Monday, October 31, 2005

Quebecois Separatist has a Point


The Armed Forces of an Independent Quebec

Bloc Quebecois leader Duceppe bets army proposal will help separatist cause
"Why would it be ridiculous that Quebec has an army?" [Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles] Duceppe said at a news conference.
Let’s see; Because it would be a tiny fraction of Canada’s underfunded, undermanned army? Because no French speaking army has been credible since Waterloo? Because the acceleration of socialism would be economically crippling?
"It doesn't mean that you're going to war because you have an army,"
He has this part right. We would not expect an invasion of New York; whose largest city's police force is as large as Canada's current Armed Force.

Notwithstanding, Mr. Duceppe has a point. If you want sovereignty, you’ll need to defend it. The United States would still provide strategic defense for an independent Quebec, but if the spawning ground of Canadian anti-Americanism expects any more than that, I’m afraid they’ll be disappointed. As to future relations, Quebec separatists have no reputation for wise silence.

A Credible Independence

Independent Alberta, on the other hand, could not only afford a credible defense force, it would attract far more sympathy from the United States. I am not alone in being willing to move to an independent Alberta, intent on keeping it independent.

Many Canadians feel similarly:
No stopping exodus to Alberta. Escaping a 15% sales taxe is the Canadian version of the Boston Tea Party – carefully practicing good order, but ultimately saying "No!" to confiscation within confederation.
Among other things, there is no provincial sales tax in Alberta, a huge break when compared with the 15% HST Atlantic Canadians pay on everything, from their soaring power bills to candy.
Sadly, many Albertans equate separation from Canada with joining the United States. The Republic of Alberta could easily afford to defend itself, minus the subsidies it pays to Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. Alberta should take this hint from Quebec: Stop thinking about joining the US as part of separation.

Quebec doesn’t wimp around this way, and they have neither the economic clout, nor the tradition of individual initiative to make their posturing plausible.

Repeat after me: Republic of Alberta. Republic of Alberta. Maybe Atlas Shrugged should be required reading for Albertan high schoolers.

Finally, here’s a late breaking bit, Liberals plan Gomery defence, on why independence is justified - before Ottawa’s already well established invasion of Alberta loots her dry in Quebec’s favor. Or Albertans can just enlist in the Bloc's not so Grand Armée.

Speaking of petty corruption and Federal theft, don’t even ask about Abotech.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Idiots Guide to Obstruction of Justice


"Scooter" Libby has written a new title in the "Idiots" series. It is now required reading at the UN.


UN minions can't even properly.redact a Microsoft Word document to cover up for the totalitarian murderers they want to protect.

These are the same people who want the US to give up "control" of the Internet to the UN. (Discussion here, here, here and here. This is background for those of you not familiar - not required reading.)

Obviously, they didn't think to ask the Chinese Communists to censor it for them, or the New York Times to re-write it.

Update 11:17AM: Another example of The NYT's revisionist capabilities.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Bananada V.1 - an Update


An exchange between Condi Rice and the Canadian Press:
QUESTION: Bruce Cheadle with the Canadian Press. Secretary Rice, it has taken some months for you to get here to Ottawa, and in the meantime the tone of comments coming from cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister has changed rather dramatically. I'm just wondering what impact this has had in Washington and did you bring a check for $3.5 billion? (Laughter.)

SECRETARY RICE: I don't travel with that kind of money. (Laughter.)
Go Condi!

Friday, October 28, 2005

George owes Harriet an apology.


We owe her a "Thank You!"

Let's get this straight: Harriet Miers was not a good nominee, but she wasn't pilloried, George Bush was.

Miers nomination was cronyism - a sin of pride, indifference and hypocrisy. Pride that he could hand this plum to a friend; indifference to the consequences for her or for his country; and such looseness regarding principle that it barely rises to the level of hypocrisy. Should I say that summarizes to "corrupt?" It was Tammany Hall corrupt.

It is the most egregious act of this administration in Constitutional terms, and the most objectionable in human terms. In moral terms, it is unrestrained pragmatism - worthy of Bill Clinton.

This would have been an abject abandonment of principle even if Dubya hadn't
promised a certain type of Supreme Court nominee. But he did, and we could read his lips. We remember Souter, Kennedy, O'Connor and Stevens.

Of the 9 current SCOTUS justices the GOP is responsible for 7. Not again!

Bush, not Miers, showed lack of character, experience and probity. In this he repeated a mistake he's made before, misunderestimating the principles of his "base." "We" were only ever his base because AlGore and HeServedinVietnamKerry were so abominably worse. There's a limit to lesser evil.

I'm hoping the President "gets it" now. My sympathies to Miers because he didn't get it earlier.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Not Enough Americans!


While we're talking about Canada and guns check this from Small Dead Animals and check the links, too.

Bananada V


When US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Ottawa earlier this week she was treated not as an honored guest representing the country that guarantees Canada’s sovereignty, about which much hot air escaped Prime Minister Martin in February:
"We are certainly intending to defend our sovereignty and our air space and if anything develops in our air space, we expect, as a sovereign state, to be notified and have influence on any decisions," he said. "Canada's a sovereign nation and we would expect and insist on being consulted on any intrusion into our air space.",
but as pre-campaign fodder for an election that should have taken place months ago and has yet to be called by Bananada’s ruling elite.

Ms. Rice’s visit, by the way, was originally scheduled for April, but Mr. Martin’s lack of ability to divorce temporary political advantage from the safety of Canadians was off-putting to the more responsible SecState.

Canada’s once and future Prime Minister is still using the Jean Chrétien playbook: “Da way ya get re-elected is bashin’ da US, eh?”

So this week Ms. Rice faced accusations of abetting importation of, in the language of US apologists for illegal immigrants, “undocumented alien firearms” from the US to the streets of Toronto.

Two points Condi probably did not make while ignoring Canadian complaints about the 2nd Amendment: 1) According to Toronto police statistics, about 1,200 guns have been seized so far in 2005, consistent with previous years and, 2) if the dramatic increase in Toronto street crime is due, as claimed, to drugs; how is the implied increase in drugs explained –US laws are generally tougher on drugs.

Nary a word escaped Mr. Martin’s lips regarding the $2 billion plus firearm registration pogrom, nor did he mention that despite this fiasco no one in Canada actually has any idea where the weapons have come from. But, as the Edmonton Sun points out - no surprise there.

Mr. Martin’s plenipotentiaries have also been huffing about softwood lumber. Condi told him it was time to stop the "apocalyptic language."

She was referring to the Liberals’ threat that if the softwood lumber dispute isn’t resolved in Canada’s favor – Soon - Canada may decide to sell its oil to China and spurn the United States.

Now I’ll admit I do not know the details of the softwood lumber dispute, nor if invocation of the War Measures Act is the minimum requirement for suspension of capitalism in Canada. I do know Canada subsidizes business, and I suspect the fees charged for cutting government owned trees are too low. I do know that Canada enjoyed a $66 billion trade surplus with the US in 2004.
But, even if Canada is 100% in the right, so what? Toothless threats are not going to do anything more than garner a few votes in Canada while increasing Canada's international bozo-quotient.

A lot of that $66 billion surplus was generated by sales of cars manufactured by General Motors in Oshawa (that's Ontario, for those of you who don't know where your Grand Prix, Impala, Monte Carlo, Silverado, GMC Sierra, Lumina, Buick Century or Regal were built). But GM is facing serious financial difficulty, significantly because of the cost of fully-corporate-subsidized health care in the US. This is an area where GM Oshawa has a “productivity” advantage – it’s not just the Canadian buyers of GM cars that subsidize Canadian health care; it’s every Canadian taxpayer. As an extra bonus, Canadians are subsidizing US buyers, too.

You do wonder though, that if GM can’t carry this health care subsidization thing off forever, how long an entire country with a roughly equivalent GNP, a smaller security force and even less competent management can do it.

But let’s stipulate that Canadians continue to put up with delays in health care treatment that their Supreme Court has called a violation of human rights, and that the Grits loot all Alberta’s oil revenue to prop up socialized medicine for another decade. Let’s grant that Canada’s righteousness enables UAW workers to avoid the Delphi Syndrome of 65% wage reductions. And let’s imagine that Canada makes good on the threat of reducing oil sales to the US.

A thought then occurring to members of UAW Local 222 might be; “Let’s make sure those Yanks have gasoline. How many cars have we sold to the Chi-Coms?”

Even Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant appreciates the economic realities:
CBC is reporting that Ontario will be the first Canadian province to change daylight savings rules to reflect the changes happening in the U.S in 2007. [Bryant] says "the province's economy was the deciding factor and that if Ontario isn't on the same time as the United States, it will be hurt financially."
OK, so is “not being on the same time” a greater or lesser threat to Ontario’s financial well-being than Ottawa refusing to sell oil to the US?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Moonbat Hero


He's considered an intellectual giant because of insights he had 30 years ago about language.

Since those insights are still debatable, they are at least evidence for cleverness.

Since his moral depravity and slimy hypocrisy are manifest, they are evidence against even cleverness on the part of his statist supporters. We have just been handed conclusive evidence that "readers of _The Prospect_" are not just useful idiots, but fawning useful idiots of low moral fiber.

To paraphrase George Orwell, this only goes to prove that there are some ideas and some moral codes so reprehensible that only intellectuals can believe in them.

_The Princess Bride_ had it figured out:

Vizzini (Wallace Shawn): 'Inconceivable.'

Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin): "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

I don't think intellectual means what they think it means.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Unconscious of a "Conservative"


I can only hope Amy Ridenour's 13-Oct post A President Named Bush comes to pass, but I am not hopeful.

I'm looking at the GOP and thinking - "Hmmm, they might well nominate John McCain. He might be facing Hillary Clinton."

Given these facts - and the fact that I am only voting GOP because of the war - the following occurs:
Hillary will be no worse than McCain domestically (the GOP doesn't care about deficits, pork, or entitlements and they want big-government), and Hillary will probably need to prosecute the war more vigorously than the war hero McCain (if she wants 2 terms she can't be soft on this in her 1st term).

Therefore, she might get my vote. ;-(

Goldwater Libertarians may yet rise up and bite the GOP where they richly deserve it.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Coulter on the Miers Nomination


Anne Coulter on Miers and the charge of sexism:
...The only sexism involved in the Miers nomination is the administration's claim that once they decided they wanted a woman, Miers was the best they could do. Let me just say, if the top male lawyer in the country is John Roberts and the top female lawyer is Harriet Miers, we may as well stop allowing girls to go to law school.

...I don't know when Republicans became the party that condescends to women, but I am not at all happy about this development. This isn't the year 1880. And by the way, even in 1880, Miers would not have been the "most qualified" of all women lawyers in the U.S., of which there were 75.
Whole article:
Does This Law Degree Make My Resume Look Fat?


Friday, October 14, 2005

2006 GOP campaign slogan - In your heart, you know he's wrong.


If you are inclined to support Harriet Miers' nomination, ask yourself this one question:

After John Roberts, is Harriet Miers the best possible Supreme Court nominee in America?

YAAOP


Charles Krauthammer quintillsentializes the Harriet Miers nomination problem:
...the president has ducked a fight on the most important domestic question dividing liberals from conservatives: the principles by which one should read and interpret the Constitution.
Moreover, a fight of 30 years duration.

Read the whole article.

Why a "trust me" from George Bush no longer cuts it


Reason Online reprises my post of yesterday.
The Revolt of the Elites

Thursday, October 13, 2005

An Open letter to the Republican National Committee


I’ve just returned from vacation. While I was gone, President Bush nominated Harriet Miers as Supreme Court Justice.

My vacation made it easy to wait for a reasoned justification of this surprise nomination. After several days, what I’ve heard in her defense can be summarized as; “Trust me.”, “Her opponents are sexist.”, and “She is a religious fundamentalist.”

These arguments are supposed to convince me that this nomination is the result of sober consideration??

Given that there are many other much more obviously qualified and quantified prospects, these “arguments” are as tendentious as they are insulting, and the spin has been as ham-handed as it has been embarrassingly pragmatic. Pragmatism is what I voted against last time. Personal loyalty is what Bill Clinton had to Mark Rich's wife.

It's has been downhill all the way. It isn’t even that Miers is a sub-optimal selection, though that seems obvious. What rankles is that we’re just supposed to swallow it, despite a rationale which it would be charitable to describe as “inane.”

Long ago I sent a copy of Barry Goldwater’s “Why not Victory” to the President in protest of, among other tentativeness, our initial military tactics in Fallujah. I think he needs another copy; along with a copy of “Conscience of a Conservative”, since he doesn’t seem to grasp the definition of either C-word.

In matters of foreign affairs, I have tended to accept a George Bush “trust me” as adequate. Despite imperfection in the conduct of the war on terror, I think the track record, and the vision, justify a large measure of benefit-of-the-doubt.

