Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Red Sox watch

Magic Number: 30

At least I think it is. didn't update their standings page yet, but we won, and the Evil Empire lost, so that puts us 2.5 games up in first place again.

Help victims of Hurricane Katrina!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Is there no shame on the left?

Just ONE freakin' day after Katrina plowed through the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, the left-wing moonbats waste no time blaming Republicans for the catastrophe.

RFK Jr. blames hurricane Katrina on Republicans: Link

Way to go, moonbats...politicize human tragedy to further your agenda. Absolutely disgusting.

Help victims of Hurrican Katrina!

Monday, August 29, 2005

The War In Iraq: Was It A Good Idea?

For the past two and a half years or so, there's been much discussion over whether the war in Iraq is right or wrong, good foreign policy or bad, waged for oil, Israel or democracy, or just a bad move made by a mentally defective president based on faulty or trumped-up intelligence.

Invariably, the arguments for or against the war fall along party lines, with red staters saying it was a good idea and blue staters saying it was a bad one. But while most of the red state crowd supports the war and can often provide rational explanations why they feel the war is good policy, their blue state counterparts, most of whom side solidly with the extreme left, do nothing but shriek about things like "oil!" and "Israel!" and "Halliburton!". Sometimes for good measure you'll hear that it's "Daddy's unfinished business".

Around late 2002, I was still mostly opposed to the idea of going into Iraq. Not that I thought kicking Saddam's shit to the curb was a bad idea, far from it. I guess I was just thinking too much like a panty-waisted internationalist and worried about our hanging the whole casus belli on WMD, which may or may not still be there by the time we got there. I'm still convinced that Saddam had those weapons, but come on...we rattled our saber for so long there was ample time for not just the weapons to be shipped out of the country, but for their manufacturing and support facilities to be destroyed and/or dismantled.

But by around January 2003 or so, I came to the following conclusion: never mind the marketing campaign, opposition to the war constituted tacit endorsement of Saddam Hussein's regime. In other words, screw international opinion, this guy's gotta go. By the time we entered Iraq in March of 2003, I was firm in my belief that we were doing the right thing. And I still am.

If one wants to argue that we miscalculated the post-war insurgency, fine. That's a legitimate position, and you won't hear any disagreement from me. It doesn't change the fact that through exceptional pre-war planning, outstanding command and control, and brilliant execution, our military forces pulled off in short order and with minimal casualties what many said would become a stalemate and lead to tens of thousands of American casualties without removing Saddam's regime.

Mission accomplished? Yeah, I think that's a fair statement.

The trouble started almost immediately following the victory over Saddam's regime, and here's where I'll agree that we've made mistakes. Serious ones. We didn't (and still don't) have enough forces in place to seal the borders or to root out the many terrorist cells in nearly every Iraqi city. But you know what? In a war of attrition, I wouldn't bet on the bad guys. Wait...since around 45% of America thinks we're the bad guys, let me clarify. The bad guys are the ones setting off road-side bombs and killing innocent children. (Hint for the exceptionally stupid lefties: that's NOT us.)

So, why do I still think this was a good idea? Let me enumerate...

1. Weapons of mass destruction. Just because we didn't find them, doesn't mean they weren't there. Ask anyone in the can't prove a negative.

2. U.N. Sanctions. Given the pre-war status quo, these would have continued indefinitely.

3. No-fly zones. Since the end of Gulf War I in 1991, we've been spending zillions of dollars enforcing the northern and southern no-fly zones over Iraq. This certainly couldn't go on forever.

4. Saddam Hussein himself. Mass graves, Uday and Qusay, rape rooms, you know. 'Nuff said.

If you don't think these are reasons enough, I'd truly love to hear why not. But if they're not enough, there's always Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas. For those of you who don't remember them, consider the following:

Abu Nidal, one of the world's most-wanted terrorists, executed terrorist operations as head of organizations variously known as Fatah Revolutionary Council, Arab Revolutionary Council and Arab Revolutionary Brigades, among others. These operations were carried out throughout the 1980's and into the early 1990's. He was found dead in Baghdad in August of 2002 under dubious circumstances. Saddam's government claims he committed suicide, but the London Telegraph claims in an article dated 25 August 2002 that he was executed by Iraqi intelligence over his refusal to train Al Qaeda fighters based in Iraq. Whichever story is true, the fact remains that Abu Nidal had found safe haven in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Next we come to Abu Abbas. US forces in Baghdad captured Abu Abbas in mid-April 2003, shortly after the fall of Baghdad. Abu Abbas and his gang of thugs carried out the Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking in 1985. During the course of this terrorist act, Leon Klinghoffer was murdered in cold blood, and then pushed over the side of the ship. In his wheelchair.

