Next Right
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened." - Winston Churchill


McCain: I Sure Hope He Has a Better Strategy Than "Iraq"
I hope McCain has more to his national security strategy than trying to convince people to accept the war in Iraq. Right now, he comes across as an old warmonger. He sound sliek a stubborn old man, and the Amrican people will not vote for that.

posted by Sean McCray | 4:03 PM |


Iowa Predictions
I admit I am totally going out on a limb, and have no objective basis.
1. Edwards
2. Obama
3. Clinton
4. Biden

1. Romney
2. McCain
3. Huckabee

posted by Sean McCray | 6:21 PM |


gonna do some more blogging. Will be using typepad.

Force Majeure
an irresitable, unstoppable superior force

posted by Sean McCray | 4:58 PM |


Bush, Nagel, Blanco and Hurricane Katrina: Was the response racist and slow?
(This is in response to a posting by TVD on Bookerrising, and also all the other criticism's I have heard.)

Lets start with Hurricane Charley:
"It was the strongest hurricane to strike the area since Hurricane Donna in 1960 and the strongest hurricane to strike Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992."

Aug 11. It reached hurricane stregth. "Charley became the second tropical storm to strike Florida in 24 hours when Tropical Storm Bonnie struck the Florida panhandle in Apalachicola at 11 a.m. EDT on August 12, 22 hours before Charley went over the Dry Tortugas. This made 2004 the first year two named storms have struck the same state in the same 24-hour period since 1906. Mainland landfall occurred only 29 hours apart."
"Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the President took the action under a major disaster declaration issued this afternoon immediately after receiving FEMA's analysis of the state's expedited request for federal assistance. The declaration covers damage to private property from the storms beginning on August 11."
This was issued on August 13th, after Charley had hit.

August 15th: "Recovery Activities Shift Into High Gear For Victims Of Hurricane Charley"
That is also the day Bush visited. Two days after the hurricane hit.

August 17th: "First Disaster Aid Checks Issued As Delivery Of Resources Ramps Up"

Now let's talk about Frances:

The press release from the White House is a Sept. 6 press release.

Aug 26 it was named Hurricane Frances. 14 days after Charley had hit florida.

Sept 1. GOVERNOR JEB BUSH. declared a state of emergency, and ordered the evacuation of 500,000 people. They ended up evacuating 2.8 million people, the largest in Florida history. (way more then was need to be evacuated from NO) Notice who was leading the evacuation, and this is after charley has hit, and this is the President's brother!!

"The STATE education system also responded to the pending crisis. Many universities across Florida canceled classes....Most schools were shut down from southern West Palm Beach to just south of Melbourne two days before the hurricane."

Frances hits Florida on Sept 4th.

"September 6th - Red Cross begins action in the area providing warm meals twice a day for a week as well as water and other needs. National Guard BEGINS providing MREs, water, ice, and occasionally tarps."
That is 2 days after Frances hit, when they BEGAN to provide MRE's and water.

how many people died? 5 in Florida, and 1 in Ohio due to weather related to Frances.

Notice, two days after it hit, the MRE's were "ready" to be distributed. Not "they are being distributed". Two days after Katrina the feds were ready to distribute food and water.
Again, the feds were not expected to respond to the first 24-48 hours.

Oh yeah, Ivan: (using the link TVD gave)
"Brown urged citizens to heed all warnings and follow instructions of local authorities, especially regarding evacuations. He reiterated the advice of state officials for residents in the hurricane’s potential path to have food and water to survive for a minimum of 72 hours, a battery operated radio, flashlights and batteries."

"Once Hurricane Ivan clears impacted states, supplies and equipment WILL BE moved into the hardest hit areas as quickly as possible, especially water, ice, meals, medical supplies, tents and tarps. Due to expected FLOODING, FEDERAL AND STATE officials caution that it may be SEVERAL DAYS before supplies and emergency workers can reach all the victims of this hurricane."

"FEMA personnel remain in Florida working with the victims of the two previous hurricanes. However, some staff has been repositioned to RESPOND to STATE requests for assistance with Hurricane Ivan."

Am I the only one seeing a pattern here regarding who is responsible for what actions, and the expected time frames?

Now let's go to Katrina. Let's see if the response was different because the people were black and poor, and that Bush responded in a slow manner. We must keep in mind, that Katrina was MUCH worse than the other three hurricanes, more infrastructure was damaged. It would not be unreasonable to expect a slower response, due to the security situation and the complete devastation. (For those who seem to forget, it is the worst natural disaster in at least 100 years!) But guess what actually happened.
"We cannot stress enough the danger this hurricane poses to Gulf Coast communities," Bush told reporters on his ranch in central Texas. A day after declaring an emergency for Louisiana, Bush declared an emergency for the state of Mississippi. Federal emergency workers were sending water, food and other supplies to staging centers in the Southeast expected to be affected by the powerful storm."
The date? August 28th (just FYI Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29th.)
Well looky there! they were responding BEFORE Katrina hit. It continues: "Bush met briefly with reporters after speaking with federal disaster management officials and with the governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida."

