Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Real Iraq

Of all the adjectives used by skeptics and critics to describe today’s Iraq, the only one that has a ring of truth is “messy.” Yes, the situation in Iraq today is messy. Births always are. Since when is that a reason to declare a baby unworthy of life?
Read the whole, long piece by Amir Taheri.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

To Connect the Dots You Have to See the Dots

Mark Steyn on NSA collection and analysis of phone records. Hint: it's OK because -- remember -- we're at war.

From "Eternity" to Here

Thoughts on Memorial Day from Peggy Noonan.

My grandfather (my namesake) served in the Marines. Semper fi.

My father-in-law retired as a colonel in the Air Force. Into the wild blue yonder.

My uncle was a fighter pilot, a reservist called up during the Korean War. He was shot down 30 October 1951 leaving a widow and two daughters.

I've served 11 years on active duty as an AF JAG, and 9 years as a reservist.

The price of freedom is sacrifice and blood. We need to remember.

Mormon Connection in Next Dan Brown Book?

The Solomon Key reportedly will involved a murder of political leaders by some with Freemason connections. KSL has the story about Brown's interest in the Mormon-Mason connection.

It's come to this

British MP Galloway says a suicide bombing to assassinate Tony Blair would be "morally justified." Nuts on the Left are at one with the mortal enemies of the West.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Make the law; above the law?

FoxNews has the headline and the story: Lawmakers Question Legality of Rep. Jefferson Office Search. The privileged political class isn't going to get a lot of sympathy from the rest of us.

UPDATE: National Review: "By nothing more than dumb luck, the Republican-controlled Congress—lambasted for the junkets, earmarks, and “culture of corruption” that have aligned to produce the lowest approval ratings in memory—was handed a shot at some desperately needed redemption. All its leaders had to do was make the right choice between condemning the rankest corruption and displaying an outsized arrogance. Guess which one they chose?" Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: New Congressional bumper sticker: "Warrants: not good enough for us, too good for you."

Bin Laden: Moussaoui not linked to 9/11

The AP has the story:
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Osama bin Laden purportedly said in an audio tape Tuesday that Zacarias Moussaoui - the only person convicted in the U.S. for the Sept. 11 attacks - had nothing to do with the operation.

"He had no connection at all with Sept. 11," the speaker, claiming to be bin Laden, said in the tape posted on the Internet.

"I am the one in charge of the 19 brothers and I never assigned brother Zacarias to be with them in that mission," he said, referring to the 19 hijackers.

. . .
Let's see -- a confessed co-conspirator who is still at large says the only suspect charged and convicted had nothing to do with it, and we're supposed to believe him -- why?

Wonder what 9/11 conspiracy theorists make of this latest tape: Osama takes credit for the 9/11 attack (so it was a U.S. government operation?); but he exonerates Moussaoui (so the CIA is putting out this tape -- why?).

UPDATE: Translation of entire text here.

Bush's courage

As all of us are well aware, President Bush's poll numbers are in steep decline, and even before the end of his term, some historians have already written him off as the nation's worst President ever. Some of the criticism directed against him is justified -- all Presidents incur their fair share of it -- but the depth and intensity of his critics' hostility and contempt toward this man is virtually without precedent in American history. The struggle in Iraq is the hinge upon which his historical reputation will eventually turn, and as I have confessed on this site, I myself have deeply ambivalent feelings about the war. But I also recognize that my ambivalence is fueled primarily by a media I have long since learned to view with a jaundiced eye, and I also have enough historical sense and perspective to know that Mr. Bush is not the first President to be regarded with widespread derision, and written off by the pundits as being an incompetent dunce at best, and a national disaster at worst. Among previous Presidents, the one perhaps most comparable to Mr. Bush was Harry Truman, whose approval rating dipped as low as 23% during his administration, but who now enjoys a deserved reputation as one of the great Presidents of the twentieth century. Truman, like Bush, was blunt and plainspoken, fiercely loyal to his friends, principled, single-minded, and tenacious. And polls? -- to hell with them.

It is obviously too soon to know how future historians, with a few decades of perspective behind them, will rate Mr. Bush, but this column by Michael Novak expresses a viewpoint which I, for one, can wholeheartedly endorse. Say what you will about him, but George W. Bush has guts.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Why do they hate us?

