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October 26, 2005

2000 Deaths In Iraq - Only The Beginning

There have been 2000 American deaths in Iraq since we decided that Saddam Hussein had to go. The anti-American left-wing Democrats and media types would like us to leave Iraq - NOW. They want a timetable for us to leave. They demand a plan for our retreat.

Unfortunately, a plan made public for our retreat would allow our enemies to hunker down until we leave. They could become good little Muslims until we left and then they could begin their reign of terror on the Kurds and Shiites all over again.

Does anyone remember all those killed after we left Vietnam? Apparently not enough of us!

Should we have stayed in Vietnam to keep millions of Cambodians and Vietnamese from dying? Yes!

Should we have fought to win the war rather than turn tail and run? Of course!

We are now in another war. Some call it the war on terror. It is really much more than a war on terror. The war in Afghanistan and Iraq is all part of the same war. Maybe it wasn't when we first began, but it has become the front line of World War III. This is a war that will ultimately effect more people than WWII. There will be more deaths, more destruction, more suffering. It is a war for the soul of civilization. It is a war that will go on for years and years; perhaps even centuries. It is a war a large part of the Muslim world has declared against non-believers and they are going to keep trying to kill us until we cease to exist.

Prior to September 11, 2001, the Islamofascists had been taking pot shots at us for a number of years: blowing up a ship here and an embassy there, and, of course, there was the earlier, albeit, unsuccessful attempt to destroy the World Trade Center in 1993. People were injured and killed in these attacks, but until President Bush ‘43’ came along, American presidents were content to ignore the problem, giving the Muslim fanatics little more than lip service. (President Clinton was too busy getting lip service to give it. He did, however, manage to blow up some tents and an aspirin factory.)

Lest We Forget

Lest we forget, the fatalities of September 11, 2001, were in the thousands!

  • At the World Trade Center 2,742 innocent souls were lost. There were 76 passengers and 11 crew members on American Airlines Flight 11 which smashed into the first tower. There were 51 passengers and 9 crew members on United Airlines Flight 175 which crashed into the second tower. There were 2,595 people killed in and around the World Trade Center, including 343 New York City firefighters, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers.
  • At the Pentagon, there were 125 civilians and military personnel killed along with 53 passengers and six crew members of American Airlines Flight 77.
  • On United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, there were 33 passengers and 7 crew members.
  • A total of 2,966 innocent people lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
  • Unfortunately, only 19 despicable, contemptible Islamofascists went to hell.

  • The property damage was in the billions of dollars. In addition to the destruction of the 110-floor twin towers of the World Trade Center, five other buildings at the World Trade Center site and four subway stations were destroyed or badly damaged. A total of 25 buildings were damaged on Manhattan Island. Communications equipment such as broadcast radio, television and two way radio antenna towers were damaged beyond repair. At the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, a portion of the building was severely damaged by fire and one section of the building collapsed.

    The economic losses in the aftermath of the attack have been every bit as devastating as the actual attack, but there is really no way to gauge the total cost. The ongoing cost of additional security at virtually every level of society has become almost prohibitive.

    For argument sake, let’s say we have now lost 4,966 people in this war. Really a drop in the bucket when a comparison is made to World War II.

    During World War II, Germany, Japan, and Italy were running amuck across Europe, Asia, and Africa. Millions of civilians were killed; millions more targeted 'undesirables' including especially Jews, gypsies, Poles, Russian war prisoners and other Slavs, Roma and Sinti, the mentally or physically disabled, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Communists and political dissidents were exterminated by Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito. Our efforts to defeat the Axis are never questioned. The 407,318 American lives lost were the unfortunate cost of victory.

    We are in another world war; World War III, if you will. Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry would have you believe we are not, but when they speak remember you must consider the source. Mark my words, the Muslim fanatics are going to keep coming to kill us - kill your mother and your father - kill your kids - kill your neighbor - kill your dog. They are chicken shit, brain dead, scum sucking ragheads who would just as soon cut off your head as look at you. There is no reasoning with them. There can be no peace treaty. They want you and I to stop breathing. They want nothing more from us.

    Since a quarter of the world is Muslim, many of them religious fanatics, they are going to kill many more than the current total of 4,966. The only way to stop them is to kill them. Unfortunately, we are going to be killing them for a very, very long time.