WAIT! There is more.
August 28: "A monstrous Hurricane Katrina barreled toward New Orleans on Sunday with 160-mph wind and a threat of a 28-foot storm surge, forcing a mandatory evacuation of the below-sea-level city and prayers for those who remained to face a doomsday scenario."
Katrina intensified into a Category 5 giant over the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico, reaching top winds of 175 mph before weakening slightly on a path to hit New Orleans around sunrise Monday. That would make it the city's first direct hit in 40 years and the most powerful storm ever to slam the city....By evening, the first squalls, driving rains and lightning began hitting New Orleans. A grim Mayor C. Ray Nagin earlier ordered the mandatory evacuation for his city of 485,000 people, conceding Katrina's storm surge pushing up the Mississippi River would swamp the city's system of levees, flooding the bowl-shaped city and causing potentially months of misery. "We are facing a storm that most of us have long feared," he said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime event." Conceding that as many as 100,000 inner-city residents didn't have the means to leave and an untold number of tourists were stranded by the closing of the airport, the city arranged buses to take people to 10 last-resort shelters, including the Superdome.
(It appears the mayor knew that at least 100,000 of the residents didn't have a means to leave the city. His response? Did he contact the Gov? the White House? have more buses called up?)
It does look like the city did provide SOME buses for residents to flee. Some of the buses only took people to the superdome. again, giving the impression that it would be a safe haven. It also looks like the city told people to bring supplies:
"The 70,000-seat Superdome, the home of football's Saints, opened at daybreak Sunday, giving first priority to frail, elderly people on walkers, some with oxygen tanks. They were told to bring enough food, water and medicine to last up to FIVE DAYS. "I was going to the Superdome and then I saw the two-mile line," the 42-year-old musician said. "I figure if I'm going to die, I'm going to die with cold beer and my best buds."

But it does not look like they were actually prepared for the people at the superdome. The NFL can get 70,000 inside in less than an hour, but the city cannot? Sorry, but it looks like the mayor and the city said "you are on your own. If you dont bring water, you will not have water" Such compassionate Democrats. LOL. Notice they knew early Sunday morning the huge amount of people coming to the Superdome, that's the day before Katrina hit.

August 29: "Huge lines stretched over several city blocks as some 30,000 people loaded with sleeping bags and coolers waited to get inside the city's Superdome stadium, declared an emergency shelter by authorities....Officials told local radio that some 30,000 people were in the Superdome stadium and that there was room for about 70,000."
Monday, the city is still sending out the message that the Superdome is safe, and people can still come.

"...forecasters warned that Hurricane Katrina would cause potentially deadly floods in this city of 1.4 million people. It was expected to make landfall early Monday....Ashley Thomas, a 20-year-old student at Xavier University here, was among those checking in. 'I can't leave, I don't have a dependable car,' she said....She said the family also did not want to flee the coastal city as an aunt is in hospital and is not being evacuated........The mayor of Kenner, a western suburb, warned that the city's water would be turned off Sunday evening and it would take at least THREE DAYS to get it online again. Kenner Mayor Philip Capitano pleaded with residents to flee, warning that the storm swell from Lake Pontchartrain would flood the entire city, including the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. If you're staying make sure you have a way to escape out of your attic or roof. This is clearly a killer storm. If the wind doesn't get you the water will," Capitano warned....(Four friends leaving a cruise was caught in New Orleans) "Of the four who set off for the cruise, just three remained in New Orleans. One headed for the highway in a huff and hasn't been heard from since. 'He was furious with us because he feels we did not try hard enough to get out of here,' Prisco said. "We heard from a friend of a friend he hitched a ride with some people. They made it about sixty miles in eight hours." A visitor to the city with no car found a way to get out!

My Closing Comments:
The info in those links back up my contention that the city said the right things regarding a mandatory evacuation, but it's actions told the citizens a different story. Would you leave the city with loved ones still in a hospital? How bad could it be, if the Superdome is a safe spot? Nobody expected to be living in the Superdome, it sent a message that things would blow over quickly. The fact that the city was also busing people from other areas to the Superdome, also said that it was a safe place. So why leave? I am, in no way, taking away from people their personal responsibility. It comes down to an individual making a decision. The city could not even provide enough police to secure the Superdome?

The federal government responded in a manner that is astounding to anybody other than partisans. Within 72 hours (Of begginning the main actions, and five days total) they evacuated over 100,000 people; over 5,000 more people were rescued (In addition to the 4,500 rescued within the first two days); food was brought in; medical supplies brought in and hospitals evacuated; the Convention Center evacuated (Another 20,000 people). Over 30,000 national guardsmen were mobilized; Naval ships were moved to the coast; satellite images were avaliable to the rescuers; Communications was restored for some of the city govt. This does not include all of the work that was done in Alabama and Mississippi. An area of land about the size of the UK!
This is with the worst breakdown of infrastructure caused by a natural diaster.
Look at the facts. In conditions many times worse than anything over the last 100 years, the federal government responded in the same amount of time as it did for Charley, Frances and Ivan.
FYI: The levees did not break, the flood walls broke. The levee and flood walls were suppose to be able to handle a Cat 3 hurricane. Katrina was a Cat 3 when it hit New Orleans.

The monday morning QB's who are attacking Bush need to take a good look at reality. They might even want to listen to their hero, Bill Clinton.

