Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Interesting Article: Bush Advising Democrats

This article from the Examiner caught my eye today. It really underscores just how seriously Bush takes his foreign policy. Lately, he has been sending aides to Democratic presidential candidates urging them to moderate their rhetoric on Iraq, so that they will be in a stronger position to deal with the war should they be elected to office. If only Democrats (and more Republicans) were this detached from always doing what is politically expedient... Maybe we should start requiring an oath of office or something...

The War Continues

Ken Burns' The War on PBS continued tonight with another great episode. PBS will be replaying each of the seven episodes many times. Check here for your local schedule. You can still catch them all...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Israelis Seized Nuclear Material in Raid

It seems that Syria and North Korea are colluding to produce and/or hide nuclear weapons. Israeli commandos obtained evidence of this before getting the green light from the U.S. to bomb the site. Here is the full story.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another Movie Recommendation

I also saw Mel Gibson's Apocalypo over the weekend. I have to say it was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time! It is pure authenticity from the first minute, with an excellent adventure story and message. It does have quite a bit of violence (lots of hacking and arrows, etc.) but not noticeably more than Braveheart or Gladiator (or for sure Saving Private Ryan). It also has a few VERY small bits of partial nudity (they are Native South Americans after all) and a practical joke concerning fertility, but all of this ends within the first ten minutes. After that...MAN...

Ultimately, the story is about a young man battling past fear and failure to protect his family in a culture that is imploding under the weight of materialism and lack of respect for human life. These issues seem quite relevant to our modern world. This is one R-rated movie worth watching, especially if you are a man.

The War

Just got finished watching the first installment of Ken Burn's new documentary, The War, on PBS (in glorious HD). I highly recommend you catch the rest of the series (it's on several nights this week). The title of episode one was "A Necessary War." Some of the people talked like they considered liberal pacifist ideas for a short time and then realized how stupid it would be not to support the war. I wish we had a few more of those sensible people around today... They couldn't help but see evil as evil and duty as duty. There were just so many desperate situations in WWII, when it looked like we could have failed. Yet, God was with us and we just flat out refused to give up. Just amazing stuff. Watch it this week or when it comes on again...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Canadian MP heads to US for Health Care

Apparently, the Canadian health care system isn't utopia for one liberal, a member of parliament suffering from breast cancer. Wonder where Hillary plans to go for treatment if she succeeds in wrecking our system...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Israel Strikes Syrian Nuke Site

This story from the London Times is about something that happened a few days ago, but nobody could quite figure out what happened. Many of the facts are still hidden in the shadows of political posturing and need-to-know special forces tactics. What is clear is that Israel can still defend herself from her neighbors (and can still do it with awe-inspiring effectiveness).

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Hsu is on the Other Foot

As Norman (Yung Yuen) Hsu faces some serious legal trouble, Hilary and other Dems scramble to cut ties and pretend to have amnesia. Hilary HAD to have known Hsu's background, as all visitors to the White House and similar locations involving Secret Service protection must undergo extensive background checks. This would have happened to Hsu, maybe even more than once. She absolutely knew who this guy was and what he was doing for her. And just where is she returning all that money? Her campaign has already invited the original donors to re-donate it. How convenient.

The media are covering the story, but shouldn't it be a bigger deal? Anybody remember Jack Abramoff? Now THAT was a story. Because it involved Republicans (and Democrats, too). Do you think Giuliani or Thompson or Romney could survive this kind of scandal? As if. But Hilary skates right through, with her "Get out of Scandal Free" card, the American media.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thompson Has a Strong Start

This news item seems to indicate that the Thompson campaign is gaining momentum.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Baby Einstein?

Yet another story about the effects of Baby Einstein from the LA Times. I'm right with this article until the last paragraph. I won't be showing my girls American Idol any time soon ever! And another quite similar story from Time magazine. (H/T Mommy Life)

What? It's better for children to interact with other humans? How shocking...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9-11

It's been a busy day, but I wanted to spend just a moment reflecting on this important day.

I remember waking up a bit late that Tuesday morning and, as is my habit, switching on my computer to see what's happening. The first thing I saw was a picture of the WTC and an explosion. My first thought was to wonder what new movie was coming out. I clicked on something else. More about something at the WTC. Then I started reading. Karen joined me, and we soon made our way to the TV. We sat there for the next several hours--really, the next few days--just watching. In those moments, our world changed. The fact that we were expecting our first child (the ultrasound was September 10) only served to heighten the sensations of helplessness, fear, confusion and anger.

We watched it all: the replays of the planes hitting, the recovery effort in the midst of more building collapses, Pres. Bush's visit to Ground Zero, the memorial service at the National Cathedral. Some older than myself say the Kennedy assassination came close to producing that feeling of national shock. Those still older can recall the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. All I know is that life will never be quite the same again. The rules of the whole world have changed. It falls on us to figure out what the new rules are and move forward. To a large extent, we've done that. Our military has, and is still, engaged in one of the greatest struggles of the modern era. A danger unlike any other now hovers over us, waiting for our guard to relax. New madmen seek to conquer the whole world, not with great armies of soldiers, but with armies of religious teachers aided by a small band of terrorists.