    Right now, the front line of the war is in Iraq and I would prefer to keep it there. Once the war comes to Main Street, USA, Mr. Kennedy will be hiding in a bottle of scotch, and Monsieur Kerry will be residing in the Islamic Republic of France.

    Posted by Rick | October 26, 2005 03:20 PM | Political Science

    October 23, 2005

    NBA Dress Code = Lipstick On A Pig

    In an effort to clean up the thug-life attitude portrayed by many NBA players, commissioner David Stern has initiated a dress code which bans baseball caps, doo-rags, pendants, medallions, sleeveless shirts, headphones, and sunglasses indoors. The dress code mandates jeans or slacks and shirts with collars while on league business. Players in street clothes who sit in the stands or on the bench during games must wear sport coats, shoes and socks. Here is the letter from commissioner David Stern to the teams:

    NBA Dress Code Policy | Oct. 17, 2005 From the NBA: We know that you share our desire that NBA players be appreciated not only for their extraordinary talent and hard work, but also for their accessibility to fans, their community service, and their professionalism – both on and off the court. To that end, we will be instituting, effective with the start of the regular season, a league-wide “minimum” dress code. Many teams have previously issued their own dress codes, designed to demonstrate the seriousness with which their players take the representation of their teams, their cities, and our league; our new dress code is not intended to affect any of those that are more formal than what is set forth below:

    1. General Policy: Business Casual

    Players are required to wear Business Casual attire whenever they are engaged in team or league business.

    "Business Casual" attire means:

    - A long or short-sleeved dress shirt (collared or turtleneck), and/or a sweater.

    - Dress slacks, khaki pants, or dress jeans.

    - Appropriate shoes and socks, including dress shoes, dress boots, or other presentable shoes, but not including sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, or work boots.

    - "Team or league business" includes all activity conducted on behalf of the team or the league during which the player is seen by, or interacts with, fans, business partners, members of the public, the media, or other third parties. It includes arriving at games (car or team bus to locker room), leaving games (locker room to team bus or car), attending games when not in uniform, participating in team or league events with business partners or in the community, conducting media interviews, and making promotional or other appearances.

    2. Exceptions to Business Casual

    There are the following exceptions to the general policy of Business Casual attire:

    a. Players In Attendance At Games But Not In Uniform

    Players who are in attendance at games but not in uniform are required to wear the following additional items when seated on the bench or in the stands during the game:

    Sport Coat

    Dress shoes or boots, and socks

    b. Players Leaving the Arena

    Players leaving the arena may wear either Business Casual attire or neat warm-up suits issued by their teams.

    c. Special Events or Appearances

    Teams can make exceptions to the Business Casual policy for special events or player appearances where other attire is appropriate -- e.g., participation in a basketball clinic.

    3. Excluded Items

    The following is a list of items that players are not allowed to wear at any time while on team or league business:

    - Sleeveless shirts

    - Shorts

    - T-shirts, jerseys, or sports apparel (unless appropriate for the event (e.g., a basketball clinic), team-identified, and approved by the team)

    - Headgear of any kind while a player is sitting on the bench or in the stands at a game, during media interviews, or during a team or league event or appearance (unless appropriate for the event or appearance, team-identified, and approved by the team)

    - Chains, pendants, or medallions worn over the player's clothes

    - Sunglasses while indoors

    - Headphones (other than on the team bus or plane, or in the team locker room)

    We know it's not possible to create a dress policy that will anticipate every possible situation. Our policy will therefore be interpreted in all cases to ensure that players are neatly and professionally attired, while not being unfairly burdensome.

    Thank you in advance for your continued cooperation. Good luck to all for the 2005-06 season.

    Unfortunately, the problems in the NBA go far deeper than gold chains and baseball caps, and have for many years. In an article posted April 29, 1998, CNN/SI reported:

    According to SI, one of the NBA's top agents says he spends more time dealing with paternity claims than he does negotiating contracts. The agent tells the magazine that there might be more kids out of wedlock than there are players in the NBA.

