Black Shards Press – Electronic Gumbo is Our Specialty

Civilians in Iraq

22.11.2006 (9:14 pm) – Filed under: Iraq ::

The Chronicle says that 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed in October 2006.  Kind of puts the ~100 American troops in perspective a bit, doesn’t it?

At some level we – the U.S – have to accept part of the responsibility, I think, when the TCOTWII, Total Cost of the War in Iraq, is computed.

“Experts” Pan Houston’s Sekula-Gibbs

21.11.2006 (6:50 pm) – Filed under: Politics,Stupidity ::

Shelly Sekula-Gibbs ran off all of Tom DeLay’s staffers – hooray! That ought to be a good thing but now the so-called experts are all up in arms against her.

Gary Polland, a former Harris County Republican chairman: “if she decides to run in two years, the story will be, ‘That’s right, Shelley was in Congress for six weeks and ran off all of DeLay’s staff.”

Former DeLay chief of staff David James: “Never has any member of Congress treated us with as much disrespect and unprofessionalism as we witnessed during those five days.”

Allen Blakemore who is considering entering the GOP primary: “She in fact has weakened her chances.”

Fort Bend County GOP Chairman Gary Gillen: “When it comes time for 2008, the negative publicity won’t be beneficial for her.”

Bill Miller, an Austin media consultant: “”She has mortally damaged herself for ’08. She has embarrassed herself. She has embarrassed Republicans. She’s done a first-class job of ruining any prospective chance she had of winning that race.”

By running off leftover staffers from a corrupt congressman? If Shelly is compromised at all it’s because she didn’t glad-hand these people and play their little games. That much, if nothing else, is something to like about her.

If all of the local yokel Pubs are against her, Sekula-Gibbs will have a tough time bucking the party, that is true. But that’s merely a symptom of a corrupted system, not a political issue in and of itself. She might have better luck taking them on as an independent. Why not? We need more of those folks.

What makes these people experts? Two years ago every one of them was probably kissing DeLay’s backside hoping for some of his mojo to rub off on them. How about shutting up and letting the voters decide, fellas?

D-R-A-F-T

21.11.2006 (3:25 pm) – Filed under: Politics ::

That’s what Charles Rangel of New York wants to re-instate.  He says:

There’s no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft, and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm’s way.

Who exactly does he think is fighting in Iraq now?  Those folks live in somebody’s district, I can assure you!

As vile as the draft for Vietnam was (I hear, having been in single-digits at the time), I think Chuck is correct, in principle, that all Americans should have to put in some time serving the country.

Tangentially, I think it’s been demonstrated that the idea that being born and growing up in this country automatically means you love and appreciate our life here is false.

Without service and an understanding of what it means to be American the freedoms we enjoy (though fewer now, thanks to W) are assumed to be a right of entitlement by American youth.  A year in the Coast Guard, the INS, or in a port authority would go a long way to maturing some of today’s ingraites.

That’s quite a different thing than serving in the armed forces, the Coast Guard example above not withstanding.  I think Rangel is correct again when he says that the Prez & Congress would be more careful with draftees than with volunteers.

This isn’t because the pols care any more about run-of-the-mill kids.  But there’s a difference between a volunteer being killed and someone who was conscripted suffering the same fate.  The difference is the residual anger of the public and its effect on the ballot box.  In other words, what happened in the 2006 election, only bigger.

Would I support a draft then?  Hell no.  To paraphrase my man George Orwell, you shouldn’t ought to trust the buggers.  I don’t, not with my boys.  Not this lot, at least.

4 Years Ago Today: Big Brother is Coming

15.11.2006 (8:55 pm) – Filed under: Politics,Society ::

4 years ago I wrote:

The fact is, there is always going to be a certain amount of risk involved in living. No President can change that by ordering profiles created on each of us.

A better first step would be to build a working immigration and naturalization system. Non-citizens inherently have lower expectations of privacy and higher probabilities of targeting the U.S. for terrorist actions. Working to keep terrorists out of our country is a worthy endeavor. Infringing on the Constitutional rights of citizens is not.

How are we doing?

Lou Dobbs Democrats

15.11.2006 (8:39 pm) – Filed under: Immigration,Politics ::

Lou Dobbs: “It seems nothing frightens our free trade and pro-illegal immigration orthodoxies more than putting the common good and the national interest above dominant special interests, corporate America and, of course, our darling elites in both political parties and the media.”

Stinkers of the Day

15.11.2006 (6:56 pm) – Filed under: Politics,Society ::

O.J. Simpson’s New Book
“If I Did It” may be the truest thing the smug bastard’s said in years.  Can’t wait to not read it!

On a personal note, I got some benefit out of the case – it taught me what it really means to be a racial bigot.  In those days I worked near Greenspoint Mall in Houston.  (For out-of-towners, this is substantially a minority part of town commonly referred to as the “Gunspoint” area.)

I was at Circuit City for some reason, probably ogling a computer I couldn’t afford, when the O.J. verdict came in.  So I crowded around the big screen with the rest of folks and we’re all in there watching, no race, creed, or color.  Then the not guilty verdict is announced.  Next to me, a large, round, black woman gasps loudly, from the heart, and cries to her girlfriend, “Thank God!”

Thank God that a man got off after killing his wife and her friend?  No.  Thank God that a black man, a football star, got off after killing his white wife and her white friend.  I stared at her, unable to speak.  Her meaning was crystal clear.

That was the first moment that I understood that black bigotry runs even deeper than the maggoty white variety.  Both make me ill.  Thanks, Juice, for the memories.

