Head West, Turn Right

The Joint Blog of the Conservative Northwest Blogging Alliance: Red State Points of View from a Blue State Point on the Compass.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sedition 101

Cross-posted from Memento Moron.

Thanks for the Memory to Lars Larson.

What the hell is this doing on the wall of a public high school in Newport, Oregon?

Is there an equally large display of recruiting material and accounts of the heroism of those who wear or have worn this country's uniforms? That's what I thought.

And no, don't tell me this is a Freedom of Speech issue. This is a public high school, funded by taxpayer money, and as a taxpayer, I don't particularly appreciate having my pocket picked to display such blatant hatred for our military. To steal a phrase from Billy Joel, you can speak your mind, but not on my time (or dime)!

And if the entire project was done extracirricularly, then again, I ask, has the same access to the school's walls been offered to those who support the military? If there's anyone reading this from Newport, especially a student, I'd like to know that -- is there a similar display of an opposing point of view?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sheehan: over and out?

It's a good question.

I'm sure more than a few "moderates" are thinking Cindy Sheehan's star has gone the way of a black hole. Here's a couple links that indicate a great deal of disenchantment over someone who has turned her "private grief" into a marketable bushbash.

First, there's the pretty AP photos from her Crawford book-signing.

Then, wow...a scathing Salena Zito column, putting Cindy down (to use the lighter term) for the infamous "open letter to Barbara Bush."
Sheehan has become the quintessential freak show, making everyone uncomfortable as we watch the drama -- her drama -- play out. In our heart of hearts, we really do not want to believe this mother has become a handmaiden of the Left.

Few things ever are what they seem to be. Truth often is awkward. And facing the reality that Sheehan's sincerity has ended and absurdity has taken hold is one jagged little pill to swallow.
Indeed, that's just a fraction of the criticism. I recommend reading whole column.

Crossposted at Meneltarma

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

'I'm just dad'

Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana has done more in his five years in congress for the conservative cause than many do in their lifetime.

A super communicator, socially and fiscally conservative, a proven record of true leadership...what more could you want. I'm almost tempted to say to those who want him to run for president to just let him stay in congress so he can keep doing some good there. But then I look at the current field of RINOs and I'm more inclined to agree with the Draft Pence Movement.

That title quote comes from an article in The Indianapolis Star.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The dragon

It just won't go away...the specter of Chinese domination. It's an old, old story that no one seems to know what to do with.

The Washington Times did a series of features on Chinese buildups during the summer--I had the chance to glimpse a friend's copy. Condi Rice has recently been critical of continued Beijing military buildups.

Now, it seems those closer to the giant have an acute sense of insecurity--no surprise. Allies such as Japan plainly don't think U.S. support is enough to secure their safety in a crisis, according an article from Insight Magazine...
The overwhelming assessment by Asian officials, diplomats and analysts is that the U.S. military simply cannot defeat China. It has been an assessment relayed to U.S. government officials over the past few months by countries such as Australia, Japan and South Korea....Most Asian officials have expressed their views privately. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has gone public, warning that the United States would lose any war with China.
The upside is that it may motivate our allies in the region to be a little more enterprising with their own military budgeting. I believe a limited but solid presence in the region is essential. But we should only be there to maintain a threat and foot in the door--not the primary defenders of a dozen sleepy at-risk countries.

Perception of U.S. weakness seems a little exaggerated.
Mr. Ishihara said U.S. ground forces, with the exception of the Marines, are "extremely incompetent" and would be unable to stem a Chinese conventional attack. Indeed, he asserted that China would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against Asian and American cities—even at the risk of a massive U.S. retaliation.
Yes, we can always improve. Let the Japanese think we are weaker than we are, though, if it means they will be more assertive in securing themselves.
As a result, Asian allies of the United States are quietly preparing to bolster their militaries independent of Washington.
Go for it.

Crossposted at Meneltarma

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Thus says Cheney!

"The President and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone – but we’re not going to sit by and let them rewrite history.

We’re going to continue throwing their own words back at them..."
Amen and amen! Read the rest of the except on the Drudge Report.

Crossposted at Meneltarma

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Al-Qaeda's Foreign Policy?

