Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Shenandoah Valley

Waking up for our downhill mountain bike ride with the guys. We camped in Basye, VA. It's freezing this morning!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Fostering Anti-Americanism: The Continuing Chronicles of Columbia University

At first glance, I pretty much agreed with Peggy Noonan's comments in the WSJ regarding Iranian President Ahmadinejad's invitation to speak at Columbia University in New York. After all, she makes some really good points:

But this has been our history: to let all speak and to fear no one. That's a good history to continue. The Council on Foreign Relations was right to invite him to speak last year--that is the council's job, to hear, listen and parse--and Columbia University was well within its rights to let him speak this year. Though, in what is now apparently Columbia tradition, the stage was once again stormed, but this time verbally, and by a university president whose aggression seemed sharpened by fear.

There were two revealing moments in Ahmadinejad's appearance. The first is that in his litany of complaint against the United States he seemed not to remember the taking and abuse of American diplomatic hostages in 1979. An odd thing to forget since he is said to have been part of that operation. The second was the moment when he seemed to assert that his nation does not have homosexuals. This won derisive laughter, and might have been a learning moment for him; dictators don't face derisive from crowds back home.
And I have to admit, I really didn't care much about Ahmadinejad's visit until I read her article. I thought I agreed. But after reading her article, something started nagging at me. Then it hit me: Despite some of these points, I have a problem with Noonan's main argument: She compares Ahmadinejad's Columbia speech with Khrushchev's UN speech, without going into the reasons why Columbia wanted him to speak at their campus in the first place. Despite the fact these are two completely different venues, she's missing a crucial element behind Columbia's invitation - motive.

We know that Columbia has a political agenda that has opposed the leadership in our country since, oh, about the day The Goracle conceded the election. They have kicked military recruiters off the campus, and attempted to put the smack-down on the school's ROTC program as well. There is a huge anti-military presence there. So, in a sense, Columbia was continuing the problem Noonan points out with American political debates. By inviting Mr. Ahmadinejad, Columbia provided a safe audience (at least in terms of hostility towards American foreign policy). The laughs at the "we don't have any homos in our country" statement was inconsequential, and is actually what one would expect from a liberal school. It may have been a wake up call (of sorts) to the Iranian leader, but it was inconsequential as proof that Columbia had provided a true forum for debate.

Moreover, Noonan misses the point all together when it comes to the way universities have become a more focused tool aimed at subverting the nation's President and foreign political agenda. Can you imagine asking Khrushchev to come speak on the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis to explain "his view"? Or what about inviting Ho Chi Minh to Georgetown while troops were dying in Vietnam? No way that would have flown. But now, we're expected to believe the argument that having this tyrant speak as we are considering sanctions (keeping in mind that we don't even engage in official diplomacy with Iran, whereas the Soviet Union had an embassy, ambassador and everything) is somehow the sign of a healthy democracy? I don't buy it.

The bottom line is that Columbia was not looking for honest intellectual dialogue. They only wanted to make President Bush look bad for pursuing sanctions (and possibly war) against Iran. It's safe ground for them - a win/win - many Americans are weary of war and they are capitalizing on that to make a point. Never mind that Iran is directly behind the murders of American troops in Iraq, and had publicly called for the destruction of Israel.

People like Ahmadinejad just don't deserve a forum in the US in a time of war.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Anderson Cooper is a Tool

Last night I watched CNN for the first time in years. Why would I turn to the dark side for my information after many years of happily watching FoxNews, you ask? High Definition, that's why. Yesterday, DirecTV rolled out its expanded HD channels, which happens to include CNN-HD. And I'll admit, CNN has never looked better. But quality news and a quality image don't seem to add up in the case of CNN-HD. The reason: Anderson Cooper.