Primarily, however, there are no alternatives that I would trust. This is more a sad comment on the decadent state of party politics in this country than it is praise for the President.

And I am yet less sanguine on domestic issues. On the home front, I have been given many more reasons to distrust this President than I have been given reasons to do otherwise. Examples follow.

Periodically, I receive a solicitation from the Republican National Committee. Periodically (since 1999), I write the RNC explaining why I will not be sending any money. Since the solicitations continue, along with the policies to which I object, I know someone is not listening.

RNC solicitations formulaically include a phrase about “[not wanting] to believe [I've] abandoned the Republican Party.” The sentiment is understandable. However, I think the RNC has it backward. It is the party of Lincoln, Goldwater and Reagan that has abandoned me.

The RNC always tells me they know that Republican Party success "depends on grassroots supporters like me.” The mistake, based perhaps on my contribution to a local GOP candidate or two, is the arrogant assumption that I am interested in GOP success regardless of GOP actions.

The RNC always tells me the President is counting on me to "help him with the tough challenges ahead." If true, he might well have displayed more ability to cope with the tough challenges of the past (Rhetorically accepting the sophistry that acting according to principle is a tough challenge.)

His leadership in the War has attracted my vote. I am happy he was able to get tax cuts. I applaud the administration’s position on the 2nd Amendment. I’m pretty sure I will prefer Chief Justice Roberts to Justice Ginsberg.

I have not any interest, however, in contributing, indirectly or otherwise, to those individuals responsible for restrictions on free trade in steel, softwood lumber or textiles.

I will not hold my nose and contribute to those who threw my tax dollars into the pork barrel of the 2002 Farm Bill, or the 2005 Energy and Highways Bills.

The quid was much too high for the quo on CAFTA

The new drug entitlement for Medicare recipients is an abomination.

The Farm Bill reversed a major Republican accomplishment, decades in the making, and the tariff impositions are the opposite of what this President had led us to expect are his principles. The Energy Bill gave us increased corporate welfare and the highway bill contained more “special projects” than Creation. Medicare spending was spiraling out of control even before the drug plan.

“For the children” has taken on a whole new meaning in terms of their indebtedness.

Republican or Democrat, the tax dollar feeding frenzy and special interest pandering is indistinguishable. Well, there is one difference – I expect it from Democrats, since it aligns with their Statist principles.

From Republicans it is, at least it used to be, simple hypocrisy. Which is worse, not sending money to Democrats since I know what they'll do with it, or sending money to Republicans who act like Democrats?

I think I'll just keep it; it'll help me afford the increased price of steel, softwood lumber, clothing, sugar, soybeans and various other CAFTA pork. I’ll preserve it against my taxes for the Alaska “bridge to nowhere”, and the apparently unending funding required to rebuild New Orleans. It will help me continue to assist the NRA's defense of the 1st amendment, necessary because the President depended on the vagaries of the Supreme Court rather than mustering the intestinal fortitude to veto Campaign Finance Reform.

While we’re on the subject of vetoes, can the President even spell the word? He signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, calling it "[among] the most farreaching reforms of American business practices since the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt." Odd praise, indeed, from a “conservative” president.

I was not impressed by the federalization of local control of education represented by “No Child Left Behind.” If the objective of school choice had been maintained, I might have been able to firmly grip my proboscis and hope for more federal divestiture in the future. The “Kennedy compromise,” should I say gutting, of the President's education reform policy merely compounded YAAOP (yet another abandonment of principle).

Now we are asked to accept on spec, on the fact that Bush “knows her heart”, a Supreme Court nominee who is at best a cipher and at worst
- YAAOP. This “personal trust” argument comes from a President who said of Vladimir Putin: "the more I get to know President Putin, the more I get to see his heart and soul, and the more I know we can work together in a positive way."

So much for the President’s character judgment, but at least he didn’t nominate Putin for a federal judgeship based on similar qualifications.

Worse, Bush has been joined by his wife in the spin surrounding Harriet Miers. Laura Bush says that “it is possible” that opposition to Miers is motivated by sexism. Please, Laura, spare me the culture wars of the last generation. It isn’t because she’s a woman that her nomination is questionable, it’s because it is overwhelmingly obvious that she is not the best choice that could have been made. This insults women in general and Janice Rogers Brown in particular.
YAAOP

Today, we see testimony where, in 1989, Miers named The Federalist Society as “politically charged”, but exempted the NAACP from that category. She mentions having joined the Progressive Voters League.

