Friday, January 25, 2008

John McCain is wrong for the United States

Until today, I thought I might be able to hold my nose and vote for McCain in the general election if he were to win the Republican primary. After what I learned today, I don't know that I can even do that, and I never thought I would say that when that means Hillary Clinton might end up as President of these Unites States. As I said here, I could not trust McCain on illegal immigration. What I learned today only reinforces that distrust. John McCain DOES NOT PUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FIRST IN REGARD TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.

John McCain has "think Mexico first", US-Mexico dual-citizenship-holding, former Mexican government official, open-borders zealot Dr. Juan Hernandez on his campaign staff.
If you don't have the time to read all the comments (please at least read Michelle Malkin's post), here is a highlight:

Juan Hernandez, in his capacity as McCain's "Hispanic Outreach Director", calls for supporters to host a "McCain Fiesta", and based on their donation amounts, they can gain recognition at levels such as:

$2,300 Los Presidentes [ed. - "President"] (receive campaign sweatshirt and signed book)

$1,000 Los Jefes [ed. - "Boss/Chief"] (receive campaign sweatshirt and signed book)

$500 Los Hermanos [ed. - "Brother"] (receive campaign sweatshirt)

$250 Los Primos [ed. - "Cousin"] (receive campaign sweatshirt)

$100 Los Compadres [ed. - "Godfather"] — $25 Los Amigos [ed. - "Friend"]

I have a really hard time getting behind any American politician allowing such a man, with loyalty obviously NOT with the United States Constitution (but instead loyal to a foreign government) to be in any way, shape or form, associated so closely with their election campaign, especially one running for the highest office in the land: whose highest priority SHOULD BE the welfare of United States citizens, not citizens of other countries who have in essence broken into our house and expect us to take care of them.

Also disturbing in regard to McCain and his supporters:

Hernandez is also a fellow at McCain's "Reform Institute".

“Dr. Juan Hernandez serves as a Senior Fellow of the Institute’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform Initiative.”

That is: Shamnesty.

Among the immigration projects at McCain’s Reform Institute: An art contest in which students depicted their protests against a southern border fence.

Who helps fund the Reform Institute? Ed Morrissey did the research:

* The Tides Foundation, which heavily promotes “reproductive justice”, giving over $500,000 to pro-abortion efforts. They also actively oppose the death penalty (so do I, FYI). John McCain opposes abortion and supports the death penalty, so why is his chief political advisor getting so much support from those who ostensibly oppose him?

* Educational Foundation Of America, which also supports abortion. EFA also opposes drilling in ANWR, an issue on which McCain has an ambivalent record. It also supports euthanasia and assisted suicide through the Death With Dignity National Center, a group which it gave $45,000. It gave $100,000 to the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, which opposed the Yucca Mountain nuclear depository (McCain supported it), and opposes development of low-yield nuclear “bunker buster” bombs, which McCain supports.

In fact, EFA appears to contribute to just about every left-wing cause imaginable, as well as a number of noncontriversial charities and outreach efforts.

* The Proteus Fund, which also opposed the Yucca Mountain repository, spending $75K to stop it. That pales in comparison to the $935K they spent on supporting gay marriage initiatives, which McCain strongly opposes. They have also spent over $800,000 funding nuclear-disarmament and antiwar causes in each of the last two years. Their Security Policy Working Group contains nothing but left-of-center groups like Project on Defense Alternatives, which calls the Iraqi elections “faulty” and predicted disaster for the Bush administration’s “program of coercive transformation throughout the region.”

* OSI (Open Society Institute), founded and funded by George Soros. Among a litany of left-wing causes supported by OSI are People For The American Way, to support their Supreme Court Project. (Hint: It isn’t intended on assisting Bush get his nominees confirmed.) They also gave $150,000 to the Campaign Legal Center, which will be important shortly.

* David Geffen Foundation also shows up on the list, although not in the top tier. David Geffen is an entertainment-industry mogul who supports Democrats and left-wing causes. They do not have a website I could find, but notes that in 2002, most of the grants Geffen gave went to environmental activists and the Tides Foundation and Tides Center.

Why are all these left-wing groups supporting a "Republican"-founded "charity"? Something truly smells about all this. I cannot vote McCain. Since Fred Thompson is no longer in the race, I have moved my support to Mitt Romney. I can still hope that I might be able to vote for a Romney/Thompson ticket come November.

