Political Lomcevak (Tumbling the Liberal Mindset)

The Definition of a political lomcevak? What you get when you mix an aerobatic pilot, a gun nut, a Burkean Conservative and an avid Fisherman, and then attempt to imprint a Liberal Law Education into him.

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Saturday, April 12, 2003
 
My concentration in my undergraduate Political Science work was in polling. I find this to be one of the best sites for gathering polling information.

A look at some of the numbers is illuminating

For instance this LA Times poll

The Los Angeles Times Poll. April 2-3, 2003.

"There is evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Do you think the U.S. should or should not take military action against Iran if they continue to develop these weapons?"

50% of all polled thought that we should take military action, which included 52% of Democrats favorable. The Independents were evenly split with 45 in support, and 44 not in support. Even more telling are the opposition numbers, which were only 36% total, with Democrats being 38% not in favor.

There are a a significant segment of people on the fence, but even if they split 50-50, it shows that a majority of people favor military action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. This would make me very nervous if I was a leader in Iran. It would also make me very nervous if I was governing Syria, even if you are a UNSC voting member at this point. These numbers seem to suggest the the American people have agreed with the President that we cannot allow rogue nations to acquire nuclear weapons.

It may also explain why Russia and China have begun to turn the screws on N. Korea Possibly China and Russia really do not want to see the USA "liberate" the N. Koreans with the minimum of delay and casualties as we have seen in Iraq. We may not think that far along. I guarantee that they have.

All this seems to suggest that we have enhanced our political leverage in the world. At this point I do not favor military action in Iran, Syria, or N. Korea, but I do not rule it out. I don't believe that White House has either.

 
It looks like Sean Penn has retrieved his car. No word on the Guns.

It is also remarkable how a Google search on the story will bring nary a comment about the guns. Could you imagine if this were Charlton Heston?

 
David Warren always has something interesting to say. His thought on the situation in Iraq are interesting, but his thoughts on the rest of the Islamic world are profound. I hope he is correct that the collective shock of the events of the past week will move the populace against extremism. However, I am not sure, nor am I that hopeful. Until we confront the problem that is Wahabbism, the collective retreat into a culture of death will continue.

Friday, April 11, 2003
 
I have not yet had the oppurtunity to properly think about this story from the NY Times, however Blaster asks that we flood the zone with this story. I agree, and offer my services. Please spread this story far and wide. (I reprint in entirety, since NY Times requires log in)

"The News We Kept to Ourselves
By EASON JORDAN

ATLANTA — Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff.

For example, in the mid-1990's one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government's ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency's Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk.

Working for a foreign news organization provided Iraqi citizens no protection. The secret police terrorized Iraqis working for international press services who were courageous enough to try to provide accurate reporting. Some vanished, never to be heard from again. Others disappeared and then surfaced later with whispered tales of being hauled off and tortured in unimaginable ways. Obviously, other news organizations were in the same bind we were when it came to reporting on their own workers.

We also had to worry that our reporting might endanger Iraqis not on our payroll. I knew that CNN could not report that Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Uday, told me in 1995 that he intended to assassinate two of his brothers-in-law who had defected and also the man giving them asylum, King Hussein of Jordan. If we had gone with the story, I was sure he would have responded by killing the Iraqi translator who was the only other participant in the meeting. After all, secret police thugs brutalized even senior officials of the Information Ministry, just to keep them in line (one such official has long been missing all his fingernails).

Still, I felt I had a moral obligation to warn Jordan's monarch, and I did so the next day. King Hussein dismissed the threat as a madman's rant. A few months later Uday lured the brothers-in-law back to Baghdad; they were soon killed.

I came to know several Iraqi officials well enough that they confided in me that Saddam Hussein was a maniac who had to be removed. One Foreign Ministry officer told me of a colleague who, finding out his brother had been executed by the regime, was forced, as a test of loyalty, to write a letter of congratulations on the act to Saddam Hussein. An aide to Uday once told me why he had no front teeth: henchmen had ripped them out with pliers and told him never to wear dentures, so he would always remember the price to be paid for upsetting his boss. Again, we could not broadcast anything these men said to us.

