Archive for May, 2007

News Leader is right, less government would help with gas prices.

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

I was rather shocked to read the News-Leader’s editorial today stating that less government would help the situation with the pain at the pump we are all feeling. They are correct.

Much of what is shooting the price up currently is a bottleneck at the refineries and switching over to summer blends which the government mandates. The News Leader was correct to point out that the federal government should follow through with a policy that our own Congressman Roy Blunt repeatedly asks for: simplification of that formula.

That action alone would enable refineries across the country to distribute their gasoline properly.

In the mean time the government should ease the process, without compromising environmental or workplace safety, which takes oil companies to build new refineries here. At the same time I think it is more than fair to pull the subsidies these same companies recieve. Their multibillion dollar profits should more than cover the cost of building them.

Finally, as customers, we have an obligation to reduce our use.

That doesnt mean just carpooling every once in a while or buying a hybrid. It means personal action on an every day level.

This means we should buy at gas stations which offer the lowest price in addition to using the most simple, but effective, tool in our energy conservation tool box - our feet. It also means getting oil changes and keeping our tires inflated.

There are many other examples of how we can effect the supply side of the equation, but the bottom line is that we the people need to accept a measure of responsibility and do what we can to solve the problem. The federal government should always be a last measure result, not a first option.

To use it as a first option tool not only undermines our power as individuals, but trains us as a society that we are helpless without government. Nothing is further from the truth.

Memorial Day thoughts by a decorated veteran: The Agony of Defeatism, by David Bellavia.

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Forward thoughts by me.

This memorial day I wanted us all to think a little bit beyond the tribute given to many of us to those who have fallen in battle and made the supreme sacrafice for our nation. So, I turned to decorated war veteran and co-founder of Vets for Freedom, David Bellavia.

I asked him if he could pen something for us all to think about now, which would apply to those who are living and currently on the front lines everyday. The response is a piece which he wrote exclusively for us, but which we want to share to all.

Supporting our men and women in combat today and honoring their sacrafice means far more than just providing them health care at home. It means supporting the mission and working with them toward victory.

Something to think about.

Paul Seale
Arena of Ideas.

—-

The Agony of Defeatism

By David Bellavia

As of September 2006 “leaked” Marine reports to the media had all but confirmed that Anbar province was “lost” and this ushered in the final push for ending the war once and for all on every Washington based cable talk show. Last week, Time magazine reported that the “surge” had already rapidly reduced violent attacks in the “lost” Anbar province. While American forces reach out to tribal leaders and ignore religious figure heads, they are quickly opening the biggest front to date for our al Qaeda enemy in Iraq.
The people of Iraq are tired of the mindless brutality of Jihadists.

More evidence of this occurred just this weekend when an Iraqi tip resulted in the liberation of forty-two prisoners from an al Qaeda torture camp in the eastern Diyala province. Thirty-eight of these men who were tortured for over four horrific months were Sunni, not Sadr loving Shiia.

Al Qaeda can continue to hack at the infidels of Sadr City to stoke the fires of sectarian violence, but they would rather turn the hate machine onto their own. Why? Islamists have not run out of targets to prey on, instead they are daily losing tribal support that made this insurgency so devastating in 2004. This is the formula that leads Jihadists in Iraq to eat their own. The Jihad in Iraq has more problems than Tony Soprano.

June will be the first month that the “surge” will have all five brigades up and running. Surely flag waving government servants in Washington can’t wait to see success in Iraq after four bloody years. Surely.

Not really. Leftists have long bowed down to those that they serve. Nothing that happens in Iraq will change that. But in the spirit that brought Iran and the U.S. to the table after twenty-seven long years of icy silence, perhaps blue and red staters can light some candles and get a baby sitter.

At my local Home Depot a woman with a “Bush’s Illegal War Creates More Terrorists” bumper sticker wished me a Happy Memorial Day after seeing my Iraqi flag pin on my golf shirt. I thanked her for her kindness but I instantly pitied her ignorance.  She has no idea what Memorial Day is about.

Thank me on Veteran’s Day. Memorial Day is something far more holy. And if our citizens against this struggle can’t comprehend this, what makes you think they will acknowledge victory at any level in Iraq? Or Afghanistan?

Those that oppose our war think that supporting our troops equate to care packages stuffed with tube socks and ribbon magnets made in China. They think that collecting letters from elementary schools will erase the Karma of voting against the emergency appropriations bill.

As long as people like Speaker Pelosi and John Murtha, Harry Reid and Chuck Hagel look us into the television and tell us with a straight face that they are needed to save American warriors from the enemy, we are without hope of common ground.

The warriors of America need nothing but purpose and direction to deliver results on the battlefield. This surge has finally given our men and women these two in perfect concert and no matter what happens by September 2007, we will be told we have wasted our blood and our brothers in vain.