Updated: An American hero and his wife don't have a very high opinion of John McCain:

A few weeks before Chuck was wounded I watched a TV movie that protrayed Jerk's time as a POW during Vietnam. I was intrigued by the story and developed a lot of respect for what he endured, and the fact that his wife waited all those years for him to return home. I knew bits and pieces of the story before watching the movie, and I knew his arms were badly damaged due to the torture he received. I had a lot of respect for the man... then I met him.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A terrifying example

of why law-abiding citizens should not be denied their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

I don't own a gun - I'm not from a family of gun owners/enthusiasts, so it's not something I am comfortable with. When I lived alone, I had (and still have) large dogs. My dogs don't really like strangers and anyone who would have tried to break in and hurt me would have had to deal with them, which is a deterrent to some criminals. However, if I was faced with what this woman did, I would seriously consider arming myself.

Related: Fred Thompson on the DC Gun Ban case before SCOTUS

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Time to rethink how we run presidential primaries?

Not sure how I got on the email list, and I sometimes just delete them without even opening them, but sometime the subject line catches my interest. The one I received yesterday was one of those:

It's Time to Change the Presidential Nomination Process:

The change from "smoke filled rooms" to putting the power in the hands of the voters was a good thing. However, a new set of dynamics has been created which hurts the process and again requires changes. States at the end of the primary schedule were becoming irrelevant. So, more and more states began "front loading" the primaries -- moving them up in the schedule. As more and more states have their primaries earlier and earlier, the race for the nomination becomes a defacto national election instead of a state by state contest as it should be.

With so many primary elections and caucuses up front, only candidates with serious reserves of cash or media attention can compete. There is no time to build momentum and use that momentum to help generate new funds. Here is how the months of January and February are laid out in 2008 for state primary elections and caucuses:

January 3 -- Iowa
January 5 -- Wyoming
January 8 -- New Hampshire
January 15 -- Michigan
January 19 -- Nevada, South Carolina
January 29 -- Florida
February 1 -- Maine
February 5 (Super Tuesday) -- Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, West Virginia
February 9 -- Louisiana, Kansas
February 12 -- Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia
February 19 -- Washington, Wisconsin

That is a total of thirty-four states plus the District of Columbia which will hold their elections before March.

In addition to eliminating "front loading," something should also be done to reduce the artificially inflated importance of the results in Iowa and New Hampshire. These two states often spell doom for a candidate who doesn't get off to a fast start, yet these two states provide only a small fraction of the delegates needed to secure the nomination. No candidate's bid for the presidency should be determined by how he or she finished in one state, yet that's exactly what we see now from the media. They pronounce gloom and doom or anoint an heir apparent after one or two contests. That is not fair and not right.

So, what can be done about it? A number of proposals have been floated by various Republican activists and party leaders.

Go read the whole thing to learn about the different plans being proposed.

On a side note, the nominees will have already been decided before I have a chance to make my voice heard. Texas' primary isn't until March.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Something unexpected

Today, I made my deliver to the Marine liaison office at BAMC for Operation Santa, which was sponsored the Marine Corps Family Foundation. The Marines in the office were very professional, and Cpl. Rodriguez engaged me in polite conversation as he took me up to the very tiny office of his boss, LtCol. Olbrich. I talked briefly with the LtCol about the donation. He thanked me for it, saying it would be a nice treat for his Marines since most of the holiday goodies have already come and gone. Departing, I mentioned I was going to be making a side trip to pick up some very tasty take out from Karam's, a Mexican food restaurant down on Zarzamora Street that my dad has been going to since he was in a high chair. It isn't far from downtown. If it was already dark, I'd have had to go home without my tamales, chili con carne and rice - I wouldn't have gone there alone, since I'm pretty sure the surrounding area isn't the safest part of San Antonio. On my way there, once I had gotten off the interstate, I was stopped at a stop light at the intersection of Commerce and Colorado. I noticed a mural on the wall of a building on the far opposite corner. I didn't have my good camera with me, but I had my new toy, a Pure Digital Flip video camera, in my purse. I was able to get it out and take a short video before the light changed to green. Sorry for the small size of the image captured from the video:

It's a mural honoring Vietnam Veterans. It says "You are not forgotten" and includes along the bottom the Vietnam Service Ribbon. The top center of the image is a bald eagle and the American flag. Of course, there are soldiers, aircraft and images of the environment our soldiers encountered. Seemed fitting I would see something like this while I was in San Antonio in a very small support role for Operation Santa.