(I am willing to even say that Bush maybe should have stayed on the backs of the city and state officials much harder to ensure they were doing what needed to be done. That by Monday when Katrina hit, he should have probably spoken out a little sooner. At best it would have saved one day in the entire timeframe. )

Those who are excusing Nagel and his crying , whining tirade that was an embarrassment. You have to deny reality and facts to excuse him from all, or even a large majority of the fault. Most of the people probably dies from the initial flooding. That means ONLY evacuation would have truly changed in any meaningful way the loss of life due to Katrina. Isn't the loss of life the most important thing? Not discomfort.
(FYI: I have a friend who is a liberal Dem, one who loves Clinton and hates Bush. She even felt Nagel was an embarassment. All Dems do not portray this man as some beacon of courage.)

Couldn't Nagel have at least thanked the Gov of Texas, and those Texans along with the people of Baton Rouge for helping? I guess he felt they were obligated to do good things, therefore did nto deserve credit. What is also most amazing is that he can only say that the Gov. and Bush should have ignored the law and done something. Thats what he said on 60 Minutes. Not once has he visited the Superdome or the Astrodome. (But he had time to get on 60 Minutes.)
All the liberals that screamed "If Bush would just admit he made a mistake (regarding Iraq), then I could feel differently" Suddenly, they dont even see mistakes made by Democratic politicians, especially if they are black or a woman. Why can't Nagel tell us all the things he did (other than cry and curse) and that when he handed the baton to the federal people, they dropped it? (ooh, ooh, I know the answer.) I am not laying all the blame on Nagel, the Gov shares a large part, if not the largest part of the blame. She had the National Guard under her command. (FYI: Gov. Blanco ordered buses to the Superdome for the first time on Sept. 1)

What happened in New Orleans is that a corrupt police force that was already undersized for that city (Not Nagel's fault), was exposed. This is what happens when first responders fail to act properly, this shows the importance of police and firemen in reacting to any crises. Maybe we need to debate exacty how quickly the federal government should inject itself, especially with natiuonal security issues, but hindsight partisan name calling is nto accomplishing anything.

posted by Sean McCray | 12:55 AM |


How Arafat Destroyed Palestine
The Atlantic has an article that goes into detail about Arafat's use of money to enrich himself and his friends. (unfortunately the article cannot be accessed in full through the website.)

Al-Masri a leading financier of the Palestenian national movement. He made a fortune in the oil-services business. He considers Arafat a "great man". He also says some very revealing things, for those who want to blame Israel for the palestenian people's poverty. "Ah, he (Arafat) thought money was power," The money he spent to buy the loyalty of his court, al-Masri gently suggests, could easily have paid for a functioning Palestenian state instead. "With three hundred, four hundre million dollars we could have built Palestine in ten years. Waste, waste, waste. I flew over the West Bank in a helicopter with Arafat at the beginning of Oslo, and I told him how easy we could make five, six, seven towns here; we could absorb a lot of people here; and have the right of return for the refugees."

Though Arafat routinely cut his bequests to ordinary Palestenians to half or a third of what was asked, no such economies were inflicted on the petitions of his top officials.

The amounts of money stolen from the Palestenian Authority and the Palestenian people may exceed one half of the total of $7 billion in foriegn aid contributed to the Palestenian Authority. The IMF has conservatively estimated that from 1995-2000 Arafat diverted $900 million from the Palestenian Authority coffers. Arafat also made money for his friends and family members through monopolies on products sold to Palestenians and no-bid contracts.

A secret report prepared byan official Palestenian Authority committee headed by Arafat's cousin concluded that in 1996 alone, $326 million, or 43% of the state budget, had been embezzled, and that another $94 million, or 12.5% of the budget, went to the president's office, where it was spent at Arafat's personal discretion. An additional 35% of the budget went to pay for the security services, leaving a total of $73 million, or 9.5% of the budget, to be spent on the needs of the population of the West Bank and Gaza. The financial resources of the PLo were never included in the state budget. Ararfat hid his personal stash, estimated at $1 billion to $3 billion, in more than 200 seperate bank accounts around the world, the majority of which have been uncovered since his death.

posted by Sean McCray | 7:54 PM |


HRC at the DLC
Watched Hillary Rodham Clinton on C-Span, giving a speech at the DLC Annual Meeting.
One word - BORING!
Sorry, the woman has no charisma, and is boring when she speaks. If she wins the nomination in 2008 the Dems will be introuble. Mark Warner is the Democrats best chance at getting back into the White House.

posted by Sean McCray | 7:35 PM |


Response to DevP of

Sean, I'm writing up a response and will have it up at soon, but I wanted to make one side point for now. A big reason that you're seeing "conflicting" claims is that you're amalgamating all antiwar advocates as one, unified, mixedup "Left". In reality, the Democrats represent a lot of diverse interests, and each having their own "solution". (For example, isolationist "just get out" sentiments vs. internationalist "UN 4EVAR" sentiments.)

Really? I have found very little diversity in the antiwar bunch's comments or reasoning. Maybe there are some differences regarding when to withdraw from Iraq, but outside of that there is great uniformity in their comments. The problem is not mixed answers, but inconsistent logic and anti-Bush hatred. The answers to the questions by DevP follow the exact same logic and wording that I have heard from every anti-war person. Now to the questions.

1. Do acts of violence prove we are losing?
His answer was, no. I just want to expand on why I asked this question. Everytime there is a suicide bombing I hear the screed "see, it's a catastrophe!" from the anti-war left.