Last December, when I told Information Minister Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf that we intended to send reporters to Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, he warned me they would "suffer the severest possible consequences." CNN went ahead, and in March, Kurdish officials presented us with evidence that they had thwarted an armed attack on our quarters in Erbil. This included videotaped confessions of two men identifying themselves as Iraqi intelligence agents who said their bosses in Baghdad told them the hotel actually housed C.I.A. and Israeli agents. The Kurds offered to let us interview the suspects on camera, but we refused, for fear of endangering our staff in Baghdad.

Then there were the events that were not unreported but that nonetheless still haunt me. A 31-year-old Kuwaiti woman, Asrar Qabandi, was captured by Iraqi secret police occupying her country in 1990 for "crimes," one of which included speaking with CNN on the phone. They beat her daily for two months, forcing her father to watch. In January 1991, on the eve of the American-led offensive, they smashed her skull and tore her body apart limb by limb. A plastic bag containing her body parts was left on the doorstep of her family's home.

I felt awful having these stories bottled up inside me. Now that Saddam Hussein's regime is gone, I suspect we will hear many, many more gut-wrenching tales from Iraqis about the decades of torment. At last, these stories can be told freely.

Eason Jordan is chief news executive at CNN.


Quite a few people were discussing it today. It certainly does create the impression that CNN was hiding something. I wonder what Wolf and Christine have to say. I am also surprised that Jordon came out with it all all.

Okay, before having an opinion, I suggest that you read Frank Foer's piece in TNR, and then decide if you will ever trust CNN ever again. (Credit Tech Central Station) I would also read Glassman's thoughts, but then you already knew that.

 
It may seem that I have focused on this Seann Penn thing, but everytime I want to quit, things come up.

Firstly, let me introduce the person who probably does more for pro-CCW work then anyone in the state of California, Jim March. This is his site. He and I are in communication.

Some items he has shown me.

1) The inherent bias in Marin County CCW issuance, especially towards Government employees. However, Penn did not get his permit from the County Sheriff. He got it from the Town Sheriff in the town of Ross, where he resides.

2) Apparently Penn was outside the 10 year period. At least that is what the Sheriff of Ross, a small town in Marin says.

Ummmmm, better and better.

Thursday, April 10, 2003
 
Okay, an update on the Sean Penn CCW thing.

1) Sean is apparently from Marin County. He lives there with his wife Robin.

2) Sean apparently has a fairly rich history of assaulting people, including when he was on parole. Penn served 32 days of a 60 day term for violating parole when he punched an extra on the scene of a movie.

3) A CCW shall not be issued "(d) A license shall not be issued if the Department of Justice determines that the person is within a prohibited class described in Section 12021..."Penal Code Section 1250(a)(3)(d)

Penal Code section 12021 provides "(a)(1) Any person who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of the United States, of the State of California, or any other state, government, or country, or of an offense enumerated in subdivision (a), (b), or (d) of Section 12001.6, or who is addicted to the use of any narcotic drug, who owns or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony.
(2) Any person who has two or more convictions for violating paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 417 and who owns or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony....
(c)(1) Except as provided in subdivision (a) or paragraph (2) of this subdivision, any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor violation of Section...240...242, 243...245...and who, within 10 years of the conviction, owns, or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control, any firearm is guilty of a public offense, which shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine. The court, on forms prescribed by the Department of Justice, shall notify the department of persons subject to this subdivision. However, the prohibition in this paragraph may be reduced, eliminated, or conditioned as provided in paragraph (2) or (3)."

Penal Code Section 240 is Assault defined "An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another."
Penal Code Section 242 is Battery Defined "A battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another."
Penal Code Section 245.is "Assault with deadly weapon or by force likely to produce great bodily injury
(a) (1) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($ 10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment."

4) Sean Penn was accussed of an assault in 1998, and served 30 days in 1988. One wonders when how long Sean has had his CCW,

5) Sean moved to Marin County in 1996, according to real estate records, obtained from lexis

Well, you do the math?


 
80% of Americans support the war

Sick of telemarketers, then sign up for the National Do Not Call List.

More news on the Chicago Daley Meigs front.

It's truly an amazing story.