By the way, dinner was delicious ;-)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Responding to an old high school teacher who I greatly respect

I received an email from an old high school teacher of mine on New Year's Day. His sister (a Republican) had inquired as to his views on the current Presidential race. He decided to share his response with a number of people in his address book (some I know, others I don't). I got an updated email yesterday with his reaction of the Iowa Caucuses. I had wanted to reply to him, but wanted to take my time about it. Here is what I wrote:


Yes, I did want to take the time to respond to your email about your thoughts on the current presidential election cycle. I take it very seriously and didn’t want to just toss off a quick reply… I’m also going to “reply to all”, and I know my view won’t sit well with some of them, as I know of at least one person who REALLY doesn’t like President Bush. I might just post this to my little blog, too…

I, too, am glad I haven’t been subjected to heavy political advertising and being canvassed by telephone like the people in Iowa and other early states. This being said, I don’t like the focus and importance placed on the results of two small states that are not representative of the nation as a whole.

As for President Bush, I agree with his policies with regard to the war with radical Islam. I will, however, admit that some of the execution along the way has been flawed, especially in regard to the number of troops in the aftermath of the fall of Saddam. It hasn’t helped matters that our free and independent press shouting from the rooftops any bad report about the actions of our troops, whether or not those actions were true. Too often, American press reports about Iraq were nothing more than regurgitation of terrorist propaganda – Bilal Hussein is a prime example of this. I disagree profoundly with the president’s stance on illegal immigration. All I can say at this point is: I’m glad it was Bush who was president on 9/11 and not Gore, and that Bush defeated Kerry in 2004. Contrary to what we hear Democrats and the liberal media saying, I do not believe the results of the 2006 mid-term Congressional elections gave Democrats a mandate to do what they wanted to do – with regard to many issues. Many Republican voters just stayed home, because they were fed up with the Republican Congress spending like drunken sailors (my apologies to drunken sailors…). Also, many of the seats that the Democrats picked up were VERY close races in which the Dem candidate was running to the right of the Republican candidate.

Now, on to the current presidential election:

The more I hear from candidates, the more I like Fred Thompson. I don’t like any of the candidates from the Democratic Party. Ron Paul is a nutcase who only has an (R) behind his name because he couldn’t get elected with an (L) behind in, given the district he represents here in Texas. I like McCain with regard to foreign policy and national security, but I can’t trust him on illegal immigration, and I don’t like that he opposed the Bush tax rate cuts (which have actually increased tax revenues overall). I like Giuliani with regard to a tough stance on national security, but I can’t trust him on abortion, illegal immigration or the Second Amendment (and I’m not even a gun owner – just a good observer about “gun free zones” in actuality being “defenseless victim zones”: criminals don’t give a flying flip about signs that say “no guns allowed”, even in states that allow for licensed conceal carry). I can’t trust Romney on many issues – he’s having to change many of the positions he held while the governor of liberal Massachusetts in order to appeal to Republican voters. Romney might be an excellent administrator – he did turn the Salt Lake City Olympics around, after all. But, when he says, in regard to his lack of foreign policy experience, that he’d just “go to the State Department”: Yeah – the same State Department that has been undermining President Bush from the get-go. He also advocates government getting involved in healthcare even more than it already is – mandatory health insurance coverage in Massachusetts, anyone? As for Mike Huckabee… After his early debate performances, I wanted to hear more from him. Now that I have, I don’t like him. He might as well be an anti-abortion Democrat, what with his record on taxes and illegal immigration. I had hoped from the beginning of the campaigning that Tom Tancredo (recently dropping out) and Duncan Hunter would do better, as I really liked their messages on illegal immigration and national security.

Fred Thompson isn’t following a typical game plan with regard to running for president. I like that about him. I like his stand on illegal immigration. I like his stand on foreign policy/nation security. I like his stand on healthcare. I like his stand on taxes and fiscal policy.

Having already said I don’t like any of the Democrats running for president, I suppose I should give some reasons.

Hillary Clinton: I don’t trust her any further than I could throw her, and I can guarantee you, that wouldn’t be very far. She is a socialist. Hillarycare? No, thank you. The government matches up to $1000 for a 401(k) for EVERYONE? No, thank you. The government provides a $5000 bond for every baby born in the United States? No, thank you. She plays dirty politics. She, just as her husband did, takes funding from questionable sources, some of it possibly originating in communist China.

John Edward: Trial lawyer preaching class warfare: Real good coming from a man who owns a huge mansion and gets $400-1200 haircuts. I can’t take him seriously.

Bill Richardson: There was a time when I thought him a reasonable Democrat who I could tolerate as president, if I had to have a Democrat in the Oval Office. However, I think his stated policies, with regard to national security/foreign policy and fighting Islamic radicals, are foolish.

Barack Obama: I will concede that he is an excellent and compelling public speaking and he is very charming. But, what has he done? He has never run a business, or a city, or a state, and he’s only served seven years as a state legislator and not even a complete term as a US senator. Also, he, too, is a socialist. I want the government to not take my tax dollars because it thinks it is able to spend MY money more wisely than I can.

I don’t think rewriting the Constitution is necessary. I think the federal government needs to do less “for the people” – some segments of the American population have come to expect the government to do everything for them. To contrast: many residents of New Orleans expected the government to take the responsibility to take care of them with regard to Hurricane Katrina; in the recent wildfires in California, people didn’t wait on the government to take care of those who needed help: those who were able took it upon themselves to go lend a hand, and the I haven’t heard a big outcry from those who lost everything they owned begging the government to take care of them. We need to elect representatives who will only write legislation that pertains to the enumerated powers of the federal government, who will not pander to ANY special interests. We need judges who don’t try to legislate from the bench, and we need Supreme Court Justices who DO NOT cite FOREIGN or INTERNATIONAL law when writing decisions. The Supreme Court Justices should make decisions based on the Constitution of the United States of America ONLY.

I can only hope that the election in November brings a return of Republican control to the Congress another Republican to the White House. We have a Congress with record low approval rating, coming dangerously close to the single digits: far worse than President Bush’s low approval ratings. Time and again, they have tried to force immediate withdrawal from Iraq which would pretty much be announcing to our enemies “all you have to do is hold out until we leave, and then you can do whatever you want in Iraq”. That would only embolden the terrorists. The Democrats have fought tooth and nail to have our forces leave Iraq in defeat, and I can’t help but think it is in part because they want to hang a military defeat around the neck of their archenemy, George W. Bush. Never mind what is best for the country. It would NOT be “good for America” to leave Iraq before the Iraqis are able to stand on their own two feet. The process might not be as fast as we might like, but it is what it is. Hell, we never left Germany or Japan after WWII. And I can’t help but think how that war would have ended if Roosevelt and Truman had to deal with the same kind of hostile press who has published information about perfectly legal, but previously highly secret, programs that were part of the war effort. As a result of Vietnam, the American public has become highly casualty-averse. Never mind that the current conflict has extremely low casualties, especially when compared to past conflicts. We have yet to lose the number of soldiers in Iraq that we lost in a single days during WWII.

As for the Iowa caucuses, I think it’s funny how Hillary Clinton came in third. I expect to see the long knives come out for Obama. I’ve been sitting here tonight watching the debates on ABC – both the Republican and Democratic debates. Listening to what the candidates have been saying tonight only confirms my thoughts: any Republicans (save maybe Ron Paul) would be better than any of the Democratic candidates. I just can’t take any of the Dems (or Ron Paul) seriously when it comes to the issue highest on my list: national security and The Long War against Islamic radicals. I’ve got a lot more to say with regard to why I like Republicans over Democrats (with the rare except – I can respect someone like Joe Lieberman, who the Democratic Party threw under the bus because he wouldn’t toe the party line in regard to the Iraq War). I’ll save that for later – I’ve already gone on for nearly three entire pages. Just let me know what you want to hear me share my views on, and I’ll see about writing something up.

Oh, one last comment, before I sign off: I know you are fed up with illegal immigration. I really don’t think any of the Democrats will address that issue the way you and I seem to think it needs to be addressed. That issue is number two on my list…

Miss Ladybug

Task Force Marne: Coalition Forces save two Iraqi girls

From the Task Force Marne website, a story about the good our soldiers are doing in Iraq:

Klibbe, a 2nd Platoon team leader, had just dismounted his vehicle when he heard an explosion up the road.

Driven by his training and fueled by a desire to learn what happened and administer any help needed, he said he took off at a dead sprint toward the explosion site.

Accompanying Klibbe was platoon medic, Spc. Scott Wolfe, a native of Millbrae, Calif.