(CNN: Protesters to al-Zarqawi: 'Burn in hell')

It appears that Zarqawi's foreign policy is to blow up his compatriots, and anger other Arabs and Muslims who would otherwise be sympathetic (or apathetic) to his cause. I think the outrage over this event, and other recent attacks on fellow Muslims (including in Saudi Arabia) will fuel an outpouring of condemnation, one that has been both particularly and sorely lacking from the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Read the developing story in Jordan on CNN Online.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ward Churchill at Shoreline Community College

The traveling circus that is Ward Churchill's speaking tour visited Shoreline Community College in North Seattle last night.

I had earlier posted a run-down of every remark that struck me as odd. Of course that put my post at over 2,000 words and probably wasn't even all that interesting, other than to be a reminder of how sick and wrong Ward Churchill's garbled lies about America sound.

The fact that Ward is now "performing" on the community college circuit is enough in and of itself to illustrate his level of credibility. I have to agree with Travis Savala, who earlier commented on this blog that Ward's influence on politics is negligible.

One thing that struck me as meaningful about Ward's approach: he treats this whole thing like an act, and has a huge bag of tricks (both rhetoric and comedy). He recycles the whole peformance wherever he goes, and knows when to say just the right things to spark the audience off into either laughter, gasps of horror (but nonetheless agreement), or even:
"F*$# yeah man, REVOLUTION NOW!"

Here's a copy of the handbill and my ticket; a small showing of College Republicans holding Support Our Troops signs was dismissed by Churchill, when he said, "I AM THE GOD DAMN TROOPS!" Needless to say, it was well worth the money to confirm what I already knew: the guy's an America-hating loony-tune, and should enjoy zero credibility with sane individuals. His views are esoteric, and likely only make sense to him and his merry band of self-described "anarcho-daoists".

[Note here are some fun quotes I just couldn't pass up: Ward said that Condi and Colin are actually "white, because white is a state of mind"; he said that 9/11 happend because of "ghostly kharma", and all of the groups that America or Euro-centric Americans had 'screwed-over' were riding on the wings of the hi-jacked planes when they crashed into the Twin Towers; The ASL interpreters had a difficult time keeping up with the long-winded moonbat, and their faces were constantly contored trying to express the venomous hate coming out of Ward's mouth; he called the Vietnam Veteran's memorial wall in D.C. a waste of space; downplayed the significance of the Holocaust and the Jewish experience of persectution; claimed to put papers and "stuff" together by visually placing the pieces of his essay like a jig-saw puzzle, "you know thesis here, annotations[sic?] there..."

Saturday, November 05, 2005

GOP: Media's best friend

What is a good indication of political balance in the media? When lawmakers and politicians from both parties support media "shield laws" to protect confidential sources.

In the past, I've tended to consider this a more liberal issue, but not totally. My hesitation stems from being leery of the liberties many journalists take in using anonymous interviews--as I wrote in The Western Front last spring. At the moment, there is no federal shield law to protect journalist from grand jury subpoenas and the like. What conservatives have come out in support of more journalistic protection? The names are surprising.

Congressman Mike Pence, a conservative superstar in the Midwest, and increasingly more recognizable as one of the most effective conservative leaders in the House, has become one of the primary sponsors of a federal shield law. I hate to say it, but The New York Times reporter, Judith Miller's fight to protect a Republican source may have had something to do with the surge in GOP attention. That source, Cheney aid, “Scooter” Libby, has since, of course, been indicted in the leak you all know so much (or so little perhaps) about by now.

Note: I added a new link on my blog for my good friend Aaron Hankin, who heads up the "Draft Pence Movement" dedicated to promoting a Pence a presidential bid in 2008. There's a lot of material on his blog.

On the Washington state level, conservative Attorney General Rob McKenna has garnered the respect of journalists everywhere by first getting his hands dirty cleaning up the access laws (freedom of information laws) in Washington, and now, by publicly endorsing a state shield law. While Washington doesn't have a shield law per se, some Washington courts have ruled favorably to journalists in the past, setting minor precedent for partial protection. As stated in The Seattle Times, many would like the protection to be more water tight.

"Someone might say we don't need it; we've only had a few cases," (McKenna said.) "But not having it can chill the speech of a confidential source. You don't have to have a case where someone is being put in stocks in the public square for this to be a good idea. It will encourage confidential sources to reveal important information to the media."