As we look back on these past six years, where do we stand? We have made real progress on many fronts, yet we seem weaker on the home front. We wrestle with answering the most basic of questions: Is American great? Many are jealous of our power and prosperity. Many seek to advance a dogma of socialism, so that all may be equally miserable. Many have lost all knowledge of the source of our greatness: trust in the Almighty God. Let us take this opportunity to once again sear the images of that terrible day into our minds, so that we may never forget the reality of the new world that surrounds us. And let us all do what we can to help America remember her Creator and Sustainer. God bless America!

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Hunt For Red November

Stephen found this one. It's a nice little ad for Thompson, summarizing his political career. It was a bit choppy on my computer for some reason, but not too bad. I'm just glad he's finally in!

Thoughts on the Iraq War

As rhetoric accelerates in anticipation of the Petraeus report, the "debate" (if the never-ending series of name-calling and fear-mongering can be called a debate) seems to have reached a new level of surrealism. The Democrats have been conducting a full-on pre-emptive strike on the forthcoming report for the past few days, without so much as a shred of evidence or logic.

As I consider the war in Iraq (and the greater War on Terror), I have noticed some glaring omissions in the discussion. According to the story linked above, 35% of Americans now approve on the surge (up from 27%). How are these Americans coming to their conclusions? What additional items might help foster more well-informed opinions. Here is my list of things I want to know before I decide what to think about the Iraq War:

1. What do the troops think about the war? I understand that there is actually a waiting list for military personnel who want to go fight in Iraq. Perhaps it could be argued that these "newbies" don't fully understand the horrors of war. However, it might also speak to the deeply-held patriotism and faith in the spirit of our great country to be found in these bravest of citizens. If the troops support the war, shouldn't we?

2. What is the score? We hear about deaths of American soldiers in 10's and 20's. Without a doubt, each and every loss of a soldier in war is tragic. But a little context would make their sacrifice much more meaningful. So how many "insurgents" or terrorists were killed or captured last week? Finally, we got a small glimpse of this number from President Bush last month. He said that we have averaged about 1,500 EVERY MONTH since January. How many did the terrorists get? Five or six? To me, it looks like we're winning in a big, big way.

3. Anything "good" happening over there? The news overflows with negative reporting--car bomb here, civilian casualty there, groups of people shouting and burning American flags. A steady diet of this might easier convince even rational, sane people that it's a hopeless situation. However, what are we not hearing about? Many, many good things are happening every day. Much of Iraq lives in relative peace and security (certainly this is the case when compared to the situation of terror under Saddam). The standard of living has shot through the roof, and the war isn't even over yet! Where is all the good news?

4. What will happen if we quit? No one ever seems to consider this. People seem to think once our troops all come home, everyone will live happily ever after. That's not quite how it happened the last time we cut and ran (Vietnam). Tragedy on a massive scale ensued, and our reputation as a world power was permanently damaged. The region itself suffered from the destabilization and Communism got a second wind. Do we really want all that to happen again? The stakes are even higher now.

As we approach the sixth anniversary of 9-11, let's all take a moment to ponder the situation in Iraq in light of all the facts. The War on Terror is the defining issue of our time. We simply cannot quit, cannot surrender, cannot lose. Let's support the troops AND the war.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thompson Scores a Few Points on Leno

Well, I stayed up later than usual to watch Jay Leno, something I haven't done since college (although we usually stayed up late enough to watch Conan O'Brian in college). It turned out to be worth the wait, because Fred Thompson did a nice job with his announcement. Jim Geraghty on National Review has an even-handed assessment.

The bottom line: Fred came off as the serious, down-to-earth, I-don't-care-if-you-like-it-or-not kind of guy we are familiar with. The reason all his TV and movie characters also appear to be this way stems from the fact that Fred is really that guy. My only negative observation, if it is one, is that he did seem a bit, well...old. This doesn't worry me, but it might register negatively with some other segments of our youth-oriented culture. At any rate, it didn't seem to be an issue for Ronald Reagan.

I also happen to think his missing the early debates is a good move. Who wants to be just one guy on a stage of ten with only a handful of thirty-second windows to give a compelling and thorough answer to the great problems of the age? I'm pretty sure more people were watching Leno last night anyway! Anything you can do to set yourself apart at this stage of the game is a smart idea. Will it pay off for Thompson? I guess we'll find out pretty soon.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Thompson on Leno TONIGHT

Fred Thompson will make an appearance on Leno tonight before officially declaring his candidacy on Thursday. He then plans to make a five-day tour of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. I hope he gets a better turnout than Brownback!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Thompson Prepares to Run

Happy Labor Day! According to this story, Thompson has kicked up his exercise regime, running at dawn and working out in the gym after that. The 65-year-old Thompson wants to counter an image of a lethargic old guy while adding some much-needed energy to his campaign (which is set to officially begin this Thursday). The big question is what will the mood be in the week following the big announcement. Will he be taken as a serious candidate or will he be relegated to the sidelines? Having witnessed his energetic "red truck" comeback victory in his 1994 Tennessee senate race, I have to go with the former--look out Giuliani! That may just be a big red truck in your rear view mirror!