“Trust me”, says the President. Sorry Mr. President, on paper Souter looked better.

To be sure, my objections are not related to Harriet Miers qualifications. I have no idea what they are. Judging from White House promos such qualifications are at best non-existent. At worst they’re what the President and First Lady have told us they are.

This is not about Miers, it’s about one too many bitter disappointments.
YAAOP

To close, I recognize that my opinion is not universal – Mark Steyn invokes the Presidential track record:
The president is a religio-cultural conservative who believes in big government and big spending and paternalistic federal intervention in areas where few conservatives have ever previously thought it wise. Not my bag, but, that said, every time I or anybody else have predicted he's blown it, he manages to eke out another victory.
I highly respect Steyn, but I think “another victory” may be one, like Pyrrhus, that Bush cannot afford. I nearly sat on my hands in the 2000 election on suspicion of Bush’s big government tendencies. I voted for Bush in 2004 solely because of the war, even though I knew he’d lose my state.

What, again, is my motivation?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Two interesting links


... from Canada's John Galt

7 Myths About Islam

Freedom Party of Ontario

Hope Floats? A River Runs Through It?

Imagine hundreds of square miles where these scenes are only mildly unusual.

These pictures of Katrina damage show that many things - trucks and houses among them - float better than you might have thought.









When your roof dings your neighbor's roof because your house floated away, do maritime right-of-way rules apply?

The mechanisms by which these pictures became reality give you some things to ponder.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Dr. Morgenthaler, call your office


Virginia Postrel compares free scientific inquiry as practiced in the US and Canada.

The results are not what you probably think. The last 5 words of this quote will point you in the right direction, since their relationship to freedom of any sort is inverse.

These intellectual influences [feminism and egalitarianism] are stronger in Europe (and Canada) than in the U.S. But two equally threatening ideas do crop up frequently among mainstream Democrats: that commerce taints medicine (those evil drug companies!) and that any activity that has social consequences ought to be centrally regulated.
Emphasis mine. Article here.

Update: 5:11PM, 4-Oct-05.
More proof that Atlas Shrugged wasn't fiction (as Mitch noted on Monday):

Life Imitates Fiction at Amtrak

S.F. mayor sees wireless service as basic right

Hystericane II


Mark Steyn proffers evidence for the decline of the exempt media as seen through the eye of a hurricane.
Hurricane week was in large part a week of drivel, mostly the bizarre fantasies of New Orleans' incompetent police chief but amplified hugely by a gullible media. Given everything we now know they got wrong in Louisiana, where they speak the language, how likely is it that the great blundering herd are getting it any more accurate in Iraq?

Four years ago, you'll recall, we were bogged down in "the brutal Afghan winter." By "we," I don't mean the military but the media. The line on Afghanistan was that it was the white man's grave. Actually, it was the grave that was white; the man was more of a blueish color thanks to temperatures "so cold that eyelids crust and saliva turns to sludge in the mouth," according to Knight-Ridder's Tom Ifield. "Realistically," reported New York's Daily News, "U.S. forces have a window of two or three weeks before the brutal Afghan winter begins to foreclose options."

Er, no. "Realistically," U.S. forces turned out to have a window of four years, which is how long they've been waiting for the "fast, fast approaching" (ABC's ''Nightline'') brutal Afghan winter to show up. It's Knight-Ridder's news reports that turn to sludge on your lips. The "brutal Afghan winter" is a media fiction.

How many times does this have to happen before the press seriously examines why so many of them get the big stories wrong in exactly the same way? After decades of boasting about "hiring diversity," everybody in America's newsrooms is now so remarkably diverse they all make exactly the same mistakes. Oughtn't that to be just a teensy bit disquieting even to the most blinkered journalism professor?

As I noted on the 29th, intelligent people readily continue to believe left-wing canards like '"no Louisiana National Guard troops were available" in the Big Easy because they were all in Iraq.' A question still to be explored then; Has the public standard for incredulity declined in general, or just when it involves criticism of George Bush?

Read the whole thing: Media deserve blame for New Orleans debacle

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Vacation


I'll be touring North Carolina and visiting my son at MCB Camp Lejeune for the next two weeks and will probably not be posting until on or about October 14th.