and targeted tax increases. However, the second the tax increases were approved, the bipartisanship evaporated and the hunt was on. The same scenario is about to play out with a Bush apology regarding 911. Be warned!

Part 2
I’m tempted to leave it there, but the American people are not being shown the two clear choices that are available to us, and the relevance of those choices to the future of American homeland security.

Traditionally, terrorist activities here and abroad have been treated as law enforcement issues, with all the attendant legal niceties and limitations. After the Cole attack, FBI teams were sent to Yemen to assist with the investigation, but were stymied by the State Department at the direction of the Yemeni government, who didn’t want be seen as assisting the U.S. in investigating Islamic terrorists (who were held in high regard locally). So the investigation languished. This is what happens when you turn a problem over to people (like the UN) who don’t have your interests at heart. On the other hand, under the Bush doctrine, the Yemeni government would have come under heavy pressure themselves since the attack had occurred on their turf. You can bet that after what has happened in Iraq, the Yemenis would have rounded up every Islamic fundamentalist troublemaker they could get their hands on and shipped them off to Guantanamo.

However, this shift to treatment of terrorism as an act of war is only one half of the solution. The other half is an attempt to introduce freedom and democracy to at least one country in the Middle East. Because of the rampant racism that exists in that corner of the world, Israel cannot be the example of how a free market system can produce a flowering and productive economy. To the degree that the American media is portraying the Bush plan to bring democracy to Iraq as some sort of gift to the Iraqis that might be nice, but isn’t worth the cost in lives, the public is being misled. The point is that freedom and democracy in Iraq will undermine the other regimes in the area that use deflection of domestic dissent (onto the Americans and Israelis) to maintain their power. The alternative is to continue to sit on the sidelines while despotic governments pay off their home-grown religious zealots with funds that produce more education in hate.

American liberals are fond of framing arguments in such a way as to provide a simple solution that is entirely dependent on actions that we have available to us. In every case, Utopia is just over the horizon if only we weren’t so short-sighted. In this vein, the anti-war crowd is always blaming Bush for every problem that confronts us. In particular, the idea that our aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan will result in greater anger on the part of the terrorists. This concept ignores the fact that the terrorists were attacking us long before we did anything in response--but note that the fault for actions by others is transferred to America. The terrorists act the way they do because they are being taught to think this way at a young age. The closest parallel is that of a modern cult. The blend of hatred and religion does not occur by accident. The Clerics who teach this hatred are politicians just like any other, and accumulate incredible power that rivals the governments that ostensibly rule the individual countries. Additionally, American and European multiculturalism prevents liberals from admitting the dangers posed by a militant religion because the fundamentalists are adept at cloaking themselves in the language of the oppressed--which they learned from their contemporaries educated here in the west. An alternative must be provided to replace grown men spending the better part of every day hearing about how America is responsible for their medievil living conditions before terrorism will subside.

While the Democrats are constantly harping about the missed opportunities in the terrorism investigations, they simultaneously complain about any increased efforts to gather intelligence as being an encroachment on American’s rights to privacy. In short, they argue for doing nothing. The "blame America first" crowd conveniently dismisses the political imperatives that drive the hatred of America in favor of the simplistic argument that "they hate us" because of some action or the other that has been taken in the past (even the crusades--as if we had some control over historical events!). If we were just "nicer" to the rest of the world, the problems would solve themselves. I find myself asking "which counties are "liked" internationally?" The thought always comes to mind of how computer/tech people are always simultaneously dependent on Microsoft while complaining bitterly about the company's purported insensitivity. Do you think Microsoft can change this mindset by being nicer?

In my opinion, based on the writings of the Left, those who think beyond the bumper sticker platitudes of visualizing “world peace” are making the crass calculation that the odds of a friend or family member being killed in a war is greater than their being killed in a terrorist attack. In their minds, they really would prefer another 911 because they’ve come to believe that relatively small numbers of people dying in geographically concentrated areas is preferable to our being at war. For many on the anti-war Left, there is a cognitive dissidence with regard to militant Islam; they literally cannot entertain the concept of an "oppressed minority" (who they envision as an ally) passing over their patronizing goodwill and pats on the head in favor of terroristic action. As for the non-thinking liberals, who I believe to be the majority, I think they're just pulled along by the traditional attraction of a movement that preaches salvation through feeling good about yourself. Almost everything liberalism stands for is based on shoveling money at various problems and then telling the story of how much you care.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004
A word about Bush’s “Amnesty” program for illegal aliens

First let me say to those who jump to take the Bush side—that it’s not an amnesty program—how can you make that argument? It is indeed an amnesty program as it rewards and legalizes those who broke the law in coming here without going through the proper process. The illegals presently in the country have jumped the line of those who are waiting patiently for permission while simultaneously engaging in an end-run around our national security procedures. I am somewhat encouraged by the level of negative response from such bellwethers of conservatism as National Review, whose recent cover blared their disapproval. To capture the flavor of what’s going on, I’ll add my views to the mix.

First, it should be mentioned that I have yet to see in print or on television a concise overview of what I feel are the mechanics behind this issue. Therefore, let me say that at root, the Republican party is engaging in a triangulation effort to capture the traditionally Democratic middle ground on issues such as prescription drug benefits and support for social programs while inoculating the party from accusations of racial insensitivity by Democrats. While such actions might be effective in pulling a certain number of centrist Democratic voters over to the Republican side, the danger remains that in abandoning conservative principles, the party may lose it’s moral compass since the attraction of conservatism rests largely on it’s belief in simple concepts that apply to all citizens equally.

As for the “amnesty” program, there are legitimate fears that certain voter trends are in place that must be addressed now. In particular, the number of voters that report being “undecided” has dropped from approximately 20% of likely voters to 10%+/-. Of those 10%, the break is almost equal in their effect on general elections. Thus, it has become much more difficult to “swing”, these swing voters to either party. At the same time, Hispanic voters have become a serious voting block. By way of demographic trends, the Hispanic vote has become the new swing vote. The Republican strategists are rightfully fearful that the Democrats will use charges of racism to try to do to Hispanics what they did to Blacks; namely addict them to government largess while painting the Democratic party as the last line of defense against the hateful Republicans who might want to move them off the government dole. In this light, the Bush proposal serves the purpose of “inoculation” against the accusation that Republicans “hate” Hispanics, but the risk is that congress, in an effort to do the same, might actually produce a bill that Bush would be obligated to sign.

Of course, the other side of the equation is the economics of illegal labor, and this is where the Republican party needs to have a deeper understanding of what’s really going on. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t hear about how big business is in favor of cheap labor. As a businessman, I can tell you that costs come in two forms—those that affect me and my company alone, and those that affect all companies equally. While enforcing border policy might reduce the amount of cheap labor, that reduction would generally ripple through the supply side of labor availability and would be corrected for by the “invisible hand” of market economics. When I hear people talk about jobs that Americans don’t want to or won’t do, I immediately wonder what job that might be, since every job will be filled at the right price. Additionally, the labor is only cheap to the employer—the cost to the taxpayer in education, health care, and other social program costs is enormous. Go to the local hospital emergency room in any southwestern state, and there will be an alarming number of illegal immigrants waiting for care.