"Daley Drops Security Story...
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley Wednesday told The Chicago Sun-Times that Daley "dropped all pretenses" and admitted it was not security concerns that drove him destroy Meigs field but his intent to turn the airport into a waterfront park. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge confirmed Daley had not consulted his department. At the same time, National Air Transportation Association President James K. Coyne told the House Subcommittee on Aviation strongly and directly that "Congress must act by condemning the action" taken by Daley at Meigs. Coyne warned directly that Meigs "could well be the first in a long line of state and local government actions designed only to meet personal agendas while ignoring the aviation infrastructure needs of the nation as a whole." If anything, Daley's change of script will add more fuel to the considerable fire that's burning over his decision to send excavators to tear large Xs in the airport's only runway 10 days ago. AOPA launched a federal suit against the city claiming the runway was closed illegally, because the FAA wasn't notified and there was no "emergency" to justify its immediate closure. AOPA also paid for newspaper ads generally vilifying Daley and his actions at Meigs. Criticism is even coming from other countries, with the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association sending a letter and advising members to do likewise.

...Senior Politicians Turn Up Heat
And how has the mayor been holding up under this political storm? Daley appears to relish the adversity, at least according to one observer. Chicago columnist Greg Hinz noted that Daley "has been in full strut" since the bulldozers went in. Hinz notes that Daley is no stranger to controversy and suggests the threats of boycotts and the enmity of the aviation community will bounce off. But even Daley must answer to someone and it's suggested the reaction by some powerful federal and state politicians might take some spring out of his step. Since Daley broke his promise to keep Meigs open, Hinz says state and federal politicians -- who have the ability to make life difficult indeed for the mayor's legislative agenda -- are openly speculating on whether the assurances they've received from Daley on a variety of issues are worth anything. After all, he had agreed to keep Meigs open at least until 2006. Among the legislators was a senior aide to U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) who wondered whether Daley's promise to provide a western road access to O'Hare International, as part of its expansion, was still on the table. "I wouldn't have thought to ask [before the Meigs destruction]," said Hastert aide Mike Stokke. "The mayor gave his word." Might want to get that in writing, Mike."


On to Iraq

There is this story about weapons grade plutonium being found.. I treat the story as slightly suspect. The only thing Saddam needed for a nuclear weapon was weapons grade plutonium, or enriched uranium. The Saddam had the capability to produce a weapon weighing 600 kilograms, small enough to fit on a scud.

By the way, if there is weapons grade plutonium, it will be very interesting to see how Iraq got it. And if they had produced an fair amount, thank God ,we made it in on time. However, as of now, I remain skeptical.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003
 
Check this out. (This will be the link where I place all updates, in addition to placing the chronologically)

Sean Penn's car and gun's, yes, his guns, were stolen. And this is absolutely breathtaking.

"Penn, 42, told police he had a loaded 9 mm Glock handgun inside his car in addition to an unloaded .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver in the trunk.
It was legal for Penn to have the guns in his car because he has a state concealed weapons permit, Kusmiss said.


Let me get this straight. This joker, who went to Iraq, assaulted a camera man, is known for his temper, has a freakin California Concealed Weapons Permit. I cannot believe it. Obtaining a CCW in California usually requires a mandate from God. And if he obtained it in Los Angeles, he required more then a mandate from God.

Oh yes, oh yes, who wants to help me obtain his cause statement? It is a public record. I can hardly wait. Updates to follow.

Update. Since Sean lives in Marin County, I would assume that it where he obtained his CCW.

Further update on the Sean Penn CCW thing.

1) Sean is apparently from Marin County. He lives there with his wife Robin.

2) Sean apparently has a fairly rich history of assaulting people, including when he was on parole. Penn served 32 days of a 60 day term for violating parole when he punched an extra on the scene of a movie.

3) A CCW shall not be issued "(d) A license shall not be issued if the Department of Justice determines that the person is within a prohibited class described in Section 12021..."Penal Code Section 1250(a)(3)(d)

Penal Code section 12021 provides "(a)(1) Any person who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of the United States, of the State of California, or any other state, government, or country, or of an offense enumerated in subdivision (a), (b), or (d) of Section 12001.6, or who is addicted to the use of any narcotic drug, who owns or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony.
(2) Any person who has two or more convictions for violating paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 417 and who owns or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony....
(c)(1) Except as provided in subdivision (a) or paragraph (2) of this subdivision, any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor violation of Section...240...242, 243...245...and who, within 10 years of the conviction, owns, or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control, any firearm is guilty of a public offense, which shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine. The court, on forms prescribed by the Department of Justice, shall notify the department of persons subject to this subdivision. However, the prohibition in this paragraph may be reduced, eliminated, or conditioned as provided in paragraph (2) or (3)."