I've never really had a reason to dislike Mr. Cooper - even despite my annoyance at parents who name their kids with a last name for a first name (so trendy), but I digress. Before I tuned in to CNN last night, he seemed like an OK guy, if not a little taken in by the Clooney school of political thought. But since I never watch CNN (due to the blatant, America-hating, liberal viewpoints espoused in every story broadcast on that channel), I hadn't formed much of an opinion on the guy. Well, that changed last night. Anderson Cooper is a pandering, sniveling opportunist who is clearly serving a political interest that is not neutral.

My first clue was when Mr. Cooper was talking about the strife in Burma. He used the word Burma several times, and then made a big point about how it was wrong to use that name, because "the native government and the United Nations recognize the name as Myanmar" or something like that. Then Cooper goes on to smugly talk about how evil and repressive the government of that nation is.

Well, Mr. Cooper, do you know that the same evil and repressive government that kills defensive monks and innocent civilians is the same government demanding the world call it Myanmar? Did you know that the freedom fighters in that country still call it Burma? Did you know that the US, UK and Australia still call the country Burma because we don't recognize the names of countries that are changed by oppressive military regimes? Apparently not, because you're a "trying-to-sound enlightened" tool talking out of two-sides of your mouth like the rest of the hypocrites on CNN.

But still, I thought, maybe Mr. Cooper isn't that bad. After all, he's just falling victim to the standard, blinded mindset that gives most liberals extreme tunnel-vision. Until, that is, I saw his interview with Bill Clinton.

From the start, it was obvious that Bill Clinton is Anderson Cooper's hero. During the interview. Mr. Two-Last-Names threw him softball questions, and goaded Clinton into coming unhinged while talking about republicans (Clinton lost his temper when referring to the GOP as "those people" before proceeding to attack the patriotism of the entire party). And instead of asking Clinton to clarify his remarks like most responsible journalists would do, Cooper just lapped it up. Then he continued to play Clinton's tirade in his promo clips all through the broadcast.

This experience has proven useful to me, in that it has helped me understand a few things. First, HD or no, CNN is still garbage. Second, Anderson Cooper is, indeed, a tool. And lastly, Bill O'Reilly really isn't kidding when he talks about how far CNN has fallen. I've seen it for myself (and now understand why Cooper's ratings are in the toilet). But if you don't believe me, see it for yourself. After all, I report, you decide.

Friday, September 21, 2007

What Is The Matter With People?

First it was this bozo who went out and purposely put himself into a position where he could look like some kind of retarded martyr. The effect? People crying that the police "went too far" and that tasers are akin to disembowelment and other torturous techniques employed in the dark ages. And now, you have another clueless moron showing up an an airport wearing a fake bomb strapped to her chest and then being upset when she learns that the Boston Airport Police don't have the same taste in "art" that she does.

But silliness aside, what is it about college kids these days that makes them think they are somehow exempt from the law? Perhaps the years of indoctrination telling us that we're allowed to do anything we want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else (rules of society be damned). Or is it something more problematic, such as a growing lack of respect for authorities (another attitude preached to us by those in hip hop, Hollywood and other institutions that worship self gratification)? Maybe it's somewhere in between those two things and the insatiable public desire to be given 15 minutes of fame, so that they can be the ones doing the preaching!?

It's amazing that the question of why the police tased that guy is even given broadcast time. The answer is really easy: Because when asked to sit down, he didn't sit down! When the police give you an order, it's not a suggestion. You do it! If you feel that you were unfairly singled out, then proclaim your innocence in a court of law. Seriously, what kind of idiot would get out of a car and physically resist a traffic officer writing him a ticket and not expect to spend the night in the slammer? Ridiculous.