The Comeback of Trent Lott, et al
This backroom deal, along with the ones the Dems are cutting even now, make me think that the lesson of the 2006 election was completely lost on these morons after all.

Are there any Republican voters who want Trent Lott back in leadership?  Please.  Democrats, did we vote for you because of your brilliant platform, your stupendous integrity, and your inspired leadership?  No, fools.  We voted for you because you weren’t Republicans.  That’s the sole basis for your mandate.  Stop screwing up already.

Illegal Immigration, Again

14.11.2006 (6:39 pm) – Filed under: Immigration,Stupidity ::

In a move worthy of the best political spin artists, illegal Elvira Arellano apparently sent her 7 year-old son to Mexico City so he could beg the Mexican Congress to try to keep her from being deported from the U.S. Incredible.

It’s truly moving how desperate some of these people are to stay in this country, with all its faults and their lowly position in it. Even so, America must enforce and enhance her laws to keep illegal immigration down to reasonable levels.

This includes keeping local agencies in line. In Houston, the Texas Children’s and St. Luke’s hospital systems have formed an agreement with the Mexican Consulate to help illegals get medical care. Further, “Harris County offers medical care through what it describes as a ”gold card” program that helps cover many indigent patients who don’t qualify for Medicaid because of their immigration status.”

This is the exact opposite of what we need to be doing, which is creating disincentives for illegal behavior. That’s what Farmers Branch, TX is trying to do. Hopefully their local ordinances won’t be abolished by “higher authorities”.

The Feds have blown it big-time on this issue. But there’s someone who has a clue, Gabrielle Giffords, representative-elect from Arizona’s 8th district. Wow.

Illegal Immigration, Again

14.11.2006 (6:10 pm) – Filed under: Immigration ::

In a move worthy of the best political spin artists, illegal Elvira Arellano apparently sent her 7 year-old son to Mexico City so he could beg the Mexican Congress to try to keep her from being deported from the U.S.  Incredible.

It’s truly moving how desperate some of these people are to stay in this country, with all its faults and their lowly position in it.  Even so, America must enforce and enhance her laws to keep illegal immigration down to reasonable levels.

This includes keeping local agencies in line.  In Houston, the Texas Children’s and St. Luke’s hospital systems have formed an agreement with the Mexican Consulate to help illegals get medical care.  Further, “Harris County offers medical care through what it describes as a ”gold card” program that helps cover many indigent patients who don’t qualify for Medicaid because of their immigration status.”

This is the exact opposite of what we need to be doing, which is creating disincentives for illegal behavior.  That’s what Farmers Branch, TX is trying to do.  Hopefully their local ordinances won’t be abolished by “higher authorities”.

The Feds have blown it big-time on this issue.  But there’s someone who has a clue, Gabrielle Giffords, representative-elect from Arizona’s 8th district.  Wow.

Troop Levels in Iraq

14.11.2006 (5:45 pm) – Filed under: Iraq ::

Michael Gordon’s interview is a must-hear.  The summary?  We need more troops on the ground and we’ll be there for years if we don’t do something irresponsible like bolt in a Democratic panic.

Recent events like the daylight kidnapping of Ministry of Higher Ed employees demonstrate the scarcity and competency of police resources.  Most or all of these victims were released unharmed, but that’s an anomaly.  It’s also no coincidence that educators are being targeted. Knowledge equals a rejection of the Islamist creed and that can’t be allowed.

Sadly, the Iraqi army isn’t going to keep the peace any time soon.

Joe Klein says that in last week’s election, “Not only did the Democrats lay a robust whupping on the Republicans in the midterm elections, but — far worse — the president was forced into a tacit acknowledgment that the defining policy of his administration, the war in Iraq, was failing.”

That’s true.  But it doesn’t mean we’re going anywhere – we’re not, regardless of what the Dems say.  The responsibility is on them now and they’ll live up to it, like it or not.

One question is, what does that mean to military reservists?  These poor guys and gals are so screwed.  How many work for employers who aren’t paying them during their deployment?  And how many are being called back into service again (and again)?  Anyone know?

Even more important is what this will do to the volunteer army in the future, particularly in regards to the reserves.  Many of these soldiers signed up for peace-time work, not street fights in the new Beiruit.  Where are new reservists going to come from???

Troop Levels in Iraq

14.11.2006 (5:45 pm) – Filed under: Iraq ::

Michael Gordon’s interview is a must-hear.  The summary?  We need more troops on the ground and we’ll be there for years if we don’t do something irresponsible like bolt in a Democratic panic.

Recent events like the daylight kidnapping of Ministry of Higher Ed employees demonstrate the scarcity and competency of police resources.  Most or all of these victims were released unharmed, but that’s an anomaly.  It’s also no coincidence that educators are being targeted. Knowledge equals a rejection of the Islamist creed and that can’t be allowed.

Sadly, the Iraqi army isn’t going to keep the peace any time soon.

Joe Klein says that in last week’s election, “Not only did the Democrats lay a robust whupping on the Republicans in the midterm elections, but — far worse — the president was forced into a tacit acknowledgment that the defining policy of his administration, the war in Iraq, was failing.”

That’s true.  But it doesn’t mean we’re going anywhere – we’re not, regardless of what the Dems say.  The responsibility is on them now and they’ll live up to it, like it or not.

One question is, what does that mean to military reservists?  These poor guys and gals are so screwed.  How many work for employers who aren’t paying them during their deployment?  And how many are being called back into service again (and again)?  Anyone know?

Even more important is what this will do to the volunteer army in the future, particularly in regards to the reserves.  Many of these soldiers signed up for peace-time work, not street fights in the new Beiruit.  Where are new reservists going to come from???