In the end, the source of the problem from an economic stance is that we have created an “indentured servant” class of worker who through a combination of lack of marketable skills, poor English language abilities, and no documentation is prevented from complaining about his or her working conditions. This cannot be countenanced in a society that holds human dignity at a premium. How can the American worker compete with this level of desperation? They can’t!

But that’s the catch. In attempting to placate the “Hispanic vote”, both parties are selling out the interests of the American public. As long as living conditions in the U.S. exceed those of Mexico, there will be migration to the U.S. By allowing this trend to continue, Mexican president Vincente Fox can continue to avoid making the structural changes that are required in his own country. In particular, the rule of law is not enforced in Mexico. The level of bribery, unfair business practices, and lack of property rights reform prevent business and job creation in Mexico and make it impossible for the poor (there is no middle class) to climb out of poverty without emigrating to America. Add to this the not-so-secret ambition of many of the racial separatist groups such as La Raza (“For the race, everything, for everyone outside the race, nothing”) and MEChA to repopulate the American southwest with a critical mass of Mexican-American voters and repatriate California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona to Mexico, and you can see why American voters are becoming increasingly alarmed. It should be added that these groups find a sympathetic ear in the liberal American educational establishment when they call for bilingual education programs. By claiming that these programs are necessary on “cultural” grounds, they create a symbiotic relationship in which the educational establishment gets a parallel school system with all the attendant jobs and funding, while the Mexican-American population is prevented from assimilating into the American culture—an obvious imperative if you seek to balkanize the voter base.

In this debate, the obvious question becomes “what to do?”. Unfortunately, none of the choices are particularly palatable. In order to answer the question, the first step is to ask yourself what do other countries do about illegal entry. The short answer is that very few countries tolerate illegal immigration. The violators are generally deported immediately upon contact with law enforcement, and this works well as long as there are a manageable number of violators. The problem in the U.S. is that the number of illegals in the country is estimated to be between 8 and 13 million, and personally I expect that range to be on the low side based on what I see here in Colorado. But no matter how you look at it, it’s a huge number, and therefore mass deportation would cause major disruptions in the economy. However, to do nothing guarantees that the number of illegal immigrants will explode. The only real option is to deport those that are caught up in DUI checkpoints and in other contact with the law as a first step, while getting serious about border security. In my opinion, the costs of deportation will be offset by the savings seen in the social, education, and health care programs. Further, returning deportees will deliver the message that relocation to the U.S. might be a risky long term plan for those thinking about crossing the border. These changes can and should be made under the auspices of national security since as Tom Tencredo (R, CO) points out, if the next terrorist attack is traced to lax border security, Bush will rightly be held responsible due to his administration’s reluctance to enforce the law. According to Tancredo, he is now personna-non-grata at the White House for making this argument. Nothing like shooting the messenger!

Probably, the most aggravating aspect to the whole issue is the fact that rank and file Republicans are being taken for granted in such an obvious way. Even talk radio hosts such as Michael Medved and Mike Rosen defend the administration by taunting “who else are you going to vote for—the Democrats?” After much reflection, I’ve decided that the best way to go for the committed Republican voter is to admit that while I’ll still vote for Bush in the 2004 election, I’ll not be doing any grass roots organizing as my way of making my feelings clear. No donations and no doorbell ringing. This and making my feelings known to all who will listen—especially my elected representatives. Sorry, but that’s the price—as minor as it might be.


Wednesday, July 16, 2003
A Word on Liberia

I know it's been a while since I posted anything, and this is more of a documented note than an actual post, but I wanted to make a general point about the proposals to send US military personnel to Liberia.

Much has been made in recent weeks of the Liberals attempts to make a case for entering Liberia. In most instances, the complaint has been that Liberals want to enter wars only if there is no tangible benefit to the United States (see Haiti and Somalia). To them, this somehow cleanses the mission. The fact that president Bush is actually entertaining the arguments for sending troops is particularly worrisome, but only partially for the above reason.

From my perspective, this situation most closely resembles George H.W. Bush (Bush the first) and his "No new taxes" pledge. After being berated by Democrats for months trumpeting the inability of the government to function without raising taxes, he finally capitulated only to have the same Democrats viciously attack the retreat on his pledge as a lie to the American people. The lesson has not been forgotten by many Republicans, not the least by me. It is my sense that the current Bush administration should look at the Liberia situation as a similar trap.

Proponents of the plan to enter Liberia dangle the carrot of Black voters seeing the compassionate and caring motives of the Republicans in entering a South African nation on behalf of their ancestors, but there is in fact little chance of this being the case in the end. Much more likely, shortly after entering the country, American servicemen will come under attack from the same militias that are fighting current leader Charles Taylor. This will mean that either the U.S. forces will be forced to kill black rebels (are they really rebels or just innocent civilians?) or sit and take the fire. In either case, Democrats will portray Bush as a warmongering cowboy who thought that force was the only answer to a humanitarian crisis. Voters will start to ask what the national interest actually is in this far away country with no known strategic or trade importance. Bush will be forced to call back the troops and admit that he couldn't solve the problem and will be left far out on a limb, while his erstwhile allies run for cover.

This will be the outcome of military intervention as sure as I'm sitting here. It's a bad idea, don't do it!

Wednesday, October 30, 2002
Why Couldn't the Sniper Have Made Everyone's Lives Easier and Just Been An Angry White Male?
If you're in the mood to really blow a gasket, go read Mark Steyn's FrontPage piece today......
........I had a bet with both my wife and my assistant that the perp would be an Islamic terrorist. The gals, unfortunately, had made the mistake of reading The New York Times, whose experts concluded it would be a "macho hunter" or an "icy loner."

Speaking as a macho hunter and an icy loner myself, I'm beginning to think the media would be better off turning their psychological profilers loose on America's newsrooms. Take, for example, the Times' star columnist Frank Rich. Within a few weeks of September 11th, he was berating John Ashcroft, the Attorney-General, for not rounding up America's "home-grown Talibans" -- the religious right, members of "the Second Amendment cult" and "the anti-abortion terrorist movement." In a column entitled "How To Lose A War" last October - i.e., during the Afghan campaign -- he mocked the Administration for not consulting with abortion clinics, who had a lot of experience dealing with "terrorists."