2. Should we send more troops, or begin withdrawing?
"...A big drawback of this war (and blowing off allies) is that our manpower resources are totally tapped, weakening our response power elsewhere in the world. "
So, do we start withdrawing? Honestly, not right away - an abrupt withdrawal will only create blowback. However, I most certainly do not favor the neo-con idea of setting up permanent forward stations in Iraq, either.

Where has our response been weakened? Not theoretically, but actually.
Once again an anti-war response that is more reactive than pro-active. The comment attempts to define itself more by what it does not think, in comparison to the "neo-cons", instead of on its on logic. (Please, do not use neo-con so loosely)

3. If we need to stay, then what should we do differently?
Get allies. Seriously. I know it's hard, and it's been done, but there have been some obvious diplomatic blunders that have cost us the presence of foreign manpower. Frankly, we just need more resources, and we shouldn't have to shoulder the burden. Getting foreign support means some compromises, but that is what diplomacy is all about. It diplomatic compromise free up enough resources to be more flexible and better defend our homeland, that's certainly worth it.

Not an answer. Thats like telling someone filing for bankruptcy, to get money. The assumption of this comment is that "but for Bush our allies would run to our side". It ignores their own intentions, and they did not run to Clinton on Kosovo. Maybe, you need to realize it is a weakness of those countries not our President. What compromise would bring in an ally that is not already there? what ally will run in, while we are leaving? Same oversimplified answer.

Allow gradual FDI into the country, integrating into local concerns, so that a strong local economy takes root. I'm not against foreign businesses working alongside Iraqis, but I'm concerned about our no-bid sweetheart deals to larger US businesses. Also, make sure the oil rights stay with Iraqis. They'll be hella pissed otherwise. (Maybe put an Alaskan model in place?)

FDI is already allowed. They already have control over their oil.

4. What does winning look like?
Iraq as a busy, noisy, squabbling civil democracy. Middle-class Iraqis sitting in Baghdad cafes, complaining about Iraqi politicians, rather than American ones.
Troops back home, getting well deserved time with their families.

Non answer again. The entire point of asking the questions is to make those who oppose the war actually have to think about answers, not just slogans.
All troops home? Those circumstances already exist in Iraq. They will probably always find a reason to complaina bout American politicians. No details, no real answer. If the present situation is failure, then what is success?

5. Did you support Kosovo? If so, explain how that is morally and legally different from Iraq?
Genocide: it's a big deal.
Similarly, I would support principled intervention in Darfur. There have been war crimes committed by the Baath regime in Iraq, but they are, frankly, at a different scale, which matters when we have only limited resources.
That all said: they same kinds of burdens apply in both cases. Clinton's approach to Kosovo would have benefitted from being more transnational rather than unilateral. (NATO is better than nothing, but still.) Also, note that we didn't have long-term designs on staying in the Balkan region.

There was no genocide in Iraq??? How many have to be killed in a genocide in order for it to reach the "scale" you feel is needed to qualify for American military action? We dont have long term designs on staying in Iraq. Yet, we are still in the Balkan region, so was that a failure?

6. Was Iraq a greater or lesser threat than Afghanistan before 9/11? After 9/11?
(Sidenote: we're already in some fallacy by assuming that there is some magical world-change before and after 9/11. In fact, the same trends in the world, and the same violent fundamentalists, were all around and building pre-911 and post-911. What changed then was our response, and some of the climate, but I think that for security's sake we need to be taking a longer view of these dangerous trends.)

I am not assuming anything magical happened after 9/11, i am asking for clarity.
For example. would the US have been wrong to attack afghanistan, if it knew of the 9/11 plans? we had evidence that Osama was involved in other terrorists attacks on America territory. Did they become some military threat after 9/11? Although his comment does show the idea that many anti-war people hold, that there is nothing really different after 9/11. That is like saying there was nothing different after Pearl Harbor except for America's response. There was already a war, we just joined in the battle. It is a way of minimizing any post 9/11 actions.

So, Afghanistan was explicitly harboring Al Qaeda, and strongly suspected to contain bin Laden. They were, as a nation, broken (and taking down the Taliban was a good thing, but not directly related

They were broken as a nation? what does that mean? But no genocide, right? why not just attack Al Queada? why take out an entire nation? You admit the Taliban was not directly related, then why approve of it?

7. Why are you still arguing about WMD and why the war started?
So, WMDs were, really, a big part of making the case for war when we were deciding to go to war. We had other reasons retroactively, like liberating Iraq and that wacky "buglamp" theory", but this is crucial: when we, as a civil society, were debating going to war, the greatest impetus to approving of the war was that we were under imminent danger from an Iraq containing WMDs. This deliberative process is absolutely vital for democracy.

None of those "wacky" reasons are retroactive. Just because those on the left who never supported the war, did not know all the reasons, does not mean they did not exist. You guys need to admit, that you never supported the war, therefore are not sure about the reasons why most people supported the war. You can only assume why.
There you go with the "imminent threat" comment again. (Which at this point is a lie). How many times will you on the left keep repeating something so blatantly false. Bush never claimed it was imminent, he never claimed Iraq was on the verge of creating nuclear weapons.
Also, it would not have changed your opinion about supporting the war. So why do you suddenly find it important? If it was not important enough to change your mind, why do you assume it was THE issue for those who supported the war? (Hint: it wasn't)

If the claims were honestly "misstated", but by accident, then this is a case of gross negligence, and even if it was an error in good faith, it was still a great error that deserve rebuke. This is a game with friends were you forgive the nice guy: this is about the security of the country, and we deserve only excellent security. So if the very claim that defended and entire war operation was incorrect, that reflects very poorly on the Administration's ability to use their resources to keep us secure. (And to be fair: it reflects poorly on the Senate for uncritically going along with it.)