Google this stuff. I'm not making it up. Both of these animals had found refuge under Saddam. No matter how you spin it, there were solid links between Saddam and international terrorism.

When choosing a position on this issue, you can either consider the facts, or listen to the "experts" who say it was all about oil (or Israel, or Halliburton) and want you to vote for their Democratic candidate in 2008.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

She Who Must Not Be Named

Ok, I've held off writing anything about this woman, but I can't any longer. I won't even use her name in this post, but you've probably heard of her. Son got killed in Iraq, camps out in Crawford demanding to see the President, liberal media (not to mention Al Sharpton, David Duke and neo-Nazis) all love her, blah-blah-blah.

I've had a hard time putting my thoughts about this woman on paper (screen), not because I've got mixed feelings, but it's hard to do so without coming across as a right-wing shill or insensitive to a mother's loss. Hell, I've got three kids of my own, two of them are boys at or near war-fighting age. But I just can't take any more, so here it comes.

This woman needs to go away. She needs to just go home and stop embarrassing herself and making a mockery of her own son's death. Every time she opens up her demented mouth, she reaches new heights of anti-semitism and left-wing extremism (as if there were any other kind of leftist). She's made statements such as "America is not a country worth fighting for." Excuse me, ma'm, but what would your son think of such a statement?

She spews the most extreme, hate-filled, left-wing and anti-Semite line that this is a war for Israel. I'm sorry, but would someone please explain to my aging, beer-soaked brain exactly HOW Israel is benefitting from this war?

Maybe if the left-wing dominated media would stop paying attention to her she'll go away. Which is the reason I won't include her name in this post. I don't want to contribute to any Google hits on her name.

Red Sox watch

Magic Number: 33

Pretty damn abysmal performance last night (blew a 6-0 lead), but they looked good today. Got 7 good innings out of Wells today, and Manny looks once again like he gives a damn.

I've got hopes, but the Evil Empire is only a game and a half behind.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Red Sox watch

Magic Number: 35

Lost in extra innings to Kansas City last night. Kansas City!! How did we NOT beat them?? Oh well, at least the Evil Empire lost, too.

Is it just me, or is Manny playing like he doesn't give a rat's ass? And how in the hell does a team load the bases three times in one game without scoring a run?

The Evil Empire is in a dead heat with Cleveland and Oakland for the wild card. That should be an interesting foot race.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

No Stopping, Standing or Offending

Well, it's official. One can now find oneself in hot water for offending, even if one is doing one's job.

Doctor reprimanded for telling patient to lose weight

Imagine the following:

Patient: Doc, I'm not getting laid like all my friends are.
Doctor: Hmmm...well, let's have a look. Oh! I see, you've got a bad case of acne! Let's just get you a prescription for--
Patient: What?? How dare you! My face looks great! My Mom says so! (storms out in a huff, heads straight for lawyer's office)

What the hell are we coming to??

G'day mate...need a hand with all that baggage?

Leave it to the Aussies to be blunt and honest: Muslims desiring Sharia invited to leave

Peter Costello, Australia's Treasurer, minces no words in stating that Islamic law and democracy are fundamentally incompatible.

I suspect if a similar statement were to be made by a US government official, the moonbats would be screaming for his/her head.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Oh, Pat, why can't you shut the hell up?

According to Pat Robertson, we should send a team into Venezuela and take out Hugo Chavez. Never mind that former President Gerald Ford issued an executive order proscribing such action, and Ronald Reagan later affirmed that policy -- let's just do it and save a couple hundred billion dollars. Did I miss something? Was there some recently announced plan to invade Venezuela? How do we save $200 billion dollars we weren't planning on spending?

Yes, Chavez is a dangerous, and quite possibly, unstable man. He's cozied up to Castro, hangs out with psychotic mullahs in Iran, and keeps screeching that the United States has plans to invade Venezuela and/or assassinate him. Moronic statements like these from Robertson play right into his hands and will only make the Venezuelan people rally around him.

Our current policy towards Chavez, which is to basically ignore him, will work just fine until such time as the Venezuelan people vote him out of office, or find some other way to depose him. He's not going to shut off the oil supply to us any time soon...he's getting way too much money from us for him to do that.