You get the picture: Sure, Muslim fundamentalists can be pretty extreme, but what about all our Christian fundamentalists? Unfortunately, for the old moral equivalence to hold up, the Christians really need to get off their fundamentalist butts and start killing more people. At the moment, the brilliantly versatile Muslim fundamentalists are gunning down Maryland schoolkids and bus drivers, hijacking Moscow musicals, self-detonating in Israeli pizza parlours, blowing up French oil tankers in Yemen, and slaughtering nightclubbers in Bali, while Christian fundamentalists are, er, sounding extremely strident in their calls for the return of prayer in school.

Read the Rest of the piece here>>

Thursday, October 24, 2002
Tom Strickland-Moron
I wrote the following letter to the editor(s) of The Denver Post, The Rocky Mountain News, The Boulder Daily Camera, Westword, and The Boulder Weekly.
Tom Strickland Expands On Why He's Not Worthy
It’s not all that often that a senatorial candidate says something in a debate that is so stupid as to literally disqualify his candidacy, but Tom Strickland did exactly that in last week’s debate with Wayne Allard when he explained that "The real enemy we have is not a particular terrorist group or a particular extremist philosophy. It's the hopelessness and despair that so many people around the world feel. We've got to be a partner with the rest of the world in addressing those concerns with other nations”.

In reciting this little piece of politically correct dogma, Strickland betrays his lack of understanding of the problem, and by extension his election would contribute to our future inability to address terrorism in a forthright way. By engaging in endless soul-searching and “tolerance”, the Left believes that it can placate Islmofascism. But the fact of the matter is that the Islamists hate us not because of the Palestinians or because we have military forces in the Middle East, but because our culture does not reflect Islamic law. This is why Australians were attacked in Bali, Filipinos attacked in the Philippines, and Christians and Hindus attacked in Kashmir. They have been brought up in a culture that deflects domestic anger by blaming Jews and the “infidels” for their relative lack of progress in the modern world while replacing freedom with religious stricture. When Strickland states that we are not fighting a particular terrorist group or extremist philosophy, he is wrong…and is exhibiting willful ignorance of the problem. Can anyone imagine a Catholic bishop issuing a fatwa calling for the death of another religious dignitary as was the case last week when Iranian cleric Mohsen Mojtahed Shabestari issued a fatwa that called for the death of the reverend Jerry Falwell?

People like Strickland are reluctant to address the possibility that another culture might be incompatible with our own, but at this particular point in history it is imperative that we not sugar-coat the situation. The problem can be fixed by cutting off the supply of funds flowing to extremist organizations and other measures, but this requires that we have the backbone to confront the Saudi royal family who are most responsible for funding the spread of virulent Islamic fundamentalism. Strickland cloaks his ideas in a disturbing sort of soft idealism while applying the cynical political language that seeks to avoid offending a potential voting constituency. This is clearly not the mark of a leader worth electing.

Kevin Kelley

As a postscript, I would add that we already partner with the rest of the world. Our hand is always out to literally any country in the world--no matter what their past sins. All we ask for is a modicum of respect for human rights and the rule of law. We send untold billions abroad in an effort to bring these small third world countries into the modern world. The problem is that these countries often do not want to partner with us. This occurs because there is often more political advantage to being independent and not being seen as a U.S. satellite--in the same way that it's fashionable for software people to be simultaneously dependant on Microsoft while complaining bitterly about how much they hate the company. For Strickland to offer platitudes about "partnering" with the rest of the world is feel-good crap. Things aren't that simple--unless you're a Democrat.

Friday, October 18, 2002
World Economic Overview
The Wall Street Journal tackles European Anti-Americanism and in the process dispenses these pearls of wisdom.....
Fifty years ago, the drive to unite Europe was seen as a daring adventure, not only burying ancient enmities but creating a new kind of enterprise society that would bring unparalleled prosperity. The project has degenerated into a defense of cradle-to-grave social-security system whose demands take priority over the market.

Under the EU's constant demands for "social protection," European societies have become a paradise for bureaucrats, trade unionists, centrist politicians and those businessmen who prefer to work under government protection. They offer little to original minds and risk-taking entrepreneurs. The fundamental assumptions of the drive to unite the continent are now half a century out of date and the EU's rigid, ultraconservative structure makes it incapable of taking in new ideas or even dumping such manifest archaisms as the Common Agricultural Policy.


Many Europeans know nothing of American history. But it has much to teach them. For instance, why did the Great Depression in the U.S. last so long? When the stock market first collapsed in 1929-30, Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon gave President Hoover good advice, perhaps the only sound advice he received in the whole of his presidency. Mellon urged him to let the crisis take its toll and accept the pain: "Liquidate labor," he said. "Liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate, and so purge the rottenness from the economy."
By allowing the Depression to apply its brutal medicine, unsound businesses would have been bankrupted, the sound would have survived, and new ones quickly filled the gaps. Hoover did exactly the opposite, trying to stamp on the Depression with all the financial resources of government. FDR continued and intensified this policy of government intervention with all the flourish of a brilliant publicity machine. The result was to deaden some of the pain but also to spread and prolong it for an entire decade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average did not recover its October 1929 levels until the 1940s, and it took a world war to restore the dynamism of the American economy.

The lessons of this dismal period have never been fully learned even in the U.S., and outside it they have been ignored completely. The Japanese were the first to suffer from this willful ignorance. Having imitated, with enormous success, many aspects of market capitalism, they revealed that they had failed completely to grasp its psychological core of risk and danger when recession came--as come it must. For a decade and a half the Japanese ruling elites have been using state power to keep alive banks and businesses that are bankrupt. So the recession continues, and grows worse, and there is no sign of its ending, for Japan is not going to be "rescued" by a third world war.

Now Continental Europe is following dolefully in Japan's wake. Both the German and the French governments have gone to extraordinary lengths to anesthetize the necessary pain of recession, keeping badly run businesses alive--just--by periodic injections of state cash. The victory of the Social Democrats in the German election ensures that this policy will continue. Indeed it will become more dogmatic in its safety-first nostrums, for the SPD is entirely dependent on the Greens, a party that regards any kind of risk--to health, safety or the environment--as abhorrent. Germany seems set for a long period of slow or nil growth and the one-time admirable engine of EU prosperity can now barely pull itself, let alone the rest of Europe.

Read the whole piece here>>

Thursday, October 17, 2002
Today's Stupidity In Acedemia Award
Today's award goes to one Dr. Ray Nettleton, Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder. In the following letter to the editor published in today's issue of the Boulder Daily Camera, Nettleton draws a moral equivelence between Christian conservatives and the barbaric Islamist terrorists.
Extremism not exclusive to Islam

Hateful. Divisive. Violent. Preys on the ignorant. Twists Holy Scripture for gain. Uses pulpits and media to spread hate and fear. Attacks other religions. About whom am I speaking? Consider:

"Moslem" extremists are malcontents whose beliefs are triggered by injustices real and imagined. But the fires in their bellies are stoked by twisted clerics, teaching hideous dogma to children in madrassas and mosques.