    Bill Redeker, reporting for ABC News on July 30, 2004, reported:

    In recent years, the NBA and trouble seem to have become synonymous. In the past year alone, some of the biggest names in basketball — Jerry Stackhouse, Marcus Fizer, Darrell Armstrong, Allen Iverson and Glenn Robinson — have all had run-ins with the law.

    So many members of the Portland Trail Blazers have had problems with the law in recent years, sneering sports commentators have begun calling them the "Jail Blazers."

    Some players have been charged with spousal abuse, others have been caught carrying guns, while still others have gotten into brawls with police.

    To counter the trend, the NBA sends rookie players each summer to a seminar that doles out advice on how to avoid trouble. Role playing is a major component, and off-the-court advice on how to deal with money, fame, and sexual situations is featured. Sexual conduct is high on the list, especially since the Kobe Bryant case sent shivers across the professional sports landscape.

    The classes, however, have had only modest success.

    It's going to take a lot more than a little lipstick to change the NBA's thug-life image. A pig wearing lipstick is still a pig.

    Posted by Rick | October 23, 2005 10:55 PM | Social Studies

    October 14, 2005

    Does SMU Offer Creative Writing For Supreme Court Justices 101?

    Everyone wants to learn as much as they can about nominees to the Supreme Court because they are appointed to the court for life. Once they are on the Supreme Court, the justices answer to no one.

    All kinds of questions are being asked about President Bush's nominee to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's position on the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers. Who does her hair? Does she make her own clothes? Does she like Mexican or Chinese food better? Can she write coherently?

    Of course, writing legal opinions is an important part of a Supreme Court justice's work.

    Ms. Miers does not have a large volume of work by which to be judged as did recently confirmed Chief Justice John Roberts. Most of her writing was published in the Texas Bar Journal in 1992-1993 while she served as president of the State Bar of Texas. This week Ms. Miers has been criticized for her writing skills, perhaps most notably by David Brooks in the New York TimesSelect on October 13th. In critiquing her skills as a writer, Mr. Brooks opined: "the quality of thought and writing doesn't even rise to the level of pedestrian."

    He went on to quote some examples, noting:

    Nothing excuses sentences like this:

    "More and more, the intractable problems in our society have one answer: broad-based intolerance of unacceptable conditions and a commitment by many to fix problems."

    Or this: "We must end collective acceptance of inappropriate conduct and increase education in professionalism."

    Or this: "When consensus of diverse leadership can be achieved on issues of importance, the greatest impact can be achieved."

    Or passages like this: "An organization must also implement programs to fulfill strategies established through its goals and mission. Methods for evaluation of these strategies are a necessity. With the framework of mission, goals, strategies, programs, and methods for evaluation in place, a meaningful budgeting process can begin."

    Or, finally, this: "We have to understand and appreciate that achieving justice for all is in jeopardy before a call to arms to assist in obtaining support for the justice system will be effective. Achieving the necessary understanding and appreciation of why the challenge is so important, we can then turn to the task of providing the much needed support."

    Here is the final Harriet Miers' gem Mr. Brooks chose to highlight in his article:

    "There is always a necessity to tend to a myriad of responsibilities on a number of cases as well as matters not directly related to the practice of law." And yet, "Disciplining ourselves to provide the opportunity for thought and analysis has to rise again to a high priority."

    Remembering that Ms. Miers was a math major as an undergraduate, I would imagine that she became quite adept at putting together algebraic formulas; constructing coherent sentences and fashioning them together to make a point is obviously not her strong suit.

    Nevertheless, Ms. Miers will be confirmed as the next associate justice unless she speaks as incoherently as she writes. Perhaps Ms. Miers can take a crash course on creative writing next summer at SMU during the court's hiatus.

    If you would like to read some of the things she has written in their entirety, go here.

    Posted by Rick | October 14, 2005 03:18 PM | Political Science

    October 11, 2005

    Hillary In 2008?

    With Disk Morris' new book out which ponders a Hillary Clinton - Condi Rice presidential race in 2008, there is more and more talk about how Hillary has a lock on the Democratic nomination. The real question that needs to be answered is: Do we really want Bill running around the White House chasing interns for 4, or even 8, more years?

    Posted by Rick | October 11, 2005 01:17 PM | Just A Thought

    October 8, 2005

    Harriet Miers - Supreme Court Justice Material Or Administrator?