So was Clinton negligent with the Sudan intelligence when he bombed an aspirin factory? (I have never accused Clinton of lying- about that issue). Intelligence is never 100%, you are always acting in partial darkness. when EVERY intelligence agency on earth, says that something exists. And the one person (Saddam) who can prove otherwise refuses to do that. Then how is it a lie?
The humanitarian organizations inclusding the UN claimed there would be hundreds of thousands of refugees created by the war. That turned out to be completely untrue. Does that make them liars?
The Senate was not uncritical, they read the same intelligence, and came to the same conclusions. Just because the information turned out to be partially untrue, does not automatically mean they were uncritical. Your comments suggest that more questions, would have magically made the intelligence look different. It is another oversimplified answer, that attempts to appear like a bi-partisan critique.

If the claims were purposefully misleading, to use an erroneous WMD case when this was not the core justification, then this is much, much worse. This is effectively subverting the deliberative process and taking advantage of the great trust we put into our chief executive. If we are purposefully being fed bogus data from our leadership, it makes the entire deliberative process moot, and is a strong condemnation of the Administration. (And to be fair: it reflects poorly on the Senate for uncritically going along with it.)

Let me point out, the IF in the answer is exactly the problem. There is no IF involved. We know that we were not purposefully given misleading or bogus information. There has been absolutely no evidence to the contrary. Yet, the anti-war side likes to present their attack as a question, to somehow give an impression of being open to reasoning.

Unfortunately DevP just repeated most of the same answers I have already heard from the left.

posted by Sean McCray | 8:41 AM |


Iraq Questions II:

Did you support Kosovo? If so, explain how that is morally and legally different from Iraq?

How is the Iraq War illegal? According to what statute and what legal authority?
What makes that legal authority a higher authority than the US Constitution?

Was Iraq a greater or lesser threat than Afghanistan before 9/11? After 9/11?
Please explain. Since Afghanistan had no real military, no advanced weapons, a much worse economic situation, no funds to buy or build real weapons. The Taliban protected Al Queada operatives, but the Afghanistan government never threatened the US.

Why are you still arguing about WMD and why the war started?
It is like the left is determined to make those who supported the war cry out "uncle!". The intensity that they are determined to make others admit Bush lied about WMD is as bad as any cult. They never admit that even if the case for nuclear weapons was overstated, that does not equal a lie. There is also no context regarding the illegal weapons we know Saddam had, and the fact that chemical weapons are considered WMD. (I always felt that chemical weapons threat should have been emphasized more than the nuclear.)

posted by Sean McCray | 3:43 PM |


A Few Questions for the Anti-War Faction (Part 1):
I keep hearing over and over only complaints from the left. They seem to attack everything regardless of the lack of logic or facts. Whenever I have asked for solutions, they either start name calling, accuse me of defending Bush, or go silent. That is not what patriotic real self criticism is about. Complaining is easy, being responsible and offering real answers is difficult.
I will post a few questions each day of this week, feel free to email me your response. So here are the first few questions: (Please, also tell me where my assumptions are wrong)

Do acts of violence prove we are losing?
The left seems to point to every single suicide bombing and act of violence as proof that things are going badly. Last time I checked, violent things happen in war. The very nature of war, means you are dealing with a violent conflict with the high likelihood of death.

Should we send more troops, or begin withdrawing?
I keep hearing the two contradictory ideas.

If we need to stay, then what should we do differently?
The question is what should the US do, not what the Europeans should do. We cannot make them do anything more than what they are already doing. To keep saying "get the allies involved" is really not a solution at all. It assumes that the only reason our allies are not sending troops is because we have not asked nicely enough. It ignores the internal politics of those countries and their bad economic situation.

What does winning look like?
The left seems adept at finding any and every kernel of info that might suggest we are losing, but they never put it into any context. You cannot proclaim that we are losing, without a baseline that defines in some way what winning looks like.

posted by Sean McCray | 4:57 PM |


Kanye West: Blood Diamonds
This is another celebrity thinking they are more intelligent than they really are. Wanting to prove their street credibility, since they now drive Rolls Royces.
If he was serious he would call for a boycott of all diamonds. The blood diamonds are almost impossible to track, and to keep off of the market.

posted by Sean McCray | 2:20 AM |


No Tornado Deaths in April-May-June

For the first time since record-keeping started in 1950
no one was killed by a tornado in April, May or June. Normally those
are the top months for tornadoes with an average of 52 fatalities,
sometimes many more.

"That is prime tornado time, so it's amazing," said Joe Schaefer,
director of NOAA's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.
Do you ever wander why positive weather news is never attributed to "global warming"?
I think it is also important to notice that records have only been kept since 1950! We only have 55 years of accurate records on the frequency of tornadoes. This shows how little we know about our climate and weather. The amount of information that we have is just too limited.

posted by Sean McCray | 1:21 PM |


Global Climate Change Coming! Take Heed!
This Newsweek article lays out the coming climate crises the world faces.