Whipping their hapless followers into a frenzy of hate, these "religious" leaders teach that people whose beliefs and lifestyles are different from their own are evil. The most gullible and agitated followers become thugs and murderers.

But wait. Does the above ring true closer to home than the Middle East? What about "religious" followers who murder doctors at abortion clinics? People who beat and murder gays and lesbians? Someone whips them into frenzy. A twisted cleric, perhaps?

Jerry Falwell's recent inflammatory comparison of Jesus and Mohammed misses the point. Conflicts among "Christian" and "Moslem" worlds are not about Jesus, nor Mohammed, nor their teachings, nor those who follow their examples. They are about vile purveyors of hatred and ignorance masquerading as holy men. When Falwell speaks of the roots of terrorism he is looking into a mirror.

DR. RAY W. NETTLETON, Associate Professor and Chair, Interdisciplinary Telecommunications, Dept., University of Colorado, Boulder

Wednesday, October 16, 2002
NEA Endorses "President" Bartlet
From Best of the Web.....
Great Moments in Public Education
The Washington Times' John McCaslin reports that the National Education Association, the nation's biggest union of government-employed teachers, put out a press release titled "NEA Backs President Bartlet's Call for School Quality."

President who? It turns out "President Bartlet" is a fictional character on [The West Wing] TV show. America's teachers, it would seem, are spending too much time in front of the idiot box.

What the Journal touches on with this post--but unfortunately does not elaborate on--is that the West Wing is nothing but a slick DNC infomercial in which the Democrats always wear the white hats. As local talk radio host Mike Rosen is fond of saying, you can never outbid the Democrats on good intentions and in this case where the NEA is "calling" for improved schools. Yes, talk sure is cheap!

"President" Bartlett (played by ultra-liberal Martin Sheen) lives in a world of carefully contrived situations in which the hero Democrats out-fox the wily and conniving Republicans, and are occasionally outfoxed themselves by the wily and conniving Republicans. Balance is provided when Bartlet's staff engage in some level of soul-searching that perhaps their proposals might cost too much or have consequences on other fronts (like the possibility that the wily and conniving Republicans might punish some other program), but at the end of the day they sleep soundly knowing that they fought the good fight.

Educational issues are almost always framed as a money problem. Kids don't have textbooks, teachers make $20,000, and other nonsense. The fact that the average public school spends twice as much money per student when compared with a private school speaks to the fact that the source of the problem is the "jobs program" approach that public education has become. The NEA literally cares more about the teachers than they do about the students--and it shows in their behavior.

To think that a fictitious television character is proposing viable education reform is one more reason to doubt the ability of the NEA and the public education establishment’s ability to educate our children.

Kevin Kelley

NewsMax Scoops the Mainstream Media
With 24/7 coverage of the sniper shooting filling every TV screen in the nation, you would think that competition among journalists to find a unique angle would lead to the overturning of every rock in the case. But you would be wrong.

As NewMax chronicles, when real world facts conflict with political correctness, it's the facts that are the first to be jettisoned....and this case is no exception. Basically, the gist of the situation is that the authorities have decided to downplay the Middle Eastern terrorism possibilities in the case ostensibly to avoid "panicking" the population. In the process, they have been holding back on releasing composite sketches that might actually help catch the killers because the sketches are too Arab looking.

Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose, who is leading the multi-jurisdictional investigation, Tuesday said the task force has at least a "partial" description of suspects who he suggested are minorities.

But he elected not to release the information, explaining it might "paint some group."

Now this line of reasoning is offensive on two fronts--first because of the "nanny-state" implication that the American public is too weak to "handle the truth" followed closely by the fact that more killings might occur due to citizens looking for the "angry white male" lone gunman.

Just last week I posted a link to a Michael Smerconish piece in the Philadelphia Daily News in which he argues that the FBI and others willfully ignored evidence of a Middle Eastern terrorist link in the Oklahoma City bombing because they believed that it would anger Americans too much if such a connection were established (see that post here>>).

Personally, my own frustrations extend to include the situation of turning on the TV the other night (the Home Depot shooting had just occurred) and seeing the ridiculous picture of no less than 50 squad cars manning a checkpoint on I-95. Surely the snipers had chosen an obscure getaway route and here we had all the available manpower concentrated in one location. Add to that the fact that the average citizen now carries a rifle at the risk of being accused of being the sniper, and you have a recipe for a disarmed citizenry--all those witnesses impotent in the face of domestic terror. Today I turn on the TV to hear the gun grabbers blaming the problem on guns and calling for gun registration as a solution.

It makes you want to grab the closest liberal and shake them violently by the neck!

Read the NewsMax piece here>>


Tuesday, October 15, 2002
Three Cheers for Fox News
Insight Magazine runs a wonderful overview regarding the success of the Fox New Channel (see the quote below). I have had my issues with Fox News over the years, but as most readers will know, my views are distinctly different than the regular mainstream media, and my feelings have been that Fox News misses a market opportunity by being "fair and balanced" at the expense of capitalizing on the pent-up demand for more conservative news. Such a product does not exist on any mainstream news channel, and I have been of the opinion that you could just go to Best of the Web, Tongue Tied, Drudge, CNS, NewsMax and several other sites and put together a hour long daily show that did nothing but expose liberal bias, stupidity, etc. and it would be a runaway hit. The Insight article adroitly addresses this issue and does so in a way that is convincing in making the point that Fox does not wish to be that really wants the "fair and balanced" moniker to be accurate.
Liberal Washington Post media critic Tom Shales dismisses Fox News as a "propaganda mill," but the public thinks otherwise. The latest Nielsen ratings show the edgy, tell-it-like-it-is channel to be the most-watched cable news network of 2002, and the only one to increase its viewership during the year. Flagship anchorman Brit Hume hosts the only cable news program with ratings among entertainment giants ESPN, TBS Superstation, HBO and TNT. His nightly Special Report show has more than double the viewers of CNN in his time slot, with a coveted 25- to 54-year-old viewer demographic exceeding the numbers of CNN and MSNBC combined. Hume's household ratings for the first eight months of 2002 rank Fox News in cable-TV's top eight, while CNN and MSNBC wound up below the Food Channel and Home & Garden TV.

If you have any interest at all in the way news organizations function, and why conservative news is such a hot commodity, you really have to follow this link.

Read the whole piece here>>

Why Can't We Just Follow The European Model?
The rest of the world wouldn't hate us so much if we weren't so western! Why can't we take the appeasement route favored by the enlightened Europeans? After all, it worked with Hitler, didn't it? Here's Jay Nordlinger writing in NRO......
You will perhaps recall the name Abu Abbas. He was the PLO terrorist who led the hijacking of the Achille Lauro, the Italian cruiseliner. The terrorists ascertained that Leon Klinghoffer — a wheelchair-bound passenger — was Jewish. Then they shot him in the head (in front of his wife), afterward throwing him and his wheelchair into the sea. This always seemed to me the perfect expression of Middle Eastern terrorism.