The WaPo has an answer from Saudi textbooks (remember, the Saudis are our allies in the war on terror): Saudi children are taught to hate Jews and infidels. With friends like these...

Wahabism is apparently a strand of Islam that teaches an eternal hatred toward non-Muslims. It is an ideology that is at war with the rest of the world.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Iraqi parliament appoints cabinet

Maybe the biggest news item of today.

People who live in glass houses

Last night Apple opened its new 5th Avenue store in NYC:
a glass cube entrance to a glass spiral staircase or glass cylindrical elevator to the subterranean 10,000 square foot store.
Now open 24/7, 365 days a year.
So Apple. So cool.

One drop at a time...

InstaPunk outlines the steady drip, drip, drip of MSM anti-Bush coverage that now fills an ocean. This in spite of the Taliban's defeat in Afghanistan and the deposing of Saddam, no post-9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., and a booming economy.

I can't help but reflect on my lost Clinton-hating years. Being anti-anything seems to be a complete waste of time. Much better to build than destroy, to be for something rather than simply against something or someone.

Hugh Nibly wrote these words in 1974 at the end of his essay "Beyond Politics":
On the last night of a play the whole cast and stage crew stay in the theater until the small or not-so-small hours of the morning striking the old set. If there is to be a new opening soon, as the economy of the theater requires, it is important that the new set should be in place and ready for the opening night; all the while the old set was finishing its usefulness and then being taken down, the new set was rising in splendor to be ready for the drama that would immediately follow. So it is with this world. It is not our business to tear down the old set -- the agencies that do that are already hard at work and very efficient -- the set is coming down all around us with spectacular effect. Our business is to see to it that the new set is well on the way for what is to come -- and that means a different kind of politics, beyond the scope of the tragedy that is now playing its closing night. We are preparing for the establishment of Zion.
Hugh Nibley, “Beyond Politics,” in Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless, BYU:. Religious Studies, 302.

I seem to be tiring of politics. I haven't blogged much on it recently. More on Apple computer and other sundries. My heart's not in it.

Probably because I've been very busy at work and (although I have spring and summer terms off) bishoping. Maybe it's also because those activities have given me perspective, or at least a different perspective.

What am I for?

After 9/11, I am for the Global War on Terrorism.

I am for Operation Iraqi Freedom and building democracy in the Middle East, in Iraq and in a Palestinian State (and elsewhere around the world).

I am for fighting for freedom and the sacrifice (including death) required "to make men free."

I am for cataloging phone calls and monitoring oversease phone calls to prevent another terrorist attack in America.

I am for helping developing countries find prosperity.

I am for pressuring the Mexican government to improve economic conditions in that country so that Mexicans won't have as much of a reason to cross our border illegally.

I am for the beauty of this earth, the bright light of a clear morning, the glory of spring, and the golden touch of sunset on billowy clouds.

I am for the heart, and for the mind, and for the spirit.

I am for good humor.

I am for friends and family.

I am for husband, wife, and children.

I am for motherhood.

I am for life.

I am for chastity, fidelity, and wholesome entertainment.

I am for honesty and integrity and civility in personal and business dealings.

I am for accountability for dishonest leaders.

I am for my son serving a mission to preach the Gospel (he is currently awaiting his call -- should come in the next ten days).

I am for the power of the Atonement of the Savior and the quiet work of redemption in my student ward members' lives.

I am for spreading the teachings of Jesus Christ as the only hope for this world.

It's the economy, stupid?...

Jonah Goldberg wonders why the president doesn't get some credit for the positive economic news.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The bigger they are II ...

The biggest airliner ever lands at Heathrow.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

New MacBook -- also in black

Apple introduced its new MacBook (consumer notebook that replaces the PowerBook 12" and iBooks).
Read all about it here.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Home, sweet home

Moussaoui settles in for six life terms, no possibility of release.

The bigger they are...

World's largest cruise ship christened. 15 passenger decks. (How many life boats?)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Post-PC era

Walt Mosberg at WSJ says Apple's hardware-software model is winning -- so far. Also, he predicts an Apple media cell phone and home media hub.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

It could be worse...

The NYT notes President Bush's approval rating (31%) is the lowest of his presidency. But...
The political situation has not helped some of the more prominent members of the Democratic Party. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, who was Mr. Bush's opponent in 2004, had a lower approval rating than Mr. Bush: 26 percent, down from 40 percent in a poll conducted right after the election.