    Here's what we know so far about Harriet Miers, President Bush's nominee to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the SCOTUS:

    She is 60 years old and has never married.

    She received both her undergraduate and law degrees from Southern Methodist University.Upon graduation from law school she clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Joe Estes

    She served as a Member-At-Large on the Dallas City Council for a two year term.

    She was chairman of the Texas State Lottery Commission.

    She was the President and director of the State Bar of Texas.

    She was the first woman President of the Dallas Bar Association, and also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dallas Bar Association.

    She is currently a member of the House of Delegates for the American Bar Association and State Delegate for the State of Texas.

    She went to to the Valley View Christian Church in Dallas from 1980 until she moved to Washington, D.C., to work for Bush. (The Valley View Christian Church is an independent evangelical church associated with the Restoration Movement Christian Churches/Churches of Christ.)

    She gave campaign contributions to the DNC and Democratic candidates including to Al Gore in his bid for President in 1988. After 1988, she began making political contributions to Republicans. See the complete list here.

    She donated $150 to a pro-life group, Texans United for Life, in 1989.

    She was the co-managing partner of Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP, a prestigious law firm in Dallas.

    She represented President Bush in the purchase of some real estate and was counsel for Bush's gubernatorial campaign in 1993-1994.

    She served as assistant to the President and Staff Secretary before becoming White House counsel.

    She has served as a trustee of the Southwestern Legal Foundation.

    She has served as a member of the Executive Board for the Southern Methodist University School of Law.

    It certainly seems that Harriet Miers is qualified for something, but this resume would make her better suited for court administrator than Supreme Court judge.

    Here is a biography of Harriet Miers from the American Justice Partnership.

    Posted by Rick | October 8, 2005 08:01 AM | Political Science

    October 7, 2005

    Nobel Peace Prize - And The Winner Is.....

    The 2005 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded. This is from the Nobel Peace Prize press release.

    The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its Director General, Mohamed El-Baradei, for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way.

    So exactly what have the IAEA and Mr. El-Baradei done to deserve this? El-Baradei put his name on the door at the IAEA, but frankly that is about it. He is all carrot and no stick. It seems to me that we were the ones instrumental in getting Libya to give up its nuclear program. It seems to me that we were the ones pressing North Korea to give up its nuclear arms program. It seems to me that Iraq had no choice but to give up its nuclear arms program since we sent Saddam Hussein scurrying into his hole in the ground. Iran will be the next country that will abandon its nuclear arms program, but I doubt Mr. El-Baradei and his carrot will be the 'root' cause.

    Posted by Rick | October 7, 2005 05:54 PM | Just A Thought

    October 3, 2005

    White House Counsel Harriet Miers May Be Bush's Boo-Boo

    I must admit that I am more than a little skeptical of President Bush's nomination today of White House counsel Harriet Ellan Miers for associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

    I heard earlier today that she had contributed to Al Gore's campaign for president in 1988. Contributing to a Democratic presidential campaign is one thing, but contributing to Al Gore's campaign shows a lack of sound judgment.

    Then I see Senate majority leader Harry Reid on the telly saying how much he likes Ms. Miers and I almost want to puke. Come to find out, Harry actually suggested Ms. Miers as a potential nominee to Bush.

    What gives here?

    Posted by Rick | October 3, 2005 10:24 PM | Political Science

    October 2, 2005

    Judith Miller, The Worst Reporter In America?

    How embarrassing it must be for Vice-President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Jr., to be the confidential informant for New York Times reporter, Judith Miller, of whom Jim Pinkerton on FOX News Watch called the worst reporter in America. (Although she has many critics, in fairness it must be pointed out that eight months before the attacks on 9/11/2001, she published a piece documenting Al Qaeda’s WMD ambitions which was part of a series, which later earned her and several colleagues a Pulitzer Prize.) Ms. Miller may not be the best reporter in the world, but apparently has no shortage of important, A-list friends. read here.

    If Libby still has a job after the investigation into the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA agent, perhaps he can talk to Jayson Blair, who holds the distinction of being perhaps the worst reporter ever to work for the New York Times.

    Posted by Rick | October 2, 2005 06:39 AM | Political Science

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