Penal Code Section 240 is Assault defined "An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another."
Penal Code Section 242 is Battery Defined "A battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another."
Penal Code Section 245.is "Assault with deadly weapon or by force likely to produce great bodily injury
(a) (1) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($ 10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment."

4) Sean Penn was accussed of an assault in 1998, and served 30 days in 1988. One wonders when how long Sean has had his CCW,

5) Sean moved to Marin County in 1996, according to real estate records, obtained from lexis

Well, you do the math?

Another Update

It may seem that I have focused on this Seann Penn thing, but everytime I want to quit, things come up.

Firstly, let me introduce the person who probably does more for pro-CCW work then anyone in the state of California, Jim March. This is his site. He and I are in communication.

Some items he has shown me.

1) The inherent bias in Marin County CCW issuance, especially towards Government employees. However, Penn did not get his permit from the County Sheriff. He got it from the Town Sheriff in the town of Ross, where he resides.

2) Apparently Penn was outside the 10 year period. At least that is what the Sheriff of Ross, a small town in Marin says.

Ummmmm, better and better.

Further update

It looks like Sean Penn has retrieved his car. No word on the Guns.

It is also remarkable how a Google search on the story will bring nary a comment about the guns. Could you imagine if this were Charlton Heston?

 
One Beautiful thing



And one thing that may be profound

Marines hold nuclear site (Credit LGF)


 
May I direct your attention to this poll

Look at these numbers.

ABC News/Washington Post Poll. April 2-6, 2003.
"Do you support or oppose the United States having gone to war with Iraq?"

Support 77%
Oppose 16%
Don't Know 7%

That is bad news for any Democrat. You want worse news for them. Scroll down.

The Los Angeles Times Poll. Latest: April 2-3, 2003.

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation with Saddam Hussein in Iraq?"

Support overall 74%
Oppose overall 24%
Don't Know Overall 2%

Support Democrats 68%
Oppose Democrats 29%
Don't Know 3%

Support Independents 71%
Oppose Independents 28%
Don't Know 1%

Look at those Democrat numbers. That is a higher approval amongst Democrats then Bush had overall amongst the nation just prior to the war. Those numbers are terrible for the Democrats. And the Independents. Thos are the folks who drive elections. If you have that high approval numbers, a challenge will look hopeless. You know the Democratic Party leadership has seen this. How do you know? Because without blinking the Democrats are now attempting to change their focus from Iraq to the economy. And for them, the sooner the better.

Now, I know the election is a long way away, but this war did not go the way the Democrats wanted it too. And by trying suddenly to change the focus to the economy, I think that they will be seen as sour pusses. There is also the risk that the impending action was the brake on the economy, and the Democrats might just have focused attention at the moment that the economy rebounds. Ouch.

I am not sure that the war was the brake on the economy, and so it is something that Bush will have to look at. I understand that the President has little sway on the economy, but I think Bush will use his political capital to get through the tax cuts. He will not fall into the same trap as his father.


Tuesday, April 08, 2003
 
The British Navy is no longer using BBC broadcast for news on the Ark Royal. Instead, they have switched to sky news.

Why?

"The BBC always takes the Iraqis' side" complained one sailor.

This is great, and yes I know it is The Sun

Also, there is news of Iraqi children being held in jail for not serving Saddam

Hullo, Mr. Peace Protestor. Never mind. Remember, no moral imperatives.(Credit LGF)

 
Ever wonder why arguing with Liberals is almost impossible? I have my theory.

Whenever you attempt to engage most young people of liberal persuasion in political debate, you will find that they do not believe in moral absolutes. Liberals will frequently point out that morals are a complex continium with alternating shades of gray. Nothing is truly bad. (except for Conservatives, sorry, sorry, couldn't resist) Conservatives generally believe that there are moral absolutes. Except absolute is not the best word for it, possibly moral imperatives. Liberals will frequently accuse you of being judgmental for believing in moral imperatives. Here is where I think the confusion comes in.