"There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have
begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a
drastic decline in food productionÂ? with serious political
implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food
output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. "

"The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to
accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep
up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline
by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain
production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same
time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a
fraction of a degree Â? a fraction that in some areas can mean drought
and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of
tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and
caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states."

"Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any
positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to
allay its effects."
Oh yeah, the Newsweek article was published April 28, 1975. Yes, 1975. When it was predicted that within ten years the crises would begin having an impact in agriculture. Look at the FACTS that are stated regarding the temperature trends:
"A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree
in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945
and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite
photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow
cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two
NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground
in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972."
Have those facts changed, or is the global warming crises really based on looking at short term trends? Those facts have not changed. At least the scientist were a little more honest about the definiteness of their views.
Just what causes the onset of major and minor ice ages remains a
mystery. "Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at
least as fragmentary as our data," concedes the National Academy of
Sciences report. "Not only are the basic scientific questions largely
unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the
key questions."
But, that does not stop them from making extreme recommendations to the politicians.
They concede that some of the more spectacular
solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it
with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far
greater than those they solve.
Nor does it stop them from promoting the doom of inaction.
The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they
find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim
I guess since the coming ice age crises never materialized, they had to find another crises. Seems they decided that the coming ice age was reversed, and we are now headed towards a warming disaster. Which means if we had done what scientists recommended in 1975, we would have made things even worse! This is what happens when people use partial scientific information to make a political point. No legitimate scientist would look at only 20 years of temperatures, and declare them a climate trend. Scientist today get research funds when they can generate headlines. This has created a very bad alliance between political interest groups, the media and money chasing scientist.

Shouldn't something with as large an impact, and as high a cost as the global warming crises claims, have more solid evidence to back it up? Considering that Kyoto admits that it will not actually stop the effects of global warming; Shouldn't the emphasis be on how to deal with climate change, and limit it's negative economic impact. Does it make sense to spend billions dollarsars trying to slow down something that cannot be slowed in any significant way; or to invest in ways to deal with how to adjust our agriculture and economy to be able to handle the oncoming change.

It is clear the present global warming crises is more political than scientific. Science is clear that IF there is global warming, there is really nothing we can do to stop it. Therefore, even if the environmentalists are correct about the coming global warming crises; we should be debating how to deal with that reality. It is irresponsible to just throw money at false solutions, just to "feel" like we are doing something.

posted by Sean McCray | 12:48 PM |


34 MILLION : The number of foreign-born residents in the United States in 2004; they accounted for 12 percent of the nation’s total population. Another 30 million Americans were “second-generation,” meaning that at least one of their parents was born abroad.

posted by Sean McCray | 6:42 PM |


More Global Warming Lies and Fears
The Guardian has article claiming global warming is the cause of starvation in southern African nations. The article is pure speculation and partial facts, used to promote a lie. They ignore the political situations in the countries mentioned. For example, Zimbabwe, they have had declining crops for the past five years, since Mugabe instituted his land reforms. That has nothing to do with global warming. An example of putting forth skewed info: "The 20-year average clearly shows a dramatic increase of desertification and drought," said a leading agricultural economist, Professor Giovanni Quaranta, of the University of Basilicata in southern Italy." A 20 year average! No respectable scientist would make such a dire statement based on only 20 years of data. Regarding the climate 20 years can not show much, unless looked at in greater context.

They ignore the scientific data that shows deserts retreating in other parts of Africa. Notice also, no historical context is given. Is this the driest ever? driest in one hundred years? Is this part of a cycle? Who cares, just promote global warming, and attach it to every weather event. Facts are not important on this issue.

posted by Sean McCray | 2:05 PM |


More Evidence on "Global Warming"
New studies contradict other studies, concerning if Antarctica is shrinking (or not). It is a THEORY, not a fact. Notice the use of computer models, and the scientists saying they hope to use REAL data in the future. The one thing we know for sure, is that we don't know how the climate operates, especially over long periods of time.

"Most people have heard of climate change and how rising air temperatures are melting glaciers and sea ice in the Arctic," said Dylan Powell of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. "However, findings from our simulations suggest a counterintuitive phenomenon. Some of the melt in the Arctic may be balanced by increases in sea ice volume in the Antarctic."

Powell, a doctoral student, is lead author of a paper describing the results in this month's Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans).

For Antarctica, the new study concludes, the extra precipitation will mean deeper snow, which will suppress sea ice below, making it thicker over time.

The idea runs counter to a study earlier this year that found glaciers in part of Antarctica are melting rapidly.

"We used computer-generated simulations to get this research result," Powell cautioned. "I hope that in the future we'll be able to verify this result with real data through a long-term ice thickness measurement campaign."

posted by Sean McCray | 1:58 PM |


State of Fear: Michael Crichton Takes on Global Warming
I have just completed reading the novel "State of Fear" by Michael Crichton. The basic premise of the book is that popular beliefs, that are not backed by scientific facts is dangerous. The context he uses is the present argument regarding global warming. He states fact sand gives citations throughout the book, all with the intention of shedding light on the reality of global warming: that it does not exist. It has not been tested or verified, and many of the ideas that are commonly held are misleading partial truths or complete lies. He is not kind to Hollywood stars who promote these ideas, nor the groups that claim to be environmental organizations. Those groups have become powerful and are now part of the establishment. Man is incapable of preserving any environment, he can only hope to attempt managing it. There is no such thing as pure nature, nothing remains the same for any long periods of time.
For example:
1. Sea levels are not rising, there is no consistent numbers showing any rise in the sea level over the last 20 years;
2. Carbon dioxide levels have increased from 1940-1970, while the global temperature actually went down;
3. The Antarctic is not shrinking, it is actually getting thicker;
the US temperature has risen only a third of a degree in the past 120 years.
4. The Antarctic is getting colder not warmer, from 1986 - 2000 the central Antarctic valleys cooled .7 degrees Celsius.
5. The Kyoto treaty if fully implemented would have only reduced the warming by .02 degrees Celsius.

The book documents how, even if there is warming it most likely would be beneficial for most people. He specifically states the fact that a desert in Africa has been receding, giving way to plant growth.

My biggest problems with global warming have always been:
1. It always struck me as defying common sense. If we cannot predict the weather two weeks from now, what makes us so capable of predicting the weather 100 years from now.
2. It is elitist and playing God. It is the industrialized world saying that we like things how they are, and don't want them to change.
3. The very idea that humans can somehow control the climate is laughable.

One day we will look back on the global warming craze, and wander how anybody ever believed it. It will take its place next to other false scares like the population explosion; nuclear winter and eugenics.

posted by Sean McCray | 5:22 PM |

"Obliterating a provision of the Consitution, of course, guarantees that it will not be misapplied."

Justice Clarence Thomas (dissent in Kelo)

posted by Sean McCray | 8:55 AM |


Kelo et al. v. City of New London et al.
The Supreme Court hands a defeat to private property, and gives more power to government and corporate interests. The government will seek the cheapest land avaliable to TAKE, his will effect low income areas with greater impact. This is one more example of ignoring the plain meaning of the Constitution and promoting the idea of "the common good" over the rights of individuals.

The Fifth Amendment provides: "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process, of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

The dissent was written by O'Connor, and a second dissent was written by Thomas.

Justice O'Connor

Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded--i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public--in the process. To reason, as the Court does, that the incidental public benefits resulting from the subsequent ordinary use of private property render economic development takings "for public use" is to wash out any distinction between private and public use of property--and thereby effectively to delete the words "for public use" from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Accordingly I respectfully dissent.
Justice Thomas:
If such "economic development" takings are for a "public use," any taking is, and the Court has erased the Public Use Clause from our Constitution, as Justice O'Connor powerfully argues in dissent. I do not believe that this Court can eliminate liberties expressly enumerated in the Constitution and therefore join her dissenting opinion. Regrettably, however, the Court's error runs deeper than this. Today's decision is simply the latest in a string of our cases construing the Public Use Clause to be a virtual nullity, without the slightest nod to its original meaning. In my view, the Public Use Clause, originally understood, is a meaningful limit on the government's eminent domain power. Our cases have strayed from the Clause's original meaning, and I would reconsider them.

posted by Sean McCray | 1:47 PM |

When Will Democrats Stop Lying About the 2004 Election?
A washington post article states that Democrats have put out a report that claims "More than a quarter of voters, and more than half of black voters, experienced problems at Ohio polling places during the 2004 presidential vote"
Although they admit that the problems were not enough to change the outcome of the election.
I have a hard time believing this. I am from Ohio, most of my family and friends voted in OHIO and had NO problems at all. NONE. One person had some problems, but they were legitimate problems (they forgot to change their address when they moved)- and they were allowed to vote with the minimum amount of problems.
Just like in Florida, these comments are from outsiders with a political agenda. Just like with Florida it will end up hurting the Dems the most.

BTW- Talk about hypocrisy. Now Dems want to eleminate touch screen voting machines. Republicans were the ones saying we shouldn't rush into touch screen machines. The Rep. Sec. of State in Ohio was attacked for not rushing more touch screen machines to the polls. NOW Democrats suddenly dont want to use them! LOL.

posted by Sean McCray | 6:01 AM |


It's Time to Set a Withdrawal Timetable, and Begin Bringing Troops Home
I have been a complete supporter of the war in Iraq. I have come to the conclusion that it is time to set a timetable, and bring the troops home.

I have heard the argument that this will only encourage the insurgents to hide and wait for the US to leave. My response, so what? If they hide and wait, that will create a period where the chaos will settle down, that will also give Iraqi troops time to train and be prepared?
While the insurgents wait, their purpose for the attacks will either leave or they will have to come up with a new one. I believe they will come up with a new one, which will only alienate them more from the majority of Iraqis.

The US should first move most of our troops to the borders, to seal them. While doing this, set a timetable of 18-24 months for full withdrawal. The first troops should begin withdrawing by the end of 2005, or right after the Iraqi elections. We can still train Iraqi forces while withdrawing, and sealing the border will at prevent new insurgents from entering, and lock those in Iraq within the borders. We will continue air support, and equipment and supplies. The US military will mostly protect aid workers, and training facilities. The US will then go back to the UN and call the bluff of the French and others, by asking them to replace the US troops with UN peacekeepers, or allow Iraq to fall into chaos. We have done our job, now it is time for others to support the Iraqi people. The US should send a strong message that we will leave regardless. I also think that Iraqi forces will feel the urgency of the US leaving. They will know that soon they can no longer run, or depend on the US for actual combat support.