In a magnificent operation, U.S. forces captured Abbas and his gang — but they were turned over to Italy, owing to political, diplomatic, and legal considerations. Fairly quickly, the Italians released them all, one by one — not wanting to invite trouble on their soil. Before they were able to do so, however, Mrs. Klinghoffer spat in their faces — literally spat in their faces, while they were behind bars. She reported this to President Reagan (who said, essentially, “Good.”)

Well, Abu Abbas has been living under the protection of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad for many years. Ol’ Sharon would nail his behind in a second, if you ask me — if he were reachable. Abbas has lately resurfaced. With Abu Nidal dead in Baghdad — Hussein probably had him shot, for non-cooperation — Abbas has apparently been reactivated, ready to wreak more terror on the Jewish/American enemy. Recently, he sent Arafat a message of support and fraternity from the Iraqi capital, taking care to regret the internal opposition that Arafat has been facing.

I believe that Israel has finished off all the Black September terrorists, one by one — in a years-long, never-forgetting operation. Abu Abbas remains unfinished business, too. Also for the United States, one would think.

The Italians? Ha! I laugh like the clown Dario Fo!

Monday, October 14, 2002
Diversity of Ideas-Cont.
Nat Hentoff writing in the Washington Times relates the response to the quote "As a community [we] need to support groups that have diverse viewpoints, viewpoints that are not commonly heard on campus, and encourage new organizations with new voices."......
The need for that kind of diversity was inadvertently revealed in the survey by Elizabeth King of the Wesleyan Democrats. "The question is how tolerant we are of intolerance," she says. "Personally, I'm not very supportive of homophobic, racist and xenophobic opinions. Nor do I feel necessarily inclined to provide those people with a venue for their opinions."

It's Ok to be outraged by this slander of good people and philosophy, but the more important thing is to realize where the self-righteousness is rooted. Note that by shifting the debate from conservative theory to one of homophobia, racism and xenophobia, Ms. King is able to justify the denial of free speech to a political opponent by redefining the person as a hateful bigot. In this way, she silences those who would disagree with her without ever having to expose her ideas to criticism.

This is how liberalism is dying....indefensible ideas that have long been protected through threats and intimidation are now hollow and rotted. They only need to be exposed to collapse.


More "Hate Crimes" Shenanigans
( - The Wichita, Kan., trial of two brothers charged with murdering five people and wounding a sixth in a December 2000 crime spree has local residents and prominent black leaders wondering why the national media have been relatively silent in the matter.

Because the suspects, Jonathan and Reginald Carr, are black and their victims white, many observers in Wichita expected the brothers to be charged with hate crimes, which presumably would have sparked national news coverage.

It didn't happen and some are raising the specter of a racial double standard by the national media, based on the lack of news coverage of this mass murder.

Friday, October 11, 2002
Latest from The Onion
Starving Third World Masses Warned Against Evils Of Contraception
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL--During a visit to the teeming slums of São Paulo Monday, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua warned the city's starving masses against the evils of contraception, urging them to "be fruitful and multiply" and do "everything in [their] power" to resist the mortal sin of birth control.

Peaceniks Distort Jefferson
I post this excerpt from Best of the Web because it evokes a sense of pride in our founding fathers and their worldview which is so rarely seen in today’s pansy-ass culture.
Don't Know Much About History
An antiwar op-ed piece by Stimson Bullitt in the Seattle Times is unworthy of note, except for its concluding paragraph, slamming President Bush for his willingness to act unilaterally against Saddam Hussein:
By violating our duty of "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind," in Jefferson's phrase, we terrify and offend other nations and thereby increase the numbers and passions of those who will aim terrorist attacks against us.

Jefferson's phrase comes from the opening of the Declaration of Independence:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Jefferson's point was that when a country declares independence from another, "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind" requires it to explain itself. If the same principle applies here, surely President Bush fulfilled his expository obligation with his Sept. 12 speech to the U.N.

Besides, when he became president Jefferson didn't insist on U.N. approval (or the early-19th-century equivalent) when he intervened militarily to protect American interests. After trying and failing to enlist allies in a campaign against the Barbary Pirates of North Africa, he decided America would go it alone. Writes the Library of Congress's Gerard Gewalt:

Jefferson's plan for an international coalition foundered on the shoals of indifference and a belief that it was cheaper to pay the tribute than fight a war. . . . Secretary of State Jefferson declared to Thomas Barclay, American consul to Morocco, in a May 13, 1791, letter of instructions for a new treaty with Morocco that it is "lastly our determination to prefer war in all cases to tribute under any form, and to any people whatever." . . .

When Jefferson became president in 1801 he refused to accede to Tripoli's demands for an immediate payment of $225,000 and an annual payment of $25,000. The pasha of Tripoli then declared war on the United States. Although as secretary of state and vice president he had opposed developing an American navy capable of anything more than coastal defense, President Jefferson dispatched a squadron of naval vessels to the Mediterranean. As he declared in his first annual message to Congress: "To this state of general peace with which we have been blessed, one only exception exists. Tripoli, the least considerable of the Barbary States, had come forward with demands unfounded either in right or in compact, and had permitted itself to denounce war, on our failure to comply before a given day. The style of the demand admitted but one answer. I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean. . . ."

I love that--"lastly our determination to prefer war in all cases to tribute under any form, and to any people whatever." and "The style of the demand admitted but one answer"--it says so much about how our country was founded. Don't f*** with us! And generally, people gave us a wide berth after a few well documented ass-kicking incidents. Note that we rarely looked to occupy or annex our defeated enemies. It was mostly about principle. That's how representative republics work....and why it's so important to install one in the Middle East (other than Turkey and Israel).

On the German (European) Problem
Victor Davis Hanson writing in National Review.....
In turn, we wonder whether Germans are really aware that over 70,000 American troops on German soil alone allow Mr. Schröder's government to continue to spend no more than 1 percent of GNP on defense, with the assurance that no hostile country would dare enter German airspace.


Far more importantly, without fanfare we should probably gradually — say at the rate of 5,000 to 10,000 soldiers a year — either bring home or transfer Americans from Germany. Such a move is vital to restore clarity and health to our relationship and bring maturity to the Germans, who must understand that their nastiness in part derives from their very sense of inferiority to and dependence on us. Let them be grownups rather than teenagers who loudly assert their independence from their parents as they drive to the mall — only to call at midnight that the battery is dead.

Great Moments In Socialized Medicine
PARIS (Reuters) - Was the hospital waiting list too long or did the patient just get lost?

Questions are being asked at the Hotel Dieu hospital in Paris where a plumber working in the basement last week came across a decomposed corpse wearing hospital pajamas, Le Figaro newspaper reported on Thursday.

Carter Wins Nobel Peace Prize-Nobel Committee Head Critical of Bush
As reported by Reuters.....
"With the position Carter has taken...(the award) can and must also be seen as criticism of the line the current U.S. administration has taken on Iraq," Committee head Gunnar Berge, a former labor minister, told reporters.

Asked by a reporter if it was a "kick in the leg" at Washington, Berge said: "Yes, the answer is an unconditional 'yes."' On Friday, Carter declined to comment on Iraq.

Of course, these are the same guys who awarded Yasser Arafat the peace prize in 1994. I suppose Carter isn't the worst choice you could make, but I'm always frustrated by the "peace at any cost" argument that Carter personifies.

Last week one of the local talk radio hosts was deconstructing a statement by a Denver Democratic political candidates who was quoted as saying that "war is simply a failure of diplomacy". It was an interesting discussion not only for what was said, but for how difficult it seemed to be for callers to understand. One of the bedrock principles of pacifism is that there can always be a negotiated settlement to any conflict. This is true as far as it goes...I mean you can surrender your life and property to a tyrant and war will be averted, but this is not the option people like Carter envision. It's ironic that these peace prize committee members operate out of a country (Norway) which would call on the U.S. to protect them if attacked.

If you want a refresher on the Carter presidency, the Wall Street Journal helpfully reprints a piece that originally ran in 1996. Here are a few choice bits.....

Even more troublesome, but not for a lack of decorum, was the pair running Mr. Carter's State Department, Cyrus Vance and Warren Christopher. But this undaring duo perfectly reflected the man at the helm, for when it came to foreign affairs Mr. Carter, a peanut farmer from Plains, Ga., was fathoms out of his depth. As is readily apparent from [his book] "Living Faith," to this day he doesn't know how much he doesn't know.


Discussions with Andrei Gromyko, the icy Soviet foreign minister, were also a challenge. In one session, where Mr. Carter questioned the Soviets' record on human rights, Mr. Gromyko turned the tables and delivered a lecture on the Soviet Union's free medical care, zero unemployment and absence of homelessness. "I couldn't argue," Mr. Carter admits. "We each had a convenient definition" of human rights; "differences like this must be recognized and understood." With such devastating self-revelations so blithely delivered even now, is it any wonder that this man's presidency ended in a spectacular foreign-policy fiasco?

For those who forget, Carter's presidency was ended by one of the first modern 24/7 news stories--the Iranian hostage crisis--which ushered Ronald Reagan into office. Carter had spent every available minute "negotiating" for the release of the hostages--444 days in all. It was arguably through the obvious fact that Reagan was prepared to attack Iran militarily that Reagan was elected and that the hostages were released on the very day of Reagan's inauguration. The Iranians clearly viewed Carter as an impotent leader who would not act militarily, and they used this situation to the disadvantage of America.

Peace Prize.....What price peace?

Read the WSJ article here>>

Live by the Tree--Die By the Tree II
( - Another tree-sitter has died on the West Coast. Wire reports say a member of the Earth First! environmental activist group fell 50 feet to his death from a Redwood tree in California Tuesday evening. He had been in the tree only 12 hours, and it's not clear exactly why he fell. "Santa Cruz Earth First! is deeply saddened by this tragic event. We never like to lose an activist," said the group's spokesman Dennis Davie. "This was a young man in his first tree-sit." In April, a 22-year-old woman died after falling out of a tree in Oregon's Mt. Hood National Forest. Earth First! sends activists up trees in an effort to block logging companies from felling them.

It Never Ends
Former Clinton pollster Dick Morris writing in the New York Post.....
October 11, 2002 -- FOUND! The four Judith Leiber bags Hillary Clinton denied having every received. Yesterday, the House Government Reform Subcommittee released a list of gifts worth over $1 million that were received by Bill and Hillary Clinton in the White House that were never disclosed. The list contradicts statements made by the former first lady and current senator.

Thursday, October 10, 2002
New Muppet: Candy the Crack Whore
Reader Mike C. forwards the link to Maddox's hillarious website. The blogger software I use doesn't support graphics, so you'll have to follow the link to get the full appreciation. This is a Mike promised it would be.....
Here's a stupid idea: make a character for a popular children's television program with a sexually transmitted disease targeted to kids who don't know what sex is. What ever happened to cartoons and characters who didn't have AIDS or some crippling disease? That's exactly what ruined the new Ghostbusters cartoon, "Extreme Ghostbusters." Instead of keeping true to the original series, they went off and changed all the characters and made them EXTREME. You have a black guy, a hispanic guy, a woman and a cripple. Please. You could sleep with a Thai hooker and experience less diversity than a 20 minute episode of Ghostbusters EXTREME. What the hell makes it so "extreme" anyway? Why can't they just make characters in cartoons like they used to: without "extreme" attitude? I can just picture the creative force behind the series brain storming: "Hmm.. what can we do to make this more extreme? How about we add a woman to the cast! Wait wait... not extreme enough, let's make her hair blue! And let's make one of the characters a cripple.. no wait, make that an EXTREME cripple." If they want to pull this shit, why don't they do it with something other than Ghostbusters? They could make an entirely new show devoted to it and they could make every character have AIDS or herpes or some debilitating disease. Nevermind the concept of super heroes, we have to focus on appeasing the quota of diversity (super heroes aren't diverse enough).

New Muppet: Candy the Crack Whore

Follow the adventures of Candy the crack whore as she gives head for smack. Kids will love this rambunctious character because they never know when she's going to throw up or go into a coma next. She can help kids learn a valuable lesson about the street price of drugs and how to take care of the skank bitch that encroaches on your territory for business. Candy will also teach kids how to be resourceful by showing them how to abandon their unwanted babies on people's door steps or in dumpsters (whichever is more convenient). The possibilities are endless with Candy the crack whore.

Go here for the rest>>

Go here for the Maddox home page and index>>

Wednesday, October 09, 2002
Hollywood Moron Watch--Harry Belafonte
Drudge reports on the comments of our most recent Hollywood moron, Harry Belafonte. Additionally, last night Bill O'Reilly of Fox News' O'Reilly Factor blasted Belafonte for his scathing criticism of Secretary of State Colin Powell. From Drudge.....
Singer Harry Belafonte took to the AM radio waves on Tuesday morning to slam Secretary of State Colin Powell as a sellout to the black race!

Belafonte, appearing on San Diego's 760 KFMB, told host Ted Leitner that Powell was like a plantation slave who moves into the slave owner's house and only says what his master wants him to say.

Belafonte's comparisons between slavery and conservatism are reminiscent of the unrelenting attacks suffered by Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas. Essentially, the argument goes something like this: If you don't side with the Democrats, who are the de facto protectors of the little guy and minorities, then you are a racist. This slap-down is used to prevent further debate and intimidate others into avoiding the same error.