They arrived at the scene with other Soldiers from the unit and were met by a man cradling a little girl in his arms.

Hajer, conscious but wounded, was bleeding from multiple shrapnel wounds.

A quick assessment by ‘Doc’ Wolfe, showed she had deep wounds to her stomach and shrapnel embedded in her torso and legs. The injuries were more than he could treat. He said the decision was made to evacuate her to Patrol Base Murray for more extensive care.

As the trucks rolled into position for ground evacuation, Hajer’s sister approached the Soldiers. Although she walked on her own, Nora sustained injuries. The most serious was a laceration across the right side of her head.

Nora was sent to PB Murray as well. They arrived by truck within four minutes.

US military doctors treated both girls, and Hajer, the more severely injured, is expected to "recover without any long-term disability."

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Still think government provided heathcare is a good idea?

Think again. MK over at Conservative Thoughts links to a couple of articles in the UK's Daily Mail.

How doctors lie on death certificates to hide the true scale of the toll from hospital infections

Joan said: "I fear this kind of cover-up is happening at hospitals all over the country. I miss Edwin terribly, but the way we lost him and dishonesty by the hospital about the real cause of his death has made it all much worse for me and my family. I was desperate to bring Edwin home. The hospital was dirty. I found a used syringe under the bed, soiled cotton wool pads left on his floor and there were human faeces smeared on the door. Looking back, it is no surprise he caught a superbug."

Devolution has created four different NHS systems - and England is 'poor relation'

Devolution has led to a system of medical apartheid, with four different National Health Services across the UK, a senior health official has admitted.

Labour's changes mean that patients in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are now receiving completely different standards of care.

MK's thoughts:

One state charged with providing healthcare, but four different standards, and judging by the first story, it sounds like these four are a choice between really-bad, you-might-die, just-go-to-a-third-world-hospital or stay-at-home-and-ride-it-out. A few thousand years ago the Greek philosopher Aristotle said “That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it.” A lesson we seem unwilling to learn.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Bill Whittle: Forty Second Boyd & The Big Picture

Bill Whittle has posted a new, two-part essay. I believe it is a Must Read.

From Forty Second Boyd & the Big Picture:

Whatever the action is, whether thrust or parry, Boyd realized that it is only here, in the fourth step – Observe-Orient-Decide-Act – that physical combat occurs. Being “a good stick” will help you here, yes. But Boyd’s breakthrough was to realize that there are three mental steps that precede the physical application of a warrior’s skill, and that these mental steps are not as important as the physical talent. They are far, far more important.


Then Observe.

Then Observe…

It’s a cycle. It’s a loop. It’s called by its inelegant acronym: The OODA loop.

Now here’s what blew my mind, as I am sure it blew John Boyd’s mind on a level I can not and will never fully comprehend:

The winner of these battles is not necessarily the fellow who makes the best decisions. More often than not, it’s the guy who makes the fastest decisions.

Agility. Speed. Precision. Lethality. Fingerspitzengefuhl: fingertip control.

It seems counter-intuitive.

I do not know for certain, but I’d be willing to bet that today’s Pentagon is considerably less rigid than the one Boyd faced in the sixties and seventies. But it took three years of observing a steadily deteriorating situation on the ground in Iraq before a new orientation-decision-action was initiated. That’s way too much observation and way too slow a response. Obviously the political leadership bears a great deal of this responsibility as well. We can do better. These are our men and women out there.
Why is it that the fielded military can adopt Boyd’s concept of agility and maneuverability, but the political leadership remains absolutely blind to the fact that this battle may or may not be won on the streets of Baghdad and Fallujah and Ramadi, but it absolutely can be lost on the CBS Evening News? One would think the insurgents would need a multi-billion dollar, worldwide high-tech satellite network to spread their propaganda. But, being the generous people that we are, we have gallantly lent them ours.
General Petraeus – just perhaps – is in the process of winning such a victory in Iraq. By brilliant diplomacy, deep understanding of the culture and the judicious use of gunpowder and money, it appears he has severed most of the Sunni tribes from al Qaeda and used them as “Awakening” peacekeeping militias against their former allies. General Petraeus is not fighting the last war; he is fighting the next one. He did not arrive there and just hope for the best. He observed. He oriented. He decided. And he acted. And then he observed again to see what effect he had. And again. And again.

It might take a little while to read it all (to include a couple of video clips), but it is well worth your time to do so.