We are closer to victory today than at any other time during this struggle. Imagine what could be accomplished if we all shared a passion to win the wars we send our youth to fight. Perhaps then America might be important enough to all her citizens, as it was to those whom we celebrate on the last Monday in May.

David Bellavia’s first book: House to House, An Epic Memoir of War comes out September 2007 from Simon and Schuster/Free Press.

House FINALLY votes to pass clean funding bill.

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

The House of Representatives passed a clean funding bill today with no additions, earmarks or time tables. The Senate (and the conference comittee) is now the only hurdle left before the President can sign the bill. This gives our troops the necessities they need to combat our enemies.

Minority Whip Roy Blunt commented that the process took “too long.” He was right.

Funding our men and women while in combat is something that should have never been second guessed or debated unless there is some extreme circumstance in which they are engaged in something unlawful. At that point the only Constitutional option Congress has is to pull the plug entirely.

The damage done by what I could categorize as horsing around is untold. There is no telling how much the Democratic position has strengthened Tehran’s resolve or emboldened our enemies.

Yes, I wonder aloud how many people from all nations and walks of life have died because of Congress’s inaction and spelling out to the world that the United States’ resolve is no more.

Without reading the bill I would like to make one comment and echo President Bush’s belief in benchmarks for the Iraqis. For us to continue funding their reconstruction effort while they take the summer off is just unimaginable. Mind you our Congressman were about to do the same thing.

In any case, I am relieved.

Update: I have been corrected. Apparently Democrats still loaded the bill up with pork, though I am waiting for final word on this. As I stated on Redstate.com, while that may be the cost of this bill which I will swallow, it should never come to such a thing.

Note to all: Immigration bill worse than advertised.

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

While I havent hade a chance to dig up every single kearnel of “immigration reform” bill let me say this: the bill is long on making the 12 million illegals here legal (in a very fast track sorta way) and short on securing the boarders.

For once I agree with Boehner - the bill is not just bad, it is very bad.

So why the support in D.C.? My guess based on watching some of the talking heads is that those in the Senate who are voting are listening more to their colleages and less to their constituency.

You want me to support the bill? Stop giving special exceptions to illegal immigrants on issues like back taxes and so forth. If they owe, make them pay it as part of their “path to citizen ship.”

In the end, I still believe that this bill is all about wooing 12 million new voters in 2008. My guess is that it will blow up in the face of the GOP leadership who supported this as most of those 12 million will support Democrats because of the free entitlements and “social justice” issues they push.

Truth laid bear presents immigration reform bill in browsable text.

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

I am a big believer in allowing people to make their own decisions based upon the facts in front of them. Many times America is robbed of those facts by what Rush coins as the “drive by media,” in their haste to get a story out  and put their own spin on it.

With both sides of the campaign for immigration reform yapping it up, its some times hard to determine the truth about what a bill does or does not do. In this case we have an opportunity to read it for our selves, fortunately.

Truth laid bear has posted what they claim to be the immigration bill text. This means we can all read it and make an informed decision about the matter for our selves, free of spin.

Be thankful that we live in a society where the public can not only get our hands on the information, but contact our Congressional representative (that would be Senator or Representative) and let them know how we feel.

So go, READ, then excercise your voice one way or the other. Just be sure to tell them that you support the passage of a clean funding bill for our troops who are in harms way. :)

Gaurdian: “Iran’s secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq.”

Monday, May 21st, 2007

This is a must read folks. Please note that the source is a left leaning British publication. It pulls no punches in its report that Iran is following our Congress’s efforts to undermind the war and is planning a massive summer offensive to pressure the United States out of Iraq.

Tehran’s strategy to discredit the US surge and foment a decisive congressional revolt against Mr Bush is national in scope and not confined to the Shia south, its traditional sphere of influence, the senior official in Baghdad said. It included stepped-up coordination with Shia militias such as Moqtada al-Sadr’s Jaish al-Mahdi as well as Syrian-backed Sunni Arab groups and al-Qaida in Mesopotamia, he added. Iran was also expanding contacts across the board with paramilitary forces and political groups, including Kurdish parties such as the PUK, a US ally.

How many times were we warned about appearing weaking to our enemies abroad? “Dissent” is all fine and good, but as with all things, it is how things are done. While Pelosi and the Democratic leadership may be scoring political points here at home, they are constantly embolding our enemies and encouraging these types of offensives.

I asked the past and I will continue to ask how many more will die because of the antiwar bias in our media and the irresponsible actions of our Congress.

Despite recent diplomatic contacts, and an agreement to hold bilateral talks at ambassadorial level in Baghdad next week, US officials say there has been no let-up in hostile Iranian activities, including continuing support for violence, weapons smuggling and training.

“Iran is perpetuating the cycle of sectarian violence through support for extra-judicial killing and murder cells. They bring Iraqi militia members and insurgent groups into Iran for training and then help infiltrate them back into the country. We have plenty of evidence from a variety of sources. There’s no argument about that. That’s just a fact,” the senior official in Baghdad said.

In trying to force an American retreat, Iran’s hardline leadership also hoped to bring about a humiliating political and diplomatic defeat for the US that would reduce Washington’s regional influence while increasing Tehran’s own.

But if Iran succeeded in “prematurely” driving US and British forces out of Iraq, the likely result would be a “colossal humanitarian disaster” and possible regional war drawing in the Sunni Arab Gulf states, Syria and Turkey, he said.

The good news is that the surge is working where it is being applied, irregardless of terrorist’s efforts. The bad news? It looks like terrorist are moving to other parts of Iraq.

U.S. Senate puts off immigration reform until June.

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Well folks, the senate looks to find at least two weeks to debate the compromise immigration reform bill being proposed in the U.S. Senate.

Without going into all the hype of the each side spinning their way let me say this - I would like to see at least a month or so of consideration.  We have been debating giving our troops the very basics of necessity for over two months now with little movement, though rays of hope still exisist.

I am not thrilled with what I am reading about the bill, sspecially in light of the “Z” visa which, from my understanding, will give millions of illegal aliens legal status after paying a fine. If this is not the case, someone please enlighten me. 

Should we uproot 12 million people and deport them immediately? I personally think not, and that there should be a path to citizenship.

However, those efforts should dovetail with a security first measure. Before we start taking applications for people wanting the ability to immigrate here, we must secure our nation’s boarders. Period.

What I find funny is that France seems to understand the problem of immigration quite well. Why our politicians don’t get it fails me. Then again, maybe it goes back to fishing for 12 million new voters.

Missouri Pulse makes a good point, where is all the poll chatter?

Monday, May 21st, 2007

In a post today, Missouri Pulse points out that the media who usually loves making poll results into news has pretty much stayed quite about the latest Survey USA results which puts Blunt’s approval rating at 45%.

Its not that the numbers are spectacular or anything to brag about. They aren’t.

What is important to note, though, is that Blunt is within striking distance of the 50% range. His marks are up out of the 30s and show quite a bit of improvement over say, a year ago.

When people like my self talk about media bias, this is a perfect example of it. You rarely hear good or positive things about Republicans or conservatives. When the smallest thing goes bad, though, it doesnt just rain - it pours.

On a slightly different note - does anyone else but my self notice that only 13% of the sample identify themselves as liberal. More importantly, maybe, is the fact that the poll is made up of 32% Democrat, 30% Republican and 30% “Independent” (dont ask where the other 8% went to - I dont know. lol).

Bud and Walts pwnz.

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Short note this morning as I sit down for lunch. A new eating establishment (Bud and Walts) here in Nixa just opened up.

They claim to be a Chicago style eating establishment. The real test will be when I bring a friend who is from Chicago to visit them.

While relatively expensive, their food is great. My favorite to this point is their meathead pizza.

Mmmm.. Pizza. (I should note they also have other italia dishes)

ACORN worker pleads guilty in voter (registration) fraud case.

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Note: I updated the title to make sure there is no ambiguity in what is being reported. I stand by the conclusion which must be drawn if someone is tampering with the registration system. 

Recent Democratic talking points portrayed the 2006 efforts to curb voter fraud as a political move by Republicans to suppress certain blocks of “disadvantaged” voters. I’ve read publications who went as far as to say that the charges brought up against serveral ACORN works last year ended up being false and were dropped. As usual, the truth, is a far cry from what the repeated talking points where.

The Kansas City Star is reporting that at one of the ACORN workers pleaded guilty yesterday for filing false paper work with the Kansas City election board.

Carmen R. Davis, 38, was charged in January with committing voter registration fraud and identity theft before the November elections.

One of the four workers is already serving probation for their plead agreement with a second waiting sentencing and the the third scheduled to go to trial in July.

This incident proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that something needs to be done to combat fraud. These were also the individuals who were caught. There is no telling how many thousands of fraudently cast ballots were allowed because of such neglence.

It also proves a point regarding the fishing expedition put on by Schumer or Leahy over the firings of the U.S. Attorneys. Next time they ramble on about Rove trying to push a political agenda and rig the outcome of an election, simply point to this story. It is a factual case which proves a point.

Most importantly, though, we do need some form of reformation to ensure something like this does not happen again. Voting is one of our most sacred rights and we should ensure that our elections are fair, truthful and free of incidents like this. If it does not then our entire process will be crippled, and with it, our great nation.