And just 28 percent said they had a favorable view of Al Gore, one of Mr. Bush's more vocal critics.
(These are the last two paragraphs of a long story on Mr. Bush's poll numbers).

Monday, May 08, 2006

Apple wins TM suit file by Apple Corps, Job invites Beatles to iTunes

Apple wants to bury the hatchet, but Apple Corps vows to appeal.

Moussaoui wants new trial

From the AP on FoxNews:
Convicted Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui says he lied on the witness stand about being involved in the plot and wants to withdraw his guilty plea because he now believes he can get a fair trial.
Heh. You got your fair trial, 'bub. Admitting your own purported perjury or your renewed faith in the American justice system don't seem like reasonable grounds for a new trial.

UPDATE: Oops, too late (can't ask for new trial after imposition of sentence).

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Jeffs on FBI's 10 Most Wanted

Polygamous leader Warren Jeffs has been placed on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list:
The FBI is offering up to a $100,000 reward. Be on the lookout!

iLap: no more fried thighs

I love my new MacBook Pro laptop -- all but the heat. It does run a trifle hot (after blogging or working for a couple of hours). Solution: the iLap from Rain Design. It's as classy as the MacBook Pro itself -- aluminum matching the MBP, and velvet cushions. And a cute Rain Design raindrop cut-out logo right in the middle (which doubles to provide air flow). Very cool. The lap of luxury.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Why it's 1938 again

In this column, Charles Krauthammer points out why our time is chillingly reminiscent of 1938, another year of crisis, and of gathering clouds preceding the firestorm.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

"I'd rather go hunting with Dick Cheney, than go driving with a Kennedy ..."

Teddy's son, Patrick (Congressman Kennedy, D-RI), appearing drunk, hit a Capitol Hill barricade at 3:00 a.m. No field sobriety test. Apparently Capitol Police higher-ups called off any investigation. Coverup? Hmm. Guess it runs in the family.

(The Congressman blames it on medication: Phenergan, a gastroenteritis med, and Ambien, a sleeping pill; I've represented a client who was charged with driving under the influence because she (unknowingly) took an Ambien before driving -- the charges were dropped and the pharmacy settled the malpractice case ...).

As Glenn Reynolds says, the Kennedys should just hire drivers. After all, they can afford it.

UPDATE: The Congressman admitted battling addiction and checked himself into the Mayo Clinic -- again. Good for him for admitting and dealing with his problem. On a lighter note, if it's his fifth time as an inpatient at the famed clinic, does that make today Cinco de Mayo?

"France May Seek Custody of Moussaoui"

Right. And thanks for all your help in the GWOT.

Moussaoui: "America, you lost!"?

No. Don't think so.

According to Fox News, he'll likely be placed in the "Supermax" prison in the desert 90 miles south of Denver
in a 7-by-12-foot cell where he will be confined for 23 hours a day. Inside the cell is a concrete bed, stool and desk as well as a toilet and a shower. A small slatted window allows some natural light. For one hour each day, he will have a "recreation" period but still will be in chains and isolated.
Hmm. I think America won. "You will die," said the sentencing judge, "with a whimper."

Have a nice rest of your life (six consecutive life terms with no possibility of parole), Mr. Jihad.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Holding back

Interesting take on the scope of the Global War On Terrorism: white guilt keeps us from going all out. Read the whole thing.

Parallels' Virtualization: run another OS on an Intel Mac

Software maker Parallels has the first virtualization solution for Intel Macs (currently in beta 6). When it's commercially released, I'll buy it.

MS Vista delayed . . . again

Once more . . . with feeling.

MoTabCo's 4,000th

Read Garry W's thoughts about America's Choir's 4,000th "Music and the Spoken Word" (and 3,000th).

Garry W's take on "United 93"

Read his impressions of the film at I miei cari amici.

Former general's trip reports from Iraq

General Barry McCaffrey (USA ret) tells it like it is (and was) at The Belmont Club.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day!

Combo platter today: Law Day (not well publicized), A Day Without (Illegal?) Immigrants Day, and (for old time's sake) "Workers of the World Unite" (International Workers') Day.

The first is related to the other two: how do we celebrate the rule of law?