I believe that Liberals believe that morals are complex, while situations are simple. My Conservative belief system is guided by the following proposition. Morals are fairly easy, but their application is frequently not. For instance: I believe that it is immoral to abort a fetus, since we do not know when that child is actually alive. However, I also believe that government should also not tell people what to do, especially in tough instances like abortion. So, on the issue of abortion, I am in a quandry. I have not decided which moral rule should govern. This creates problems when discussing things with a Liberal, and frequently assures that we have a valley that there is no way to bridge.

The other problem is the Liberals almost pathological inability to tolerate generalization. The current discourse and its rejection of generalization due to the belief that it is synonomous with prejudice, defies common sense. We have to generalize. Grouping like phenemona is an inherent trait. If you could only think in specifics, you would go mad. However, it is useful to recognize that for every generality there is an exception. Everyone know this, at least I would think so. However, generalize with a Liberal, and they will immediately jump to the exception regardless of how low percentage that exception is. Any attempt to point out that the exception is of extremely infrequent occurrence is met with the assertion that the exception nullifies the generalization. Again there is a valley that is impossible to bridge.

So if you can think how we can bridge that gap, then send me an e-mail, because the solution defies me.

 
Everytime I worry about Bush going a little soft, he proves that when he makes up his mind, it is set.

The French get nothing. Good. They deserve nothing, and they should be made to pay for their actions proir to the war. To allow them to regain any power over the situation is to demonstrate that we can be screwed at any turn with no repercussion. That would be an error.

Monday, April 07, 2003
 
The new map of France



Unfortunately the picture link got broken, (Credit: John)

 
I know that most reports of chemical weapons should be given 48 hours to be substantiated. However, this looks promising.

U.S. Finds Missiles with Chemical Weapons
(Credit Drudge)


 
If this does not make your heart sing, then you are a troubled human being.



Credit (Drudge)

 
No person should rejoice at the death of another living being. However, it is good to know that "Chemical Ali" will never hurt another being on this plane.

Sunday, April 06, 2003
 
Want to know what a disaster my state is?

Here.

The piece can't resist a last minute shot at Bush, basically blaming him for the current problem

""Let's cut the rhetoric of 'Leave No Child Behind' [President Bush's campaign slogan on education] and 'fess up to the reality that all children will be left behind," said John Deasy, superintendent of the relatively successful Santa Monica-Malibu school district in southern California, which now faces the loss of more than 200 teachers.

This is a state problem, you moron. It's Gray Davis' fault, not GW's

States across the country are suffering their worst budget crisis for half a century, and few are receiving help from the federal government, which is pouring funds instead into counter-terrorism, the military and tax cuts for the wealthy. Anti-war activists like to call the education crisis in California an instance of "domestic collateral damage", holding the White House at least indirectly responsible.

Remember this is not an op-ed piece, this is supposed to be a news story. If we want to get our facts straight, we can see that some states do not have huge deficits and are taking care of the problem. It is merely states like California who saw a sudden rise and revenues, and banked on these revenues continuing. When the revenues fell, the state due to short sightedness, had leveraged itself into required spending. Now, tell me how that is the Federal Governments fault? Why should Texans have to pay for California's incompetence? Their budget is balanced.

That's right, boy scouts, the Federal Government should let each individual state deal with its problem. But no, the bliss ninnies believe that because the Federal Government prints money, that it can print up some for the state. And they never consider that the Gubernor always cuts off the old people and the school kids, long before he does anything about his staff. Why do you suppose that is? Assholes.

Oh, AND IT"S NOT A TAX CUT FOR THE RICH.

But California's own political leadership is also to blame. Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat, is infuriating even his own party by refusing to contemplate substantial tax increases and handing out favours to campaign contributors, notably the prison guards' union. While the schools sink into oblivion, Governor Davis is insisting on building a new death row unit at San Quentin prison. The price tag: $220m.

Oh you think? Yeah I guess they do share .00000000000000000001% of the blame right? Handing out favors to the prison guards. You would think they were big contributors? Oh they are? But it's a Democrat, and we must beat on the Republican President who is to blame for all the world's ills.

I am out of this state the second I graduate.


 
Bernard Lewis has a rational opinion for why there has been no widespread revolt by the Iraqi civilians. It also is telling in that it undermines the phrase, "I support the troops, not the war." Lewis shows that not supporting the war, undermines the solidarity that the Iraqi civilians see, therefore delaying revolt, and causing the war to continue for a longer period. You cannot "support the troops, and oppose the war." (Article requires registration. It is the WSJ, so it is worth it)