Pat...please sit down and shut up.

Red Sox watch

Magic number: 37

If we can just keep the Evil Empire at bay through mid-September or so, I think we'll be in good shape. The schedule through the end of August doesn't look too tough, then we've got six against the EE--three in New York and three at home.

Go Sox!!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Sharia 'bout that

On the 6th of August, the Bangkok Post had an interesting item that didn't seem to get much traction in the western media. Hell, let's be blunt. Nobody in the west picked it up except for a handful of conservative blogs. In fact, I've since tried both Google and Yahoo to find references to this story, and came up empty.

It seems that in southern Thailand, where there is a Muslim majority, people were told that if they work on Fridays, they would have their ears cut off. Friday is the Muslim sabbath, you see. Needless to say, the threat wasn't just directed at the faithful, but at anybody who dared to work on the sabbath.

The story is troublesome enough in that it speaks volumes of the intolerance of the "religion of peace", but it bothers me more that this wasn't reported more widely. I mean, c'mon...can you imagine if Christians in the Christian-majority region of Lebanon threatened violence against anyone who chose to work on a Sunday? The media would be all over that like a pit bull with a t-bone.

So, what's the reason for the western media's blackout on this story? That's easy. There's nobody in the west to whom they can redirect the blame. It's got nothing to do with "Zionist oppression" of the Palestinians, or with the war in Iraq, or with infidel presence in Muslim holy lands, unless you count the Buddhists who were there more than 600 years before the birth of Mohammed.

The western media needs to set aside their hatred of BushBlairIsrael and start doing their job.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Oh, so THAT'S why...

My wife and I just returned from a vacation in Heidelberg, Germany. I'd been there a couple of times on business, and I knew Deb (that's my wife) would enjoy it, so I cashed in some airline miles and hotel points and we went there for a week. Had a great time.

The hotel we stayed at, the Heidelbeg Marriott, is a great hotel with wonderful service. The only drawback is the TV channels. If you don't speak German, French or Arabic, you basically have two choices for news: CNN International and BBC World News. This doesn't count the English language financial news channels they have like Bloomberg and CNBC.

Well, after a couple of days of watching CNN International trash-talk the US, I thought I'd give BBC World News a try. Like many news channels, BBCWN runs a crawl line on the bottom of the screen with headlines from around the world during their news updates. During one report, the crawl line caught my eye with a headline about the price of crude oil. It said, and I may be paraphrasing here, "Crude oil prices rise to record $66 per barrel due to unprecedented U.S. demand".

My first reaction was "Huh?...Unprecedented U.S. demand?". I guess BBC figures the explosion of demand for petroleum products in China and India has a negligible impact on the world supply and demand equation for crude oil. But there it was. According to the BBC, it's the United States that's solely to blame for the run away price of crude oil and its byproducts.

Now, don't get me wrong. I truly believe that we could be doing much more in the US to reduce our consumption of crude oil until we can make alternative energy sources feasible. But this kind of half-assed reporting is really what's hurting America's image in Europe. It's not what we're DOING, it's what Europe is being TOLD we're doing. Yes, our demand for crude oil has increased year over year, but so has that of nearly every other nation, especially China and India.

But guess what? Europe's demand for crude oil through 2004 was also "unprecedented", according to statistics available from the Department of Energy, although a few nations (notably Germany and the UK) have managed to slightly decrease their demand over the past couple of years. But it'll take a brighter mind than mine to say whether those decreases were attributable to vigilant conservation measures or to economic factors.

So, what is it about the European press that spares no effort in demonizing America? Whether it's by focusing only on negative news items, or by outright obfuscation by leaving out key facts, there definitely seems to be a concerted effort to make us out to be the bad guys. The anti-American media likes to say that the US needed a new nemesis after the fall of the Soviet empire and fabricated one. I think the same might be said about the European, and sadly, much of the American media.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Inaugural Posting

So, I've decided to be like the rest of the sheep and start my own blog. Why? Who knows. I guess maybe it's because I don't work in an office (I work from home when not traveling on business), and thus don't get to vent much around a watercooler like most of you.

I chose to name this blog "The Pool Bar" after our backyard pool where my wife and I enjoy hanging out with our friends and discussing a wide variety of topics over a few cold ones. So in that vein, this blog will cover a range of topics from politics to sports, social trends (and ills), and whatever pops into my head.

So, read, enjoy and feel free to comment!