I'm 33 years old, and already I'm starting to sound like my Grandparents. What is wrong with kids these days? And it's not going to get any better. In fact, with all of the bleeding hearts that cry and sob for these "innocent victims" or torture (by the way, cops are required to subject themselves to being tasered before they are issued a taser gun in most states), police will be even more reluctant to restrain out-of-control children in the future. Heaven forbid another VA Tech massacre should take place in 15 years! The cops of that time will probably be so afraid of being sued by then that no one will even have the courage to stand up to the kids who look innocent, but then turn out to have a secret agenda to kill 30 people. I mean, it would be a shame if someone had to suffer a little shock to prevent a possible mass casualty situation... Don't tase me, bro!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This Can't Be Happening

Did I wake up in an alternate universe today, or is this top sponsor of state terror, American troop killing, holocaust-denying tyrant actually going to be allowed to visit one of the most hallowed spots on American soil?

This is more than just a consideration. Plans are actually being drawn up to accommodate this madman's request. An Islamofascist, while not of the same branch of Islam, at least of the same ilk of those who brought the towers down and killed 3000 innocent people, wants to visit Ground Zero in New York City.

The NY Sun Reports:

In a move that has stunned New York, the Bloomberg administration is in discussions to escort the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to ground zero during his visit to New York next week, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said today.

The Iranian mission to the U.N. made the request to the New York City Police Department and the Secret Service, which will jointly oversee security during the leader's two-day visit. Mr. Ahmadinejad is scheduled to arrive September 24 to speak to the U.N. General Assembly as the Security Council decides whether to increase sanctions against his country for its uranium enrichment program.
This is unfathomable. If the Administration actually lets this happen, the political implications will haunt this Presidency throughout history. As Michelle Malkin puts it:
...if Bush and Rice let him go down there, especially in the wake of Petraeus and Crocker reporting the threat Iran poses to American soldiers in Iraq, you have no idea how grave the political fallout will be. Consider this an alert from the grassroots early warning system.
Hopefully the GOP will jump on this before the democrats try to prove their patriotism after all of their surrender talk. We will all be watching this with great interest.

UPDATE: The NYPD has denied Ahmadinejad's request to tour Ground Zero. But, and pardon the pun here, it was a total cop-out. Their reason was security concerns. What a joke. Just flat out say, "we won't protect this terrorist" and call it a day. But whatever. It is what it is.

Passive Aggressiveness is Contagious

I've decided that I'm tired of getting out of office replies from people I don't care about. So, as a bird to the world, I'm going with the following "In the Office" standard reply on all of my emails:

"Hi, thanks for emailing me. This response confirms that yes, I got your email. You should know, however, that the length of time it takes me to reply is directly proportional to the importance I place on your message, and thus, you. So, if I don't get back to you right away, it's probably because I hate you."

I might even change my signature to: "You deserve the taser" because let's face it, you probably do.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Picture That Made Me Famous Around the World

Despite the fact that it is the most unflattering picture of me ever taken, it looks like this is how I will be immortalized forever. The picture was made famous by being published on the front page of every major newspaper (and a few major magazines) in the free world (example) during the 2000 Presidential election controversy (another example).

And I just found out (while narcissistically Googling myself) that the guy who took the picture for the Associated Press (AP), Michael DiBari, even won an award for it. Good for him!

Man, I never thought I would be applying the "activist lunacy" and "ego" tags in the same post!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Always a View

a beautiful day, too.

Now, in the Windy City

Beautiful view of the Chicago River and one of the Marina Towers.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Alamo

One of the most heroic battles was fought here. I'm glad I was able to see it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Famous Riverwalk

Hmm... I wonder why they call it that! On our way to dinner.

The Stars at Night...

...are big and bright! Here I am in San Antonio for 5 days. Beautiful and hot so far. Come back for more adventures.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Since I'm Back from Vacation...

I feel like torturing you.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Last Day on the Beach

Well, here we are enjoying our last day in the OBX. Upper 80's, no clouds. I wish we were able to stay the whole week. But alas, reality beckons.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The House

18 people crammed into this little seaside paradise. 10 rooms. Pool. Hot tub. Sky decks. Game room.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Outer Banks, NC - Trip II

View from our deck. Ready for another week.