It bears noting that Stefan Sharkanski of Sound Politics.com doesn’t really care about it, just as long as bloggers are included, and I would agree that there can’t be special privileges granted to some citizens just because they are gathering the information for a certain kind of publication. If the first amendment is going to be construed to protect one person, there had better not be a double standard.

Crossposted at Meneltarma

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Moonbats Take to the Streets

(Cross posted at Respectfully Republican)

I interviewed with Dori Monson on KIRO Talk 710 today about the YAWR protests. A lot of people participating were duped into thinking this was simply "standard liberals" doing their "standard protest". Today's march was far from standard Left procedure.

Unbeknowst to many participants, today's march was organized by the Socialist Alternative, a group advocating the replacement of American-style capitalism and democracy with State Socialism (no joke). What was normal were some of the tactics used. The Seattle Times reports that one man was arrested for a parole violation, and as I can personally attest, he wasn't the only unshaven "downtown local" (read: panhandlers) in the bunch ;0)

(Courtesy of King 5 News Helicopter)
At the end of the day, I wonder how much it even matters that the march and events were sponsored by the FAR-FAR-FAR Left. Afterall, the media hasn't made any meaningful distinction (except for Dori Monson on KIRO).

(Courtesy of KIRO 7 News) What's with the mask kiddo? Don't want your parents or grandparents to recognize your mug on TV, and figure out that you're skipping school to hang out with commies?

(Courtesy of KIRO 7 News) And your telling me these guys are students against the war?

Thank God for patriotic Americans like Anthony Mantova, the organizer of the Tacoma counter-demonstration. I was informed that Clara Lightner & Co. of Tacoma YAWR were met with a lively resistance of veterans, troop supporters, and military families. More info, including pictures, will be forthcoming.

I-901: the great conservative sellout

I hate to use such a vitriolic headline, but I can't find better words for it. I'm seeing just how uneducated conservatives can be in their own professed philosophy. I'm seeing Washington republicans throw away their principles just because they happen to not like smoking.

The source of my problem is Initiative 901, which is intended to effectively ban smoking anywhere but reservations and your own house (you might get away with it if you stand in the middle of an intersection too). Of course, you'll also probably have to be careful that you shut all your doors and close all your windows and light up in the basement...just in case your neighbor smells it inside his equally sealed house, get's a headache and lung cancer, files a complaint, or worse, sues you to pay for his lung transplant. If you happen to own a bar that smokers like to frequent, you'd better get a whole new set of customers because catering to smokers will be against the law.

Property rights? What are those?

Susan Rosenberry of The Western Front did a good job of covering it in last Friday's issue. One quote that struck me:

If it passes, the initiative would ban smoking inside Washington public spaces, including restaurants, bars, bowling alleys and public transportation vehicles such as taxis, said Dr. Chris Covert-Bowlds, a Bellingham physician and sponsor of the initiative. The smoking restriction would also extend to 25 feet away from the entrance of the public establishment, he said.

“It’s not that we are trying to force people to stop smoking,” Covert-Bowlds said. “We are just trying to protect employees’ rights to breathe smoke-free air.”

WHAT RIGHT WAS THAT? Where do we keep coming up with all these new-and-improved, extraconstitutional rights? What right can an employee claim if they knew they were applying to work in a smoke-filled environment?

A friend of mine who is a leader in the Whatcom County Republican Party (he helped write our county platform last year) had this to say about his support for the initiative when I asked him (email excerpt):

Never ask an ex-smoker (like me) how they feel about smoking! We converts/previous smokers all hate it and can't stand the smell of it!...Bottom line, your ability to smoke ends at the end of my nose and if I can smell it, you can't do it. Majority always rules sooner or later.

I have never heard anything quite so abhorrent to the basic principles of our constitution or the free market. He complained he can never bowl because they all are smoking establishments. So? Start your own bowling alley...don't sit there and force them, through trumped-up laws, to cater to you just because you have a medical aversion to something they do.

Is there a better way of saying this that I'm missing? Is something unclear? Does anyone know what private property means?

Smoking is still legal. Until it is outlawed, I will not support anything that restricts a business owner's right to cater to smokers. I'm sorry if your nose starts running and you get a headache...I sometimes do too. You've survived up to this point.

The government isn't here to make laws for my convenience!

Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled