Here is an excerpt from a call on Rush’s show yesterday about an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel that wanted to chat a bit on the war, his feelings on it and the “drive-by” media. It’s excellent and illuminating, and not all that different than some of the things my brother has said, especially about the nature of our military and the media’s obsession with death rather than victory.
Archive for May, 2006
Posted by Sal on May 31, 2006
The lovely Mrs. Sal alerted me today to a case which is now before a U.S. District judge to determine whether convicted murderer Robert Kosilek has a “right” to a sex-change operation while serving his life sentence. An “expert” witness has said that Kosilek is suffering from Gender Identity Disorder, and will kill himself if not treated. The same U.S. District judge, Mark Wolf, ruled in 2002 that Kosilek had a right to treatment in this area, which has given him therapy, female hormone treatments, and laser hair removal. The psychobabble experts are all saying that this is “medically necessary” and not providing it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
Mrs. Sal recently read a book entitled One Nation Under Therapy by Christina Hoff Sommers and Sally Satel. While I have not read the book, I have heard much about it from Mrs. Sal. The idea that Therapists are turning everything into a disease to excuse all sorts of deviant behavior is troubling. “Gender Identity Disorder” may be a real psychological condition. But instead of trying to correct the problem, the psychobabble experts are encouraging it. It is like telling someone with split personality disorder that they should give equal credence to all their personalities.
I’m tired of gender being treated as something that can be chosen or changed. Gender is as much a part of a person as their heart, arm, or brain. And while we can do a heart transplant, the heart must be compatible or else infection will result. Real Psychologists would try to treat the disorder, not encourage it.
Finally, the other maddening part of this is that if Kosilek wins his case, the taxpayers of the U.S. have to pay for this sex change operation. Frankly, I don’t have any confidence that the judge will rule correctly, given the activist bent of judges today, so be proud of the fact that our tax dollars are being used to provide a convicted murderer with a sex change.
Posted by Sal on May 30, 2006
Henry Paulson, Chairman of Wall Street Financial firm Goldman Sachs, has been named as Treasury secretary by President Bush. This is a good move on the part of the Bush Administration. Paulson will be both an excellent spokesman for an economy that grew at its fastest rate in 2 1/2 years this past quarter, and a good policy influencer in bringing more conservative economic policies to the White House to prolong the robust expansion we are already in the midst of.
Posted by Mike on May 28, 2006
It was reported today that Pope Benedict XVI asked God why he remained silent during the Holocaust? This is of course a more specific and gut wrenching version of the question: “why is there evil in the world?” In my opinion, free will is the most obvious answer and also the simplest. C.S. Lewis once argued that God would not be loving if he did not give us free will. How perfect can a love of God and from God be if it is neither freely given nor received?
Many in the blogosphere are wondering whether God was silent during the Holocaust. They cite the Allied response to Hitler’s 6 million atrocities as evidence that there is good in the world, even with our exercise of free will.
Benedict showed courage by asking this question aloud.
Posted by Ryan on May 28, 2006
John Murtha is a disgrace. All of a sudden, after all his efforts to discredit Bush, the war effort, and consequently giving aid to our enemies by giving them hope, John Murtha NOW sees this Marine scandal as the one big thing that’ll end support for the Iraq War.
First of all, if those Marines killed civilians in a non-collateral, intentional way, then I absolutely believe they need to hang. We’re still figuring all that out. However, seizing this as a political tool to advance one’s own anti-war agenda by insinuating that “our troops” are engaging in this activity is slanderous at best, treasonous at worst during wartime.
These troops may have acted horribly, not the troops. I take great insult to this and I’m not the only one. Did he ever support the war without conditions? Is this just shameless political posturing? What’s sad is that he’s also using his former Marine credentials to help demoralize our troops and nation during a war, while giving hope to our enemies in the region.
Way to celebrate Memorial Day, John.
Posted by Mike on May 28, 2006
The leftist kooks at the New York Slimes are grumbling. They really want their hero Al Gore to challenge She Who Must Not Be Named in 2008. I especially love this fawning quote from Frank Rich: “Mr. Gore’s stands on Iraq (both in 1991 and 2002) were manifestations of leadership – the single attribute most missing from the current Democrats with presidential ambitions.”
Click here for the real story of Gore’s “manifestation of leadership” in 1991.
Posted by Ryan on May 27, 2006
Yesterday, my brother, Staff Sergeant Patrick Hynes, was kind enough to drive down to New Jersey (by Rhode Island standards a very big undertaking to be on the road 4 full hours!). The purpose was double– visit his brother (me), as well as speak to my classes about his experiences in Iraq.
On the first end, we had a great dinner Thursday at this place called The Hearth, then smoked a nasty cigar and pounded a few in true brotherly form. Getting up Friday was tough, but we pulled it off.
On the education front, I was able to get a large lecture hall and invited eight other teachers to visit with different classes throughout the day. I introduced him, then he showed two slide-show videos, 95% of which was taken by his camera:
- the typical media portrayal of violent, bloody Iraq
- the good-will ambassador relief effort, everyday life near Sadr City, Iraq
Then, he took Q&A for about 15 minutes at the end of each period. It was a lesson on HIS contrasting experiences (his Hummer was IED’d 3 times!) and on storytelling– if you want a gloomy Iraq you can find it; if you want a great humanitarian story, you can find that story as well, as he has seen them both up close and personal.
The kids asked GREAT questions and the teachers were thoroughly impressed. Yes, there was that one out-of-touch ex-hippie teacher that was offended by some of the images, threatened to email my supervisor (who I invited, by the way) her complaints, and made snide comments throughout the video portion of the presentation to the revulsion of those around her. She was only there one period… actually, my boss liked it so much, he stayed for two!
My students got a real education yesterday and I just wanted to give props to my brother for his service and the favor to come down and visit my classes!
Posted by Ryan on May 27, 2006
President Bush gave a commencement address at West Point Academy today. I just got up in time to watch it. Brilliant speech, laying out the historical process from Truman, through the end of the Cold War and how the lessons of the past have helped us move towards the future. We have seen a military transistion unlike that of any period since the late 1940s. Bush referred heavily to Truman and the decisions Truman had to make to set precedent that would help us eventually defeat Soviet communism.
This was Bush strong on defense, clear in his thoughts, and in front of a crowd with special significance– the Class of 2006 was the first to enlist AFTER 9/11. Meaning, they knew war was coming and that they would eventually have to answer the call. One of my favorite lines from Bush dealt with the notion that “this war started on my watch, but it’ll end on yours.” It is the brave young men and women of our armed services that make our lives as rich as they are here in the States, and will be vanguards of that peace and justice long into the future.
Posted by Mike on May 25, 2006
I always believed that temporary taxes were permanent. I stand corrected. The temporary telephone tax to fund the Spanish American War has been repealed. President McKinley kept his promise. Maybe I’ll believe the next politician who claims his or her tax increase isn’t permanent.
Posted by Mike on May 25, 2006
Rick Santorum has been rock solid since being elected in 1994. Unborn children could not ask for a better friend. He supports a strong American military. He tries to keep our taxes low. Unfortunately, Rick Santorum does not have the edge in this year’s Senate race. He is down in the polls and will probably lose if his opponent can dupe good-hearted pro-lifers into voting for a Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and a Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy. Although he is at a disadvantage and probably will be on election day, I have always said the race would tighten once the difference in campaigning ability became an issue. Well, it’s here.
Santorum has taken his stand on illegal immigration. What say you Bob Casey? Oh right.
Your entire campaign is based on hiding behind your father’s good name.
Posted by Mike on May 25, 2006
If you ever want to know which way the political winds are blowing during an election year, watch the moderate Republicans. Under normal circumstances, these RINOs crave the approval of the media. During an election year, they seek the approval of the voters. The Democrat strategy for re-taking the House in November is to target blue state moderate Republicans. This is because that is where there are enough Democrat voters to unseat Republicans. Denny Hastert isn’t going to lose his seat.
Rep. Christopher Shays (RINO-CT) is your prototypical spineless RINO. Shays has been quoted in the Washington Times as saying: “I don’t want to see a bill come to the floor of the House that gives them a path to citizenship.” This recent moment of clarity is probably due to the fact that Congressman Shays regularly holds town meetings so he can figure out what he is supposed to believe. It appears that even the voters of the Volvo Republican districts of Connecticut oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. It seems the message is starting to get through.
The House is key because they feel more pressure than Senators who only face re-election every six years. Shays is feeling the heat. Other RINOs like Sue Kelly are as well. Perhaps our borders will be respected after all.
Hat tip to The Laura Ingraham Show for drawing my attention to this article.
Posted by Mike on May 25, 2006
No leader is perfect. Ronald Reagan, the greatest President of the twentieth century, made a mistake in 1986 when he granted amnesty to illegal immigrants. I have always defended Reagan on this issue because he did not have his own failure as an example. Ed Meese, a key player in the that amnesty failure, reminds us that this amnesty is strikingly similar to the amnesty proposal of 20 years ago and makes a great case for not repeating the mistakes of the past.
Posted by Mike on May 24, 2006
Expose the Left is doing just that tonight. Earlier today many media outlets, led by ABC News, falsely reported that House Speaker Dennis Hastert was being investigated in a bribery scandal. To ABC’s credit, they have corrected the story. Not so for many in the left-wing blogosphere who are still running the original story.
This from the same people who say Bush lied.
Posted by Mike on May 24, 2006
It is well known that I’m a Stephen Harper fan. Once again, I’m impressed. Convinced that the Parliament Hill press corps is nothing but an arm of the opposition, Harper has announced that he will ignore them and take his common sense message directly to the people. Bravo Prime Minister!
Our White House press corps has acted like a political opposition since President Bush took office. Heck, they don’t even pretend to be objective anymore. Why continue the charade? I thought I’d never say this, but we could learn something from Canada. Ay?
Posted by Ryan on May 24, 2006
I had a good chuckle watching a few of these videos from a Drudge link to the Competitive Enterprise Institute. While I agree with some of their CO2 assumptions in the second video, I don’t quite embrace their approach.
Either way, they’re worth a look and the third video is a critique of Algore– who wants us all to change our lives, but gets on planes to travel the world, polluting all the way. Hypocritical or just choking on his own ideals?
Posted by Mike on May 23, 2006
She Who Must Not Be Named recently blamed abortion on pro-lifers rather than the people who support keeping it legal at any time for any reason. She especially blames conservatives for denying poor women contraceptives. Funny. I thought whore pills were legal.
Posted by Mike on May 23, 2006
This new age of media we enjoy is a wonderful thing. People who in the past would have been uninformed or misinformed by three networks and an Old Gray Whore in New York now have more access to up-to-the-minute and accurate information than ever before. However, even the most informed among us can lose sight of the big picture. I pleased guilty to this as well. News in the 21st century can be like viewing a Monet masterpiece. From far away, with perspective, it is a masterpiece. Up close, it’s a big ol’ mess. Kudos to Michael Novak for remembering the big picture.
Illegal immigration is the hottest topic in the country at this time and President Bush could not be more hopelessly wrong. (Hat tip Curtis Sliwa). The issue is at the forefront of our debate and tearing the only responsible political party in half. I disagree with this President. I wish he would drop it. Nevertheless, I admire President Bush.
Thanks to President Bush, the U.S no longer views terrorism as a criminal enterprise where the best response is limited to those directly involved in a particular attack. Recognizing the reality of terrorist organizations, President Bush shifted our sitting duck strategy to an offensive battle plan where not only terrorist organizations, but nations who harbor them are held accountable. The Taliban regime which harbored and cooperated with terrorists is gone and millions are free. Saddam Hussein, who harbored and cooperated with terrorists, is out of power and millions are freely choosing their own government. America is safer as a result.
Taxes are lower and the economy is stronger than when Bush took office. It is our money. Bush was right to let us keep more of it. I will stand behind him when he pushes to make them permanent.
The judiciary is being filled with judges who recognize that it is their job to follow the law, not to amend it. Justices Roberts and Alito are off to great starts. Courts which follow the Constitution rather than the op ed page of the Old Gray Whore should terrify those who believe in the right of abortionists to murder the unborn.
Our President is not perfect. Sometimes his decisions are infuriating but conservatives are capable of seeing the big picture. Sometimes this happens a little too close to election day for my liking, but it happens. To my fellow conservatives: I share your outrage, but I ask you to remember the previous occupants of the White House. We are better off than we were six years ago. Many of President Bush’s wiser decisions will past the test of history. Let’s follow Michael Novak’s lead. Stand up and be counted.
Posted by Ryan on May 23, 2006
Lloyd Bentsen has died at the age of 85. Being a consumer of political minutia, I was the only younger history teacher in the lounge who recognized the name and gave a nostalgic “aw shucks” at the report. I had put him into the “I already thought he died” pile with George McGovern, who I hear may still be kicking.
Distinguished career, but old-school liberal. He is hailed for two major things:
- Using that “I knew Jack Kennedy” line in the 1988 Veep debate.
- Contributing to the largest tax increase in American history in Bill Cliinton’s 1993 “deficit reduction” package.
But the Texas Senator who received one West Virginian Electoral Vote in 1988 (Bush- 426; Dukakis- 111; Bentsen- 1) gets this moment when we all can reflect on his career to public service.
Posted by Mike on May 21, 2006
My internet access is back and so am I. I apologize to the Axis of Right community for my recent prolonged absence. I assure you it will not happen again.
I am firmly in the camp that believes She Who Must Not be Named is a virtual lock for the Democrat nomination in 2008. She will be able to raise funds without moonbat support and has an otherwise strong organization. The only person who can defeat her is Al Gore. He is all but officially diagnosed as mental which helps in a primary and he can claim electability based on his popular vote success in 2000.
Much to my delight, his recent decision to avoid stating that the wicked witch of the east would make a good President tells me that he is starting to act like a candidate.
Posted by Ryan on May 21, 2006
Ray Nagin, the most inept mayor of a large city since Newark’s own Sharpe James, has been reelected 52-48% over Lt. Governor Landrieu to continue his tenure over the “Chocolate City.” Though the absentee ballots were close, Nagin pulled ahead in the end and will continue to blame everyone else for his travails, beg others for money then blame them for the city’s future woes, and generally continue the policies that made Nawlins suck even before Katrina.
Posted by Ryan on May 20, 2006
Apparently, the movie is not that good. Reviewers from around the nation have been luke-warm on the film, which is based on a book that spend years on Bestseller’s Lists. Obviously, sometimes the book does not translate well on film, so shortly after its release. Some Christian groups have wanted to boycott the film, but they could be overreacting or grandstanding on the principle of a movie like this. It’s their prerogative, though.
However, I have not read the book, not for any good or bad reason, but because I have such a reading list and such little time. I still don’t know if I’ll see the movie. I am aware the premise of this work of historical fiction is about the Catholic church hiding some piece of information about Jesus Christ from the rest of us. It’s directed by the formulaic Ron Howard and is “talky” to some critics. Now, I don’t mind a psychological thriller, or even a movie that is somewhat critical of religion for that matter, but if this film has at its root some real Hollywood-driven anti-Catholic message, rubbing it in the face of the viewer for some juvenile anti-religious giggles, then I may have to obstain.
If I see it, though I’ll review it.
Posted by Ryan on May 20, 2006
The Iraqi Parliament has finally chosen a government, minus just a few positions. The missing positions, however, happen to be three security posts that caused a few Sunnis to walk out in protest.
Nonetheless, it is a huge move in the right direction as the Prime Minister said that his biggest priority will be security and phasing out the multinational forces. Good for them! I hope it works out.
Posted by Ryan on May 15, 2006
I’m quite worried that the President is going to mess things up tonight with this televised address to the nation on the issue of immigration. He needs to secure the border with a fence, guard and serious consequences for those coming over illegally.
Instead, I fear, we’ll just get placation– a token few guardsmen, a whimpering plea to Congress for cooled off amnesty or more money, and plenty of other sugar in the Kool-Aid. It’s repurcussions will undoubtedly leave conservatives like myself alienated from a President who I want to like, but who’s seriously dropping the ball.
Posted by Ryan on May 13, 2006
Yesterday, May 12, 2006, my brother Army Staff Sergeant Patrick C. Hynes returned home from a 12 month tour of duty in Iraq– 6 months in the Taji area in the north of Baghdad (including parts of Sadr City), and 6 months in Western Iraq out of the Al Asad Airbase, monitoring the Jordanian border and Marine convoys through Fallujah and Ramadi.
He is quite glad to be home with his two daughters and loving and appreciative family. It was a great homecoming. My mom was quite pleased that all four of her children were in the same place for the first time in a while on Mother’s Day weekend. He slept for about 12 hours before getting up this morning! He and I took his daughters all around shopping– he has a lot of catching up to do on all those CDs and DVDs he missed! We may even have to tackle a few spirits later on this evening! (wink, wink)
Posted by Sal on May 11, 2006
Yet another classified NSA program has been spilled to the press by “anonymous sources”. Apparently, the NSA keeps a database of all phone calls made in America to try to get “trends” on people to determine if there are any trends that have terrorist underpinnings. They do not, however, listen to the content of the calls.
The people who leaked this information, and that of the Foreign call surveillance program, need to be tracked down and tried for treason. There is no other word to describe their crime. Willfully and knowingly subverting the National Security interests of the U.S. is a crime of treason. By leaking this information, the leaker and the press is giving aid to our enemy, the Islamo-fascist terrorists who have declared war on America and the entire West.
If a person has a problem of conscience with a program such as this, they should use proper channels to protest — the Senate/House Intelligence Committees (for which there is a provision for this type of thing), the Director of Central Intelligence, etc. To leak this classified and sensitive information to the world is cowardly and treacherous. The so-called leak of Valerie Plame was nothing compared to the damage done to our surveillance of terrorists by the leaks of the past few months.
Posted by Sal on May 11, 2006
Well, after a somewhat lengthy hiatus due to capitalistic concerns, I’m back to further discuss and debate here at the Axis of Right.
As many of you know, two of my more passionate topics include Judicial Activism and the State of the American educational system. Well, both of these topics merged this week when a California state judge tentatively threw out a state law requiring an exam for students to pass in order to graduate high school, on the grounds that it violated the Equal Protection clause by not catering to students who do not speak English.
There are so many things wrong with this. First, it is not up to a JUDGE to decide social policy. Most of the crap in this country has not been a result of the votes of the people or their duly-elected federal representatives, but by activist judges who expand their role into that of a philosopher-king, one who is beyond the reproach of the people and who, with a flick of the gavel, can overrule the will of the people for no other reason than his or her own personal feelings.
On the education issue, why is it so controversial to require a minimum-standards test to graduate? Life itself is full of tests, entrance exams, job interviews, etc. We spend too much time coddling our high school students, and not enough time preparing them for the harsh reality of life. We are doing them a disservice by constantly letting them pass through and graduate. It is this reason that a high school diploma barely means anything anymore. The test itself is not hard — it’s been rated at a 6th-grade level of basic reading and Math. The test and its results in CA have shown, over the past several years, an increase in the education quality, as more and more students are being prepared earlier with the skills necessary. Now, because of the whim of one man, the normal, every-day Americans who benefit from this test’s existence, will suffer. It may be satisfying to the students who did not pass this year, but it will not benefit them in the long run, nor will it benefit the rest of CA’s kids.
Posted by Ryan on May 9, 2006
Apparently, the major powers have no agreement on what to do with Iran. I was actually hopeful that Mahmoud’s letter was going to break the deadlock– that Iran wanted to engage the world community, but under certain conditions that we could accomplish through nuance and back channels. Apparently, Mahmoud just wanted to nag Bush directly, rather than through those loopy speeches.
But what should we do with Iran? China sees an emerging energy market in Iran that they need to tap into. Russia sees another client state. France is simply irrelevant.
These questions seem to me to be quite relevant, though:
- Do we embrace a new nuclear power with ties to international terrorism if it eventually helps our economic relationship with China and Russia?
- Do we gather another “coalition of the willing” and kick ass, risking a collective stroke amongst America’s Left and the MSM?
- Is it even worth trying to compromise with a nation bent on vaporizing one of our friends in the Mideast?
- What good is a UN Security Council Resolution in the post-9/11 world anyway?
As the UN obstructs, the clock keeps ticking toward that day when we may have only one option with Iran.
Posted by Ryan on May 7, 2006
Democrats are getting confident: so says the Washington Compost in an article where Nancy Pelosi has finally started to outline what Dems’ll do once in office after they believe they will trounce Republicans this fall. Essentially, they’d:
- End all their legislative obstructionism with harmful policies toward America’s business class by raising the arbitrarily calculated minimum wage (a guarantee to produce 1970s-style inflation, especially when mixed with high energy costs).
- End the rogue Bush Administration (with more verve than they are willing to use in fighting terrorists) by investigating the Administration to paralysis. They’ll cause the paralysis, then blame Republicans for it.
- Reevaluate our energy policies by taking the populist approach of hurting the oil companies with new taxes and paralyzing investigations. This will, of course, produce significant supply problems leading to major gas shortages.
They are hoping for a 2006 version of the “Contract With America.” Dick Armey believes that their politics will be effective, though their message is the same old tax and spend nonsense. Yet, he believes that there’s a good chance that they might pick up a net 15 seats in the House.
Elizabeth Dole is out there saying that she needs more money to fight the Dems off in the Senate elections. By putting money in the hands of RINOs like Chafee, she will not get ANY of my money.
Maybe the Republicans need a scare. America wants leadership on big issues and poll like they want conservative policies on immigration, drilling, and the War. Yet, the moderate Reps offer “compromise” which leads to paralysis since the Dems don’t want anything accomplished in this election year anyway. I don’t want to have to have 2 years of Democratic demagogery, damage to business, and weakness in the War on Terror, but Reps are not NOT making their case. And there’s only six months left.
Posted by Ryan on May 5, 2006
So now it’s prescription drugs. This story sounds even more shady today. Kennedy gets to admit he has human failings, gets to go to the Mayo Clinic while the heat dies down, and gets to fly, yet again, to reelection in the People’s Republic of Rhode Island. A very convenient, almost formulaic situation. Pelosi and Daddy have their tracks all over this.
He may have real, authentic problems with pain killers, Ambien, alcohol, or cocaine (rumor has it his drug of choice while at Providence in the 1980s). Yet, Fred Barnes on Special Report with Brit Hume tonight made an interesting point about Kennedy’s “un-remembering” of details about the incident demonstrated in the discrepancies between yesterday’s account and today’s act of contrition. Fred also took a swipe at RI voters for putting up with things like this: from the other recent accident, to the battering of an airport security guard, to his crass insulting of John Paul the Great in the country’s most Catholic state back in the 2000 Election.
He is an elected functionary who really does need to know how to take his meds. As human as he may be, the voters in Rhode Island’s First District don’t have to put up with an addict as their Representative. But they will. I still believe that he’ll get 60+%.
Posted by Ryan on May 4, 2006
Like father, like son! Patrick “My Dad Sure Can Swim” Kennedy was involved in a car “hiccup” accident early this morning, hitting a police barrier en route to a vote… a vote he was at least THREE hours late for! Now much else is “hiccup” known about what happened. Drudge has more details.