What proof is there that Democrats help blacks more than Republicans? Well, Democratic campaign literature is rife with platitudes to the minority voter for one thing.....and if that's not enough, there is the welfare state, funded with trillions of dollars over 40 years that led to blacks becoming a permanent underclass. Liberal policies that created incentives to have children out of wedlock led to record levels of teen pregnancy and the crushing of so many dreams. When conservatives complained that Rap music was course and misogynistic and glorified the thug lifestyle, liberals exploded, accusing Republicans of wanting to stifle the creative talents of NWA and Tupac Shakur. So Shug Knight and his gang affiliated Death Row Records became a huge success by painting white culture and the work ethic as outmoded paradigms that kept the black man down. Now, urban youth emulate the swagger of the rappers, walking around with their new sneakers and a .40 in their waistband....nothing in front of them but a losing crap shoot between selling rock on the corner and jail (or a hole in the forehead).

But worry not! The Democrats were there to help with food stamps and other lame programs that mainly fostered dependency on government. Of course we can't overlook the stunning success of the Democrat led urban school systems that have graduated so many shining examples of excellence in public education.

What an embarrassment to hear Belafonte harping about Uncle Tom boot kissing house boys in the face of the actual history of Liberal failures. There is literally not a single success that liberalism can point to. Good intentions are a joke, and are tossed overboard at the first offer of political power or expediency. To expect government to be the savior of the black community is a ridiculous idea. Belafonte should rightly be held out as the latest Hollywood Moron.

Kevin Kelley

Tuesday, October 08, 2002
What Did Bush Know Prior To 911? Screw That--What Did We Miss While Using Our Intelligence Assets To Keep Clinton Ahead In The Polls?
From WorldNetDaily.....
As WorldNetDaily first reported July 25, veteran FBI agents have complained that the Clinton administration shifted counterterror efforts to fighting "right-wing groups" as part of a larger political strategy to demonize Republicans.

Read On>>

Iraqi Terror Connection?
As excerpted from Michael Smerconish's Philadelphia Daily News Piece.....
Thankfully, Davis didn't close this book as quickly as most of us did. She pursued the APB and set off to track reports of multiple sightings of McVeigh with an elusive dark-haired accomplice. The infamous sketch of John Doe No. 2 was always tucked firmly in her grip.

Davis soon uncovered that several employees at an Oklahoma City property- management company said they had seen a brown Chevy truck like the getaway vehicle aggressively pursued by law enforcement parked outside their office in the days before the bombing. The company's owner was a Palestinian with a rap sheet and suspected ties to the PLO.

Davis learned that, six months before the bombing, the Palestinian hired a handful of ex-Iraqi soldiers to do maintenance at his rental houses. Eyewitnesses told Davis that they celebrated the bombing.

She was also made aware that these same men were absent from work on April 17, 1995, the day McVeigh rented the Ryder truck that carried the bomb.

While pursuing the story of these Middle Eastern men, Davis also became aware of another ex-Iraqi soldier in Oklahoma City named Hussain Hashem Al-Hussaini. She was taken aback to see that Al-Hussaini's picture, when overlaid with the government sketch of John Doe No. 2, was arguably a perfect match. He even sported a tattoo on his upper left arm indicating that he likely had served in Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard.

Read the whole piece here>>

Is This What We Have To Look Forward To?
Stanley Kurtz writing in National Review Online......
Earlier this year the College Board buckled to political pressure and agreed to turn the SAT into an achievement test. Although that move has been defended as a heightening of standards, I have argued that an achievement test is far more susceptible to dumbing down and grade inflation than an aptitude test.

It turns out we don't have to wait for proof of just how corruptible achievement tests are. At the very moment America is abandoning its unique and democratic test of academic aptitude, Britain's college entrance test has fallen into crisis. The British college-entrance exam — which is an achievement test — has been utterly corrupted by political pressure for equality of outcome. With their scandal-ridden testing system now in freefall, the British are considering radical action. They believe they have found a new kind of test that will simultaneously preserve standards and maximize opportunity for students from lesser schools. And what is that test? The American SAT, of course.


Last month, in the midst of the yearly debate over what to do about the accelerating grade inflation crisis of the A-levels, an extraordinary scandal broke. It seems that the head of the exam board at Oxford and Cambridge conspired with the government's own exam watchdog commission to tamper with the results of the A-levels. You might think he artificially inflated exam grades in response to political pressure, but in this case, the crime was the reverse.

Precisely because years of political pressure have turned A-level grade inflation into an open national scandal, the head of the Oxford and Cambridge exam board actually intervened to mark down the scores of the best students in Britain. His fear was that A-level grade inflation this year had gotten so out of hand that honest reporting of the actual national grades would have provoked another round of public outrage at retreating standards. To avoid that, Dr. Ron McLone, with the full knowledge of the government's own exam watchdog commission, secretly lowered the scores of the very best students in Britain, depriving them of a chance to gain positions at Britain's best schools.

Read the whole piece here>>

Wednesday, October 02, 2002
Separatist Indoctrination at Brown University
In one of the most finely written pieces I've ever had the pleasure to read, Alex Schulman (writing in FrontPage) spells out the intellectual decay at one of America's preeminent Ivy League schools. It's a must read!
The administration backpedaled almost immediately, coddling the criminals who stole the papers, and convening a "faculty forum" for healing (read: appeasing the offended blacks and ashamed white leftists) where not a single speaker coherently supported the Herald's perfectly ethical decision to run the advertisement. It was during Horowitz-gate that I finally saw, in all its glory, how elite schools had turned their back on every decent, tolerant, humanist, liberal value we are supposed to stand for and how, in the process, the academic left has made race virtually impossible to discuss in an intellectual manner.

Read the whole piece here>>

Tuesday, October 01, 2002
But What About the U.N.?
Jonah Goldberg, writing in National Review, highlights some of the stupid arguments you're likely to come across. The following passages are instructive.....
One is tempted to explain the very concept of "sovereign" in "sovereign state," but since those who use this argument are already deeply antagonistic to the idea that America has any right to do anything on its own, let's just skip right past that. Instead, let's go to the moral heart of the matter. People who think we must go through the U.N. seem to believe that the U.N. is an objectively neutral or moral institution. In their eyes, getting approval from the U.N. is like getting approval from a judge or a priest. Or, they think the U.N. is where the nations of the world put aside their petty self-interest and do whatever is in the best interests of humanity.

There's only one problem with this. None of the nations in the U.N. — especially the permanent members of the Security Council — are acting on such pure motives. France isn't opposed to invading Iraq out of an abiding love of peace. It's opposed to an American invasion largely because France has been trading with Iraq for years, despite the sanctions. France has billions of dollars in oil contracts it doesn't want to lose. Which is why, according to numerous accounts, the French have made it known that if they can keep their existing contracts, they will probably approve a U.S. invasion.

Or, consider Russia. Russia's foot-dragging is also largely about oil — and securing the $8 billion Iraq already owes them. But Russia also wants the U.S. to turn a blind eye to its military abuses in Chechnya and Georgia. And, by the way, a precondition for China's vote is tacit American approval of a Chinese crackdown on separatist Muslim Uighurs. Now, how is it that an American invasion of Iraq is somehow morally superior with U.N. approval if that approval can only be bought by American support for bloodshed elsewhere? Altruism and charity aren't the coin of the realm on the Security Council; blood and oil are. As the editors of National Review put it in the latest issue: "We will leave it to the shrinks to determine why American liberals consider it a mark of morality in foreign policy when that policy coincides with Russian and French strategies that are themselves arrived at for the crassest of reasons. In general, making 'international opinion' the benchmark for right and wrong is a mistake, since so much of it is driven by fear, self-interest, and greed."

Read the whole piece here>>

NPR spins for Torricelli
There's media bias and then there's media bias. The latter usually involves leaving inconvenient facts out of a story, which NPR did spectacularly this morning when reporting the meltdown of Robert "the Torch" Torricelli's Senate campaign yesterday. The New Jersey Democrat, having been outed as the crook that he is, was trailing heavily in the polls this last week against GOP newcomer Douglas Forrester.

With control of the Senate hanging on several races that are polling as statistical dead heats, the Democrats came up with a plan to have Torricelli drop out and be replaced by a more likable candidate. There's only one problem--established election law prohibits doing this within 48 days of the election. You would think that this would be a newsworthy item in the NPR reporting?

Perhaps if the candidate were Republican it might have made it into the piece, but instead NPR decided to ignore the legal aspects, moving quickly to tell the heartwarming story of how the Democrats had previously been suffering under the weight of the Torricelli albatross, but could now shop for a new, more honest candidate--implying that somehow this had something to do with clearing their good name.

At the moment, Hispanic Rep. Bob Menendez is most likely to fit the Democratic strategy since the laws can always be bent or broken if it helps a member of an established victim group.

From Fox News......

New Jersey electoral law permits the replacement of a candidate on a statewide ticket up to 48 days before the election. Torricelli, whose campaign was torpedoed by mounting allegations of corruption, missed the deadline by 12 days.

But laws apparently don't apply when they conflict with what works best for Democrats.....
Democratic officials contended that county clerks would have "ample opportunity" to substitute a new name for Torricelli's, and that voter confusion would result otherwise.

The reason why there are laws against this is to prevent "bait-and-switch" tricks like this one. The Democrats have already held their primary in which two or more candidates were already presented to voters. Those voters cast their ballots, and now the Democratic party wants to void the voters choice under the concept that Democratic candidates are simply interchangeable if it helps them win. The intellectually honest way to look at this is whether you would stand for it if the situation were reversed, and you can bet that if the Republicans tried something like this the Democrats would come unglued. Sadly, this is a lesson lost on the modern Democratic party.

Kevin Kelley

Monday, September 30, 2002
Alert--Conservative Thought Smuggled Into Boulder--Something Should Be Done!
As many of you know, I like to highlight local journalism (mostly at the end a pike, although I wish it were otherwise). Surprising though it might be, the editor of the Boulder Weekly is something of a conservative--he might call himself a libertarian--I don't know for sure, but his writing takes a distinctly conservative bent. Here is Wayne Laugesen drawing a connection between the modern ACLU and the Ku Klux Klan.

Note that while the following passage makes a direct connection, the article itself works more toward a philosophical one. Nonetheless, Wayne once again sticks it to the Boulder liberal community which fashions itself as the pinnacle of tolerance while aligning itself so often with groups that would gladly remove ideas and freedoms from the public square.

"In a 1947 Supreme Court case, justices picked up this [separation of church and state] metaphor and elevated it to a virtual rule of constitutional law," Dreisbach explains. "This misinterpretation has become the central metaphor that's used to restrict the role that people in communities of faith can play in the public marketplace of ideas."

Dreisbach and Hamburger, who worked separately, each blame former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black for erecting the wall and promoting the myth that the First Amendment regulates religious expression. Black's motive? Hatred and fear.

"Justice Black was a member of the Ku Klux Klan who was nurtured on anti-Catholicism," says Dreisbach. "His greatest fear was the Catholic parochial school. He sought to erect this high, impregnable wall of separation as a way of ensuring that Catholic schools would be marginalized."

I always like to note that "separation of church and state" is not a direct quote from the Constitution. The "establishment" clause simply prohibits the government from taking a particular side in religious matters, thus removing the danger of a state sponsored religion enjoying preferential treatment over other religions (like the Church of England). Whenever I hear some otherwise well educated adult arguing that we shouldn't have a congressional chaplain or the words "In God We Trust" on our money, I just cringe....."It's because the Supreme Court screwed up-Ok"!

Read the whole piece here>>
Kevin Kelley

University IQs
The following letter to the editor was published in the Raleigh N.C. News and Observer, and constitutes one of the more arrogant and sanctimonious examples of what's wrong in academia. Read it and puke! Thanks to David Horowitz's wonderful website Frontpage for the lead.
Voting IQs
Regarding John Leo's Sept. 17 Op-ed article "Faculties in need of balance":

So John Leo and the (oh so diverse!) American Enterprise Institute think there is insufficient diversity of political affiliation among university faculty. Their poll numbers show that Republicans are a small minority of the professoriate. True, and rightly so.

In seeking faculty, universities look for people who can analyze and discuss matters of some complexity, who are unafraid to challenge the wisdom of simple solutions, and who have a sense of social responsibility toward those who cannot buy influence. Such people tend to be put off by a political party dominated by those who believe dogmatically in the infallibility of the marketplace as a solution to all economic problems, or else in the infallibility of scripture as a guide to morality.

In short, universities want people of some depth, subtlety and intelligence. People like that usually vote for the Democrats. So what?

Lawrence Evans

The writer is professor emeritus of physics at Duke University.

Everything in this letter is deserving of ridicule, but one of the less obvious points I'd like to highlight is the part about the "oh so diverse!" American Enterprise Institute. Evans appears oblivious to the fact that all those conservative think tanks out there are populated with the orphaned conservative talent that is denied a home and intentionally silenced by the likes of Dr. Evans and his cronies on the hiring committees. In their smug wisdom, they have determined that some ideas are just too dangerous for debate--and besides, those pesky conservatives are always bringing up things like history--getting us off topic about how great socialism would be if only genocidal sociopaths didn't arrive on the scene in the absence of property rights, freedom of religion, freedom of expression and people with the courage to stand up and defend individual liberty. And this guy probably considers himself an intellectual!

Kevin Kelley