The beginning of the troop withdrawal will also send a message to the Middle East, US citizens and the world, that we have no desire to occupy Iraq. With the moving of our troops to the Iraqi border, it will also send a strong message to Iran and Syria. That we are watching them, and free to move militarily against them, if we need to.

In case of an emergency, we can always slow down the withdrawal. Remember Clinton promised we would not be in Bosnia-Kosovo for more than two years, yet we are still there. This will also change the domestic argument and completely deflate the looney left's arguments about the war. Bush will then be able to move forward with his domestic agenda, and the country will mentally move forward.

posted by Sean McCray | 5:50 AM |


Government Hits One-Day Tax Revenue High
Well what do you know. Revenue from taxes have increased faster than expected, without any increases in taxes.

"After totaling it all up, the Treasury Department announced Thursday that it had collected $61 billion on Wednesday. That surpassed the old one-day record of $56 billion set on Dec. 15, 2000.

The government's coffers have been swelling this year as tax receipts from both individuals and corporations have been on the rise, reflecting an improving economy. Because of those increases, this year's federal deficit is expected to fall to around $350 billion, down from the $413 billion record in dollar terms set in 2004."

posted by Sean McCray | 10:26 PM |


In Congo, 1,000 die per day: Why isn't it a media story?
The Sudan crises has finally made the news, but it is not the only humanitarian crises in Africa.

"What the world media are missing is one of the deadliest conflicts since World War II: 3.8 million people have died in the Congo since 1998, dwarfing not only the biggest of natural catastrophes, such as December's South Asia tsunami, but also other manmade horrors, such as Darfur."
The good news is that Americans are taking a closer look at Africa. "A new Zogby poll, conducted for the International Crisis Group, has revealed that 53 percent of Americans think the US doesn't pay enough attention to the problems of Africa. "

posted by Sean McCray | 11:25 AM |

Whose Asian Century?
This article argues a point I have been making for a few years now: India, not China will be the 21st Century economic powerhouse. He mentions the high level of literacy and the number of people in India who are fluent in English. Another demographic trend that favors India, is the age of their population. About half of the population is under 30, while China has a large and growing elderly population which it owes pensions to. India is also growing at a rate above replacement rate, while China's birthrate has actually fallen below the replacement rate.

The forces that will determine which nations will dominate the 21st century may yet favor India's emerging reach for global power status more than China's determined grasp for that prize.
Kamal Nath, India's energetic minister of commerce and industry, states the case with economy: "China may win the sprint, but India will win the marathon." In Nath's view, this will be the Asian Century -- but not in the ways many in the United States and Europe assume or fear.

Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns speaking to a U.S.-European group in Brussels on May 26, Burns observed: "The greatest change you will see in the next three or four years is a new American focus on South Asia, particularly in establishing a closer strategic partnership with India . . . If you look at all the trends -- population, economic growth, foreign policy trends -- there's no question that India is the rising power in the East. . . . I think you'll see this as a major focus of our president and our secretary of state, and it will be the area of greatest dynamic positive change in American foreign policy."

posted by Sean McCray | 11:13 AM |

Michael Jackson:
Just a quick note to lend support to those who do believe MJ is innocent.
There was an astounding lack of any child porn found by the prosecution. This is extremely rare for any pedophile. Pedophiles almost always have child pornography. They had none on MJ's computer or any magazines, pictures.

MJ actually standing trial is also a sign of an innocent person. He had the means to leave the country and tell the system to shove it. Most of his money is made outside of the US.

FYI: Check out his website, interesting opening.

posted by Sean McCray | 11:08 AM |


Media Mania Over Gitmo
The media, Time Magazine, is once again showing it's irresponsible ability to hype a story. Once again it is a story aimed at promoting a liberal agenda.
They seem to care more about the Gitmo prisoners than other Americans who are subjected to rape and other criminal activity in our prison system. But they want the prison system dealing with terrorists suspects to be perfect.
The argument that how we treat the detainees will effect how our troops are treated is completely false and disingenuous.
Go read the interrogation notes. I guess anything short of a country club or spa atmosphere, is considered torture. The acts listed are no worse than how we treat our own soldiers during training. Sorry, but the following is not torture:

"Interrogators began telling detainee how ungrateful and grumpy he was. In order to escalate the detainee's emotions, a mask was made from an MRE box with a smily face on it and placed on the detainee's head for a few moments. A latex glove was inflated and labeled the "sissy slap" glove. The glove was touched to the detainee's face periodically after explaining the terminology to him. The mask was placed back on the detainee's head. While wearing the mask, the team began dance instruction with the detainee. The detainee became agitated and began shouting. "

"Told detainee that a dog is held in higher esteem because dogs know right from wrong and know how to protect innocent people from bad people. Began teaching the detainee lessons such as stay, come, and bark to elevate his social status up to that of a dog."

"He was laid out on the floor so I straddled him without putting my weight on him. He would then attempt to move me off of him by bending his legs in order to lift me off but this failed because the MPs were holding his legs down with their hands."

posted by Sean McCray | 4:18 PM |
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